One of the great joys of fandom is leaping to conclusions based on passion and little else. Travis Steele is in over his head! Kyky Tandy is the best ever! Joe Burrow is the next Akili Smith! And, yes dad, Richie Sexson sucks! Three games over three days gives just enough exposure time to see the team but not quite enough data to make informed decisions yet. That said, here's a few conclusions from a week of action.
Zach Freemantle is going to attract attention
Zach Freemantle is averaging 16.3/7.7/1.3 on 55% shooting so far this season. He’s also made four of the 10 three pointers he’s attempted. All of that is good. What isn’t are the two technicals that Big Frosty got on Friday. Freemantle plays with his heart on his sleeve and his mouth engaged. Apparently that is going to make him a target of referees who are determined that absolutely no fun is had by anyone.
Dwon Odom knows what he is
The knock on Odom coming out of high school was that he wasn’t much of a jump shooter. Nothing that has transpired in the first three games has changed that. That, however, hasn’t kept Odom from having an offensive rating of 110.9 and a turnover rate of just 7.8% to go with his assist rate that is over 26%. Odom has attempted fully half of his shots at the rim. That’s higher than anyone on the team other than Bryan Griffin and demonstrates that Dwon knows where he can be effective.
Xavier still can’t shoot
Players not named Nate Johnson or Kyky Tandy are 8-40 behind the arc. Paul Scruggs figures to improve on his 3-17 mark, but the Musketeers are still not a team loaded with shooters. That could change depending on what happens with their personnel, but for now Xavier is best inside the arc.
But they can move the ball
It wasn’t hard to point at the ball sticking as a serious issue with the offense the last two seasons. It would rotate to someone on the wing, that player would dribble for six seconds and then attack. That isn’t good offense. This season Xavier’s offense is still 273rd in adjusted tempo, but not because they are standing around and watching someone beat the court to death. The Musketeers assist rate as a team is 67.4%, good for 23rd in the nation. If shots start falling, they have the potential to be truly dangerous.
We get into some of these things and a lot more in our podcast recap of the Xavier Invitational. Each week in the podcast we take your questions, as well as our observations, and have a 45 minute look at where the Musketeers are headed for the season.