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Xavier will be without Nate Johnson and Dieonte Miles tonight

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The Muskies will hit the floor against Providence without their most prolific shooter and their tallest player.

Connecticut v Xavier Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

First, the news:

While Dieonte Miles was a healthy scratch the last time these teams met, it wasn't outside the realm of possibility that he was going to see important minutes tonight as Xavier throws everything they have at the paint to slow down Providence center Nate Watson.

Arguably more importantly, Nate Johnson will also miss through injury. Against Providence on January 10th, he dropped 14 and hit 4 threes on just 6 attempts. While he had been in a mini-slump lately, there is still not doubt that Xavier is a significantly less threatening offense with him off the floor.

Fans have been clamoring for more Kyky Tandy lately, and this might be his best chance to step back into the rotation as he is the nearest thing Xavier has to a like-for-like swap with Johnson. Tandy is a 39% free throw shooter in his own right and has recently drawn praise from Coach Steele about his increased intensity and effort.

If not from Kyky, Xavier might look to CJ Wilcher to stand in the gap, Adam Kunkel to regain his form after a tough stretch of games, or just Paul Scruggs to shoulder more of the load. Providence isn't going to feel bad for Xavier. Ball goes up at 9.