Brad: So you ended last week by asking which game I feared more. I said both, but I didn’t see this happening. Xavier completely spit the bit this week and now needs half a miracle at MSG. Do you have any hope they can pull it off?
Braydan: If they play the same way as they did this week then I think we may crash out against Butler. I know that’s a bleak outlook but we really sucked this week.
The one crumb of comfort I have is that we played badly and beat Butler and we also are capable of beating Creighton. Our recent form hasn’t indicated that we will win either of those games but we know that we can. We need Scruggs rolling early and need somebody else to step up and get some buckets. I’d love it if that guy is Kyky but we need somebody.
Joel: I can’t remember the last time we played offense and defense at the start of a game. Last night the defense was fine; they scored 10 points in the first 8 minutes. Unfortunately, we couldn’t score at all. Paul Scruggs has been the only one out of the locker room early lately. Can we not get Freemantle going early? Someone else?
Kind of on this note, I loved the move to start Wilcher. Not only does he seem to know where the basket is, but he owned Dawson Garcia despite giving up 5 inches and 40 pounds. If we had been able to complete the comeback, the story would have been that Garcia didn’t want any part of Wilcher within 20 feet of the bucket.
Brad: It looked like CJ just gassed out at the end of the game, and that definitely made a difference. As far as atarting fast, why not throw Kyky out there? He’s aggressive, he can score in bunches, and he’s not afraid to shoot. He is also fresh after an entire season of under use.
Speaking of, I think Colby Jones is showing signs of fatigue. In his last four he is 6-19 inside the arc and 1-6 outside it. His (commendable) penchant for putting himself about and the stop/start nature of this season are working against him a bit.
Joel: Jones is 8-9 from the line with 12 dimes and 8 OReb in that time. He’s a do-it-all guy, but he’s being asked to do an awful lot right now. I think Nate Johnson allowed him to hide on defense a little more, but now he has to take a tough assignment because he’s a guy who can.
I’d like to see more Kyky, I’d like to see Kunkel given the directive to put the ball on the floor relentlessly. He’s 14-25 from the mid-range this year. Let him dribble into those pull-up 17-footers he seems to be so good at, or get into the teeth of the defense and create. I’m not sure I need to see him hucking too many more threes at this point.
I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the usage of Kyky and BG this year unless more information comes out. They’ve both been effective at times and, in scoring and rebounding, both provide something we are in desperate need of. Why not give them some more run?
It is hard to come up with a reason to think that Xavier will still be playing come this time next week. As Joel points out in his look at X’s position, “With an entire work week between us and Selection Sunday, the Muskies will not stay there. There’s just too much that can happen to change the team’s position on the bubble to feel at all good about being “in” with six days until the Selection Show.” Things are not looking up.