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Xavier v. Duke: Takeaways

X drops another close game to a top notch opponet.

Phil Knight Legacy Tournament : Duke v Xavier
“No, the guys in white!”
Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images

The Anthony Myles revenge game ultimately fell short of avenging the legendary Musketeer. X didn’t get run off the floor by any means, but played most of the game from behind. In the end, the Muskies came up short of picking up a signature win for the second time in a week. X will have another chance to pick up a big win on Sunday, but we must first look at what happened against the Blue Devils.


The bigs sucked today: One day after combining for 30 points and 20 rebounds, Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle combined for just 9 points and 10 boards on 3-19 shooting. Both Kunkel and Claude pulled in more defensive boards than both of these guys. Nunge could not get anything to fall as his wife (he’s married by the way) recorded on a camera ESPN strapped to her head. For the frontcourt being our biggest strength, they had far from their best showing in a game that was there for the taking.

The same problems are still problems: Defense, turnovers, rebounding, and depth were still bad today. Duke leads the nation oreb%, but some of the shots they got back were just ridiculous. In a game that was played at a slower pace, X still coughed the ball up on 23% of their possessions. If this doesn’t get better, we should just forfeit both St. John’s games now. Claude and Tandy were the only bench players to hit double digit minutes, and the entire bench only added 10 points. Our starting roatation will be ragged by mid-January if we cannot get any quality off the bench. The defense is still bad, but I’ve been negative enough already.

Souley Boum is the real deal: Say what you will about his defense (it’s not good), but this guy is legit. He posted 23 points on just 8 shots tonight. There’s no doubt the guy can get buckets, and gets them in the flow of the offense. Boum may not always be Xavier’s best player on the floor, but he’s never the worst. He’s been efficient, consistent, and almost subtle while posting monster lines.

BONUS TAKEAWAY - Gareth Southgate tried to ruin my Friday: England played the USA in the World Cup just before X tipped off against Duke. England’s manager, the aforementioned Southgate, decided to play boring, uninspired football, and was rewarded the 0-0 draw he clearly wanted. The reason this nearly ruined my Friday was that Brad was rapidly losing his sanity and grip on reality. I genuinely feared for his health as this mockery of the beautiful game unfolded in front of me. Everyone survived, and it’s on to the next.