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Xavier 67-84 Creighton: Takeaways from a road beat down

Xavier went on the road and just flat out didn’t show up in getting pounded by Creighton.

Xavier v Villanova Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

We all knew coming in to this week that 1-1 was probably best case scenario. I don’t think anyone was expecting the loss to be like this, though. Xavier was at the CHI Health Center in body, but not in spirit. Brian O’Connell was there in his usual spirit of ruining basketball, and the Musketeers are heading back to Cincinnati having taken a serious beating that surely colors the way the Big East shakes out this season.

Officiating changed the game

If you were as bad at your job as Brian O’Connell is at his would you be fired, jailed, or just shot on the spot? O’Connell is old, out of shape, and doesn’t know the rules of the game. He’s utterly useless and if this is what he has to the world he should just retire now. His call of Jack Nunge very legally grabbing a rebound changed the entire tenor of the game. At that point the game was 11-12. It went south from there. If I say anything else about Brian O’Connell I’m going to get another email from Vox. He sucks. He ruined this game as a contest.

If you can’t play defense, you won’t consistently win tough games

Xavier’s theoretical defense will probably be sub-100 after this game. They got torched inside, outside, and upside down. Once Creighton went on a 16-6 run in the first half, Xavier never got close to enough stops to get back in the game. This wasn’t impacted by foul trouble, Xavier never plays defense. When you don’t play defense as a general rule, you run the risk of getting pasted on the road.

Xavier never responded

Once Xavier went down you may have expected them to make a run to get back in the game. After going down ten, the closest they came was six. If you guessed that what they did next was allow buckets on six of the next seven possessions, your prize is having to watch your team get hammered. Surely having to dance around the foul trouble was part of the issue, but X just didn’t show a lot of fight. Adam Kunkel deserves some credit for trying, Souley Boum only took five shots.

There are some cracks showing

Xavier lost to a very, very bad DePaul team. That was their worst KP loss in a decade, but some people passed it off as “one of those games.” The Musketeers then looked bad in beating Georgetown. There were some encouraging offensive signs against UConn, even if the defense was still appalling. This, however, is the third poor showing in four games. Sean Miller is the man to fix the problems, but he has some serious problems to sort. Xavier’s defense was 108th in the nation in the last 10 and in the 140s since conference play started. Today’s “effort” won’t have helped that.

Cesare Edwards is alive!

Maybe the NET was right

The NET and KenPom are predictive metrics that measure teams on efficiency. Both of them thought Creighton was better than Xavier. It’s rather hard to argue with that now. The last time Xavier lost a game this badly was Feb 22nd of 2020. You all know how things went after that.

I’m trying to take a deep breath

It’s frustrating to start the day with your favorite team getting their collective head kicked in in a vital game. It is a pleasantly warm 35 outside, it’s not snowing for once, and everyone is healthy. Xavier is back home for a huge one on Wednesday. Win that and things feel a bit better. Onward and upward from here.