Xavier isn’t done this year, but you can be forgiven for wishing they were. Tonight’s game makes this season the have the worst set of losses since either 2011 or 2013, pick your actual poison. Xavier is under .500 for the first time since they were 2-3 in 2019.
That 2011 team had Tu Holloway and got a six seed. The 2013 team didn’t and didn’t. This team also doesn’t. What it does have is a whole bunch of guys who are playing crap basketball at the moment and Quincy Olivari.
This team turns the ball over too much. It was 17 tonight against a Delware team that was 275th in the nation in forcing turnovers tonight. Do you force a turnover if the opposing team throws it right to you? That happened twice in a row in the second half. A Blue Hen wasn’t in the passing lane, Desmond Claude (who was mediocre at best tonight) and then Dayvion McKnight just threw it to someone in blue. Why? God alone knows. Xavier’s final turnover came when Dailyn Swain decided to go behind his back when Xavier desperately needed any offense. Instead, he dribbled it off his own heel.
72% from the line is crap as well. I don’t know how you fix that. Guys are generally either good from the line or they aren’t. These guys aren’t. Lazar Djokovic was 1-4. A seventh grader should do better than that. Desmond Claude is supposedly this team’s best player, but in a reasonably officiated game he managed to commit four of Xavier’s 11 fouls. Abou Ousmane, obviously, also had four. That limited both of them and meant Xavier frequently looked horrible on defense.
Make no mistake, some of this is coaching. Sean Miller needs to figure out how to keep his team from being abjectly awful. He hasn’t. He hasn’t fixed an inconsistent and frequently bad defense. He’s not gotten the offense to work at all. The team looks like garbage. I’m not sure if they got booed off the court tonight, but they couldn’t have had any complaints if they had. Delaware, like Oakland, is not good. Tonight, they hammered a Xavier team that looks worse than they have in a very, very long time.
This season only feels over now. Xavier can start to save their year by winning on Saturday. No fan has any reason to expect that. This team is very bad right now. They need to get better, and fast, or this will be one of the worst seasons of the modern era of Xavier basketball.