First, the news:
NEWS: Already shorthanded without Zach Freemantle, Xavier will not have Des Claude (non-covid illness) or Kam Craft (knee) for tonight's game at Marquette.— Adam Baum (@AdamJBaum) February 15, 2023
Claude did not make the trip to Milwaukee. Craft, injured this week in practice, is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.
When it rains, it pours. Already limited by the loss of all-conference talent in the form of Zach Freemantle, the Muskies are now down two bench pieces.
Frankly, Kam Craft isn't a giant loss. He has been an intermittent part of the rotation, but more as deep depth than a meaningful strategic piece.
Des Claude is another story entirely. He has emerged and Sean Miller's go-to guy for guard depth, grabbing almost 20 minutes per game in conference play and posting a 104 ORtg during that time. His defensive versatility and explosive capacity in the open floor made him a reliable weapon for Xavier.
If ever there was a moment for Kyky Tandy to grab, this is it. Already shorthanded and maybe suffering the impact of having been so for some time, Xavier has its work cut out at one of the best and fastest teams in the league.