The brand new yr brings Xavier College’s males’s basketball crew the chance to get again heading in the right direction after back-to-back losses in Huge East Convention motion.
The Musketeers (Eight-2, 1-2 Huge East) welcome St. John’s (6-Four, 1-Three Huge East) on Wednesday evening at Cintas Middle in a recreation the place Xavier must rediscover its rhythm offensively, which isn’t a straightforward activity towards a high-pressure Crimson Storm crew that can make the most of full-court strain for all the recreation.
“They’re gonna be relentless for 40 minutes,” Xavier Head Coach Travis Steele mentioned on Tuesday throughout his pregame press convention. “They’re gonna flip it on on the very starting of the sport all the way in which to the horn.
“… And it isn’t simply their full-court strain, and that is what I preserve telling our guys. Clearly, that is a part of coping with strain is coping with their full-court, however you gotta take care of it within the half-court. You may’t get sped up; that is what they need you to do. They need you to get sped, they need you to play quick, they need you to attempt to make selections a bit of bit faster than you usually do. We’ve got to play at our personal tempo.”
Steele added that if Xavier has a bonus in numbers then they will look to assault, however the Musketeers need to be comfy operating their half-court offense and getting the ball the place they need it to go.
St. John’s hasn’t performed since a Dec. 20 win over Georgetown. The Crimson Storm have had two consecutive video games postponed – one due to COVID-19 points inside Villanova’s program, and St. John’s postponed its recreation on Saturday towards DePaul resulting from a optimistic COVID-19 check that proved to be inaccurate after follow-up testing.
St. John’s has a formidable lineup with all 5 starters averaging in double figures. They’re led by sophomore Julian Champagnie, whom Steele mentioned has taken a giant bounce this season.
“You take a look at (Champagnie’s) numbers and he is taking part in like an all-league man proper now, and he isn’t the one man,” Steele mentioned. “Greg Williams has taken a bounce. They’ve added a number of expertise. Vince Cole can actually rating the ball on the wing. Posh Alexander is a very gifted freshman level guard, so we’re gonna need to play rather well and play actually exhausting to match their depth for 40 minutes.”
Forty minutes could not appear that lengthy, however in basketball it is a very long time. Loads can occur in 40 minutes.
The final time Xavier was on the ground for 40 minutes, it did not go effectively. Per week in the past, the Musketeers had been steamrolled by Seton Corridor at Cintas Middle, and after that 85-68 loss Steele did one thing uncommon.
“We watched the entire recreation,” Steele mentioned. “Often we do not try this, however I needed our guys – typically they hearken to you as a coach and so they hear what you are saying, and typically they should see it to consider. I needed these guys to know even when the sport was tied with no matter it was, six minutes to go within the first half, we set the incorrect tone proper from the very starting. I felt like we should always have been up by 10 factors at that time. However due to our protection, lack of particulars, lack of blocking out, lack of physicality, we weren’t.
“… You need to play 40 minutes on this league.”
After reviewing that movie, Steele mentioned two areas turned highlighted.
The primary was Xavier’s lack of physicality. The second was getting everybody on the identical web page defensively.
“We gotta get all the brand new guys on top of things executing our defensive system,” he mentioned. “We have gotten off to fast begins. You take a look at what we have carried out in Huge East play to start out video games; we have gotten off to fast begins after which it is abruptly we take a dip … and we received actually gifted guys on our bench, actually gifted guys, however they’ve to have the ability to execute our defensive system, and if one man would not do their job then we’re not a very good defensive crew in any respect.”
Wednesday evening shall be Xavier’s response to a poor exhibiting, and the way that response seems to be and sounds will say lots about this crew.
- Tipoff: Eight p.m. on Wednesday at Cintas Middle
- TV/Radio: CBS Sports activities Community with play-by-play from Tom McCarthy and evaluation from Steve Lappas. Byron Larkin and Joe Sunderman can have the radio name on WLW-AM (700). Broadcast additionally out there on Sirius XM channel 388 and Web 978.
- Collection information: Xavier leads the general collection 13-Three, and the Musketeers have received every of the previous 11 conferences.
Xavier Musketeers (Eight-2, 1-2 Huge East)
Coach: Travis Steele, third season (46-31 total)
Offense: 80.2 ppg
Protection: 70.1 ppg
Participant (Place, Top, Key Stat)
Paul Scruggs (G, 6’Four”, 14.Eight ppg)
Zach Freemantle (F, 6’9″, 16.7 ppg)
Colby Jones (G, 6’5″, Three.Four apg)
Jason Carter (F, 6’Eight”, 7.Four rpg)
Nate Johnson (G, 6’Four”, 12.zero ppg)
St. John’s Crimson Storm (6-Four, 1-Three Huge East)
Coach: Mike Anderson, 19th season, second at St. John’s (392-219 total)
Offense: 82.6 ppg
Protection: 80.Three ppg
Participant (Place, Top, Key Stat)
Julian Champagnie (F, 6’Eight”, 20.Three ppg)
Greg Williams Jr. (G, 6’Three”, 12.9 ppg)
Vince Cole (G/F, 6’6″, 11.7 ppg)
Posh Alexander (G, 6’zero”, 10.1 ppg)
Isaih Moore (F, 6’10”, 10.Four ppg)
Gamers to observe
Just about each time St. John’s has an offensive possession, the ball goes to seek out its method into Champagnie’s fingers. He leads the Crimson Storm in scoring (20.Three factors per recreation), rebounding (7.5 per recreation), Three-pointers made (16) and free-throw share (89%). Xavier should commit to creating his life troublesome on Wednesday evening.
Johnson was off to a red-hot begin to the season, however he is coming off a scoreless efficiency towards Seton Corridor. Johnson’s presently first within the Huge East and 11th nationally in Three-point capturing (51%), and the Musketeers grow to be lots harder to take care of when Johnson’s pulling down photographs.
Key to the sport
Earlier this season, Xavier confronted Japanese Kentucky, one other crew that brings full-court strain all the recreation, and the Musketeers turned the ball over 25 instances. If Xavier can deal with the basketball and beat the full-court press, it ought to make for lots of high-percentage seems to be on the basket.
KenPom.com: Xavier (54); St. John’s (93).
NET: Xavier (46); St. John’s (112).