BREAKING DOWN 64-52 EXHIBITION WIN OVER UINDY!!
Andy Mac Williams,
Bottom line-it was an exhibition game(part of the process to get ready for the long 4 part season-consisting of non-conference games-18 game BIG EAST round robin-BE Tournament and hopefully NCAA Tournament). It's the first serious TEAM 98 exposure vs an opponent in front of a crowd( 9,663-largest exhibition turnout in Xavier history). 4 of the 7 Muskie new comers played. Presumed PF starter Jason Carter DNP(back injury-might be ready next week). Frosh G Kyky Tandy DNP w/ foot injury(out 2 weeks). Frosh BIG Daniel Ramsey DNP(in concussion protocol-return undetermined). Blow-outs(romps) entertain the crowd.
Xavier recently has chosen to play established D-2 teams mostly from the GLVC(the cream of the D-2 crop). Teams run by veteran successful coaches w/ long track records and a rock ribbed deliberate usually ball control half court patient style.
XU was upset by Bellarmine in 2010(B went on to win the NCAA D-2 Title). XU almost lost to Findlay in 2008(the Oilers ran the table and won the D-2 Championship). Chris Mack's Louisville Cardinals hosted Bellarmine at Yum Center Tuesday. The TOP 5 Cards trailed at the half and won by 7.
Xavier played UIndy who beat Loyola in Chicago Tuesday and upset Valparaiso(Missouri Valley Conference) on the road last preseason. XU won-got better after halftime and learned a ton about itself. Time well spent!!
Travis Steele liked the effort: "Defense is where it needs to be."(as it was in Akron scrimmage). Muskies allowed about .80 points/possession-strong defensive efficiency. They booked 10 kills(3 straight stops=1 kill). 7 or more kills is the goal each game. 7 plus kills equates to a 90+ winning %. X induced 18 turnovers from a stubborn good ball handling patient team including 10 steals.
UIndy shot 33% FG and scored just 52 points. X targeted Trevor Lakes who had scored 22 points(6 made threes) at Loyola. He suffered through a 1-9 shooting night. 1st half offense was ugly(2-12 from 3-3-9 FTS-9 turnovers for 27 points).
2nd half-much better(4-14 from 3-only 4 turnovers-plenty of post points and fast break lay-ups and dunks-37 points).
Travis Steele:"We over passed before halftime and passed up good shots" "We shoot it much better from 3 off inside touches."
Quentin Gooden was MVP IMHO. He was what he is( an attacking powerful Senior PG and leader). "Q" sparked a 10 point second half XU run that salted the game away.
He grabbed back to back steals and converted at the other end. His thunder cork screw dunk off steal#2 was emphatic!!! Good numbers for Q(16 points-5 assists-1 turnovers-4 steals-3 boards).
Naji Marshall is the Alpha player. He went solo a few times early when the offense was not flowing, but he grabbed 13 rebounds-scored 14 and is a TOP 5 player in the BIG EAST.
Tyrique Jones sucked it up and played 17 minutes(10 points-6 boards) despite missing some practice time w/ a sore knee. His energy is vital.
Among the new guys, Zach Freemantle flashed strong post presence. He and Dahmir Bishop already have a Vulcan mind link on bounce pass post feeds. Zach scored 5 w/ 3 rebs in 15 minutes. He had some drops and missed boards. Work ethic is this guy's friend. After the game, Zach stayed in uniform and headed for the Aux Gym w/ a manager to put up extra shots. Matt Howard play-a-like!!
G-Wing Bishop was all over the court impacting the game(7 points-4 assists-4 boards-2 steals). He had a made 3 point FG wiped out by an illegal screen foul. He's long and fast and a confident shooter w/ shut down defensive potential.
Bryce Moore delivered the defense heating up guards 40 feet from the bucket. Travis wants to spring some full court ball pressure and create more turnovers and transition baskets. Moore fits in nicely. He also is a strong 3 point finisher from the wing off the secondary fast break. X has to look for him because that long open shot in rhythm is like a lay-up for him(almost Brad Redford-esque-not quite-until Moore can swish half court shots in a sport coat-wearing penny loafers).
The new STOP-KILL Tote Board is well positioned behind the basket below Duff's banquet hall. I heard plenty of fans barking and a few meows from the cat lovers(not Bearcats). Here, Kitty,Kitty!! UC arrives December 7th.
Opening Night is next Tuesday November 5th vs Jacksonville(The Dolphins-Atlantic Sun Conference)(7PM Tip).
This is Year #20 for Cintas Center. Adam Baum has produced a Special Feature on the arena for the Enquirer available on-line now at Cincinnati.com and included in this Sunday's newspaper.
Don't forget to Fallback Sunday at 3AM or is it 2AM? Anyway, we go to EST from EDT and get an extra hour's sleep or golf or Bengal watching time(NOT).
More musketeermadness.com stuff and twitter info @mm_andymac as the Opener approaches!!