Andy Mac: Kent State Preview and Other Xavier Notes
Andy Mac Williams,
Xavier TEAM 100 GAME TWO-Friday Nov.12th at Cintas vs Kent State-6:30 Tip on FS1. Muskies(1-0) after Tuesday's 63-60 win over Niagara. It's Kent's Opener and 1st game in front of fans, Golden Flashes(MAC) played two NCAA Secret Scrimmages thus no exhibition game.
Xavier Notes from Thursday's Practice
Zach Freemantle has shed crutches and was taking flat footed shots before practice-progressing rapidly after foot surgery-early December target for full go. Travis Steele played 8 guys vs Niagara.
Kyky Tandy might see some time vs Kent State. He is recovering from bronchitis-missed 10 days and has been practicing now since middle of last week.
Ben Stanley talked w/ Travis after Ferris St. exhibition and asked for more time to rehab his surgical knee. He feels less than 100% and wants to deliver the player Steele recruited in games that count. Ben is worth waiting for!! Cesare Edwards DNP vs Niagara. He could play vs Kent?
Kam Craft (6-5 shooting guard) and Tyrell Ward (6-7 Forward) have both signed Letters of Intent to play for X. Craft (from suburban Chicago) is playing in Atlanta under former XU staffer Tre Scotti (The Skill Factory). Top 100 player who is wired to score. Ward is completing his HS career at DeMatha outside Baltimore. Top 50 player. 3 level scorer. Makes BIG strides every year. Muskies have been smitten w/ him for several years, One more signing is possible.
Post Mortem on Niagara Win
Plenty of upside for Muskies. Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones both graded out well defensively and produced offensively (17 and 16 points). Dieonte Miles played a strong 2nd half. The 3 man bench(Odom, Kunkel, Nunge) have work to do. Muskies' goal is 35 deflections. 24 vs Niagara mostly in a stingy 1st half(allowed just 23 points and 32% shooting.
Scouting Kent State
Flashes are a top tied MAC team right there w/ Buffalo, Toledo and Bowling Green. Travis terms them and "old team" w/ 4 returning starters. Kent has high D-1 size w/ Seniors Tervell Beck (#14) 6-7 230 and Justyn Hamilton(#21) 6-11 220. 6-5 Georgia transfer Andrew Garcia and 6-8 Vandy transfer Akeem Odusipe come off the bench. PG is 2nd Team All MAC Sincere Carry(JR and Duquesne transfer) maybe best lead guard in A-10 returning home to NE Ohio(Solon HS)(#3). Shooting G Giovanni Santiago(#11) RS Soph(Hargrave Military). (#2) Malique Jacobs plays on the wing. Top Frosh G Jalen Sullinger-All Ohio-Worthington HS in Columbus.
Coach Rob Senderoff has a new 5 year contract. He's averaged 20 wins/year in 10 seasons after 7 as an assistant at Kent. Flashes try to bully teams in the paint. They have the size to do that(+5 on glass last season). Kent jump traps hard w/ their guards way out high looking to disrupt the offense. They shoot a lot of FTs usually at a very high % 78% last season.
KS has a history of Power Conference upsets. They lost at Virginia (ACC) last year in OT.Last season 15-8, 12-6 in MAC-115 Ken Pom.
Travis said: "We will be tested. They try to bully you with tough physical play. We must be strong w the ball."
Expect a Xavier post touch on virtually every possession unlike vs Niagara. Quick "3s" are out of favor. Spot up Step in "3s" off post kick outs and ball reversal are demanded.
Late night in BIG EAST Friday #4 Villanova at #2 UCLA-11:30 EST on ESPN2.