And Mac: Scouting Xavier vs. Iowa State
By Andy Mac Williams, 11/23/2021

Xavier TEAM 100 Update and Other Random Notes! First off-Happy Thanksgiving to all those who tap into my twitter threads. Forgive my hunt and peck typing style and poor use of punctuation. To see a continued long form rendition of my stuff, you can access Jay Skeldon puts up most threads w/ bullets and paragraphs so content may be easier to follow. Muskies are traveling Tuesday to NYC for Preseason NIT-playing Iowa State(Big 12) Wednesday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn(7PM Tip-ESPNU). Virginia Tech meets Memphis Wed. at (9:30PM- ESPN2). Winners and Losers pair off Friday(Times and TV TBA).

XU is 4-0-rated #25 in AP Top 25 in the wake of the win over Ohio State. Buckeyes got revenge last night in Ft. Myers, Florida edging Seton Hall 79-76 on a "3" by G Meechie Johnson w/ 2.2 seconds left. Iowa State (the Cyclones) sit 4-0 also after 4 home court "Ws" vs Kennesaw St, Oregon State(PAC 12), Alabama St and Grambling(82-47 Sunday at Hilton Coliseum in Ames). KenPom slots Iowa St at 111. X is #32. KP projects a 73-64 Muskie win on the neutral floor.

Travis Steele on Cyclones:

"They play hard and fast and shoot it well w/ a lot of guys who can score(9 man rotation). I'm worried about their wing 3 point shooting ability. They have two veteran transfer guys-both 6-4-Gabe Kalscheur(Minnesota) and Isaiah Brockington(Penn State) who can really score. PG Tyrese Hunter is a Top 50 recruit from Milwaukee who's really dynamic."

Hunter signed under deposed coach Steve Prohm(2-25 last season,0-19 Big 12). New coach T. J. Otzelberger re-recruited Hunter sucessfully w/ strong results so far(12.5PPG-6 assists). Top Frosh PG stats NCAA along w/ Creighton rookie Ryan Nembhard. Otzelberger was head man at South Dakota St.(3000+point scorer Mike Daum) last two years at UNLV-He knows Iowa St well(7 year assistant) so transition and rebuild w/ help from transfer portal have gone quickly(7 total transfers).

Cyclone "D" has been decent(allowing 58PPG). Rebound work just OK vs a fairly weak schedule.There are a bunch of 6-8 and 6-9 guys w/ some girth. Frosh Hunter is the lone true lead guard so Xavier needs to test him and heat him up. 6-8 Jaz Kunc(Washington St transfer) hit 5 of 5 "3s: vs Grambling for 21 points. #5 will be underlined on the scouting report.

X has not played Iowa State since 2005.but Muskie Center Jack Nunge has direct experience(two games in the Intra-State Iowa-Iowa St tussle). Xavier's done well vs Big 12 recently w/ Cintas wins over Baylor(2017) and Oklahoma(Dec 2020) and 2019 win at TCU. Lone loss 2018 NIT Second Round at Texas in OT. Longhorns then cruised to NIT Title.

More numbers-Cyclones have defended the "3" well(26.8%) #50 NCAA. They force 19 turnovers/game. X targets coughing the ball up 11 times or less.

Travis on where his team needs improvement:

"Better FT shooting(8-16 vs Norfolk) and Fewer turnovers(17 vs Norfolk. We gotta get the guys to understand that every possession early-late-in the middle-matters. I like that this group plays at an even keel w/ strong vocal veteran leadership. A player led team is much more powerful than a coach led team.

Steele on Jerome Hunter:

"He still has to find his role and find his knitch He has to take the right shots and see the ball go in. I have full confidence in Jerome."

Random Numbers: Four BIG EAST teams are ranked by AP in Week 3 Top 25. Villanova #7, Seton Hall #21, UConn #22 and Xavier #25. Muskies will have a shot at a second early NET Quad 1 win no matter whom they play Friday in NYC. Memphis is #9 AP. VA, Tech is 27th.

Power ratings bounce all over the lot in non-conference. Xavier is 4th in the old RPI system but a head scratching #63 in NET despite a Quad 1 win(OSU) and no bad losses?

Nate Johnson won Gold Jersey for Best Practice Player last week. He put those strong habits to work vs Norfolk St(20 Points-4 made "3s"). Nate's second Gold in 8 weeks!!

Adam Kunkel made BIG EAST Honor Roll(26 points w/ 8-10 from "3" vs Norfolk and 10 points-4 assists vs OSU).

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