Andy Mac: Scouting Xavier-Montana
Andy Mac Williams,
Scouting Xavier-Montana-Game#2-Friday Nov. 11 at Cintas. 8 PM Tip-TV FS2-Sold Out!! XU faces an entirely different challenge than pressing frantic Morgan State(Muskie 96-73 win Monday). The Grizzlies(Big Sky) start two BIGS-play a slow tempo-may run some zone defense and draw many fouls w/ patient offense plus they are deadly FT shooters(77% last season). Montana lost Tuesday to Duquesne 91-63 in Pittsburgh. The Dukes pressed. The Grizz guards melted down. MU trailed 45-19 at the half. Sean Miller has played Montana before while at Arizona. He expects a Grizz bounce back vs XU.
9th year Head coach Travis Decriure has an ingrained system. His Grizz made NCAA trips in 2018 and 2019. They were 18-14 last year w/ 4 starters returning.
Top players are BIGS. 6-9,225 Jr. Josh Banaan(15PPG last year) All Big Sky a lefty w/ 3 point range(19 points atDuquesne). 6-8 Colorado State transfer Dischon Thompson(16 points vs Dukes) knocked down 5 "3s" in NCAA loss to Michigan. Guards are experienced.
X probably will not press. It's a test for Muskie half court "D" guarding thru long possessions without fouling.
XU BIGS Zach, Jack and Jerome will be pulled outside to mark Banaan and Thompson. Montana is no juggernaut(210 KenPom) but they are much better than at Duquesne w/ solid systems, veteran players and a winning culture.
X hopefully will get more minutes from Adam Kunkel(ankle sprain). Souley Boum made 4 "3s" vs Morgan State(23 points). Kunkel is another long range threat to spread the defense. Colby Jones and Kam Craft need to chip in also outside the arc and shoot Montana out of any long runs of zone defense.
Xavier received LOIs from all 4 2023 commits-PG Trey Green-2G Reid Ducharme-SF Dailyn Swain and BIG Kacji Nzeh. ESPN slots the group #9 in NCAA.BIG EAST 13-0 in games thru Thursday. Adam Baum and I are "Talkin' Hoops" at Duff's in Cintas tonight before XU-Montana starting at 7:25.