Fairfield game thread

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X-lucidity
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby X-lucidity » Wed Nov 16, 2022 11:09 am

Was not going to weigh in again here, however....... We are all Xavier Nation brothers here, (and maybe a sister or two eventually), and all opinions welcome as long as obvious trolls are identified and expunged promptly. I just scratch my head about some of the above overtly negative comments. Not here to make excuses but this game last eve was akin to a dose of sour medicine that had to be swallowed. no more no less and X swallowed it. So we are on to Indiana. Late night, low-energy crowd, missing a key component without much time to prep for that change in line-up rotation, look-ahead situation. Yet they overcame a sluggish start and a rash of foul trouble to win by 13 and really never threatened last 10 minutes of the game. Would have won by almost 20 had we hit a normal % of our free throws. Nothing to brag about, to be sure, but a game we might just lose or have to win in last 2 minutes the past couple years. Kyky is really impressing me with his new body and explosiveness this year. A welcome component to our top 8 rotation whether he starts or not the rest of the year, he is going to help us on a consistent basis which was not a given heading into the year. I do agree Coach Miller needs to work his magic and get Hunter back to where he was 10 days ago mentally for Friday's challenge. Yes, Free get's beat a few times badly on D each game, but his body language and effort are off the charts. Plus you have to accept this fact as Zach more than makes up for it on the offensive end and rebounding. We are not Duke or Kansas. Not yet at least. So again, I ask all to go ahead and be critical, but fair. Always keep in the back of your mind where we were the morning of March 16, 2022. Just freaking 8 short months ago. The uncertainty of players bolting. The prospect of our well intended Coach Steele being here at least another full year...... We are leaps & bounds, light years I would submit, improved from that point in time. Baby steps my friends, baby steps. Last night was just one more of those in the proper direction.
Alpalpa
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby Alpalpa » Wed Nov 16, 2022 12:58 pm

Perspective is what it is. I thought last night’s game was a fortunate occurrence. Xavier walked away with a win, players learned more about themselves in their roles, and Sean walked away with a detailed list of shortcomings to get tightened up in supporting roles and some other specific basics as they move toward the meat of the season. 3 and 0 with talent, growing confidence and a great coach.
skyhops
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby skyhops » Wed Nov 16, 2022 6:47 pm

Xavier has not had a true PG since Edmond Sumner and this could really hurt us this year. Steele has turned out to be a below average recruiter and it is evident in our lack of depth. IU is going to be a handful down low and we will really need Jones especially on the defensive end. I don't think we will be beat IU, but I believe in Miller.
pdxmuskie
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby pdxmuskie » Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:20 pm

This post is a bit late as the Indiana game has already happened. This game had me concerned about Indiana but the reasonably strong finish despite Nunge shooting poorly from the FT line (not a normal thing and nothing to worry about) was certainly welcomed.

Zach is playing really well. He is not a great defender but he is much improved from last year. His decision making offensively has been truly amazing this year. I love defense and efficiency. It was hard to find positive things to say about Zach the last couple seasons but he is dramatically improved this year. He and Nunge should be able to take X to the tournament.

Jones is possibly X's best player but it is not a simple or obvious statement. He does a bit of everything. He is good to great at a lot of things. Nunge is probably better but it is a difficult call. Jones may still be more draftable even if Nunge is better as the NBA has different criteria and different needs. Both are vital to the team. Zach is probably vital to the team as well.

X is struggling defensively. I don't know if we can outscore good teams consistently. Sean will need to figure this out as Hunter has the potential to be a defensive force but will lack the offensive potential of whomever he replaces. I believe there is a roll for Hunter to change the dynamic for an opponent starting to get into a rhythm. He is a good change of pace type defensive player but he is prone to foul trouble. Some of the fouls are a bit fictitious but unfortunately they count as "real" fouls.

I don't see personnel that is capable of playing lock down defense. Miller has a challenge in getting them to play defense at a high level. I see effort but execution is not there. If effort can be combined with strategy, X can be solid to good defensively which would make them a very good team.
Anti-Homer
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby Anti-Homer » Sat Nov 19, 2022 8:12 pm

pdxmuskie wrote:
Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:20 pm
This post is a bit late as the Indiana game has already happened. This game had me concerned about Indiana but the reasonably strong finish despite Nunge shooting poorly from the FT line (not a normal thing and nothing to worry about) was certainly welcomed.

Zach is playing really well. He is not a great defender but he is much improved from last year. His decision making offensively has been truly amazing this year. I love defense and efficiency. It was hard to find positive things to say about Zach the last couple seasons but he is dramatically improved this year. He and Nunge should be able to take X to the tournament.

Jones is possibly X's best player but it is not a simple or obvious statement. He does a bit of everything. He is good to great at a lot of things. Nunge is probably better but it is a difficult call. Jones may still be more draftable even if Nunge is better as the NBA has different criteria and different needs. Both are vital to the team. Zach is probably vital to the team as well.

X is struggling defensively. I don't know if we can outscore good teams consistently. Sean will need to figure this out as Hunter has the potential to be a defensive force but will lack the offensive potential of whomever he replaces. I believe there is a roll for Hunter to change the dynamic for an opponent starting to get into a rhythm. He is a good change of pace type defensive player but he is prone to foul trouble. Some of the fouls are a bit fictitious but unfortunately they count as "real" fouls.

I don't see personnel that is capable of playing lock down defense. Miller has a challenge in getting them to play defense at a high level. I see effort but execution is not there. If effort can be combined with strategy, X can be solid to good defensively which would make them a very good team.
Good post. However:

Though I'm a huge fan of Colby Jones overall, if he is X's best player, games will start to become irrelevant sometime in February. Very good rebounder and defender, controlled, unspectacular dribbler, good passer but a little turnover prone, and horrid shooter outside the lane. Stats don't lie. He is Goodin like with his 3-point prowess (thankfully hasn't taken many this year, though clanked three last night), and even his 15 footers usually allow for long rebounding opportunities. I think 7-8 shots a game is appropriate assuming most are in the lane. He does a good job of drawing fouls as well. Once he learns he is not an offensive Alpha, X will be much better for it. Perhaps a call from Stanley Burrel is in order.

X is struggling defensively due to personnel. Colby is very good, Nunge is good against non-physical bigs, and Hunter is good in limited minutes. Claude is also good already and really moves well laterally. With the others, their idea of defense is outscoring the other team. However, as stated, both Tandy and Free aren't as big of a liability as in previous years. I dare say Tandy has been crafty with steals and knocking balls away from dribblers. Great coaching instruction, instilled confidence, and transforming his body has done wonders for him. Happy that he is being rewarded for his perseverance.
pdxmuskie
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Re: Fairfield game thread

Postby pdxmuskie » Sun Nov 20, 2022 4:43 pm

I think AH and I generally agree on Colby. Where we differ is that Anti may place more importance on scoring than I do when grading a player.

I have said since before the season, Colby should not look to be an aggressive scorer. What makes him great is that he lets the game come to him and does a bit of everything. He is a very smart player. The 3s against Indy were exceptions to that assessment and possibly because his ankle was not 100%. I am guessing he is a better deep shooter than Goodin but it is certainly not his strength.

My comment of Jones possibly being the best player for X was in response to another poster stating it. X is a balanced team and will need most playing at a high level to beat elite teams. They need to find ways to improve defensively. Possibly more zone against certain teams or just improved help defense. Teams are getting to the rim way too easily. Some of those times have the X defender with them the entire way but forward progress never stops. Other times the player just gets beat. boxing out and securing defensive rebounds has also been an issue at times. Effort against high level teams will need to be more consistent with much better execution defensively.

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