Monday, March 9, 2015

Stainbrook leads Xavier by Creighton on the road 74-73, ends season 9-9 in conference play

                  Xavier, entering Saturday's game versus Creighton, was sitting at a modest 18-12 record, going 8-9 in the conference. They were set to be a bubble team, but they also needed help in winning this game. After missing an opportunity to knock off #6 Villanova, this match versus Creighton was a must win.
                Matt Stainbrook was the undisputed leader for Xavier. He dropped a career high 26 points, along with 9 rebounds and 3 assists. After struggling of late, Stainbrook regained confidence against Creighton. Trevon Bluiett added 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Larry Austin Jr. got a fair amount of playing time, picking up 4 points.
                Next, Xavier will take on #21 Butler at Madison Square Garden on March 12th. Butler and Xavier split the regular season games. Defeating Butler will help Xavier tremendously. In the end, Xavier needs every Big East Tournament win they can accumulate.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Xavier upsets #9 Creighton 75-69, looks ahead to Seton Hall

Xavier needed to collect at least one more win to hop off the NCAA tournament bubble, and defeating #9 Creighton was a was a great win for that. As Xavier had obviously studied their film, they used a new form of defense to have more athletic players guarding McDermott and Wragge. McDermott still scored 27, but Wragge only put up 6 points.

On Xavier's side, Semaj scored 21 points, Martin scored 19, Dee dropped 15, while the big men Philmore scored 8, Jalen with 6, and Stainbrook with 5. Even though the big men didn't contribute as much on the offensive spectrum, they played a key role on the defensive side, slowing Creighton's volatile offense.

Now that the Musketeers are 20-9 and alone in 3rd place of the Big East, they are more than likely off of the bubble.

Xavier takes on Seton Hall on the road at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night, and this game is very key to solidify XU's bid in the NCAA tournament

Prediction: Xavier defeats Seton Hall 68-67

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Xavier falls to Providence 81-72, tied for 3rd in Big East

Xavier (15-5), needed this tough road game to improve and strengthen their tournament resume. That didn't happen. Xavier was rusty early, but Justin Martin (19/7/2) had a great game, especially early. Semaj didn't take a shot until 7:51 1H remained, but managed to scrap together a 18/4/2 line late in the game trying to bring Xavier back.

Providence came to play, propelled by their 6th man. A game I believe XU would of won at home, was the same case for Providence. Bryce Cotton played well, living up to his season stats.

Xavier's defense was awful, which ended up killing them late. No matter what comeback Semaj and the Musketeers tried to scrap together, the defense would allow the Friars to swap baskets, unable to string together points.

Xavier falls to tied for 3rd in the Big East with Providence. The Muskeeters face Seton Hall on 2/1.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Xavier comes back against Georgetown 80-67, DePaul preview and prediction

      Xavier's Semaj Christon, Brandon Randolph and Isiah Philmore trap a Georgetown player.

Xavier started the game, swapping buckets but began to struggle near the end of the 1st half. Christon performed great again (18/4/1), but it was a great team effort, as Davis contributed (17/1/7), Along with Philmore (14/5/0), Farr (9/6/0), and Martin (10/7/2). 

Starting the 2nd half, Xavier continued the poor performance. After trailing by 17 points, Xavier began a come back with around 10 minutes left in the game. GTown gave up many turn overs in a quick span, letting Xavier go on a 44-14 run by the end of the game. 

As the game ended and Xavier pulled off the huge comeback, Xavier ended the game 8-8 from the line and on a 16-0 run. 

On Monday, January 20th, at 4:00 p.m. in Illinois. the Xavier Musketeers will face DePaul Blue Demons. Xavier is (4-1) 14-4, while DePaul is (2-3) 10-8. DePaul suffered tough losses to Creighton and a suffering Marquette. But, had clutch wins against Butler in 2OT and St. John's by 2 to stay afloat in the conference. Xavier has done well in the conference, Beating Butler by 9, Marquette by 7 and Georgetown by 13. The Musketeers lost their perfect record by losing a well played game to Creighton.

Xavier's Semaj Christon is on a hot streak at the moment, and I believe it will continue and inevitably improve. I predict Semaj Christon drops a clutch 28 points, and I predict Xavier defeats DePaul on the road 88-67.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Xavier speeds by Wake Forest 68-53, looks forward to St. Johns (St. Johns Prediction and preview)

Saturday took on the Wake Forest Deacons at the Cintas. I attended, so I was looking forward to the game very much. To start the game, the Musketeers and the Deacons were trading the lead, leap frogging back in forth.

Xavier was very impressive, riding Stainbrook mainly with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Christon contributed with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, and so did James Farr (13/7/0), Dee Davis (7/2/7), and Isiah Philmore (4/9/0). Xavier had momentum and un-doubtful control the entire time.

If winning 5 games straight doesn't excite you enough, Xavier is one of 10 teams to have a strength of schedule of 50 or better and have 10 or more wins... Can you name the rest?

Answers: Syracuse, Villanova, Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Colorado, UMass, and of course, Xavier.

Xavier takes on St. Johns at the Cintas Center for the first Big East game of the season. St. Johns is 9-3 on the season, losing to Penn State, Syracuse and Wisconsin. Solid losses for the team, but Penn State is not. Xavier has been playing great, while St. Johns is on a 3 game win streak, but beating weak teams.

prediction: Xavier defeats St. Johns 63-55

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Xavier edges by Alabama 77-74, the Bengals take on the Vikings

Coming into the game, the Crimson Tide were picked to win by 4.5 points. Both teams were basically even, and Xavier was searching for their first win on the road.

The big men Philmore and Stainbrook both collected a solid 17 points a piece, and also adding 18 boards. Xavier did a good job of getting Releford out early with 2 fouls late in the first half, but he still put up 17 points, but it wasn't enough to stop the Musketeers.

XU shot 79% from the free throw line, which is unfortunately an improvement. Semaj only scored 9, but Xavier proves two games in a row that they can win games with a team effort with Semaj struggling or just not leading like usual.

The Bengals are playing for it all right now, with the entire season coming down to the last two weeks of the regular season. Adrian Peterson is back for the Vikings, but early the Bengals are playing solid, with Dalton throwing a rope to AJ Green for 6 points.

After 1 quarter, the Bengals lead the Vikings 14-7, with Cincinnati driving.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Xavier at Alabama preview and prediciton

A week after crushing the University of Cincinnati in the Crosstown Classic, Xavier takes a road trip to Alabama in a solid road test. I'm big on stats, so here are some side by side comparisons between the teams.

Xavier                                                                                                                                           Alabama
   8-3                                                                          W-L                                                                5-5
  73.8                                                                       Avg Points                                                     73.9
  63.5                                                                   Avg Points Allowed                                               65.9
   8-1                                                                      Home Record                                                      5-1
   0-2                                                                        Road Record                                                      0-3
   W3                                                                        Current Streak                                                    L1

The stats are pretty even, besides the win loss column which is a lie. They loss to (11) Wichita State by 5 points and (6) Duke by only 10. They had a couple heart breakers, losing to Drexel by 2 in 3OT and USF by 2 as well. They beat teams they're suppose to and keep it close to the one's they're not suppose too. 

Releford averages 17 pts, leading 'Bama and Chrison leads XU with 15.5. Xavier lead the rebound and assist category though, with Stainbrook leading with 8.5 and Dee Davis with 4.2 assists. 

It will be a tough game for the Musketeers, especially looking for their first road win for the season. It is a needed win though, with the upcoming games against Wake Forest, St. John's, Butler and Marquette, all with winning records. Xavier needs to make a statement here, and I believe it's possible.

PREDICTION: Xavier defeats Alabam 71-66