Can Xavier's offense keep up their recent pace?
Xavier has scored 90+ points in their first two games against Northern Arizona and Long Beach State. No matter who you play, scoring 90 or more points is impressive at this level. The last time Xavier scored more then the 97 points they put up on Long Beach State was over two years ago. How about the last time Xavier started the season with two games over 90+ points? That would be the 1997-98 season led by James Posey that went on to make the tournament. Some good company if you ask me. SFA is a very good team, but Northern Iowa did drop 79 points on them in an OT game three days ago. I would not expect to see the Muskies put up over 90 points again, but don't be surprised if they score over 75 points.
Does SFA loss to Northern Iowa mean they are not as good as we think?
Not at all. Northern Iowa is a very good team and some say could possibly make the tournament as an at-large bid from the MVC. Northern Iowa has a starting lineup consisting of all upperclassmen so their is no shame in losing to the Panthers. On top of that, this game was played as part of ESPN's college basketball tip-off marathon and was played at 9 a.m. ET. That is a unusual start time for any game, let alone local Saturday elementary aged rec games. Little should be put into that loss, and if anything the Lumberjacks are probably hungrier because of it. They are still an excellent team and will be ready to play tonight.
Which Xavier player will continue to separate themselves as the star?
Who is Xavier's star? Matt Stainbrook, Trevon Bluiett, or someone else? It has to be between the Staintrain and Bluiett. Both players have shown they are the MVP's of the Musketeers through the little sample size of two games. Everyone knew what was to be expected from Staintrain entering the season. However, no one thought Bluiett would be as good as he has been. Bluiett set a Xavier record after his first game, scoring the most points in his first college game as a frosh. He will certainly continue to shine brighter as the season continues, but the Staintrain for this game at least, should be the man. SFA's Starting lineup does not consist of a guy over 6-foot-7 so look for Stainbrook to get a lot of touches in the post all night.
Prediction: Xavier gets to 3-0 in a tough contest with the Lumberjacks, 76-65.