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Xavier vs. San Diego: 3-Point Preview

Xavier is looking to grab their first win away from the Cintas Center.

Chris Mack asking for advice on how to win in thanksgiving tournaments.
Chris Mack asking for advice on how to win in thanksgiving tournaments.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

1. Will Xavier be the turkey of yet another thanksgiving tournament?

6-9. That is Xavier's record in its five Thanksgiving tournaments with Chris Mack as head coach. For some reason Mack's teams have never been able to win during the holiday weekend. They have often ended up playing like the turkey during these and its time for a change. This year might be the year Xavier will win their Thanksgiving tournament. They are young, hungry, loaded with depth, and face little competition. Only three teams in the 2015 Wooden Legacy fall in the current Pomeroy Top 100 rankings. UTEP is 77th, Washington is 63rd, and Xavier is sitting high at 36th. This is Xavier's first taste of the road, so we don't fully know what to expect. Although, Xavier should win at least 1 game in this tournament as opposed to their 0-3 showing in the Bahamas last year.

2. Is it likely Edmond Sumner plays?

After practicing for the first time three weeks ago, Sumner finally got his first taste of college basketball against Murray State two days ago. He played 9 minutes and seemed to be winded when he was subbed out. If not for JP Macura taking a hard fall to his back, Sumner probably would not have seen any game action against the Racers. Chris Mack has said in the past that Sumner would start playing a lot at the Wooden Legacy. That might be more accurate today because of JP's hard fall on his back. However, supposedly JP is ready to go tomorrow and practiced fully today. It will be interesting to see where Edmond will get playing time. JP has proven himself as a contributor off the bench and its unlikely Edmond is just going to take minutes from him now. It will be fun to watch when Edmond will play if he gets the chance against San Diego.

3. Can James Farr and Jalen Reynolds dominate the boards like they did against Murray State?

Farr and Reynolds did what they are supposed to do last game; grab boards. Against SFA, Xavier was out rebounded 40-36, which was disappointing. Xavier picked it up against Murray State and won the boards 56-23. Farr had 14 rebounds and Reynolds 11. They combined for 25 of the 56 rebounds Xavier had on the night, and both of them combined to out rebound Murray State 25-23. X will need the rebounding battle to be won again against the Toreros of San Diego. Only two of San Diego's players are taller then 6-foot-7, so Xavier has the advantage in height. Rebounding is an essential part of winning basketball games, but we sometimes forget how critical the stat really is. If you have time, check out how rebounding helped Butler out earlier today.

Prediction: Xavier is not the turkey in this thanksgiving contest and improves to 5-0 with the win against the Toreros, 82-60.