Xavier looked very good at home against Alabama, displaying explosive, consistent offense all game. They shot over 50 percent for 2- and 3-point field goal attempts and were led by Myles Davis who put up 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The Musketeers also won the rebounding battle, pulling down 32 boards to Alabama's 22. When the Muskies have put up over ninety points and won the rebounding battle, it has bode well for them this season as they are undefeated when that criteria is reached.
If Myles Davis can come off the bench and shoot well consistently this Xavier team will be very tough to beat. Freshman sharpshooter J.P. Macura also shot well tonight with a thirteen point performance on four of five shooting. When Xavier shoots well it really opens up driving lanes and makes the offense flow more smoothly. Speaking of smooth, Dee Davis had an eight assist game and also boasted ten points on four of nine shooting, he looked very confident at floor general as he orchestrated an offensive clinic tonight
3 things we learned
1. Xavier has weapons on offense. Xavier had six players score in double figures tonight, but Trevon Bluiett was not one of them. Up to this point in the season Trevon has been an offensive leader for the Muskies and has been averaging around 18 points per contest. Prior mentioned, Myles Davis and J.P. Macura were spark plugs off the bench tonight and their sharpshooting lifted the entire Xavier team. Xavier has lacked good, consistent shooters the past few seasons so it should be entertaining to watch this team, especially behind the arc.
2. Xavier's defense is slowly improving. Tonight Xavier stole the ball from Alabama eight times while forcing them into seventeen turnovers overall. Xavier is a scary team when they can get out and run in the open court, that fact was apparent tonight as Remy Abell had multiple three-point plays on breakaways using his strength, size and speed. Although they ended up giving up eighty-four points tonight, which is not a reasonable goal, they played a lot of young guys in the closing minutes and consequently gave up easy buckets. If Xavier continuously improves their defense before conference play, they should have a good year.
3. Xavier's frontcourt is deep and big. Matt Stainbrook got into foul trouble early tonight and sat much of the first half. That left an opportunity for true freshman Sean O'Mara to grab more minutes than usual in this contest. He played ten minutes and posted eight points on two of three shooting and a perfect four of four from the line. Reynolds, O'Mara, Stainbrook and Farr all played double digit minutes tonight and seemed to wear down Alabama's front line, most notably in the second half. Every post player for Xavier this season is six feet ten inches tall and has girth to them as well. If Xavier's big men can rotate effectively and stay refreshed all game they will be tough to keep off the boards and out of the paint.