How to watch, listen and stream
Game time: 7 p.m.
TV: Fox College Sports Central (Alex Faust, Dickey Simpkins)
Radio: GoXavier.com, ESPN Lehigh Valley
Live Stream: N/A
This is the third meeting between Xavier and Lehigh, and the second in the regular season. The teams last met in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and Xavier won, 70-59. Prior to that, the Musketeers defeated the Mountain Hawks at Cintas in 2004 by a 69-63 margin.
For Chris Mack and the Musketeers, it’s simple. They come into this contest as heavy favorites and a consensus top-ten team. They return a bevy of backcourt talent, and they have massive hopes for the season. While a loss obviously wouldn’t be fatal, it would be a sobering blow.
Lehigh, off a 17-15 season, are looking to make themselves known on the national scene for the first time since C.J. McCollum left. An upset at the Cintas Center against a national title contender would go a long way toward doing just that.
Inside the Numbers
This should be all Xavier. While the Mountain Hawks are typically contenders in the Patriot League, the Musketeers simply boast too much returning talent.
Sophomore combo guard Edmond Sumner leads the way. Sumner posted 11 points-per-game last season and was really at the middle of everything for Xavier on both ends of the floor. He can be a lock down defending and is a plus rebounder at either guard spot.
Joining him in the backcourt is Junior guard Trevon Bluiett. Bluiett was an First team All-Big East selection last season by the coaches and led Mack’s team in scoring with 15.8 points-per-game. Like Sumner, he’s a long, combo guard who can defend the either guard spot or the small forward spot if called upon.
Lehigh will look to senior forward/center Tim Kempton to get its offense going. Kempton averaged 17.7 points-per-contest last year. The 6’10, 225-pound Kempton shot 31 percent from deep last year and 55% from the field. His ability to step out away from the rim and knock down shots could be troublesome for a Musketeers side which lost forward James Farr to graduation after the the 2015-2016 season.