How to Watch, Listen, and Stream
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: FSN (incl. FOX Sports Ohio)
Stream: FOX Sports Go (Where Available)
Spread: Xavier opened as 26-point faves. The line bumped up to 27.5.
O/U: The total opened at 150.5. It’s since dropped down to 148.5/149.
Coming off an Elite Eight run, Xavier’s expectations are as high as they have been in the Chris Mack era. It all starts Friday against Morehead State at the Cintas Center for the seventeenth ranked Musketeers.
Before playing Wisconsin on Thursday, the Musketeers will be able to solidify their starting lineup against a school who isn't quite a powerhouse in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Players to Watch
Xavier - Trevon Bluiett
After sitting out both of Xavier’s exhibition games against Ohio State and Thomas More, Xavier’s leading scorer will be back Friday. He’ll be starting a senior campaign that many Xavier fans weren’t sure they would get to see. Instead of going to the NBA, Bluiett is taking another shot at the Final Four with almost the exact same group that made it to the Elite 8 last season.
He might not play as many minutes against Morehead State, but it will be interesting to see how often Bluiett shoots at the start of the game, when it will likely be most competitive. If he comes out showing the same aggression that struck down Florida State and Arizona last March, even if he’s not as efficient from the field in his first game back, the Wooden Award candidate will have marked his return. And his fans will continue to be appreciative.
Xavier: Naji Marshall
If we gave out awards for the preseason-- and I’m glad we don’t-- Marshall has merited recognition. His 16/9/2 stat-line against Thomas More was impressive, and he showed an athleticism that no Xavier wing since Dez Wells (or at least Remy Abell) can match. He already looks like an ideal option to put next to Blueitt at forward in a small, transition focused lineup.
Morehead State: Someone out there...
Last season, the Eagles were led by Xavier Moon, a senior guard who scored 16 points per game and took nearly 14 shots. Miguel Dicent, Morehead State’s other leading guard last season and its third best scorer and distributor, left too.
In the Eagles last preseason game against Cincinnati Christian, no one took more than eight shots and or scored more than 14. Guard Jordan Walker was their leading scorer, but he made more free throws than baskets.
Malek Green, a freshman from Cincinnati who scored 28.8 points per game at Taft last season, scored just six points in the Eagles last preseason game, but he played 17 minutes and could be a factor for Morehead State in his home city on Friday.