There are hot starts, and then there’s what the Xavier Musketeers did on Friday. In their 2017-18 season opener, the Musketeers shot the daylights out of the basketball. They totaled an effort of 67.9 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from the 3-point line in their 101-49 victory over the Morehead State Eagles.
They picked up a lead as large as 58 points and were also up 33-5 at one point in the first half. The Musketeers got 31 points from their bench, 44 in the paint, 24 off turnovers and 23 fast break points. Xavier held the lead from bell to bell, never railing once.
Xavier moves to 9-0 in openers under head coach Chris Mack. The Muskies also haven’t lost a season opener since December 4, 1993, when they took a 22-point loss to Duke in Durham. You think Marvin Bagley III and Grayson Allen would want any of Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura, who scored a combined 43 points?
We’ll let you decide.
What We Learned
Trevon Bluiett is as good as advertised
This wasn’t so much a learning exercise as much as it was a reintroduction. Bluiett shot 9-12 from the field and scored 25 points. He made five of his seven 3-point attempts. He picked up five boards, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Trevon also committed zero turnovers in 22 minutes of action. Yeah... he good.
Naji Marshall got off to a hot start
As our own Charlie Goldsmith pointed out in the preview, Marshall was one to watch for in this game. The touted recruit showed exactly why. In 21 minutes, he didn’t miss a shot, going 4-4 from the field and 1-1 from the 3-point line. In all, he had 12 points in his debut, grabbing four boards with two assists, a block and a steal to boot. Not a bad day at the office.
Xavier’s impeccable stretch in openers continues
Credit to Chris Mack. Sometimes, season openers can be a bit topsy-turvy. There’s rust, there’s other factors, but Xavier was more than ready to play. Friday night’s blowout was the most lopsided win in an opener under Mack, and with such a terrific range of players, it’s not all that surprising, is it? Xavier was flying under the radar a bit. On Friday, they showed exactly why you should take note of ‘em.