Thursday, December 11, 2008

X - Crosstown Preview

Being unblemished and holding a top ten ranking heading into the Crosstown Shootout the Xavier Musketeers will not lack from confidence heading into the game. They have won thus far this season on rebounding, defense, and knowing how to win big games. As we head into one of our biggest tests thus far this season I thought it would be nice to take a look at the guys most likely to play Saturday and their potential impact on the game. It will be important for the Musketeers to have two out of the trio of Brown, Raymond, and Anderson to play well to win the ball game in my opinion.


1 - Dante Jackson (7.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg) sophomore can be disruptive on the defensive end. has struggled with shooting this year (under 30% overall) but has shown a knack for hitting big shots.

2 - BJ Raymond (13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg) he is showing to be a complete player in his final go round for the Muskies. can get fiery hot from behind the arc and has improved getting to the bucket and drawing the harm.

3 - CJ Anderson (11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg) if he improves his 57% FT shooting average the Musketeers will have a huge advantage. he is very good at getting hacked in the act. CJ is a big game player and being a Cincy product this one has to be for him.

4 - Derrick Brown (13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) mr. versatility gives us 43% shooting from behind the arc. he has demonstrated the ability to blow by on the drive or pull up mid range this season. and he is just getting over tweaking his ankle according to Coach Miller. he was the deciding factor last season, will he be the same this year?

5 - Jason Love (6.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 apg) love is making the most of his 21 mpg on the glass. he will need to step up and can afford to be aggressive with the length and skill we have on the bench.


Terrell Holloway (6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg) freshman guard will be seeing a hostile crowd for the first time on this level. how he handles it when he is on the floor Saturday night will be a big key for Xavier. he is a clutch free throw shooter (see Missouri and Memphis games) and we flow from defense to offense much better with him in the lineup.

Kenny Frease (4.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 apg) big man is also averaging two blocks a game. he plays aggressive and is better on defense than I thought he would be. big man is still learning how to get his offense going in big time college basketball. his first Crosstown he needs to focus on 'D' and be strong on the glass.

Jamel McLean (7.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.5 apg) word to the wise: box out #22 from X anywhere on the floor when a shot goes up. he is a tip dunk, momentum changer, highlight reel that throws his frame all over the place for a flush. he saw extended time together with Brown and Anderson in what gives Xavier a very quick and athletic front line as of late.

Brad Redford (2.4 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.9 apg) could a break out game be close? he is shooting 36% from three land early in his college career. he is in the game for one reason and that is to knock down the long range shots.

Brian Walsh (0.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 0.0 apg) has had very limited minutes thus far this season to do much. i think this may be the first game this season he does not play in. if he does get in he needs to remain poised and strong with the basketball.

This is just a game you don't want to lose. I don't expect Miller and team to lay an egg like the last time we were in Clifton for a contest. Heading into finals week the team will not want to have to wait a week to play again if we do. When we win Saturday night it will be a struggle but the big game experience of our players and culture of winning will get us over the top. Again 67-62 X as we hit freebies down the end to ice it is how I see it.

On a personal note I will be in the house Saturday night for my first one of these in enemy territory. I expect the experience to be a little different than the one I have had in Oxford but I am hoping for better treatment than I received at UD Arena. I will let you know.

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