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Xavier 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview

 

Xavier Musketeers - Atlantic 10 Conference (25-7, 12-4)

Seed: #4 - East Region

RPI: 17

Big Wins: 11/20 vs Missouri (75-71), 11/23 vs Memphis (63-58), 3/5 Dayton (76-59)

Bad Losses: 2/7 at Duquesne (68-72), 2/19 at Charlotte (60-65), 3/7 at Richmond (75-80)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2008, Elite Eight loss to UCLA

Coach: Sean Miller (4-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)



Probable Xavier Starters:

  • Dante Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 6.3 ppg, 2.8 apg

  • B.J. Raymond, Senior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg

  • C.J. Anderson, Senior, Guard, 10.0 ppg, 2.4 apg, 5.4 rpg

  • Derrick Brown, Junior, Forward, 13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.0 apg

  • Jason Love, Junior, Center, 7.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg

 

Key Xavier Roleplayers:

  • Kenny Frease, Freshman, Center, 5.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg

  • Terrell Holloway, Freshman, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 2.2 apg

  • Jamel McLean, Sophomore, Forward, 4.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg

  • Brad Redford, Freshman, Guard, 5.4 ppg

 

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Why The Musketeers Can Surprise:
One thing that has not changed regarding Xavier’s recent success is the defense. The 2008-2009 version of the Musketeers allows the opposition to shoot just 38.8 percent from the field. That is pretty good. The reason their opponents have so much trouble making shots is the presence of Jason Love and Kenny Frease under the basket. Love, a 6-9, 255 pound junior, will be the starter, but Frease is even more productive as a shot blocker. With either one of those two always hanging out in the paint, it is nearly impossible for the opposition to get an easy bucket.

The quality of the frontcourt also is noticeable in the rebounding department. Coach Sean Miller’s squad ranks fourth in the nation with an 8.5 rebounding margin.Love and Frease play their part, but it is really a team effort on the glass. High flying power forward Derrick Brown has developed into the team’s superstar and a dynamic scorer, but he does not forget about his duties on the glass. Wings B.J. Raymond and C.J. Anderson are both 6-6 and use their size to grab plenty of boards. Even little used Jamel McLean averages 4.3 boards per contest.

 

Why The Musketeers Can Disappoint:
The only players who do not need to get on the glass are the point guards. But that is where the Musketeers have some issues. The team commits over 15 turnovers per game, ranking a dismal 264 th in the nation. Dante Jackson, a 6-5 sophomore, was starting at the point early in the campaign, but he will still play just as many minutes, if not more, than Terrell Holloway. Holloway had a very slow start to freshman campaign, but he seems to be improving every game. However, the play of the point guards will be the determining factor for Xavier in the NCAA Tournament.

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Who To Watch:
Raymond and Anderson do a lot more than play solid defense and hit the glass. It is the scoring on the wings that has propelled the Musketeers into the top ten during the season. The senior duo both average at least ten points per game,but they score in very different ways. Raymond is the shooter and he hits 2.4 three-pointers per game. But he does more than just shoot, Raymond will use his size to get to, and finish, around the rim. Anderson’s game is just about finishing. He rarely takes a three-point shot, but he does do a magnificent job getting to the basket and getting to the foul line. When Raymond and Anderson both score in double digits, Xavier has not lost during the 2008-2009 campaign.

 

Xavier By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 73.2 (84th in nation, 3rd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 63.2 (60, 3)

Field-Goal Percentage: 46.7 (49, 2)

Field-Goal Defense: 38.8 (11, 1)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (103, 5)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.6 (17, 2)

Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (204, 11)

Rebound Margin: 8.5 (4, 1)

Assists Per Game: 13.4 (131, 9)

Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (264, 13)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: Sweet Sixteen loss to Pittsburgh

 

By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer

 

> Find more 2009 NCAA Tournament coverage online from College Sports Fans and print your NCAA Tournament brackets today!

 


 


 

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