Later this week, I will write an entry detailing the ten college basketball teams that look like they could win the championship this year…until then, I am going to write my alma mater, Xavier and its basketball season thus far.
So, here we are basically at the midway point and it is about where I thought Xavier would be at 9-6 on the season. I didn’t think that they would have wins against Temple or Butler, but didn’t think they would be losing to Vandy or Wofford either. In the end though to quote Dennis Green..we are who we thought they were. It is mightily obvious to anyone that has follwed Xavier for over a decade now that this may be the least talented team, Xavier has had in that time frame. However, just as Xavier always tends to do, they will for the most part give you effort night in and night out; which in turn leads to them getting better over the course of the season. So at 9-6 what would Xavier have to do to get into the NCAA tournament? It would probably mean 12-3 the rest of the regular season, which is a gignatic stretch for the talent that is on this team, but let’s investigate player by player to see what they need to do to make it happen…
Dee Davis—I almost feel sorry for the kid. Honestly, I don’t have a clue as to why this kid was ranked in the top 100 coming out of high school. He doesn’t have the talent to ever be a legitimate starting pg, and should be relegated back to the bench after this year. I feel sorry for him though, because the kid is an absolute warrior and a defensive difference maker. The problem lies in that he is extremely limited offensively, by the fact he is short, and not quick nor fast. That usually translates to being limited offensively. Anyways, all Xavier needs from Davis, is to not turn the ball over, and to play with great effort defensively night in and night out.
Semaj Christon—the guy is a stud..probably the best freshman to ever play at X. He has the tools to do anything and everything, and if he keeps improving, is going to be on an NBA team in a few short years. Xavier needs him to improve every single game in regards to his ball-handling and his decision-making. If that keeps happening, this team could make a run.
Travis Taylor—love this kid and love the fact that I was wrong about him last year. He is high energy, and plays his rear end off game in and game out. Just keep doing what you do Taylor!
Jeff Robinson—sigh…..probably the second most talented player on the roster just behind christon, but mostly has minimal effort. If this guy could ever just be a consistent 8 ppg 7-8 rpg that would help tremendously. Jeff also needs to realize he is 6’10 and can jump…he really should be dominating the college game, yet something (maybe his mind) is holding him back. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable Jeff…X needs you.
Brad Redford—shoot…shoot from half court, the parking lot…the sophmore dorms..i don’t care. Just keep shooting the basketball.
Justin Martin—Unlike Davis, I can see why this kid was highly thought of coming out of high school. The talent is there, Xavier fans just don’t see it consistently just like Robinson. If he can get back to taking guys off the dribble as he was doing earlier this season, and keep up the defense and rebounding, then Xavier will be in good shape.
So there you have it. If X can get most of these things to happen, the team may be able to go 12-3 the rest of the way, but it is going to take a herculean effort. As I said at the beginning of the year, if X can win 20 games, Xavier will need to tear down the Dartagnan statue outside of Cintas and replace it immediately with a Mack statue. The talent is just not there this year, as I believe Mack even knows..why would you get that excited about beating GW by 15 at half, which is ok…I am still going to enjoy each and every game!