Sunday, January 9, 2011

Xavier v. Rhode Island: Box Score Breakdown

Because my current living situation doesn't afford me the luxury of cable, there is a certain amount of games that I'm not able to see played. Thanks to the miracle of the internet, however, I can still access the box score and provide some less nuanced analysis of the game. The live gamecasts of,, and the Enquirer's Shannon Russell, as well as Ms. Russell's blog and post-game recaps, are invaluable resources in this kind of game reconstruction.

 The story:
Apparently Coach Mack was no more pleased with Xavier's approach against UC that we here at the Examiner were, because X started the game at the post and built from there. Xavier got 11 of their first sixteen points on lay ups, dunks, or tips by forwards or Kenny. Jamel McLean in particular was unwilling to be denied; he got 19-12 on 7-12/0-0/5-6 shooting, with half his boards coming on the offensive end.

Tu Holloway bounced back nicely from his dissolution at UC with 21-7-4 on 6-11/2-5/7-8 shooting. His four turnovers were less than optimal, but - combined with Cheek's 8-4-3 on only 6 FGA - he provided the kind of guard play that Xavier is going to need to be a force in the conference season.  Dante, on the other hand, continued to be stone cold. His 3-3-3 came on 1-6/1-5/0-0 shooting. He did manage to augment that line with two steals and only one turnover.

Either Xavier was playing smothering defense or URI was on a horrible shooting night. Chances are that it was a combination of both factors, but the Rams shot 14-57/3-27/14-20. A little quick math should tell you that this is horrible. Some more should tell you that they shot .247 from the floor, .111 from behind the arc, and a very respectable .700 from the line. It's probably a little unrealistic to expect Xavier to keep that level of defensive results, but having a team built around post presence and smothering defense should serve the Muskies well going forward.

Odds and ends:
-Xavier out rebounded Rhode Island 38-28. Delroy James had half of the Rams' boards.

-Xavier got 44 minutes off the bench, enough time for the reserves to score 12 points on 5-7/2-2/0-0 shooting with seven boards and only one turnover. Johnny Mazza led the charge with 3 points on 1-1 from behind the arc. Jeff Robinson contrived to foul out in 13 minutes.

-Kenny was outrebounded by Tu and outblocked by Cheek. This isn't particularly instructive, but it's mildly interesting.

-For the first time since the Albany game, Xavier had more assists than their opponents.

-Stay tuned for Brad's full recap, coming shortly.

Next game: v. UMass, 7pm Wednesday.


  1. I noticed from watching that Xavier, when losing momentum, almost let the game really go. When URI came back and actually had the lead early in the game, it was because they got the momentum and Xavier seemed to be too confused to really stop that. However, once URI lost the momentum, XU was able to capitalize and put the game safely away.
    However, this confusion, which Xavier seems to be more susceptible to than any opponent yet, may come back to hurt them, especially around tournament time. In the loss to UC, I really saw this to be one of the factors, if not a major factor.

  2. That's why the timeout that Coach Mack called when it was 12-12 was so crucial. After that we went on an 11-0 run and URI never got close again. I was actually very happy with the way the team rallied after the Rams had four or so minutes of success.

  3. Runs by UC and Florida put those two games out of reach, thanks in large part to Xavier's guards insistance on trying to take over. It was good to see them emphasize the post yesterday.