NIT Second Round Preview: Xavier

Fans of #11 Xavier must be miffed that their Musketeers have to travel to Maples Pavilion to play unranked Stanford Wednesday night in the best of this year's NIT second round. Let's hope that Xavier isn't similarly teed off, given that they already bring an array of offensive talent and a defensive scheme that could be trouble for the Cardinal...

Stanford vs. Xavier
7:30 pm (PST) tip-off

The Xavier Musketeers (1-0) come into Maples ranked 15th in the country by Blue Ribbon Magazine, and sits at #11 in the newest coaches and media polls.. Xavier returns four starters who dominated the Atlantic 10 with a 14-and-2 record and 26-and-6 overall. Thad Matta, who is part of Monty's Basketball Family Tree, coaches the Musketeers. Thad played and coached for Barry Collier at Butler. On paper Xavier looks very similar to Arizona or USC. A solid point, sharp shooting wings and an athletic power forward.

The Starters

PG  00  Lionel Chalmers  6-0  180  Sr.
Chambers is a quick, sometimes out of control player maker. Last year had a poor assist to turnover ratio but has improved so far this summer. Is also a scorer. Isn't very different than Julius Barnes. Scored 9 points (4/7 FG) with 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 turnovers vs. St. Peter's.

SG  10  Romain Sato  6-5  205  Jr
This guy is Mr. Offense who plays tenacious D. Can shoot the trey or go to the hoop. Think Fredrick Jones. Scored 23 points (9/15 FG) with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals vs. St. Peter's.

SF  13  David Young  6-5  205 Sr
We need to win this battle. David is a blue-collar player. Averaged 8 points a game last year. Does everything well. This is the type of kid who killed us last year. Scored 6 points (2/11 FG) with 5 rebounds vs. St. Peter's.

PF  30  David West  6-9  240  Sr
An All Atlantic 10 selection (three times) and NBA bound. Young man plays all out and has great Q&A. A look at David West is a look at what Justin Davis could become. Justin should be psyched at the challenge of going head to head with West. Might be the best big man to visit Maples this year. Think Clancy with better skills. Scored 21 points (9/16 FG) with 6 rebounds and 3 steals vs. St. Peter's.

C  24  Anthony Myles  6-9  245  Jr
Tough hard-nosed JC transfer who has found a place in the starting lineup. Will be an interesting match up with Rob and Joe. We need to win this one. Scored 8 points (4/6 FG) with 2 rebounds vs. St. Peter's.

The Bench

F/C  52  Will Caudle  6-9  240  So
Joins the rotation with Myles and West. Job is to rebound, defend and bring energy to the floor. Scored 4 points (2/4 FG) with 2 rebounds vs. St. Peter's.

G  12  Dedrick Finn  6-1  180  Fr
Can play either guard spot. Has a nice shot and handle. Scored 4 points (0/2 FG) with 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals vs. St. Peter's.

G/F  25  Keith Jackson  6-5  215  So
Good off the bench player. Great defender and average long-range shooter. Likes to get the ball in transition and drive to the basket. Whoa, Nellie! Scored 6 points (3/4 FG) with 5 rebounds vs. St. Peter's.

What Xavier Runs

Xavier will try various full court presses. You will see them run and jump and trap. In the half court they will play a physical man-to-man defense. With West manning the middle, the wings and Chalmers can gamble for steals. They want to create turnovers, get the ball out in transition and push the ball.

On offense they will run a motion offense. They like to attack the basket. Xavier will run some high / low offense with West capable of playing both the high and the low.

Keys for Stanford

  • Take care of the ball
  • Make Shots
  • Slow Xavier down
  • Make them pay for pressing
  • Don't be afraid to take shots
  • Be patient in half court offense

This is a great test for the Cardinal. The players need to play hard, smart and with confidence. After this game, Stanford will know where they are as a team and have an idea where they need to get to by the Pac-10 season.

Booties should care more about the effort than the outcome in this one.

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