Briscoe has continued to be a hit-or-miss play-maker type of player at the point for the 49ers. He had a stretch of four games after they played Xavier where he scored in double-digit in all four, but he then followed that up with three duds where he saw less playing time as well. He's coming of a solid performance in the loss to Duquesne where he scored 15 points and was 4-of-6 from three, but last time he played the Muskies he was pretty much a non-factor finishing 1-of-7 from the floor with four points. For Xavier, it will be an interesting day as the program says farewell to one of the best point guards to put on a Xavier uniform. Though this season hasn't quite been what Xavier and especially Tu Holloway had hoped for, there's no denying that Holloway's career at Xavier as a whole has been remarkable. He has one more chance to play in front of the Cintas Center fans and then a last ditch effort at making the tournament by making a run in Atlantic City. It's hard to see him letting Xavier lose this one.
Moderate Edge Xavier
Mark Lyons Jr (6-1, 188) vs Pierria Henry Fr (6-3, 185)
The last time these two teams met up Charlotte's freshman guard was injured. Henry has been a solid asset to the 49ers rotation in his first year on campus. Though not a big-time scorer, Henry is aggressive enough to make the defense respect him and is capable of making plays going to the basket. He's not a great shooter, but that should come around as he develops. Charlotte was one of the games that Lyons came off the bench and was in the doghouse a little bit. He struggled to make anything, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field that day and 0-for-4 from 3-point range. His quickness did seem to give Charlotte's defense some trouble as he was able to get into the lane and create shots, that he didn't make, or dish off to teammates. He finished with five assists. Lyons played pretty well in the loss at SLU. He had 19 points and made 3-of-5 from 3-point range in Xavier's last contest.
Moderate Edge Xavier
Both of these guys went at each other pretty good and had solid games the last time they played. Mayfield had 13 points, and while he only made 3-of-12 shots from the floor, he made 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. He also had 10 boards, including three offensive, so Wells will have to make sure he boxes out better this time around. Mayfield was really inconsistent earlier in the year, but he's been on a tear since the last game against Xavier, scoring in double-figures seven out of his last eight games and averaging nearly 14 points per game during that time. Wells played really well offensively the last time against the 49ers. He finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 6-of-6 from inside the perimeter. He also grabbed seven boards.Since the last time Xavier played Charlotte, Wells has scored in double figures in six out of their last nine games. He captured his first career double-double Tuesday in the loss to SLU with 13 points and 10 boards.
Everyone remembers Barnett's performance last time these teams played. If you don't, he was a face-up forward who hit 7-of-8 threes against Xavier and scored a season-high 27 points. Honestly, he was a big reason Charlotte was even in the game. Barnett scored 14 last game against Duquesne and was 3-of-8 from the perimeter with five rebounds. It is imperative that Xavier not let him get going this time around. He's got confidence against Xavier, and that's going to be the 49ers game-plan is to pick and pop and try to look for quick transition threes, but if the Muskies are doing their job early on defense it'd be almost impossible for Barnett to repeat that performance. Walker can go out and guard him away from the basket, but Xavier has to be on point with their defensive rotations, especially in transition and on ball-screens. Walker also has to be a little more of a threat to score. he shot just four times the last time these teams played and finished with just four points. His rebounds and defense are important, but they need him to keep the defense honest and take advantages of wide open looks too. This is a big match-up for Xavier. If they can come slow down Barnett this time around, and force a closer match-up between the forwards it could give Xavier the significant edge in this game.
Moderate Edge Charlotte
Braswell is an absolute horse down low. He is a very strong 235, and he plays very physical, knowing how to use that strength. He's very good at using up-fakes to draw fouls and build his point total at the charity stripe. Last game against Duquesne, Braswell scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds, with seven of his points coming at the free-throw line on a 7-for-8 performance. The last time these teams played, Xavier did an ok job of not putting him on the free-throw line, but he still managed to go 6-for-6 from the stripe to help him reach 14 points for the game. Frease played well for Xavier the first time against Charlotte. The big man had 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Frease has had three of his better performances of the year over the last three games. With this being the final home game for him, it will be interesting to see the emotion of Frease, who has picked it up over his last few games and has referenced being short on time. He seems to get that that he has one last chance to finish his legacy.
Moderate Edge Charlotte
Xavier Bench vs Charlotte Bench
The 49ers are basically down to a seven man rotation with a few other guys who see spot minutes. Derrio Green is a 6-2 shooter, that finished 2-of-6 from three last time Charlotte played Xavier. He, for the most part, is a 3-point specialist and comes in to look for his open jump shot. They are also getting good minutes out of freshman forward E. Victor Nickerson at times. The youngster failed to score the last time these teams played, but he scored four in the 49ers' last game against Duquesne and also had three rebounds in 15 minutes of action. Last time the bench was big in this game, as Xavier's bench outscored Charlotte's bench 24-10. Redford seemed to be fine matching up defensively against Charlotte and hit three big 3-pointers against them the first time. Travis Taylor also had some success with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and three rebounds in 13 minutes the last time these teams played.
Moderate Edge Xavier
The last time they met up, Xavier had to escape Charlotte with Barnett going absolutely nuts from the outside. The Musketeers were able to score 74 points, and moved the ball pretty well, especially against Charlotte's zone that they tried some, but their defense is where they still had some breakdowns. They had trouble once again with a face-up forward, but it wasn't just pick-and-pop situations. Charlotte does a good job of moving their forwards around and letting them get out and play in transition. Xavier has to be better on their rotations this time around, and just avoid mental lapses all the way around on the defensive end. Lyons and Walker struggled the last time, so if Xavier can get better play out of key guys like that, they should be able to come out on top at home. The key will obviously be playing better defense though.
Score Prediction: Xavier 70 Charlotte 62