The Matchups: Xavier vs Bowling Green

Before every game MusketeerReport breaks down the position by position matchups for X's opponent. This edition focuses on Saturday afternoon's match-up against Bowling Green State University at the Cintas Center.

Brandon Randolph Fr (6-1, 190) vs Anthony Henderson Jr (6-1, 173)

Henderson is the top 3-point shooter on Bowling Green's team, and he's been hot of late. He's scored in double-figures in each of the last three games, while knocking down 5-of-9 from deep during that stretch. He can also be a thief on the defensive end where he's averaging 2.1 steals per game. Randolph has started in half of the Musketeers' eight games so far on the season. He's had his struggles, especially when it comes to finishing shots, but overall he's gotten off to a solid start. Despite the Musketeers turning the ball over too often in the Bahamas, the freshman Randolph only committed one turnover the entire tournament while being asked to handle the ball often, and that was in the first game against Iowa. He ended up playing the most minutes (32) on the team against USC, and finished with six points five boards, three assists, and one steal.

Even

Semaj Christon So (6-3, 190) vs Jehvon Clarke Jr (6-1, 179)

Clarke has looked liked the Falcons' best player so far this season, after making his first career start in the season opener. He can create off the dribble for himself and his teammates, is good in transition, and leads the team in steals on defense with 2.3 per game. His most impressive performance was his 15 point effort against Wisconsin. He will jack threes, but has not shown the ability to make them yet and is shooting just 17.4 percent from beyond the arc. Christon hasn't been playing to his potential to this point in the season, and definitely didn't have a great showing in the Bahamas. His struggles at the free-throw line have received plenty of press but he's also turned the ball over too much, and so far he hasn't stepped up and been the go-to leader for this team when they've needed him most. Against Bowling Green, the Musketeers won't likely need him to take over, and he'll also get a few more easy opportunities around the rim.

Significant Edge Xavier

Myles Davis Fr (6-2, 195) vs Spencer Parker So (6-7, 207)

Parker has really made a big jump in his sophomore season, and has become Bowling Green's most consistent scorer. He's led the team in scoring in four of the seven games this season, and has hit double-digits in all seven. He's a face-up forward that will attempt and knockdown the occasional three, but mostly he likes to score in transition and get easy buckets around the rim. Davis got the start in the final game of the Battle for Atlantis when Mack said he felt the need to change things up, and the freshman did nothing to lose that spot with his play. He scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and had three steals with no turnovers in 26 minutes of action. On a team that struggles to score, shoot and create offense, Davis has been an important weapon. He's far from perfect, and still has plenty to improve on as a freshman, but his play and development is key for this offense.

Even

James Farr So (6-10, 237) vs Richaun Holmes Jr (6-8, 214)

Holmes is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker inside for the Falcons, but he's also averaging 10.9 points per game. He's an effort guy with a strong build that provides some legit size and toughness inside for the MAC squad. He does most of his damage around the rim, but has made two 3-pointers this year on five attempts. Farr is another one who got his first start against USC down in the Bahamas when Mack switched things up. The big man has been nothing but productive when he's been on the court for the Musketeers so far this season. His outside shooting has caught everyone's attention (he's shooting 53.8 percent from beyond the arc), but his effort on the glass and on defense is what has earned him more playing time. He grabbed 10 boards and blocked two shots against Iowa, and also blocked three shots against USC. It will be fun to watch Farr inside working against Bowling Green's rim protectors who also have good size and athleticism.

Even

Matt Stainbrook Jr (6-10, 263) vs Cameron Black Sr (6-10, 248)

Black is tied for fifth all-time at BGSU with 105 career blocked shots. He's a big-bodied shot blocker and rebounder that gets garbage points on offense. He's coming off a rough game against WKU where he got in foul trouble and never really got into the flow. Before that, he had put together back-to-back double-double performances against Presbyterian and Oral Roberts with 14 and 13 rebounds in the two games respectively. He's only blocked three shots so far on the year, but is still a factor around the rim when it comes to changing shot attempts. Stainbrook scored in double-figures in all three of the games in the Bahamas, but he didn't really dominate any of the games or even control the glass the way the Musketeers need him to. He struggled to finish at times, with the most notable example being the missed layup at the end of regulation against Iowa that could have prevented overtime, and the fatigue of playing on a short turnaround clearly had an impact on his energy level and play. While BGSU is a low-major program and not a very good team this year, they do have pretty solid big men with legit size. This should actually be a decent test for Stainbrook.

Significant Edge Xavier

Xavier Bench vs Bowling Green Bench

The only two real significant contributors off the bench for Bowling Green have been JD Tisdale and Craig Sealey. Tisdale is an impressive looking 6-4 freshman guard that has shown some playmaking ability and decent feel. He's not a good shooter, and he's still learning how to finish off his drives, but he's capable of scoring in the lane. Sealey is a 6-6 forward that plays over 22 minutes per game and is just a steady role player. He's not a shooter, nor a great rebounder. Xavier is a little short on the bench with Erik Stenger and Landon Amos remaining out, but they should still have plenty of firepower for this one. Philmore came off the bench in the USC game, and played pretty well when he got on the floor. He had 10 points and three boards in 21 minutes. Jalen Reynolds provided a little bit of a lift in the Iowa game, but wasn't much of a factor in the next two games in Atlantis. He and James Farr will be a good match-up against Bowling Green's bigs. It will be interesting to see how much and how well Dee Davis plays after really struggling in the Bahamas.

Significant Edge Xavier

Overall

The Falcons have a balanced attack on the offensive end. Four of the five starters score in double-figures and Black adds 7.4 points and 7.7 rebounds as the defensive specialist in the lineup. But that doesn't make them a skilled team, or even a good offense. As poor of a shooting tam as Xavier is, Bowling Green is even worse. The Falcons are shooting just 25.4 percent from beyond the arc on the year and are scoring just 13 percent of their points off of 3-pointers. The Musketeers are shooting 35.3 percent from deep, and score 20.5 percent of their points off of threes. X struggled after the loss to Iowa, and didn't look like the team that they've been most of the year. Expect them to get back to playing Xavier basketball in front of the home crowd at the Cintas Center against a team that was picked to finish behind Miami (OH) in the MAC.

Score Prediction: Xavier 77 Bowling Green 61


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