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The Matchups: Xaver vs Seton Hall

Before every game, Rick provides a position-by-position look at what to expect. This edition focuses on Sunday's afternoon tipoff in New Jersey against Seton Hall.

Edmond Sumner FR (6-6, 183) vs Isaiah Whitehead SO (6-4, 215)

Whitehead has been playing really well for the Pirates, averaging 16.9 points, 5.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals in 31.4 minutes per game. In the first game against Xavier, he finished with 17 points, but he was just 6-of-20 from the floor. He also had five turnovers. Xavier has to do its best to keep him out of the lane, or he's capable of really disrupting the Musketeers' defense. 

Slight Edge Seton Hall

Myles Davis JR (6-2, 188) vs Khadeen Carrington SO (6-3, 180)

Carrington is the Pirates' second-leading scorer. He's at his best attacking the rim, but he's also 40-for-124 (32.3%) from 3-point range. For the season, he's averaging 13.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in 30.2 minutes per game. He was 4-of-9 from three against X last time, finishing with 19 points. The Musketeers have to locate him in the corners when they use the 1-3-1 zone. 

Even

Remy Abell SR (6-4, 197) vs Desi Rodriguez SO (6-6, 215)

Rodriguez is averaging 12.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game, while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, including 39.1 percent on 69 attempts from 3-point range. He finished with a team-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the first game against X. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists in 31 minutes. The Pirates did a good job of sealing the low man on the 1-3-1 last time against the Musketeers, and then finding Rodriguez in the corner where he had room to slash to the basket. 

Moderate Edge Seton Hall

Trevon Bluiett SO (6-6, 208) vs Ismael Sanogo SO (6-8, 210)

Sanogo is a defender and rebounder. He's averaging 4.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 27.1 minutes per game. Last time against X, he fouled out in 20 minutes of action and didn't score, finishing with eight rebounds and two steals. The Musketeers have to make sure they keep him of off the offensive glass this time. 

Moderate Edge Xavier

Jalen Reynolds JR (6-10, 237) vs Angel Delgado (6-9, 245) 

Delgado is averaging 10.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per game. He had seven points (3-6 FG) and seven boards before fouling out in 20 minutes of action last time against the Musketeers. He struggled for two games against Georgetown and St. John's but bounced back on Thursday night against Providence with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Xavier's big men overhwelmed him a bit in the last game, and foul trouble kept him from finding a rhythm. 

Slight Edge Xavier

Xavier Bench vs Seton Hall Bench

James Farr (6-10, 244) absolutely dominated inside last game against the Pirates with 24 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. Sean O'Mara (6-10, 247) also had a strong game off the bench with nine points (4-4 FG) and two rebounds in nine minutes. JP Macura was 3-for-9 from the field with seven points in 26 minutes last time against them. For Seton Hall, energy guy Derrick Gordon (6-3, 205) played 25 minutes off the bench and was 2-for-8 with six points, six rebounds and four assists in the first game against Xavier. For the season, he's averaging 8.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 24.2 minutes per game. He's coming off a 1-for-10 shooting night against Providence in which he had just two points. Sophomore forward Rashad Anthony (6-9, 235) and Michael Nzei (6-7, 190) both played an increased role (double-digit minutes) in the last game against X, but had little impact, with a combined two points and three rebounds between them. 

Moderate Edge Xavier

Overall

Seton Hall is 3-2 against Xavier since joining the Big East. Last time around against X, the Pirates create a lot of their offense out of transition opportunities and ball screens. Xavier has to do a great job of taking care of the basketball, and also keeping the Pirates out of the lane on defense. Xavier played 63 possessions (78.7%) of its 1-3-1 zone in the last game against Seton Hall. Expect to see it used a lot again this time. The Musketeers have to do their best to keep the Pirates off of the offensive glass, especially when they're in the zone. Seton Hall screened the zone, both at the top and the bottom, more than any other team X has faced so far. The Pirates had 17 offensive rebounds in that first game, led by Sanogo with four. If the zone isn't working and Seton Hall is knocking down shots, then X may be in trouble, as it had a difficult time matching up with the Pirates in that first game. 

Predicted score: Xavier 80 Seton Hall 76


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