Rick Broering

Notebook: Practice (11/8)

Rick takes a look inside Tuesday's practice.

Checking in on the Freshmen

Both Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin have shown great progress over the last few weeks in practice. This comes as no surprise considering they had the furthest to go in terms of their development. But, still, the staff is pleased to see that progress is being made by both players. 

The staff has been smart while trying to bring them along. For instance, today they put Jones and Goodin on a team with Tim Stainbrook and other non-scholarship players while doing competitive five-on-five drills. This forces Goodin and Jones to be more aggressive on offense with their team depending on them for scoring. The results were pretty good. 

Jones was the best center on the court for Xavier on Saturday, which isn't necessarily saying much, but he had a decent showing outside of his free throw shooting. He's followed that up with two strong days of practice, including yesterday's practice which I was told was his best practice yet. Some of what he brings to the court doesn't show up as much in practice drills - such as his ability to run the floor and use his athleticism - but he looks better and is more productive every time they go live fullcourt. 

Goodin struggled in the exhibition, but he's been better than that in practice recently, especially today. Goodin loves a challenge and is really picking up the system well, especially on defense. Even if he's not executing perfectly every time, he's recognizing what he's seeing and where he's supposed to be on the floor.

Both players will have their ups-and-downs this season, but both seem to "get it" and are poised to make big strides over the course of the year.  

Live Action

Due to only having seven or eight scholarship players practicing at any given point this preseason, there has been significantly less five-on-five competition. However, after watching his offense play choppy on Saturday against Ferris State, Mack said he's planning on doing more of it going forward. 

I saw a little bit of that at practice today and recorded some of the highlights. Also, they played one of my favorite practice games, and those results are featured below.

(Five-on-Five fullcourt. Three consecutive possessions before stopping and resetting.)
- Bluiett nailed a deep three from the right wing
- Goodin got a steal and finished in transition despite being fouled by Macura
- Goodin hit a pull-up jumper after creating a look for himself off the bounce on a stagnant possession
- O'Mara scored on Jones with a nice drop step move and left-handed finish
- Stainbrook hit a three on the left wing
- Bernard hit a three on the left wing with a defender flying out on him.
- Macura saw the defender cheating to get around a ball screen and just stepped back and nailed a 24-footer high on the right wing
- Bluiett hit a three in transition on the right wing
- Macura nailed another deep three from the left wing

(Two teams. Rotating one-on-one possessions in the post. Each basket is a run. Each stop is an out. Three outs and teams change from offense to defense. Also, I missed one or two outs along the way because I was talking.):
- Bluiett stopped Macura
- Bernard stopped Goodin
- Gaston stopped O'Mara
- Jones scored with a nice quick hook move over O'Mara
- O'Mara stopped Gaston
- Macura stopped Bluiett
- Goodin stopped Bernard 
- Bluiett stopped Macura
- Bernard stopped Stainbrook
- Sumner used his length to score on a hook over Goodin
- O'Mara stopped Gaston
- Bluiett moved from the left to right block and hit a hanging shot
- Sumner maneuvered past Goodin with a quick move and finished with his left
- Jones scored against O'Mara with a midline hook

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