Andy Mac and the Xavier Musketeers fan base have been through ups and downs this past season. After losing to Texas in the second round of the NIT, Xavier's season officially came to an end. After taking a few weeks to decompress and reflect, Andy Mac is back on the BeDFRNT podcast to discuss the future for the Musketeers.
SCOUTING TEXAS!! MUSKIES OUT TO UNHOOK HORNS!! Xavier is considered a sizeable underdog in their NIT 2nd Round game against Texas in Austin Sunday afternoon(4PM EDT-ESPN). KenPom predicts 71-63 Longhorns. The Muskies have some momentum w/ 8 wins in their last 10 games. KP oversaw XU going 1-9 in those games so let's take his prognostication w/ a few grains of salt. Las Vegas has UT a 6 point favorite. Texas has been bi-polar this season. They're 17-16 after their NIT 1st Round 79-73 win over a veteran South Dakota State team last Tuesday in Texas. The Longhorns started 19-0 against the Jack Rabbits making a bevy of 3s. SDSU made it close in the second half. Texas is 17-16 overall, 13-6 at home, 8-10 in the BIG 12. They finished 6th-lost to Kansas 65-57 in the BIG 12 Tourney Quarterfinals and had lost 5 of 6 before beating South Dakota State.
MUSKIES WEATHER TOLEDO!! HEAD DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!! The Toledo Rockets limped into Cintas Wednesday night low on fuel minus a starting PG Marrean Jackson and a starting PF Willie Jackson-both injured in a MAC Tournament upset loss to Northern Illinois. TU coach Todd Kowalcysk dressed 10 guys and played 6. His only chance was to slow tempo-stand in a 3-2 zone and frustrate Xavier into bad shots and forced possessions. It worked for 18 minutes.Toledo led 25-23 w/ just over 2 to play in the 1st half on the NIT opening round game. TU drained 5 threes despite the longer NIT 3 point line. They ran intricate multi-pass plays and hit back door lay-ups riding their 4 year Senior stars Sanford(great guard) and Navigato(deadly outside sniper). X took a while to solve the stubborn zone. When they finally did, it was off to the races w/ a 51 point second half leading to a 78-64 Muskie victory. Xavier improves to 19-15, 13-5 at Cintas w/ 8 wins in their last 10 games.
SCOUTING TOLEDO!! MAC's 2ND BEST VERY GOOD!! Xavier hosts the Toledo Rockets Wednesday evening at Cintas in Round 1 of the NIT(7pm Tip-ESPN3). It's XU's first NIT appearance since 2000. TU lost in NIT Round 1 at Southern Miss in 2014. Toledo is very talented w/ size(front line 6-11, 6-8 and 6-6) experience( 3 Seniors who are major contributors) and 3 point sniping ability(38% from three-10 made 3s/game-long range shooters at all 5 positions on the floor). 9th year head coach Todd Kowalczyk has assembled a terrific deep roster. TU went 25-7 overall going 12-1 in the non-conference w/ the lone lose at Wright State then won the MAC West at 13-5. Top rebounder and glue guy Willie Jackson played just 8 minutes in the MAC Tourney Quarterfinals last Thursday in Cleveland(migraine headache) and the Rockets were upset by Northern Illinois in a 2-7 game.
Lady Muskies Dropped by Friars in the Ocean State Xavier women's basketball dropped a 71-58 BIG EAST matchup at Providence on Sunday afternoon. The Musketeers moved to 10-8 (1-6 BIG EAST), while the Friars improved to 12-8 (4-4 BIG EAST). A'riana Gray led the Musketeers in scoring with nine points on 3-for-6 shooting, while Princess Stewart added six points. Aaliyah Dunham and Tierra Floyd both chipped in five points.
Lady Muskies Close Out Non-Conference Victorious Over New Orleans Deja Ross and Lauren Wasylson combined for 26 points on Saturday afternoon, leading the Musketeers to a 61-45 win over New Orleans at Cintas Center. Xavier closed non-conference play with a 9-2 record, while the Privateers dropped to 4-5 overall. Xavier opens BIG EAST action at Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 5 p.m. The Musketeers conclude the road swing at Villanova on Monday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m.
X Knocks Off Deleware St Freshman Carrie Gross scored a season-high 12 points on Sunday afternoon as Xavier topped Delaware State, 80-59, on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center. The Musketeers moved to 7-1 on the year, while the Hornets moved to 2-5. Xavier returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Cincinnati in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. from Fifth Third Arena.