Re: Xavier Basketball
Might as well get this started. (Can't you feel the excitement?!?!)
No, Xavier has not had a good year. Aside from another Sweet 16 appearance (4 or 5 in the last 6 years), the Muskies have lost all their starters from last year to graduation or bad circumstances.
They basically asked their leading returning scorer Mark Lyons to shape up or ship out, so he shipped out. He wanted to play point and they wanted him to play the 2. That's the official story, but there were still some issues with his dramatic attitude and it's effect on the other players, not to mention the national perception created by "the fight".
The mantle was passed to a quality young man in sophomore Dez Wells, who we then find out may not have been as quality as we thought, or at least made a bad choice and got extremely punished for it. He's gone.
Not much left of the roster when you take Tu Holloway and Kenny Frease out as well. There are about 15 points per game returning this year.
Well, I'm not that down on the 2012 Muskies, at least not as much as some. I'm just anxious to see them play. I think that there is some forgotten talent on this team in Brad Redford and Justin Martin, for example. Those guys have had to sit back during the Mark and Tu regime and learn lesser roles.
I think Redford's knee and his maturity could lead to him finally putting together some 20 point games. The kid can absolutely fill it up. If he finds 5 points a game inside the 3 point line and from the ft line, he could average 11-12 points a game.
Martin is a player who knows how to score inside and out. If his maturity and concentration elevate, he could also pleasantly surprise for an upward limit of 14 points per game.
The interior is full of unknowns. Farr is a frosh, but is a big kid, gym rat, and has a decent shot. Filmore is suspended for 3 games for paperwork that Towson forgot to file 3 years ago (yes, this is XU's offseason from hell). We won't know what he's about right away. Travis Taylor is supposed to benefit from not having so many brash players in his ear. In all, I just think they might often get pushed around in the paint. We'll see. They normally have someone with a wide load to anchor things and scrap. Jeff Robinson's a senior, that's his best quality.
Lot's more to think about, but this is a start. I'm looking forward to seeing all the games this year, even if it's a rebuilding year. Those don't come around too often for XU, so there is some kind of reminiscent interest I have in the prospects of a new foundation.