November 8, 2012
Scouting the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
Team Note:The Knights were picked to finish 11th out of twelve teams in the Northeast Conference by the league's head coaches in a pre-season poll. Last season FDU finished 3-26 on the year.
Starting Personnel: Since it is the first game of the year it can be difficult to speculate whom the Knights might start. Here is what we believe they'll put on the floor, based on last season.
#24 Mustafaa Jones - 6'0 sophomore PG: Transfer from Hartford is playing his first game with the Knights, should step right into the starting rotation.
#5 Melquan Bolding - 6'3 senior SG: Bolding led the team in scoring last season at 15.1 points, but he did not shoot the ball efficiently at all and by far and away led the team in turnovers.
#23 Lonnie Robinson - 6'5 senior SF: Averaged 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds last season but shot an abysmal 36% from the field on the year, but strangely shot a respectable 35% from the three-point line.
#22 Mathias Seilund - 6'7 junior PF: Stretch forward averaged 3.2 points last season in about 18 minutes per game. Seilund took about half of his shots from three-point range a year ago.
#44 Kinu Rochford - 6'6 senior C: Started at center last season and averaged 9.3 points to go along with 6.8 rebounds and 60% field goal percentage. Very reliable inside presence.
#2 Yves Jules - 6'2 junior PG: Transfer guard from Hofstra could earn a starting spot very early in the season.
#20 Xavier Harris - 6'6 freshman SF: The freshman forward is expected to use his physicality to make an instant impact on the wing for FDU.
#00 Lonnie Hayes - 5'11 senior PG: Hayes is probably the Knights best player but he is not currently scheduled to make the trip to Cincinnati. The often troubled guard, who is a Cincinnati native, averaged 13 points per game last season.
Xavier Offensive Keys
- Attack inside: We know that as of now this is not a great Xavier shooting team. Musketeer Scoop is looking to see the Musketeers attack the rim, throw the ball inside, and generally play inside-outside to score the basketball. Expect the pace to be slower, but Xavier needs to get interior buckets to win, set a tone for the season, and build confidence.
- Offensive rebound: Just like with their ability to score inside, Xavier needs to pound the offensive glass and use their size advantage. By wearing out Rochford on the defensive end the chance that FDU's only real inside force will tire or foul increases dramatically.
- Be patient: This will be the first official game with the new motion, and passing based, offense that Xavier displayed in the pre-season. There are going to be some kinks in the armor, Xavier needs to be patient and allow offense to come to them through reversals instead of trying to do too much and making mistakes.
Xavier Defensive Keys
- Force bad shots: The Knights were prone to difficult shot attempts last season. Their leading scorers do not shoot high percentages, a reflection of bad shot selection. Jeff Robinson and Semaj Christon are most likely to match up with Bolding and Robinson, forcing them into bad shots is going to be very important.
- Nothing easy: FDU's best inside scorer, Rochford, relies more on effort then skill to get his points. If Xavier puts maximum focus into blocking out and eliminates easy put-back attempts for Rochford and the rest of the Knights then Xavier should finish with a nice defensive performance.
- Pressure in the half court: Last year the Knights turned the ball over like it was going out of style. With bigger and longer defenders in the backline expect to see Xavier's guards turn up the pressure on FDU backcourt players in the half court setting.
Overall: Xavier should win this game easily, as FDU is coming off a really bad season. There are plenty of question marks with XU personnel, especially with Isaiah Philmore missing the first three games due to suspension, and Chris Cantino awaiting NCAA clearance. The Musketeers are breaking in some new players, and have veterans playing different roles, so more importantly then worrying about FDU's style Xavier will most likely focus on dictating what they want to do on the court. Tempo, style, confidence, toughness, and togetherness will all be tested here. Let's see what type of message Xavier tries to send in the first outing of the season.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial