Xavier's second opponent in the 2012 Direct TV Classic in Anaheim will be the Drexel Dragons. This game will be the first round of the consolation bracket.
Record: 1-3, the Dragons lost yesterday in their quarterfinal game to Saint Mary's 76-64.
#4 Frantz Massenat - 6'4 junior PG: Averages 12.5 points and 5.5 assists, but shoots a low percentage.
#32 Derrick Thomas - 6'4 senior SG: Role player averages 8 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists a game.
#14 Damion Lee - 6'6 sophomore SF: Averaging 12.1 points per game, but not shooting it very well so far.
#35 Dartaye Ruffin - 6'8 junior PF: Averages 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds on very few shot attempts.
#44 Darryl McCoy - 6'9 senior C: Scores only 3 points, but averages over 8 rebounds per game.
#11 Tavon Allen - 6'7 freshman SF: Explosive shooter and scorer is averaging 15.5 points per game, and could start.
#1 Kazembe Abif - 6'7 sophomore SF: Averages 6 points and 4.5 rebounds off the bench, brings energy.
Note: Drexel's leading scorer through three games, senior shooting guard Chris Fouch (who was averaging 16.7 points) is out for the season with an ankle injury. The first game that he missed was yesterday, against St. Mary's.
Xavier Defensive Keys
• Play with passion - One thing that the Musketeers have lacked in each of their last two outings, Robert Morris and Pacific, is passion on the defensive end of the floor. After shooting the ball well the first few games, it seems like the players are content to try and outscore the opponent, something that didn't work against Pacific. No matter what Drexel comes at Xavier with, the Musketeers need to regain that defensive passion they brought against Butler.
• Rebound, Rebound, Rebound - The most frustrating statistic so far for coach Mack has to be the negative rebounding numbers that the Musketeers are putting up against teams that they should dominate physically. With good size on the wing in Justin Martin and Jeff Robinson, as well as Travis Taylor, Isaiah Philmore, and Erik Stenger in the paint, Xavier should be doing a much better job on the boards.
• Consistency - This one holds true for both ends of the floor for Xavier. Against Robert Morris and Pacific the Musketeers had stretches where they played very good basketball, they also had stretches where they lost all focus and energy. To win a game the day after playing another game, especially when you're coming off a loss, execution of your system becomes paramount. The Musketeers won't have much time to prepare for Drexel, so attention to the details of the Xavier defensive system will be critical.
Xavier Offensive Keys
• Paging Jeff Robinson - Yesterday, in the loss to Pacific, Robinson was virtually non-existent. The game before that against Robert Morris he only attempted three field-goals. At the end of the day, Robinson is Xavier's most experienced player, and probably the most capable all-around offensive player. For this team to right the ship Robinson needs to reassert himself as a leader, and that all starts by showing some aggression offensively.
• Pass the Basketball - In their last outing Xavier did one thing really well, they only turned the ball over 8 times. But, they only managed 9 assists, and 6 of them came from freshman point guard Semaj Christon. The Musketeers were particularly rattled by Pacific's defensive scheme of doubling the post on the dribble, and then the guards were thrown off by the Tigers brief use of a matchup-zone defense. When the Musketeers are playing at their best, like they did the first two games, they're moving the ball and getting more people involved, look for them to go back to that some against Drexel.
• Go for the Kill - The Musketeers have been somewhat plagued the last two outings by not putting away their opponent early when they had the momentum. Yesterday, Xavier led 9-0 then 11-2, giving them an opportunity to slowly increase that lead over the next few minutes and eventually put the game out of reach, but they didn't. If Xavier gets an early lead in the first half, especially if it's by double-digits, they will need to show no mercy, proving that they're the kind of team that is capable of intimidating.
Overall: This is a huge game for Xavier. More than anything it's a redemption game for yesterday's loss. Also, the Musketeers would hate to be sitting at 0-2 in Anaheim after tonight. Like Pacific, this is a game that Xavier should win. The passion, teamwork, dedication to defense, and overall consistency should determine how Xavier plays tonight, Drexel isn't as much of an opponent as Xavier is themselves.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial