March 6, 2013
Scouting the Saint Louis Billikens
Record: 23-5 Overall (12-2 Conference), (6-2 Away)
Key Wins: Butler (2x), VCU, Texas A&M
Key Losses: Temple, Rhode Island
#3 Kwamain Mitchell - 5'11 senior PG: Second on team in assists while averaging 9.3 points, but struggling with shooting percentages.
#11 Mike McCall Jr - 6'0 junior SG: Three-point threat averages exactly 10.0 points per game.
#21 Dwayne Evans - 6'5 junior SF: Top scorer and leader averages 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds for Billikens.
#32 Cory Remuken - 6'8 senior PF: Interior role player averages 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in limited role.
#51 Rob Loe - 6'11 junior C: Not having a great year at 7.2 points, but a versatile and dangerous scorer.
#24 Cody Ellis - 6'8 senior PF: Second leading scorer at 10.6 points is dangerous off of the bench as a shooter.
#5 Jett Jordair - 6'1 junior PG: Averages 9.9 points off the bench while also leading the team in both assists and steals.
#30 Jake Barnett - 6'5 junior SF: Averages 4 points and 3 rebounds, is a three-point threat.
Xavier Defensive Keys
- Guard all eight: SLU isn't your typical Atlantic 10 team where you can focus in on slowing down one or maybe two guys and win. The Billikens have eight guys who are capable of scoring, including two of their top scorers being bench players. For Xavier to win this one they'll need a team effort with players being attentive towards the coaches scouting reports.
- Heat up their guards: SLU is a very efficient offensive team who averages 68 points per game and just 11 turnovers per contest. By making 6.2 three pointers per game at 35%, and dishing out 13 assists, the Billikens are tough to guard in the half court. Xavier will need to make sure that Semaj Christon and Dee Davis really put pressure on Mitchell, Jordiar and other SLU ballhandlers to take them out of their comfort zone early.
Xavier Offensive Keys
- Be patient: As much as SLU wants to slow this game down, and they really do, for Xavier to score in half-court settings against the Billikens they're going to have to be patient. SLU is one of the better defensive teams in the nation, holding their opponents to just 58.9 points per game (impressive against the schedule that they've played). The Musketeers will have to get multiple ball reversals and be aggressive in driving lanes if they're going to score in this one, quick shots will not be the answer.
- Live by Christon: The biggest advantage that Xavier will have on the offensive end of the floor is the height and length advantage that freshman point guard Semaj Christon will have against the Billikens guards. Christon has been the saving life force for Xavier in several Atlantic 10 games this season, for Xavier to have a chance to win this one he'll most likely have to do it again with a great offensive performance at the Cintas Center.
Overall: Saint Louis enters the Cintas Center with an 11 game winning streak, and haven't lost a game since 1/23/12. The Billikens are playing inspired basketball in memory of former coach Rick Majerus, and plan on riding that emotion all the way towards an NCAA berth. Xavier will have to turn in a special performance on both ends of the floor to beat SLU, with defense of their dangerous offensive weapons in Mitchell, Jordair, Ellis and Evans being the prime factor. The Billikens are the clear favorites in this one.
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