Record: 10-6 Overall (1-1 Conference)
Notable Wins: Akron, Penn St, St. Bonaventure
Notable Losses: Arizona, Valparaiso, Pittsburgh, St. Joseph's
#3 Eric Evans- 5'11 senior PG: Averages 10.2 points and 3 assists in complimentary role. Not a great shooter but a strong bodied leader and good defender.
#20 TJ McConnell- 6'1 sophomore PG/SG: Teams best player averages 12 points on 53% shooting with 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Excellent shooter and passer that makes his teammates better.
#32 Sean Johnson: 6'2 junior SG/SF: Leading scorer at 16.3 points a game while shooting 48% from field and 35% from three; capable of scoring off the jumper or at the rim on a drive.
#23 BJ Monterio: 6'5 senior SG/SF: Team leader averages 15.2 points; has missed last two games with injury but is expected to play. Tough and athletic slasher also grabs 5.2 rebounds per game.
#00 Andre Marhold- 6'7 junior PF/C: Athletic postman with high motor averaging 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. Tends to get in foul trouble against bigger opponents.
#1 Mike Talley- 5'11 sophomore PG/SG: Quick and talented guard averages 7.6 points but is shooting the ball poorly as of late. Plays starter minutes in his 6th man role; Talley will start it Monterio can't play.
#5 Jerry Jones- 6'5 sophomore SG/SF: Sharpshooter averages 5.9 points as a three point specialist.
#22 Kadeem Pantophlet- 6'6 freshman SF/PF: Stretch forward averages 4 points as a shooting specialist.
#34 Mamadou Datt- 6'8 freshman PF/C: Raw big man averaging 2 points, backups Marhold when he gets in foul trouble. Datt is very skinny at this point but plays with energy and is very athletic.
Xavier Defensive Keys
-Dominate the glass: The Dukes get out rebounded by an average margin of 6.9 per game; if Xavier can dominate the glass by double figures then they should be right where they want to be.
-Contain dribble drive: The key to Duquesne's offense is driving gaps and kicking it out to shooters. One area Xavier has struggled recently is containing perimeter players off the dribble. This will be a key storyline to watch in this one.
-Find shooters early: Duquesne averages 77.7 points on 48% shooting and 33% from deep. The Dukes are not afraid to let it fly at any point, sometimes with 30 seconds still on the shotclock. Xavier needs to sprint back in transition and find Duquesne shooters, which is all their guards, to take the three pointer out of Coach Everhart's arsenal.
Xavier Offensive Keys
-Handle the switching: Just like LaSalle, the Dukes switch all screens; making it difficult to execute pick and roll or any type of offense. Look for Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons to be more aggressive off the bounce to make them stop penetration before running offense; if Xavier can get Duquesne scrambling around then the Musketeers offense will be way better then the Duquesne defense.
-Don't stand: Duquesne also loves to leave their man to go for steals. Duquesne averages an impressive 8.2 steals a game; Xavier needs to maintain great spacing so that if Duquesne leaves a man for a trap that man will be wide open for a shot.
-Make them guard: The switching defense and going for steals is all a means to try and speed teams up. Xavier needs to take their time and once Duquesne makes a couple of switches look for the Musketeers to throw the ball inside to big men matched on guards.
Overall: Duquesne plays what you call a "high risk-high reward" style. If they're getting steals and making three's then they're tough to beat; if not then they tend to struggle. Xavier turned the corner last game against Fordham and became the aggressor once again. Coach Everhart of Duquesne preaches toughness and aggression. Xavier not allowing the Dukes to get comfortable in the Cintas center can make all the difference here. Expect Xavier to increase their conference win streak to two at the end of this one.