November 7, 2015 Louisville, KY (Analyzed Sports)
Xavier Musketeers Men’s Basketball 2015-2016 Season Preview
2014-2015 Record: 23-14 (9-9 Big East)
Postseason: NCAA Tournament, Regional Semifinals L 60-68 vs. Arizona
The Xavier Musketeers hope to build upon a year in 2014-2015, after finishing sixth in the Big East and going to its fifth NCAA Sweet 16 in eight seasons only to lose a close game to the two-seeded Arizona Wildcats. Gone to graduation are leading scorer and center Matt Stainbrook along with heady point guard Dee Davis.
Musketeers Head Coach Chris Mack will look to his upperclassmen seniors Remy Abell and James Farr along with outstanding swingman and All-Big East rookie Sophomore Trevon Bluiett to provide leadership for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Defense will be the key for this Xavier team to stay away from a double-digit loss season and to compete for the Big East crown while possibly earning a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“Anytime you get to the point we did and were playing for the stakes we were playing for, it excites the players in the program,” Chris Mack said. “They can see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and there’s more to get. It’s a group that, I think, is hungry.”
G – Dee Davis
C – Matt Stainbrook
G – Trevon Bluiett – So.
G – Remy Abell – Sr.
F – Jalen Reynolds – Jr.
G – Myles Davis – Jr.
G – Larry Austin – So.
G – J.P. Macura – So.
G – Edmond Sumner – Fr.
F – Kevin Coker – Sr.
F – James Farr – Sr.
F – RaShid Gaston – Sr.
F – Kaiser Gates – Fr.
F – Makinde London – Fr.
F – Tim Stainbrook- Jr.
F/C – Sean O’Mara – So.
Key Non-Conference Games
Fri, Nov. 20 @ Michigan – The Musketeers will square off against a Big Ten opponent when they visit the #25 ranked Michigan Wolverines. Xavier struggled on the road last season losing nine of their 14 games either on the road or at a neutral site. This will be an early test for Xavier, but i like their chances to pull off a close victory on the road to prove they learned their lesson from a season ago. These types of victories on the road elevate your NCAA seeding at the end of the year.
Thurs. Nov. 26 vs. Alabama (Neutral Site) – The Xavier Musketeers will travel down to Orlando. Fl. to participate in the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational at Walt Disney World to take on SEC opponent Alabama Crimson Tide and their first year head coach Avery Johnson former NBA point guard for the San Antonio Spurs. Last season the two team met in the Cintas center with Xavier winning the game 97-84 at home.
Click Here for Full Schedule.
Jalen Reynolds, F 6-10|Jr. – Reynolds enters this season as the Musketeer’s leading returning rebounder averaging 6.1 rebounds from a year ago. Jalen definitely has the potential to take his game to the level. With Matt Stainbrook’s departure, Reynolds needs to be the go-to-guy on the inside. He did it in spurts last season, but this season he will need to show more consistency for the team to have a chance at winning the Big East conference and advancing further in the NCAA tournament.
Season Outlook – Expect a better season from a year ago. Last season the Musketeers were one of the best offensive teams in the country, but also one of the worst defensive teams as well. The departures of big man Matt Stainbrook and point guard Dee Davis will be hard to overcome, but with the leadership of the key returners and upperclassmen, I can see this team winning 25 games and challenging for the Big East title. One of the major challenges for the team is what type of defense will they run to improve from last season’s eighth place in field goal percentage defense in the Big East. Will they be a zone team again with the 1-3-1, or will they rely on the traditional man to man defense coach Chris Mack would rather run? I look for a top-3 Big East finish and another Sweet 16 appearance for the Muskies.
Be Sociable, Share! Tweet