If you grow up in the state of South Carolina, you have to make a choice very early on - Tigers or Gamecocks. If you're like me and you grow up in Cincinnati, it's Xavier or the University of Cincinnati. I have been a diehard XU fan for about 25 years. As a Clemson alumn and crazy tiger fan for the last 20 years.. our Christmas day matchup is going to be rough. A lot of Tiger fans probably dont know alot about XU, so I hope the information that follows is helpful.
XU goes as its backcourt goes. Holloway and Lyons. Almost 40 pts a game Both were suspended for their loss vs Oral Roberts, while Lyons missed last night's game vs LBSU. Both are back now, so I dont see any way Hawaii beats them.
Holloway and Lyons are both better off the dribble than they are pure jump shooters. They drive to score and both get to the foul line a lot. Lyons' jumpshot has come a long way over the past few years, and Holloway seems to have a knack for making big late game 3s. Both are going to be a tough matchup for AY. They are both only about 6'1", so size wont be an issue.. quickness will be.
Backing up these 2 in the backcourt are Dee Davis and Brad Redford. Davis is a freshman pg that has his ups and downs. Redford is a 50% 3 point shooter. If he's across halfcourt.. he's in range.. and he takes 25 foot shots.. and makes them
XU is hurt right now by missing freshman wing Dez Wells.. suspended for all the Diamondhead tourney. Justin Martin another highly touted freshman is starting for him. Very good defender. Pretty good jump shot. really good athlete.
XU has a 4 man rotation inside. Kenny Frease is a 7 foot senior (who Im sure you saw get sucker punched by Yancy Gates about 1000x). He has a nice jump hook, is a pretty good passer, and has range out to 15 feet or so. Andre Walker is a transfer from Vandy who does all of the little things well. Travis Taylor is a transfer from Monmouth playing his first year for Xavier. Great athlete, great motor, a little out of control. Jeff Robinson has good size and should be better than he is.. He is XU;s version of Milton.. he's completely lost on the court. Lowest basketball IQ I can ever remember seeing playing for X. However, he is their 9 man.. some nights he only gets 4-5 minutes.
Xavier is a VERY tough matchup for Clemson because they turn you over and they are freakishly athletic (more so with Dez Wells, so we;re lucky he's out). They do have a tendency to start very slow. They had terrible first halves vs Vandy and Purdue, but came back to win both. You could easily see a stretch on Sunday where neither team scores for 7 minutes. They dont get a ton of scoring inside, but they have 4 guys that can get 8-10 a game. Lyons has been their man offensive weapon in the early going this season, so Rod Hall is going to have his hands full.
Please let me know if there is anything else you'd like to know.. I'll answer any questions the best I can.