Xavier Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Xavier Musketeers

Big East (21-13, 9-9)

For a while it looked like Xavier was a top ten team in the country. However, the Musketeers did not make it far into Big East play before running into a three game gauntlet against Villanova, Butler and Creighton. They lost all three contests and had to work hard to climb back up the Big East standings, especially with the key injury to point guard Edmond Sumner.
Big Wins: 12/28 Providence (82-56), 2/1 Seton Hall (72-70), 2/4 at Creighton (82-80)
Bad Losses: 12/7 at Colorado (66-68), 2/15 at Providence (63-75), 3/1 Marquette (84-95)
Coach: Chris Mack
Why They Can Surprise:
The Musketeers still have two big time scorers in the backcourt in Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura. Bluiett is averaging 18.1 points per game, while Macura adds 14.5. Both do so much more than score though. Macura leads the team in steals and both are capable of helping out in the passing game and that has been very important since Sumner’s late January injury. Both Bluiett and Macura are also solid rebounders for their size and that has helped this team become one of the best rebounding squads in the country. Coach Chris Mack will rotate his frontcourt often, but RaShid Gaston has been the most productive member of the frontcourt. Along with Gaston, Xavier will get some production from Sean O’Mara, Kaiser Gates and Tyrique Jones in the frontcourt. Having big 6-6 guards like Bluiett and Malcolm Bernard does give Coach Mack some flexibility in his lineup too. This team can play small and still be very good on the glass.
Why They Can Disappoint:
When Sumner tore his ACL in late January, the 6-6 sophomore point guard was averaging 15.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds. He was clearly a leader on the team and replacing your starting point guard is never easy. Freshman Quentin Goodin stepped into the starting job and had to immediately prove that he could at least set up his teammates effectively. Goodin’s shot has improved as the season has gone on and he has certainly showed flashes of potential. However, he is still a freshman and the bright lights of March can make running the point extremely difficult for a freshman who was forced into action so late in the season.
Probable Starters:
Quentin Goodin, Freshman, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 3.2 apg
J.P. Macura, Junior, Guard, 14.5 ppg, 2.9 apg, 4.4 rpg
Malcolm Bernard, Senior, Guard, 6.4 ppg, 1.6 apg
Trevon Bluiett, Junior, Guard, 18.1 ppg, 2.1 apg, 5.8 rpg
RaShid Gaston, Senior, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Key Role Players:
Tyrique Jones, Freshman, Forward, 4.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Sean O’Mara, Junior, Center, 5.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Kaiser Gates, Sophomore, Forward, 5.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.1 (125th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.9 (172, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (136, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.2 (244, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (206, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (225, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (223, 8)
Rebound Margin: 7.0 (18, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (80, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (132, 6)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Weber State
2016    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Mississippi
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Georgia State
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2014    NCAA Opening Round loss to North Carolina State
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Notre Dame
2012    NCAA Round of 32 win over Lehigh
2012    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Baylor
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Marquette
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Minnesota
2010    NCAA Round of 32 win over Pittsburg
2010    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Kansas State
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over Portland State
2009    NCAA Round of 32 win over Wisconsin
2009    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Pittsburgh
2008    NCAA Round of 64 win over Georgia
2008    NCAA Round of 32 win over Purdue
2008    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over West Virginia
2008    NCAA Regional Final loss to UCLA
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over BYU
2007    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Ohio State
*all team stats through 3/5