Xavier Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Xavier Musketeers

Big East (19-13, 8-10)

Xavier entered the 2019-2020 campaign with relatively high hopes. Coach Travis Steele took the Musketeers to the NIT in his debut season leading the program. And that was with a pretty young squad so the expectations were understandable. But after a pretty easy non-conference slate that included wins over Connecticut and Cincinnati and losses to Florida and Wake Forest, Xavier took a back seat to many other Big East teams. And after a slow start in Big East play, it looked like this group was going to the NIT. Yet, a very successful February starting with a big win at Seton Hall, turned around their fortunes.
Big Wins: 12/7 Cincinnati (73-66), 2/1 at Seton Hall (74-62), 2/8 Providence (64-58)
Bad Losses: 11/24 vs Florida (65-70), 12/14 at Wake Forest (78-80), 1/29 Marquette (82-84)
Coach: Travis Steele
Why They Can Surprise:
What Xavier does best is rebound. This is a very big team that will often have four players who are at least 6-7 on the floor at the same time so it is not a huge surprise that they can dominate on the glass. Tyrique Jones is the best of the bunch, averaging 11.1 rebounds per game on top of his 14.0 points. Jones is the interior scoring threat and the rest of the frontcourt can do a little bit of shooting too. The star of the team though is Naji Marshall. The 6-7 junior averages 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals. He is not the most consistent three-point shooter, but he is not afraid to take outside shots and having a big 6-7 forward who can play like a guard makes this offense very difficult to defend.  
Why They Can Disappoint:
Xavier has some problems that one would expect from such a big team. They commit too many turnovers and have trouble shooting from everywhere on the floor. The Musketeers commit 14.0 turnovers per game and that may be a big problem in a tight NCAA Tournament contest. A lot of pressure will be on Paul Scruggs and Quentin Goodin to keep the team under control. The team shoots just 43.5 percent from the floor and 31.5 percent from beyond the arc. Those are not great numbers and it gets even worse from the charity stripe. With one subpar shooting night, Xavier will likely be headed home.
Probable Starters:
Paul Scruggs, Junior, Guard, 12.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg. 2.9 apg
Naji Marshall, Junior, Forward, 16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.0 apg
Zach Freemantle, Freshman, Forward, 7.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Jason Carter, Junior, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Tyrique Jones, Senior, Forward, 14.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg
Key Role Players:
KyKy Tandy, Freshman, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Quentin Goodin, Senior, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 3.1 apg
Bryce Moore, Senior, Guard, 2.5 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.8 (187th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.5 (121, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (188, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (61, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (239, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.5 (274, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.6 (316, 9)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (69, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (75, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (258, 9)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NITFirst Round win over Toledo
2019NITSecond Round loss to Texas
2018NCAARound of 64 win over Texas Southern
2018NCAARound of 32 loss to Florida State
2017NCAARound of 64 win over Maryland
2017NCAARound of 32 win over Florida State
2017NCAARegional Semifinal win over Arizona
2017NCAARegional Final loss to Gonzaga
2016NCAARound of 64 win over Weber State
2016NCAARound of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2015NCAARound of 64 win over Mississippi
2015NCAARound of 32 win over Georgia State
2015NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Arizona
2014NCAAOpening Round loss to North Carolina State
2012NCAARound of 64 win over Notre Dame
2012NCAARound of 32 win over Lehigh
2012NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Baylor
2011NCAARound of 64 loss to Marquette
2010NCAARound of 64 win over Minnesota
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Pittsburg
2010NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Kansas State
2009NCAARound of 64 win over Portland State
2009NCAARound of 32 win over Wisconsin
2009NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Pittsburgh
2008NCAARound of 64 win over Georgia
2008NCAARound of 32 win over Purdue
2008NCAARegional Semifinal win over West Virginia
2008NCAARegional Final loss to UCLA
2007NCAARound of 64 win over BYU
2007NCAARound of 32 loss to Ohio State
*all team stats through 3/8