This is my kind of basketball game. The shy and those unwilling to fight for their teammates (hopefully not literally) don’t have to apply. Regardless of what your teacher might have told you, there is nothing wrong with good old-fashioned scorn. On the contrary, it often makes the strong ascent an occasion.
While only the strong survive in the Crosstown Shootout, only the professionals stand out. As usual, both coaches bring quality basketball teams into this year’s competition. But the Xavier Musketeers may have a little too much skill for the Bearcats on Sunday.
Travis Steele’s team had a lot to like when they started the season 5-0. According to the KenPom ranking list, the Musketeers are currently 61st. Place in terms of offensive efficiency and 65. 1st place in terms of defensive efficiency (out of 357 Division I teams). .
The defensive efficiency is aided by the Musketeers’ ability to defend the color without pollution. They rank an extremely impressive fifth in terms of 2 point percentage against and have not sent opposing players to the line. Cincinnati’s weakness is the inability to consistently knock down 3-pointers. As such, one has to wonder where the Bearcats will find their points against this musketeer team.
The goal wasn’t a big problem for Xavier. They want them to take their turn more often, but there’s nothing wrong with a team ranked 34th in 2-point percent and 107th in 3-point percent.
Unlike Chris Mack’s teams, who often preferred to make the whole game a breeze, Steele’s three-guard line-up will take the simple buckets when they are available. Xavier still wants the opposition to work, but doesn’t mind taking advantage of the simple points when the chance exists.
What I like most about Xavier’s offense is the way it shares basketball. Show me a team with solid efficiency numbers that hit 66% of their field goals and I’ll show you a sustainable success rate.
Cincinnati head coach John Brannen puts a lot of effort into dictating the terms of a basketball game. This will be crucial on Sunday. Simply put, if they allow the Musketeers the quick and easy points they’ve been getting all season, the Bearcats won’t hang around.
Obviously, this is not planned to happen. We also know that Cincinnati has been a defense-built roster since the days of Bob Huggins. With just one game – a game with Lipscomb leading by nine points and 17 of 31 off the field at 11:00 – this may be easier said than done.
That day, Cincinnati’s ability to enforce sales (19) proved to be the difference. It goes into this competition and it comes up against a team that has handled basketball pretty well. KenPom ranks 75th in terms of turnover rate. Xavier’s place among 357 teams.
Even though the defense plays like Cincinnati would expect, it remains to be seen whether they have enough offensive firepower to stay with this Xavier team.
The Bearcats finished 242 a season ago. Place in terms of the 3 point percentage, and those shooting problems continued in their single game this season. Last season they made up for their sales and problems by marching to the free throw line. Now, however, they are facing a Xavier team that did an excellent job defending without a foul (Jan.. Place in the nation in relation to the ratio of free throw to field goal attempt by the opponent). .
With rival in the second game of the season, it’s hard to see Cincinnati doing enough to make up for the matchup’s drawbacks.
In the case of Xavier-Cincinnati, the numbers above paint the picture of how the game is won.
As long as Xavier can keep Chris Vogt and Company off the offensive and the Bearcats don’t have an unusual day of shooting outside of the arc, I don’t see Cincinnati keeping this game within three points.
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Cincinnati Bearcats Men’s Basketball, Xavier Musketeers, Crosstown Shootout, College Basketball, Travis Steele
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