Xavier is ranked 8th in the country, but some pundits and bracketologists list the Musketeers as a #1 seed for March Madness. They make for quite the challenge for any team given their multitude of offensive weapons and suffocating pack line defense. But if we beat them earlier this year, who’s to say we can’t do it again? Still, Xavier’s a royal pain to play, they’re good, and they’re probably one of the most common answers among Georgetown team to the question of "which new Big East team do you hate most?" So without further ado, the Heckler’s Guide to the Xavier Musketeers.
Why Xavier is Terrible: An "X-treme" Primer
"X," as they often like to call themselves, has admittedly phenomenal taste in music because they have a penchant the DMX song "X Gon Give It To Ya" for reasons that are alphabetically obvious. Although on Saturday, we can at least hope that "G Gon Give it to X." But they’re not even the best basketball playing Xavier. That honor, of course, goes to former Seattle SuperSonics forward Xavier McDaniel (side note: Xavier McDaniel had perhaps the weirdest athlete movie cameo of all time in the 1992 rom-com "Singles," appearing in a sex dream where he urges the protagonist, Steve, not to umm… finish. I never thought in a million years that it was true, but this is 100% real.) Point is, there are better basketball Xavier’s out there than a Cincinnati Jesuit college.
Xavier just has the sort of stubbornness and tenacity that their own fans love and just about everybody else who plays them hates. They thankfully graduated Uber driver and college basketball’s sexiest man alive Matt Stainbrook (currently starring for the Crailsheim Merlins of the German Bundesliga), but Xavier still has a whole army of players who will inevitably grind your gears. There may be a sort of begrudging respect for the way Xavier has played their way to perennially good status, but it still feels like a team with the history Georgetown has should be beating a former mid-major like Xavier.
But first, a bit about Xavier and the city of Cincinnati at large. Cincinnati, the Queen City, is famous for… umm… well, they have a thing about their mayors. Their mayors have included both Mark Mallory, who is infamous for throwing a first pitch so terrible that an umpire ejected him for it, as well as Jerry Springer. Yes, that Jerry Springer was once mayor of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is also known for its preposterous idea of chili, which is basically a bunch of cheese thrown on top of some mystery meat thrown on top of spaghetti.
In addition, be ready to shed some tears, because Xavier’s most notable alum is former Speaker of the House and very orange man John Boehner. Second place on the famous Xavier alums list may go to Richard Romanus, who played the ex-husband of Tony Soprano’s psychiatrist on The Sopranos, or perhaps Brian Grant, who is likely on the all-time All-NBA Hair Team. But Brian Grant is long since gone from Xavier and long retired from the NBA. So who do you have to worry about Saturday?
The Actual Guide: How to Give It to X
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Apparently Xavier’s leading scorer guard Trevon Bluiett, who, before averaging 15.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game at Xavier, grew up as a huge SpongeBob SquarePants fan and supposedly owned SpongeBob sheets and a SpongeBob trash can in middle school. All right, I can’t blame the guy, I love SpongeBob too, but to all of you younger fans out there who know your SpongeBob, make all the references you’ve got. If you didn’t grow up on 1990s/2000s Nickelodeon shows, just go for the obvious one and call out any slip up by shouting "you blew it!"
Speaking of blue, you should feel "Kind of Blue" about Xavier’s guard Myles Davis. The junior leads the team with 4.0 assists per game and shoots just under 38 percent from downtown, but he was also one of the great musical innovators of the 20th century and one of the greatest trumpeters of all time. Also, although Davis does not have LeBron James’ basketball skill, he is beating LeBron when it comes to receding hairlines.
Freshman guard Edmond Sumner has impressed by scoring 10.9 points per game in his first campaign, likely due to all the calf raises he’s been doing. He is also terrified of snakes so much that he would not even take a photo with some fake snakes. Hiss at him or bring fake snakes with you Saturday. Who knows, maybe the wrestling fans among us can scare him with references to the "Texas Rattlesnake" Stone Cold Steve Austin?
Sophomore guard J.P. Macura may look like a fencer, but he’s been playing well for the Muskies, averaging 9.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting. He may have had a 20-point game a few weeks ago against Marquette, but no number of points will undo this haircut.
Also, you thought you’d never have to see a Stainbrook ever again, right? WRONG! Down at the end of Xavier’s bench is a junior who has played exactly 31 minutes in his career and scored 0 points. His name? Tim Stainbrook. He lacks the same facial hair and glasses as his brother, but still carries the Stainbrook name into battle for Xavier. To be fair, his brother did a very respectful thing and gave up his scholarship so that Tim may have one, but still, for two years we did nothing but hate on the "Stain Train" in his two seasons at Xavier. The last thing we need is a reminder that the train is actually still running.
Seriously though, the only way for the Hoyas to win that National Championship… excuse me… Sorry, I couldn’t make it through that without cracking up. The only hope left for Georgetown this season will involve a win Saturday. But even if your hope is gone, come out and scream and shout to your heart’s content. And maybe, just maybe, something good will happen.