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LINKS: Xavier Comes to DC to Face Hoyas

Both team battling for a 4th win—does a healthy McClung make the difference in this rematch?

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NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Xavier Musketeers (11-10, 3-5) visit the Georgetown Hoyas (13-7, 3-4) in a BIG EAST Conference match-up set for Thursday night at 8:00 pm at Capital One Arena.

With four games Wednesday night, the BIG EAST may look rather different by the time the Hoyas face the Musketeers. Either St. John’s or Creighton will get their fourth win, and Butler and DePaul each have home chances to beat the 7-win teams Marquette and Villanova, respectively, to become 4-5.

While this Xavier-Georgetown game cannot be a true defensive battle, each team will likely show a couple defensive looks to change the rhythm of two streaky offenses. Likewise, with two talented upperclass-bigs facing off, early fouls may dictate the style of play. Still, the spotlight may be on a pair of guards who were injured when these teams matched up three weeks ago.

Here are the links:

Men’s Basketball Looks To Bounce Back On Thursday In Washington | GOXAVIER

Xavier leads the series 14-4, including six straight wins in the series and nine wins in the last 10 meetings. Xavier rallied from 17 points down for an 81-75 win over Georgetown earlier this month on Jan. 9 at Cintas Center. The Musketeers turned the ball over only four times...

Xavier graduate transfer Zach Hankins, who scored a Xavier career-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds vs. Georgetown on Jan. 9, leads the BIG EAST Conference in field goal percentage (.715) and is third in the BIG EAST in blocks (1.4 bpg.).

Scouting report: Xavier Musketeers look to snap losing streak at Georgetown Hoyas | Cincinnati Enquirer

This meeting will look slightly different because both sides will be at full strength.

Xavier was without junior point guard Quentin Goodin and Georgetown was missing freshman guard Mac McClung ... [and] Trey Mourning...

“Malinowski’s minutes went down,” said Steele. “Mac McClung’s taken a lot of those minutes back. I think they’re a similar team. McClung’s gonna be very aggressive, so will (James) Akinjo and then they got (Jessie) Govan who’s skilled, can shoot it from the perimeter and shoot it inside.”

Finding ways to lose | BANNERSONTHEPARKWAY

”Leadership” is an old crutch for commentators to lean on when they don’t have any real analysis, but what Xavier has lost is stability and with it the ability to be consistently good where they are good. Some games this year they don’t turn the ball over, but they shoot it wretchedly. Sometimes they care for the ball and shoot it well, but play appalling defense or allow opponents to grab over 40% of their misses. (Villanova and SDSU, if you were wondering.) This is, quite simply, an inconsistent team with a coach who hasn’t yet quite gotten his hands on a way to solve that. For this season, there are no certain roads to a win.

Takeaways: How a golden opportunity got away from Xavier against Marquette |

The Musketeers looked a step or two better than the Golden Eagles for more than 30 minutes, but the day slowly slipped away from the boys in blue.

Xavier’s offense was in rhythm in a way it hasn’t been for a lot of the season. They worked the ball inside, attacked the paint and when that didn’t produce a quality look they kicked it back out to the perimeter and the Musketeers were able to knock down open looks...

The only problem was that when the game got tight down the stretch and Marquette put together a late run, Xavier faded for the first and only time of the day.

Xavier Conference Per Game Table
1 Paul Scruggs 8 8 37.6 5.6 12.1 .464 1.9 4.3 .441 2.5 3.0 .833 5.1 3.6 1.3 1.5 2.5 15.6
2 Naji Marshall 8 8 36.6 4.5 12.6 .356 0.9 4.1 .212 4.4 5.6 .778 6.4 3.3 1.3 2.8 3.1 14.3
3 Tyrique Jones 8 5 26.8 4.0 7.1 .561 0.0 0.0 4.6 6.3 .740 7.1 0.8 0.6 1.4 2.5 12.6
4 Zach Hankins 8 8 21.8 5.3 7.4 .712 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.8 .500 5.1 1.1 0.1 0.6 2.5 11.4
5 Quentin Goodin 6 3 30.7 2.5 7.5 .333 1.2 3.2 .368 1.7 2.5 .667 2.0 3.8 1.2 3.2 1.8 7.8
6 Ryan Welage 8 0 22.5 2.0 5.1 .390 1.4 4.0 .344 0.5 0.6 .800 1.8 0.4 0.3 0.6 1.1 5.9
7 Kyle Castlin 8 8 19.4 1.1 3.9 .290 0.4 2.0 .188 1.1 1.4 .818 4.0 1.1 0.4 1.0 0.9 3.8
8 Elias Harden 6 0 9.7 0.5 2.5 .200 0.3 1.8 .182 0.2 0.3 .500 1.0 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.7 1.5
9 Keonte Kennedy 6 0 7.0 0.2 1.0 .167 0.0 0.7 .000 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.3 0.8 0.3
Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/30/2019.

Not Pretty But It Counts: #12 Marquette 87, Xavier 82 | ANONYMOUSEAGLE

Marquette was trailing for a majority of the game. A lot of times it wasn’t close. Xavier was hitting everything, and credit to them. They came into the game shooting 32% from deep but went 8/18 today. Paul Scruggs was a wrecking ball and Tyrique Jones did his best impersonation of a dragon that plays basketball...

But, as has happened with every close game this year, the [Marquette] team performed down the stretch. From the 7:00 mark of the second half on, Xavier made 3 total field goals, all of which came in the final :40 when Marquette just needed to bleed the clock.

St. John’s by the numbers: effort, McClung, shooting | Rumble In The Garden

Georgetown’s effective field goal percentage was 57% to St. John’s 43%. The Hoyas shot 48% from deep, to the Red Storm’s 27%. The Hoyas took 42% of their shots from outside the arc to St. John’s 34% — a bit below the Red Storm’s season average of 38% of their shots from deep.

McClung also caught with enough time to set and fire on most attempts. Red Storm players would drift inside to help on Govan, or slip into a no-man’s land to help on James Akinjo. Even after McClung’s hot start — and a supposed emphasis on locating him — St. John’s allowed him to catch and shoot without disrupting his movement.

Can Georgetown carve a path to the NCAA tournament? | The Athletic

There are no truly elite defenses in this Big East. With Govan playing inside-out, Akinjo and McClung attacking ball screens and transition space and 6-foot-7 freshman wing Josh LeBlanc slashing and crashing the offensive glass, the Hoyas are capable of getting good, quick looks trip after trip. They’re hard to put away. They’re also easy to score against. Per-possession, the Big East’s seventh-best defense in league play has allowed 1.08 points, just a hair shy of the 1.09 they’ve been scoring.