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Xavier Musketeers – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Xavier Musketeers – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Xavier Musketeers (Overall: 21-13, Conf: 9-9)

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Team Strengths:

The Musketeers boast an offense led by two dangerous perimeter players – Trevon Blueitt (18.1 PPG) and JP Macura (14.5 PPG). Both are lights out shooters and rank as the top three-pointers in the Big East. In fact, the 140 treys they hit together are tied for second-most in the conference among any team’s scoring or shooting tandem, behind Villanova’s Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, who made 158.

Adding to that is their good ability to rebound, which is good for a team that likes to take shots from the outside. They are currently 32nd in the nation in total boards and 27th in offensive rebounds.

Team Weaknesses:

Well, for a jump-shooting team like Xavier, one of the key weaknesses, as you may know, is that they likely live and die by the three. Although they have a pair of deadly outside threats, their overall shooting from downtown is just 34 percent.

Part of it may be the reason for their super up-and-down season. They had six different stretches where they went on a three-plus winning or losing streak.

It’s also not good that they are not productive on hustle plays (only 6.1 steals and 2.7 blocks per game) and they can’t consistently hit foul shots (68.9 percent), since all can be a key to them edging out the top-ranked teams down the line.

Lastly, the loss of their speedy, shifty floor general, Edmond Sumner, may prove to be too big. The sophomore’s abilities were mixing really well to the team’s two shooters, as he is able to push the pace, throw the defense off balance, and set teammates up nicely.

Team Stats:

Category Stat Rank
Points Per Game 74.6 147th
Rebounds Per Game 37.6 32nd
Blocks Per Game 2.7 224th
3-Point Percentage 34.0 229th
Free Throw Percentage 68.9 223rd

Starting Lineup:

Position Name PPG
C Rashid Gaston 8.0
F Trevon Blueitt 18.1
F Malcolm Bernard 6.4
G JP Macura 14.5
G Quentin Goodin 5.0

Writer’s Prediction:

Xavier advances to the Sweet 16.

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Written by JE

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