Saturday should be a welcome homecoming for the ‘Cats as they host DePaul (11-10, 2-7 Big East).
Xavier still doesn’t look like the same team that jumped out to an 8-0 start and a Top 10 ranking, but they will take all the wins they can get. They did just that this past week with wins over Charlotte and George Washington. Neither performance was dominating but the victories keep Xavier a half game back of first place in the A-10. Tu Holloway was key in both Xavier wins, dropping 17 points against Charlotte and 21 points against G.W. including the game-winning lay-up. Kenny Frease was the only other Musketeer to score double digits — 10 points — against G.W. Despite being on the right end of the results, Xavier must improve its perimeter defending to make any kind of tournament run. XU gave up 10 3-pointers to both opponents, allowing Charlotte’s Javarris Barnett to knock down 7-of-8 from behind the arc.
Xavier will need to tighten its defense before Saturday’s game at Memphis. The Tigers share an identical 15-7 record with Xavier and will be hoping to pad their tournament resume at the Muskies' expense. Xavier will be back at the Cintas Center on Wednesday as they host the Rhode Island Rams.