99 in 99: #26 Xavier Musketeers

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xavier musketeers

Xavier is in that Memphis/Gonzaga/Butler category of technically being a mid-major, but not really being a mid-major.  Year-in and year-out, they are a Top 25 team and despite having to replace dynamic scorer Jordan Crawford, this season should be no different for the Musketeers.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  Click here if you missed teams #27-#99.

By: David Kay

Xavier Musketeers (T-1st, 14-2 in A-10, 26-9 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
C: Kenny Frease (Jr)/Andrew Taylor (Sr)
PF: Jamel McLean (Sr)/ Jordan Latham (Fr)/Jeff Robinson (So)/Griffin McKenzie (Fr)
G/F: Dante Jackson (Sr)/Justin Martin (Fr-ineligible)
G: Mark Lyons (So)/Jay Canty (Fr)/Brad Redford (Jr-out for season)
G: Tu Holloway (Jr)

Gone: SG-Jordan Crawford, C-Jason Love, SG-Brian Walsh (transfer-Akron)

Xavier mascot

2010-2011 Outlook:
Having at least shared in the last four Atlantic 10 championships, more of the same is expected this season from the Musketeers even though they lose the dynamic scoring ability of Jordan Crawford.

Back to run the show is the point guard formerly known as Terrell Holloway who is now being called Tu Holloway.  Wing Dante Jackson also returns to the starting line-up and is probably one of the better defenders in the conference.  Both players will have to take on larger roles as scorers.  Mark Lyons should also see increased minutes coming off an impressive freshman season and might even find himself in the starting five at the beginning of the year.

Xaveir suffered a major blow when sharpshooter Brad Redford blew out his ACL and was lost for the season.  Also, highly-touted freshman wing Justin Martin was supposed to be an immediate contributor but was ruled ineligible this season by the NCAA because he was deemed as a partial qualifier.  These losses make the Musketeers thin at guard as they boast only four true backcourt players on scholarship.  That means freshman Jay Canty will have to be a reliable player off the bench.

Up-front, the Musketeers lose the physical Jason Love.  They do return starting power forward Jamel McLean and seven-footer Kenny Frease who was a regular bench contributor a year ago.  Both players are solid but by no means spectacular.  They provide some toughness and rebounding down low but should not be expected to do too much.

Andrew Taylor played in every game last season but the Musketeers might be in trouble if he is their top post reserve this season.  Freshman Jordan Latham should make an immediate impact while the athletic Jeff Robinson should see an increased role after playing sparingly last year.

The lack of depth is a concern for Chris Mack’s club who will once again be tested with a tough non-conference schedule.   Until proven otherwise, Xavier will be the team to beat in the A-10.

Player to Watch: Mark Lyons, G

With Redford and Martin out for the year, Lyons suddenly gets thrust into a much bigger role and could give Xavier a two point guard look in the starting line-up alongside Holloway.  As a redshirt freshman last year, Lyons was the team’s sixth man who used his quickness to get up and down the floor offensively but also lockdown on the defensive side.  He could be the x-factor for Xavier.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/19 vs. Iowa (Paradise Jam)
11/20 vs. Seton Hall/Alabama (Paradise Jam)
11/22 vs. Clemson/Long Beach State/Old Dominion/St. Peter’s (Paradie Jam)
12/9 vs. Butler
12/18 vs. Wake Forest
12/22 at Gonzaga
12/31 vs. Florida
1/6 at Cincinnati

Other 99 in 99’s:
#27 West Virginia
#28 BYU
#29 Georgia
#30 St. John’s
#31 N.C. State
#32 Florida State
#33 Marquette
#34 Temple
#35 Vanderbilt
#36 Arizona
#37 Murray State
#38 Dayton
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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