When The Sporting News Mike DeCourcy is tweeting things like this, this, and that I must write something to defend our coach. (Even if it’s on an obscure blog my mom and 3 friends read) Any Xavier fan who thinks this season has been Coach Mack’s fault is an absolute moron. And I’m being kind. Look, we have 9 scholarship players available at this point. A walk-on is seeing meaningful minutes. We have zero back court depth and almost nothing coming off the bench in terms of offensive production.
I’m just not sure what the fans expect. Now I agree the stupid turnovers and terrible rebounding needs to be reigned in ASA and P, but the margin for error is so small for this team that even against just barely above average teams such as UC, that any mistake is only going to be that much more magnified.
It’s gotten to the point that fans are now questioning Terrell Holloway’s contributions. I would argue he is trying to do too much. He doesn’t appear to want to handle the scoring load, but when he looks around and sees the limited options we have, there really is no other choice. So when he is forced to press offensively like Thursday night and things aren’t falling then as a result you see the bad turnovers and frustration that result in him throwing a quasi-punch and receiving a technical foul. No doubt, that is still inexcusable behavior.
I see some people already wishing next season was upon us. I could not disagree more. It’s easy to forget this is still only Chris Mack’s second season in charge. He is still finding his way as a head coach and trying to figure out how to go about getting the most out of a squad that clearly has substantial limitations. Sean Miller didn’t exactly come out guns a-blazing in his first year and half in charge and many, including this blogger, started to wonder if he was the man for the job. Cut to him leaving for Arizona and our fan base being devastated and I think we all know how Miller was thought of as a coach around these parts.
Thursday night was brutal. I didn’t go in with the highest of expectations, but to lose like that was just so embarrassing it’s hard to stomach. Hence the coach is terrible speak that went on afterwards. I completely underestimated the impact Brad Redford’s injury would have on the team this season. Because boy are we woeful from behind the arc. 29% for the season to be exact. Also, just the threat of Brad’s shooting would allow for space for Terrell and Mark to drive the lane.
I’ve been hard on Lyons, but what else can he do? He has to attack the basket because we just don’t have the options to do much else. He just needs to continue to pick his spots to do so at a better clip. It’s been a very disappointing senior season for Dante Jackson. He is shooting 28% from three-point land on the season and hasn’t had the best decision-making to boot. His act of talking all game long and doing little to back it up is sadly growing tired even for the people who root for him. I absolutely hate ragging on Dante because he has been a great servant to Xavier, but it’s getting harder to do so with each passing game.
There are two things poor offensive teams can do to offset this limitation. And that is to play good defense and rebound. Neither of which were on display Thursday night or against Florida. That is where things must improve the most. The coaching staff must do a better job emphasizing this. It’d also be nice if the freshmen could show any kind of improvement to see some minutes during league play. But if they aren’t performing in practice then why should the fans expect them to get any playing time? Also, NO ZONE! You hear me?! None. It’s stupid and we’re not good at it.
Anyways, a new season begins tomorrow early evening. Traveling away to Rhode Island is not an easy way to start the A-10 slate. This team needs a decent win in a bad way and this would be a fantastic time to start.
Xavier till I die.