By: Robert Jamieson
We are entering one of the most anticipated basketball seasons in many years, if not because of the potential of the current basketball team but at least for the potential of Xavier sports for years to come.
The excitement of a new conference with new opponents has been the center of attention and rightly so.
However, there are many other intriguing storylines that shouldn’t be overlooked, and the Newswire sports staff is here to make sure that doesn’t happen.
We’ve asked our panel of experts to answer the tough questions that the average fan should know about the 2013- 14 Xavier basketball season. Welcome to the 2013 Basketball Preview edition of the Newswire roundtable.
1. What are you most excited for this year?
“I am most excited to how Dee and his new big men will work together this year. I want to see Dee break his own record in assists. I’m also excited to see what Semaj has done in the offseason to improve his passing and rebounding skills, as well as how Isaiah Philmore performs in his senior year.” – Chris Behler
2. If we _______, we will contend for a Big East title this year.
“If we execute defensively like I know we can, we will contend for the Big East title. It’s so hard to stay disciplined on defensive assignments. If Coach Mack can provoke his team to play hard aggressive defensive and establish themselves as a top defensive team, we should be in a solid position to win games and move towards the top of the Big East.” – Nick McGill
3. If we ________, we will contend for the bottom of the Big East.
“If we depend on Semaj to carry the offense every night, we will contend for the bottom of the Big East. With the exception of All-American Doug McDermott for Creighton there is not a single player in the conference that is a lock for 20 points every night. That being said, a strong supporting cast for opposing defenses to worry about while devising their gameplans will lead to some big games for #0.” – Adam Tortelli
4. One player who is under the radar to be on the lookout for:
“I think with last year going as poorly as it did, we can expect not only Semaj’s numbers to rise, but also Justin Martin’s. J-Mart is in his 3rd season as a Muskie and with Redford and Robinson graduated, will probably be taking on a hefty minute load this season; additionally, Martin is not a bad rebounder and could provide some quick, easy points on cuts to the basket and medium range jumpers.” – Robert Jamieson
5. One storyline you hope to read this year in the Newswire?
“I hope to read two key stories this season: 1) Xavier winning the Big East regular season title following strong performances from multiple players and 2) Semaj Christon returning to Xavier for his junior season.” – Kyle Isaacs