Photo op: Xavier MBB in Sweet 16

Taking a socially-distanced approach, the ceremony will look different

By Emily Croft, Staff Writer

Students speak up on their first Sweet 16 with Xavier. Newswire is asking: How have you seen campus change since our Sweet 16 berth, and who do we have to thank for this amazing season?

“Jerome Hunter carried this. And Adam Kunkel — I’m a big Adam Kunkel fan… I think it’s really interesting to see how normally, you’d have a rebuilding year (as a coach) because you’re new, you don’t know these players. That’s your year to build. But it’s crazy to see how far we’ve come within Sean Miller’s first season being back. You really realize how — this sounds awful — how bad Travis Steele was… You really realize how we needed this change so badly.”

— Mary-Beatriz Garcia, senior nursing major

“I don’t really follow sports that much, but people seem to  be talking about it a lot. People seem to be debating about how far we will go. My grandfather called me just to talk about the game against Pitt, because that’s where he went to. I guess you could say that it’s caused family togetherness.”

— Abigail Murray, senior Philosophy, Politics and the Public major

“The thing I love about March Madness is that so many different teams can win, and the seeding doesn’t really matter, but it comes down to the team’s grit and determination and those last couple minutes. I think that’s what we’ve seen with Xavier these past few games. They’re going to continue fighting ‘til the last buzzer… I think we have a great group of guys on our team who have really created a mentality for the whole Xavier community. Determination has been our key thing.”

— Luke Cook, first-year exercise science major

“I think what’s gotten us so far is probably just the team that we’ve had. We’ve had it for a few years, with Kunkel and Colby Jones. And we won the NIT last year, so they’ve had a few yearsto warm up together and build that chemistry. With the introduction, too, of Souley Boum and some other big key players, we’ve finally gotten to the point where they mesh so well. They’ve built that chemistry up to the point where they’re a solid team. I also think the introduction of Sean Miller as a coach has inspired them to elevate to a different level than the years before.”

— Harrison Byerley, junior DIFT major

“There’s a lot of camaraderie… It’s nice watching the community come together for this one thing.”

— Abigail Myers, sophomore business analytics and marketing major

“I’m rooting for the Final Four, but I’m pretty confident we’ll make it to the Eight!”

— Father B

“I’m excited to be back in the Sweet 16, about Sean Miller being back. I hope he’s here to stay. I’m just excited.”

— Luke Morrisey, sophomore finance major

“The chit-chat prior to class starting is all March Madness in general, but things certainly like the draw or the players, who’s playing well… Jerome Hunter. Jerome Hunter all the way. Number one Jerome Hunter fan on campus, I’ll give you that right now. I mean, I think everybody’s noticed, but he’s really stepped up when he need to, and he just keeps on performing. Mr. Consistent. He’s just awesome to watch, so entertaining.”

— Lucas Houk, senior finance and international business double major.