Men's Basketball Opens A-10 Play On The Road Wednesday Against A Hot La Salle Team
Jan. 2, 2012
Xavier University Musketeers (9-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10) at La Salle University Explorers (10-4, 0-0 Atlantic10)
Television: CBS Sports Network Regional productions (seen locally on FOX Sports Ohio) with play-by-play from Tom McCarthy and analysis from former Xavier captain Steve Wolf (Xavier `83). Radio: 55KRC-AM and Sirius channel 92 with play-by-play from XU Hall of Famer and former Musketeer standout Joe Sunderman (`79). Analysis will be provided by Xavier Hall of Famer and XU all-time leading scorer Byron Larkin (`88).
Xavier has won outright or shared nine Atlantic 10 Conference Regular Season Championships since joining the league for the 1995-96 season, including each of the last five seasons.
Xavier won sole possession of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship with a 15-1 record, including a 7-1 road record. Xavier has won at least a share of five straight A-10 Regular Season Championships. The coaches and media picked Xavier as the preseason favorite again this season.
Xavier third-year head coach Chris Mack is 29-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference regular season play, including A-10 regular season titles in each of his first two seasons. Mack will be the subject of a CBS Sports Network feature during halftime of the XU-La Salle game broadcast.
Xavier is 13-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference regular season openers since joining the league for the 1995-96 season. XU has won six straight A-10 openers. XU's last loss in an A-10 opener was a triple-overtime setback at UMass in the 2004-05 season
Xavier, 9-4 overall and 0-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, is coming off a 72-65 loss to Gonzaga on New Year's Eve night at Cintas Center. Junior Mark Lyons and senior Tu Holloway led XU scorers with 15 points each.
Xavier head coach Chris Mack has 10 players averaging over 11 minutes per game this season. Those 10 players include five new members of the active roster, including three freshmen and two transfers.
Xavier senior All-American Tu Holloway leads the team in scoring at 18.4 ppg. (second in the Atlantic 10 Conference) and assists at 4.8 apg. (fourth in the A-10). Holloway also leads the team in steals (fourth in the A-10 at 2.3 spg.) and free throw percentage (eighth in the A-10 at .824).
Xavier junior Mark Lyons is second on the team and fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring at 17.2 ppg., and is second on the team in assists at 2.5 apg.
Xavier senior Kenny Frease, who posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to go with four blocks in the 76-53 win over Cincinnati on Dec. 10, is third on the team in scoring at 9.4 ppg. and is third in rebounding at 5.5 rpg. Frease leads the team in blocks at 1.7 per game.
Xavier graduate student Andre Walker has started 12 games in his first season in a Musketeer uniform, including each of the last 11 games. He has played in all 13 games, averaging 5.8 points, a team-high 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Xavier made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011, one of only 12 schools that can say that. Xavier has made 10 of the last 11 NCAA Tournaments.
Xavier has graduated each of the last 83 men's basketball players that have played as seniors, a streak which dates back to 1986.