Men's Basketball Hosts Kentucky State In Saturday Night Exhibition Game
Nov. 2, 2012
Xavier University Musketeers
vs. Kentucky State Univ. Thorobreds
2012-13 Exhibition Home Opener
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 at 7 p.m. ET
Cintas Center (10,250) at XU
Xavier fans will see a familiar face on the sidelines for Kentucky State. Darnell Williams, who stands 15th on Xavier's all-time scoring list with 1,572 points from 1995-2000, is in his first season as an assistant on the Kentucky State University staff.
Xavier has no starters and only five letterwinners return from last season's Sweet 16 team. Three seniors are being counted on for leadership of this year's squad, including forwards Travis Taylor and Jeff Robinson and guard Brad Redford. All three have extensive NCAA Tournament experience. Taylor, who averaged 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds a game in under 15 minutes a game last season, is the top XU returnee in both areas. Sophomores Dee Davis and Justin Martin are also being counted on as key returnees.
Xavier fourth-year head coach Chris Mack has proven he is a winner. Mack is 73-30 (.709) overall in his first three seasons as the Xavier head coach. Mack has led Xavier to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons at the helm, including the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2012.
Xavier, 23-13, secured its seventh straight 20-win season last season and its 15th 20-win season in 16 years.
Xavier was ranked 24th in the final 2012 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. This marked the fifth straight year XU has appeared in the final Associated Press and/or Coaches Poll. XU, Duke and Kansas are the only schools that have been in one or both of the two major final polls each of the last five years.
Xavier is one of only four teams that have made the NCAA Sweet 16 four times in the last five years (2008-12). That list includes Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina and Xavier. No team has made all of the last five Sweet 16s.
Xavier is one of only eight schools that have made at least seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including 2012: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Texas, Wisconsin and Xavier. Last season Xavier made its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 years.
Xavier's men's basketball program is ranked 21st in the 2012 rankings released by Basketball Times. The rankings are based on five categories: winning percentage, NBA players, federal graduation rate, U.S. News and World Report academic reputation and program cleanliness. Every five years since 1997, BT has evaluated the best NCAA programs, those that have won two-thirds of their games over 10 seasons. Xavier is one of only nine schools that have qualified for the rankings project every year, a list that also includes Arizona, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Murray State, North Carolina and Syracuse.
Xavier has graduated each of the last 88 men's basketball players that have played as seniors, a streak which dates back to 1986.