Travis Taylor is ready for the season opener.
Nov. 7, 2012
Xavier University Musketeers
vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Knights
2012-13 Regular Season Opener
Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. ET
Cintas Center (10,250) at Xavier
Television: FOX Sports Ohio with play-by-play from Brad Johansen and analysis from former Musketeer captain Steve Wolf (Xavier `83). Jim Day hosts the "Musketeers Live" half-hour pre-game show at 6:30 p.m.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM 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).
The X's And O's
• Xavier has won 22 straight regular season openers (21 at home and one on the road) with its last loss in an opener coming in the 1989-90 "Sweet 16" season to Southern Utah State at Cincinnati Gardens (97-90 on December 2, 1989).
• Xavier has won all 12 of its season openers at Cintas Center, including a 74-63 win over Morgan State last season (11-11-11).
• Xavier opens the regular season with a three-game homestand. After the Fairleigh Dickinson game, XU hosts Butler on Nov. 13 and Robert Morris on Nov. 17.
• Xavier won its one and only public exhibition against Kentucky State, an NCAA Division II team from Frankfort, Kentucky, by a score of 74-53 last Saturday. Five Musketeers scored in double figures, including 12 points each from senior Jeff Robinson, junior Erik Stenger and freshman Semaj Christon. Stenger led XU with nine rebounds, just missing a double-double by one rebound, to go with four blocked shots.
• 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.
• 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 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.
• 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.
• Xavier has graduated each of the last 88 men's basketball players that have played as seniors, a streak which dates back to 1986.