Men's Basketball Team Is Back On The Court Friday To Take On Drexel

Semaj Christon looks to build on his big game in the first round.

Semaj Christon looks to build on his big game in the first round.

Nov. 22, 2012

2012 DIRECTV Classic

Xavier University Musketeers (3-1)

vs. Drexel University Dragons (1-3)

Fri., Nov. 22, 2012 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

Anaheim Convention Center (Anaheim, Calif.)


Television: ESPNU and; play-by-play by Roxy Bernstein and Stephen Bardo with analysis.
Radio: 55KRC-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, 3-1, suffered a tough 70-67 loss to Pacific in yesterday’s DIRECTV Classic first round despite jumping out to a 9-0 lead. Freshman Semaj Christon led all scorers with a career-high 18 points, while also dishing off a game-high six assists.

• Xavier has coaching connections to Drexel. First-year Xavier assistant Ashley Howard, a former Drexel guard and 2004 graduate,  came to XU after four seasons as a Drexel assistant under Bruiser Flint. Flint is a familiar former Atlantic 10 Conference foe since he faced XU for five years as the UMass head coach (1996-2001).

• Xavier sophomore Dee Davis leads the team in scoring at 15.0 ppg. and is second in assists at 5.3 apg. Davis scored a career-high 22 points to go with a career-high and XU sophomore record 15 assists in Xavier’s win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 9.

• Xavier’s balanced attack has five players averaging in double figures in scoring: seniors Travis Taylor (14.0 ppg.) and Jeff Robinson (11.0 ppg.), sophomores Dee Davis (15.0 ppg.) and Justin Martin (12.3 ppg.), and freshman Semaj Christon (10.7 ppg.).

• Xavier’s three seniors are being counted on for leadership on a squad that lost all five starters from an NCAA Sweet 16 team. Forwards Travis Taylor and Jeff Robinson and guard Brad Redford have all three been major contributors. The trio has contributed 33 points and 14 rebounds per game and shot a combined 60.4 percent (49-81).

• Xavier junior Isaiah Philmore played his first regular season game for XU against Pacific, contributing five points, four rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes of action. Philmore, a transfer from Towson, sat out the first three games and last season.

• Xavier fourth-year head coach Chris Mack is a proven winner. Mack is 76-31 (.710) overall 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 Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2012.

• Xavier is one of only four teams that have made the NCAA Sweet 16 four times in the last five years (2008-12): 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. 

• Xavier is ranked 11th in the nation in the latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate at 97 percent. Xavier men’s basketball was among 14 XU programs at 100 percent.

• Xavier has graduated each of the last 88 men’s basketball players that have played as seniors, a streak which dates back to 1986.