No. 8 Men's Basketball Squad Prepares For Road Test At Butler
Dec. 6, 2011
No. 8/8 Xavier University Musketeers (6-0) at Butler University Bulldogs (4-4)
Television: ESPN with play-by-play from Bob Wischusen and analysis from Dan Dakich.
Xavier, 6-0 and ranked eighth in the AP Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, is coming off a 66-63 come-from-behind win over Purdue on Saturday at Cintas Center. Senior Tu Holloway and junior Mark Lyons, who combined for eight points in the first half, had big second halves for the second straight game as they combined for 27 second-half points to lead Xavier back from a 19-point deficit with under 10 minutes left in the game, the largest deficit overcome in Cintas Center history. Holloway scored Xavier's final 11 points in the final 1:48 of the game, including three three-pointers.
Xavier is ranked in the top 10 this week for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The ranking of No. 8 is one spot shy of the school record of No. 7 in each poll. XU reached as high as No. 7 in the AP Poll on Dec. 15, 2008 and Dec. 7, 1997. XU reached as high as tied for No. 7 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll on Dec. 15, 2008.
Xavier senior Tu Holloway was named ESPN.com National Player of the Week, collegeinsider.com National Player of the Week and Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week. Holloway averaged 22.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the Vanderbilt and Purdue wins. It was his late-game heroics that earned him awards as he scored 10 of XU's 16 points in overtime at Vandy and scored XU's final 11 points, including three three-pointers, over the final 1:48 in the Purdue comeback victory.
Xavier senior Tu Holloway leads the team in scoring at 18.0 ppg. following his game-high 21-point effort in the Purdue win. Holloway also leads the team in assists (5.0 apg.), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.08-to-1.00), steals (2.0 spg.) and free throw percentage (.857). Holloway now has 1,328 career points and has moved into 22nd place among all-time Xavier career scoring leaders.
Xavier junior Mark Lyons, a member of the 2011-12 preseason A-10 Second Team, is second on the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg. after six games, while shooting 51.3 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from three-point territory. He has also contributed 2.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
Xavier senior Kenny Frease has blocked 15 shots over the first six games (2.5 per game), including a career-high six blocks against IPFW on Nov. 15.
Xavier, 6-0, is off to its best-ever start under third-year head coach Chris Mack. Xavier has only had one better start over the past 14 seasons including this one. XU started the 2008-09 season at 9-0 before finishing 27-8 and reaching the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Xavier is playing the third of four straight games that will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The ESPN family has broadcast or will broadcast seven of XU's last eight games of calendar year 2011, including the Butler game on ESPN.
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.