Xavier Gears Up For Sunday Matchup With Oral Roberts
Dec. 16, 2011
No. 8/9 Xavier University Musketeers (8-0) vs. Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles (7-4) Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. ET Cintas Center (10,250) at Xavier U. (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Television: FOX Sports Ohio with play-by-play from Brad Johansen and analysis from former Xavier captain Steve Wolf (Xavier `83). Jim Day hosts the half-hour "Musketeers Live" pre-game show starting at 12:30 p.m. Radio: 55KRC-AM and XM channel 91 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, 8-0 and ranked eighth in the AP Poll and ninth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, is coming off a 76-53 win over Cincinnati on Dec. 10.
• Xavier will leave early Monday morning, the day after the Oral Roberts game, to travel to Hawaii to play three games in the Diamond Head Classic. Xavier's first game will be Thursday, Dec. 22 against Long Beach State. After returning from the holiday tournament, XU closes out the calendar year by hosting Gonzaga on New Year's Eve night.
• Xavier is ranked in the top 10 for the second straight week. The AP 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 will be without three of its starters for the Oral Roberts game. Freshman Dezmine Wells, junior Mark Lyons and senior Tu Holloway will begin serving four, two and one-game suspensions respectively with the Dec. 18 game. Sophomore walk-on Landen Amos will also sit out the next four games due to the events of last weekend. The trio of starters combined averages total 44.5 points, 12.2 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game.
• Xavier has eight active scholarship players for the Oral Roberts game. Four of those players have never started a game in college (junior Brad Redford, sophomore Griffin McKenzie and freshmen Dee Davis and Justin Martin).
• Xavier senior Kenny Frease has blocked 19 shots over the first eight games (2.4 per game), including a career-high six blocks against IPFW on Nov. 15. Frease, who posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to go with four blocks in the win over Cincinnati on Dec. 10, is averaging 9.6 ppg. and is tied for first on the team in rebounding at 6.3 rpg.
• Xavier graduate student Andre Walker has started seven games in his first season in a Musketeer uniform, including each of the last six games. He has played in all eight games, averaging 5.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
• Xavier, 8-0, 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, winner of 14 straight games at Cintas Center including a 6-0 mark this season, has won 44 of its last 45 home games at Cintas Center
• 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.