Junior Mark Lyons returns to the lineup tonight.
Dec. 23, 2011
No. 14/15 Xavier University Musketeers (8-2) vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (5-5)
Fri., Dec. 23 @ 8:30 p.m. HT (Sat., Dec. 24 @ 1:30 a.m. ET)
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic
Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) in Honolulu, Hawaii
Television: ESPNU with play-by-play from Kanoa Leahy and analysis from Stephen Bardo.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM, Sirius channel 85 and XM channel 85 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, 8-2 and ranked 14th in the Associated Press Poll and 15th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, has lost two straight games with its short-handed lineup, including 68-58 last night to Long Beach State. Xavier played without three starters, including its top three scorers (senior Tu Holloway, junior Mark Lyons and freshman Dezmine Wells) versus Oral Roberts on Sunday. One of the three (Holloway) returned against Long Beach State. Lyons will be back for the Hawaii game.
Xavier fell out of the top 10 on Monday after two straight weeks in the top 10 of both polls. XU was ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll last week and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Xavier has never lost three straight games under third-year head coach Chris Mack.
Xavier senior All-American Tu Holloway leads the team in scoring at 17.5 ppg. and also leads the team in assists (4.8 apg.), steals (2.4 spg.) and free throw percentage (.847).
Xavier junior Mark Lyons returns for the Hawaii game after serving his two-game suspension. Lyons is second on the team in scoring at 17.4 ppg., assists at 2.9 apg. and steals at 1.4 spg.
Xavier freshman Justin Martin made his first collegiate start last night against Long Beach State, scoring a career-high 12 points to go with four rebounds in a career-high 25 minutes of action.
Xavier senior Kenny Frease has blocked 21 shots over the first 10 games (2.1 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 9.1 ppg. and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.6 rpg.
Xavier graduate student Andre Walker has started nine games in his first season in a Musketeer uniform, including each of the last eight games. He has played in all 10 games, averaging 5.1 points, 6.0 rebounds (second on the team) and 2.0 assists per game.
Xavier junior Travis Taylor leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 rpg. despite being fifth on the team in minutes played per game.
Xavier has been a regular recently on the ESPN networks. In fact, eight of Xavier's last nine games to close out the calendar year of 2011 have been or will be on the ESPN family of networks. ESPN networks is covering the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii and the Dec. 31 Gonzaga game 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.