Thursday, January 28, 1999

Harrick's analysis: XU 'certainly underdog'




        Rhode Island is the only team to play Xavier and the University of Cincinnati this season. The Rams lost to the Bearcats 70-53 on Nov. 19, and to the Musketeers 87-83 on Jan. 3. URI coach Jim Harrick broke down both teams for tonight's Crosstown Shootout for Enquirer reporter Michael Perry:

Backcourt
        It's Xavier's advantage in the backcourt.

        (Xavier senior) Lenny Brown's the real deal. He's a very good player. And (sophomore Maurice) McAfee's a good player, and then they've got (senior Gary) Lumpkin, too. I know they're sometimes playing those three guys together, so that causes a problem for somebody on matchups. That'll make (UC junior) Pete Mickeal maybe come out and have to guard a guard.

        Cincinnati has got to contain those guards. You've got to hold the guards down in scoring.

        If you're Xavier, you've got to contain (UC senior Melvin) Levett. If he goes good, they really are good.

Frontcourt
        Upfront I give a tremendous advantage to Cincinnati. But Cincinnati is not going to be able to pressure them and press them and do some things they've done to some other teams because that just opens them up real good.

        (Ryan) Fletcher's one of the strongest guys I've ever played against, and Kenyon Martin, I thought maybe he was the guy that was cleaning the backboard because every time we shot, his arm was up above the rim.

        Xavier certainly has got to defensive rebound because Cincinnati, sometimes their best play is a missed shot. They really go get it; they get you out of the way. They're big and strong and talented.

James Posey vs. Pete Mickeal
        Posey's a little more experienced on the collegiate level, but Mickeal's a very solid player. He gets the job done. The first game of the year I didn't know Mickeal; he's a little better than I thought.

Defense
        I think Cincinnati has the tougher defense. They're just big and tough and strong, and they're big and tough and strong in four or five different areas inside.

        If Xavier can control them a little bit and not let them go on some spurts, I think they'd have a chance.

Depth
        I don't think either team has an advantage there.

Which is the tougher team to prepare for?
        Cincinnati. They've got a lot more balance than Xavier does this year.

        Against UC, we were trying to contain Levett and double-down on Martin. If you can slow those two offensively, you've got a chance.

Coaching
        That's pretty close. There's not a lot of difference there. One won't outcoach the other. I think players decide this game.

Intangibles
        You've got to keep somebody from having a career, like Brown or McAfee or (Lloyd) Price or Lumpkin, and then on the other end a guy like (Alvin) Mitchell or (Steve) Logan.

        I've seen Cincinnati on nights where they haven't played well, nights where their guards have struggled, and sometimes their team has struggled to score.

Bottom line
        Most times big players make big plays in big games, and really great players lead you to great heights, and I think Kenyon Martin is a great player. I think he's the X-factor. He's the one that really will cause the most problems for Xavier. I'd try to get him as far away from the basket as I possibly could.

        Xavier's certainly the underdog going into (UC's) place, but they've gone in there as the underdog before and won. It can happen.

- 'Let's get ready to rrrrmmmmbbbbllll'
For UC and XU, this is personal
Sure it's too big, but that's why it's fun
Harrick's analysis: XU 'certainly underdog'
UC asks OK to delay tipoff
Xavier front line must bring its 'A' game
CROSSTOWN NOTEBOOK
Couples in Crosstown cross-fire
Rivals join hands for Crosstown Helpout



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shootout logo
Xavier (15-4) at
Cincinnati (18-1)

• 9:30 tonight.
• UC's Shoemaker Center (13,176).
• TV: ESPN.
• Radio: WLW-AM (700); WKRC-AM (550).
• Line: UC by 13.
• Series: UC leads 43-22.

Today's coverage
'Let's get ready to rrrrmmmmbbbbllll'
For UC and XU, this is personal
Sure it's too big, but that's why it's fun
Tim Sullivan column
Harrick's analysis: XU 'certainly underdog'
UC asks OK to delay tipoff
Xavier front line must bring its 'A' game
Crosstown Notebook
Couples in Crosstown cross-fire
Rivals join hands for Crosstown Helpout

Previous coverage
Huggins keeps focus on court
Huggins era in review
Xavier seniors hold 2-1 edge
'Shootists' don't share fanaticism
Shootout Notebook
UC's Land fighting uphill battle
XU's McIntosh schools 'em
UC was option for XU's Frey
Another XU win would be divine
Shootout goes coast to coast
ESPN disregards Xavier and UC fans
Shootout Notebook
Shootout 'bigger than the calendar'
Crosstown highlights

Season's coverage
BEARCATS PAGE
XAVIER PAGE