Thursday, January 28, 1999

Xavier front line must bring its 'A' game




BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        All eyes are on Xavier's front line.

        One reason Cincinnati is favored in tonight's Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout is its advantage inside.

        Center Kenyon Martin, power forward Jermaine Tate and top reserve Ryan Fletcher are strong, physical and combine to average 19.7 points, 16.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks a game. That doesn't count other reserves Eugene Land (3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and Aaron McGhee (3.4, 1.9).

        The Musketeers start junior Obi Harris at center and freshman Kevin Frey at power forward and bring freshman Aaron Turner off the bench. All are first-year players and collectively average 13.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks.

        “They can't just play OK, they've got to play well,” XU coach Skip Prosser said.

        “People are doubting us, but we'll have to show them we're not soft, that we can play with the better front lines in college,” Turner said. “I love banging. They block shots real good and they can jump. I'm not worried about that. I'll just box out and play hard, and we'll get the job done.”

        Turner's presence has seemed to help Frey, who has averaged 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds the past three games.

        “I love when he's out there,” Frey said. “His energy and emotion kind of rub off on you.”

        Frey had his first double-double Jan. 17 against George Washington with a career-high 14 points and 10 boards. His career best in rebounds is 14, vs. Miami.

        “You go into every game trying to have your best game,” Frey said. “I don't have to necessarily have my best game, but it would be helpful.”

        Turner will be playing only his fifth Division I game, and Harris his 13th. Harris has been scoreless in five of the last seven games, and averaged just 2.1 rebounds during that stretch.

        “We're not going to submit to anybody because they're viewed as strong,” Harris said. “They're definitely a very physical team. They have a very deep bench. But we're going to play as hard we know how. We're definitely not intimidated and we're definitely not going to take a backseat to anybody.”

- '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