XU 90, CHICAGO STATE 50
Braggs' visit helps Walker

Sunday, November 22, 1998

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

lumpkin
Gary Lumpkin scores two of his eight points.
(Jeff Swinger photo)

| ZOOM |
Xavier graduate Torraye Braggs paid a visit to junior Desmond Walker's apartment Friday. It was time for a little talk.

"More as a friend than a teammate," Braggs said.

Both came to Xavier from junior colleges and were raised without their fathers around. Both had to adjust to academic demands and coaches' demands.

The 25-minute chat was about what it takes to survive at Xavier. Braggs' message: Do what they tell you and don't cry about it.

In the Musketeers' 90-50 victory over Chicago State on Saturday, Walker played as consistently hard as he has all fall.

He finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 11 minutes. He made 3-of-4 shots, had an assist, a block, a steal and just one turnover. He hustled and was enthusiastic.

"I was trying to work hard and play up to my potential," Walker said. "I think I'm halfway there. This is the closest I've been. I'm working on it. There were a couple spots where I got a little tired, just from being so hyper."

To no surprise, it wasn't much of a contest.

Chicago State (0-3), one of the weaker teams in the country, missed its first six field goal attempts, turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes and fell behind 12-1. The rout was on.

XU (2-0) got 21 points and 12 rebounds from James Posey. Lenny Brown added 15 points - all on three-pointers - and freshman Lloyd Price had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Musketeers forced 31 turnovers and only had 16.

But one of the brightest spots for XU was Walker.

It has a been an up-and-down fall for the 6-foot-8 junior, who has - by his own admission - not played hard every possession in games or practice. He has at times hung his head, shown his frustration, looked bothered.

Braggs was in the stands Tuesday night at Butler and noticed this. He had been calling Walker from Spain, where Braggs has played since late August, and told Walker after the Butler game that the two had to talk.

Walker, who said he considers Braggs "like a big brother" because of their similar backgrounds, was an eager audience.

"He really got on me to block everything out, just play ball, don't blame anything on anybody else and if something goes wrong, blame it on yourself and put it past you and work hard," Walker said.

Said Braggs: "He's coming in hoping to fill my shoes. I know he's an integral part of what this team needs to do. If he and Kevin (Frey) don't play well, what they plan to do doesn't work.

"I didn't have as a slow start, but I know how it feels. It was a rough road for me at the beginning, too."

Prosser thought Walker played better than at Butler and is anxious to see whether the improvement continues.

He also said the most challenging thing for all first-year players to learn is how consistently hard they must play with Xavier's style. "If one guy isn't involved in terms of effort, then it's not successful," Prosser said. "That's why we talk a lot about being a traitor. If we have one traitor, then you can't press and you can't run the way we want to run it."

Having Braggs explain that to Walker helps, Prosser said. Not only that, but several former Musketeers were around either at Saturday's game or Friday's practice, including Tyrone Hill, Jeff Massey, Sherwin Anderson and Ken Harvey.

"So many of our former players come back because they care," Prosser said. "I think that's special. I don't know how unique it is, but I'm pleased that that's the case here."

Xavier was able to dictate the tempo of Saturday's game better than at Butler. The Musketeers' full-court pressure improved, but was not great.

The halfcourt defense gave up several layups when weakside help didn't arrive in time to stop a Chicago State player. That's the kind of situation where T.J. Johnson would've stepped in to take a charge. But he, like Braggs, graduated.

Prosser also wants XU to do a better job rebounding. Though the Musketeers finished with a 48-38 advantage, they were being beaten on the boards through most of the first half.

Notebook: Posey adjusts to starting Story file

 
CHICAGO ST (50)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Buford          17   3-9   1-5   2-3  1  1    8
Bolton          29   2-5   0-0   0-4  1  2    4
Demo Payton     25   1-4   0-0   0-2  0  2    2
Hicks           29  5-12   4-4   0-1  3  2   15
Daniel          25   3-8   0-0   1-3  0  3    8
Strojine         7   0-1   0-0   1-2  1  1    0
Carlotta         8   2-2   0-0   4-6  2  5    4
West            24   1-2   2-2   0-1  3  2    4
Normand          3   0-3   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Wilks           11   1-4   0-0   1-5  0  1    2
Wiggins         14   1-3   0-0   0-2  0  0    3
Deme Payton      8   0-1   0-0   0-4  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 19-54  7-11  9-33 11 20   50
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.352, FT-.636. 3-Point Goals:
5-17, .294 (Buford 1-4, Hicks 1-5, Daniel 2-4,
Strojine 0-1, West 0-1, Wiggins 1-2). Team
rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Carlotta 2,
Buford, Demo Payton, Strojine, Deme Payton).
Turnovers: 31 (Buford 7, Hicks 4, Bolton 3,
Daniel 3, West 3, Wilks 3, Carlotta 2, Deme
Payton 2, Wiggins 2, Demo Payton, Normand).
Steals: 6 (Buford 2, Daniel 2, Normand, Strojine).


XAVIER (90)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Price           25  5-10   0-3   4-9  2  1   11
Posey           30  9-12   2-2  8-12  4  2   21
Butler          18   1-4   1-3   2-2  1  1    3
L Brown         27  5-17   0-0   1-2  6  1   15
Lumpkin         23   2-7   4-4   1-5  5  3    8
Frey            21   2-5   2-3   1-6  0  1    6
Catarella        2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Mcafee          19   3-9   3-3   0-1  4  3    9
A Brown         12   4-7   0-0   0-0  1  1    9
Robertson        2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Careathers       2   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Walker          17   3-4   2-3   3-8  1  1    8
Baronas          2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 34-77 14-21 20-46 24 15   90
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.442, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
8-27, .296 (Price 1-3, Posey 1-2, L Brown 5-13,
Lumpkin 0-3, Mcafee 0-4, A Brown 1-1, Robertson
0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 5 (L Brown
3, Posey, Walker). Turnovers: 16 (Posey 4, A
Brown 2, Frey 2, L Brown 2, Price 2, Butler,
Catarella, Lumpkin, Walker). Steals: 14 (L Brown
4, Price 4, A Brown, Careathers, Frey, Posey,
Robertson, Walker).
__________________________________
Chicago St         23   27  -   50
Xavier             38   52  -   90
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 8,269. Officials: Mike
Sanzere, Jim Jenkins, Mark Whitehead.