'Failing in a lot of areas'

Sunday, November 29, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

[butler - price]
Reggie Butler and Lloyd Price watch the closing moments of Saturday's game.
(AP photo)

| ZOOM |
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - It is not a short list of concerns. Not as simple as A-B-C.

Xavier returns today from a troubled trip to Puerto Rico with so much to correct that patience won't be a virtue so much as a necessity. "There's just not really one thing we're doing well right now," coach Skip Prosser said. ". . . We're failing in a lot of areas." He's not kidding.

The University of San Francisco handled the 13th-ranked Musketeers 82-69 on Saturday, sending XU to its second loss in three days at the Puerto Rico Shootout.

XU (4-2) was not only 1-2 here, but it played poorly. On Saturday, the Musketeers went one 13:40 stretch without a field goal. They never got closer than 12 points in the second half.

The loss came two days after an 18-point loss to Pittsburgh. "We came down here to win and learn," Prosser said. "We didn't win, so we better have learned. I don't take losing well. I don't like it. I feel miserable."

Lenny Brown led XU with 20 points on seven-of-20 shooting against USF (3-1). Gary Lumpkin added 13 points and freshman Kevin Frey 12. A few samplings from Saturday's fiasco:

Senior James Posey dribbles up the side one-on-one against a USF player, stumbles, loses control of the ball and falls as he turns it over out of bounds. He finishes with eight turnovers.

Frey flips a short pass to Maurice McAfee, who never gets a handle on it. It goes out of bounds for another unforced turnover.

That's the kind of day it was. That's the kind of trip it was.

"We're struggling right now," Brown said. "The coaches are preparing us well. I think they're doing a better job than they did my other three years here. I think it's just the effort. We're not fighting anymore."

Posey called it the most frustrating stretch he's had as a player.

"It's hard to find bright spots right now," he said. "We can't turn it on and off. The way we won the game against Colorado (on Friday), we've got to be like that every game. We've got to get better as a team. We keep saying it, but we get little or no results."

Prosser would not criticize his players' effort other than to call it "sporadic." He refused to blame the players. "That's not what I do," he said.

Xavier came to Puerto Rico to find out more about itself as a team. Here is what we learned:

  • The Musketeers have no inside game. Reggie Butler, 6-foot-10, has not been able to play defense as well as needed. He did not score the last two games and totaled just 10 minutes. Desmond Walker, 6-8, mostly struggled in San Juan. That leaves 6-8 Frey and 6-8 Posey in the post, two guys probably playing out of position who can't always match up against bigger opponents. XU's three foes totaled 41 offensive rebounds.

  • XU has no consistent spark off the bench as it has had with Posey the past two seasons. McAfee had a great game at Butler. Walker played well against Chicago State and Morgan State. Frey was good Saturday. That's all folks. Nothing you can count on.

  • The seniors have been inconsistent, possibly in part because they are trying to do too much. Posey was 4-of-17 from the field with eight turnovers Saturday. Brown had just five points against Pitt. Lumpkin played better in San Juan. He was a better leader on the court. And he came here 0-of-11 from three-point range and left 6-of-31.

  • What: The 86th meeting between the teams.
  • Series: Miami leads 43-42.
  • When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
  • TV: Channel 9.
  • Radio: WLW (700-AM).
  • Last year: Miami won 80-72 at Millett Hall.
  • About The RedHawks: Miami is ranked 24th. The RedHawks won at Notre Dame, upset then 18th-ranked Tennessee and followed with victories over Dayton and Boston University.
  • "We can't win it by ourselves," Lumpkin said. "We need to have everybody. We have talented players on this team. It's just a matter of putting the effort out there and getting the job done every night."

    Said Posey: "After the first loss, you'd think people would get tired of losing. There's no support, so it's hard. Some of the young guys, they don't understand. We keep telling them but . . . you know. We're trying to carry the load and teams know it. They're coming out right after us."

    Xavier opponents too often show more emotion, more enthusiasm, more hunger, more toughness. That's atypical for Prosser-coached teams. Lumpkin tried to fire up the team during one timeout Saturday. Freshman Lloyd Price did the same with 3:30 left.

    The Musketeers have inexplicably played too tentatively, while opponents show no fear and more intensity.

    "It could be some people are playing scared," Price said. "Everybody individually has to decide we want to win, everybody has to come to that same conclusion. If one person doesn't want it, that can mess up the whole team chemistry."

    Notebook: Posey doesn't feel like an all-star
    Season in stories

                          fg    ft    rb
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
    Lee             35   5-8   1-3   3-7  1  2   11
    Moore           36   8-8   1-2   2-4  0  4   17
    Russell         32   1-5 10-10   1-7  4  1   12
    Zimmerman       29  6-18   4-8   0-3  1  2   18
    Thomas          35   3-7   2-2   1-7  3  3    9
    Wilcher         13   1-1   7-8   0-1  0  5    9
    Hinder          14   3-4   0-1   2-6  1  4    6
    Brewer           3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
    Christensen      3   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
    TOTALS         200 27-51 25-34 10-36 10 21   82
    Percentages: FG-.529, FT-.735. 3-Point Goals:
    3-12, .250 (Russell 0-1, Zimmerman 2-8, Thomas
    1-3). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 3 (Moore
    2, Zimmerman). Turnovers: 21 (Russell 6, Lee 3,
    Moore 3, Zimmerman 3, Hinder 2, Thomas 2,
    Christensen, Wilcher). Steals: 6 (Hinder, Lee,
    Russell, Thomas, Wilcher, Zimmerman).
    XAVIER (69)
                          fg    ft    rb
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
    Posey           39  4-17   0-0  5-13  1  4    9
    Butler           3   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  1    0
    L Brown         35  7-20   3-5   3-5  3  4   20
    Lumpkin         37   2-5   7-8   0-0  2  5   13
    Price           29   4-9   1-3   2-5  0  5    9
    Walker          10   0-0   0-1   0-0  0  0    0
    Mcafee          13   0-4   1-2   1-1  0  3    1
    Frey            25   3-5   6-8   3-7  0  4   12
    A Brown          9   1-3   2-2   0-0  0  1    5
    TOTALS         200 21-63 20-29 15-32  6 27   69
    Percentages: FG-.333, FT-.690. 3-Point Goals:
    7-25, .280 (Posey 1-6, L Brown 3-9, Lumpkin 2-5,
    Price 0-1, Mcafee 0-1, Frey 0-1, A Brown 1-2).
    Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Frey, Price).
    Turnovers: 18 (Posey 8, L Brown 3, Price 3, A
    Brown, Butler, Frey, Mcafee). Steals: 7 (L Brown
    4, Posey 2, A Brown).
    San Francisco      39   43  -   82
    Xavier             23   46  -   69