Friday, November 02, 2001

Matta will use first exhibition to test talent




By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Xavier will take the basketball court tonight without Skip Prosser and, perhaps for an extensive period, with Alvin Brown. The two matters aren't unrelated.

EA All-STARS at XAVIER
  • When: 7:30 p.m. today
  • Where: Cintas Center
  • Tickets: All seats $10. Available at door.
  • TV/radio: None
  • Notable: This is EA's East team. It lost 81-63 Wednesday at Louisville and 68-64 at Tennessee on Thursday.
        Among the effects of XU's coaching change is the window of opportunity now open for every Musketeer. It won't take long for Thad Matta to conduct a casting call tonight — in the exhibition opener against the EA Sports All-Stars — for XU has just nine scholarship players.

        “I've got a great opportunity to contribute more,” said Brown, a fifth-year senior guard. “But really, we're going to need everybody.”

        The Cintas Center faithful will spend tonight sizing up Matta and his coaching tendencies. What they'll see is a disposition toward man-to-man defense; a patient, half-court offense; and nearly no use of a full-court press.

        They'll also see competition for playing time. David West, Kevin Frey, Romain Sato and Lionel Chalmers are certain starters, but the small forward/third guard spot remains up for grabs, and competition could be keen for backup spots.

        “We're going to look at everybody equally and try to get a feel for who's improved the most,” Matta said. “You look at a guy like Alvin, in his fifth year, and he's got some things you can't teach.”

        Patience among them.

        Brown played in every game two seasons ago, averaging 17.8 minutes and 6.5 points, but fell off Prosser's depth chart last season. He averaged 9.5 minutes and 6.3 points the first four games, then appeared in just 15 of the remaining 25, averaging 3.5 minutes and 0.5 points.

        When Prosser took the Wake Forest job, Brown talked excitedly about a fresh start: “Considering my previous situation, I think it's very good for me. It gives me a big recharge.”

        Brown, a natural shooting guard, also has played point guard and “three” guard in practice. His strength is a quick-scoring ability, and he shot 52 percent from the field (13-of-25) last season.

        Brown completed his finance degree in May, and he could have finished basketball then. He elected to pursue a second degree in information systems and return for a final season.

        “I didn't want to stop playing,” he said. “I can bring leadership and experience. I'm going to give it all I have.”

        Matta said his players have been shooting well. That portends improvement over last winter, when XU had its worst field goal shooting (42.7 percent) in 36 seasons and its worst 3-point shooting (30.3 percent) ever.

        The player Matta has praised repeatedly is junior guard Dave Young, who's battling freshman Keith Jackson for the last starting spot.

        With XU's core of players intact, Matta will be the man under the microscope tonight. Well, not just tonight.

        “Comparisons (to Prosser) are going to be there all year,” Brown said. “But it's still basketball; we'll play hard and compete. That's what we'd do with any coach.”

       



Xavier Stories
DAUGHERTY: West presents a delicate dilemma for XU
- Matta will use first exhibition to test talent
Xavier women lose exhibition

Yankees 3, Diamondbacks 2
World Series box score
SULLIVAN: Mystique, aura and timely hits
Diamondbacks manager on the hot seat
Yankees always down, never out
O'Neill makes retirement official
World Series Notebook
Central Florida to play MAC football
NCAA modifies scholarship rule
NKU selling tickets for UC exhibition
UK men, Lady Vols picked to win SEC
Boys regional soccer pairings
Girls soccer regional pairings
Girls volleyball regional pairings
New kicker could be rival for Rackers
Wyche sees signs of '90
LeBeau, Anderson get Hall of Fame backing
Hollman's injury sizeable blow for UC
UC women win exhibition game
Prep Football Page
Playoffs begin tonight in Ohio, Kentucky
Ohio playoff pairings
Kentucky playoff pairings
Mount Healthy's legacy restored
Whole new ballgame for Mount Healthy star
Lebanon QB gets another shot at Elder
Lebanon not daunted by Elder's 'Pit'
New league unites Cincinnati, Dayton public schools
Ohio football playoff pairings
CovCath QB knew offense was special
Hughes provides kick for Holmes
Kentucky playoff pairings
Chillicothe Zane Trace at North College Hill preview
Dayton Carroll vs. Roger Bacon preview
Edgewood vs. Piqua preview
Hamilton Badin vs. Valley View preview
Hamilton vs. Colerain preview
Indian Hill vs. Washington C.H. preview
Lebanon vs. Elder preview
Madeira vs. Coldwater preview
Mount Healthy vs. McNicholas preview
Northmont vs. St. Xavier preview
Plain City Alder vs. Wyoming preview
Princeton vs. Anderson preview
Reading vs. Wheelersburg preview
Ross vs. New Richmond preview
Williamsburg at Covington preview
Bellevue vs. Nicholas County preview
Berea vs. Beechwood preview
Bourbon County vs. Highlands preview
Campbell Co. vs. Oldham Co. preview
Covington Catholic (5) vs. Harrison County preview
East Carter vs. Lloyd Memorial preview
Grant County vs. Lexington Catholic preview
Holy Cross vs. Paris preview
Louisville Ballard vs. Dixie Heights preview
Montgomery County vs. Holmes preview
Raceland vs. Newport Central Catholic preview
Shelby County vs. Boone County preview
Simon Kenton vs. Louisville Trinity preview


Return to Xavier front page...


Mail This Story (Click here) Send this story to a friend.

 
[an error occurred while processing this directive]