Sunday, October 20, 2002

Xavier Notebook


Newest Musketeers trying to catch on

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Sometimes it's better to keep things simple. That's the early coaching philosophy with Xavier's Dedrick Finn and Anthony Myles, two newcomers who are expected to make key contributions this season.

        Myles, a 6-foot-9 junior college transfer, had been working at power forward and center when practice began last week, but he was getting confused. So coaches decided to have Myles focus on playing center for now.

        “I'm catching on faster now that I'm just playing one position,” said Myles, who was uncomfortable learning two positions at once. “I have a better feel for where I'm supposed be since they have me playing (center).”

        Myles is rotating at center with Will Caudle and Anthony Coleman.

        An athletic 6-1 freshman, Finn can play point or shooting guard, but for now he's primarily seeing action at point guard behind Lionel Chalmers. The plan is to have Finn eventually be able to play both positions, opening new lineup possibilities and game plans.

        “I've played (point guard) all my life,” Finn said. “I ran a little bit of (shooting guard), but it was just for one or two plays. Now they've got me learning both positions, so I'm just trying to adjust to it.”

        HOPING FOR HEALTH: Recruit Robert Barker would like an early Christmas present: a healthy knee.

        Barker, in town Friday and Saturday for an official visit, said his left knee should be at full health by the middle of the season, and he doesn't expect to miss any games for Greensburg (Ind.) High. He underwent surgery two weeks ago to remove scar tissue from surgery last spring to repair a torn anterior crucial ligament.

        “The tendon didn't heal right, and it was hurting pretty bad when I was playing basketball this summer,” said Barker, a 6-5 senior shooting guard who averaged 24 points last season and has verbally committed to Xavier. “I should be back to normal in three to four weeks, and by Christmas I should be completely fine.”

        WEST SUITS WEST: David West didn't mind the slight that the Preseason NIT gave Xavier when it awarded Stanford a potential second-round game at home instead of the Musketeers.

        “I wanted it (at Stanford) the whole time,” he said. “If you look at our schedule, our first away game would have been at Cincinnati. That's not necessarily what you want. I actually told the coaches to give up on it, and give (Stanford) the game. ... They fought it, but I'm kind of happy we're going out there because you have to be tested on the road.”

        GETTING THE POINT: Now that he has a year of experience at the position, Chalmers feels more in control at point guard.

        “I know the system a little better,” he said, “so I can help the new guys out. I am a point guard. I'm leading the team. I'm calling the plays. I understand what's going on.”

        Assistant coach Sean Miller, the all-time assists leader at Pittsburgh, where he played from 1988-1992, said Chalmers' quickness is one of his best assets.

        “(Chalmers) moves a lot faster than I do, so I don't know if I can relate to him as much,” Miller said.

        SETTING THE RULES: Athletic director Mike Bobinski will not be at Musketeer Madness tonight, the public's first chance to see Xavier's men's and women's teams practice in the Cintas Center this season.

        Instead, he is in Indianapolis serving as the Atlantic 10 Conference's representative on the NCAA's management council.

        Key discussion points during this session will be lowering initially eligibility for freshmen and tightening restrictions on grade-point average for student-athletes who are in college.

        E-mail: ddow@enquirer.com

       



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- Xavier Notebook: Newest Musketeers trying to catch on
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