Saturday, March 1, 2003

Xavier Q&A


XU's short rotation isn't a big deal

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Q, from George in Amelia: Don't you think Xavier has a glaring weakness in its rotation? Four players played 45 minutes against Duquesne.

A: That stat is certainly an attention-grabber, but it's hard to argue with a 12-game winning streak. Come NCAA Tournament time, you're not going to want to take out David West or Romain Sato anyway, so they might as well get used to playing the whole game. The only concern there is foul trouble, because Xavier does not want to lose Dedrick Finn for more than a few minutes at a time.

Would it be great to have a team as deep as Arizona or Texas? Of course. But then coaches have to spend more time making sure everyone gets enough playing time. Xavier already has had problems with that earlier this season, and Arizona is still dealing with those issues. So a seven-man rotation seems to work out well for this group.

Xavier still needs to get more bench production from Keith Jackson and Will Caudle (when he's in there). They have to be relied upon to bring a lift consistently when they enter the game.

Q, from Frank in Oklahoma: Who else on Xavier's schedule could give them a scare like Duquesne?

A: Well, the saying goes, "On any given night ..." But seriously, Saint Joseph's will present a formidable challenge for Xavier on Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Hawks have not lost at home this season, but Xavier has not lost an A-10 road game.

George Washington (today) and Temple (March 8) will give Xavier good games, but if you had to pick one to watch out for, it would be Saint Joseph's.

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E-mail basketball@enquirer.com with UC questions for Bill Koch and XU questions for Dustin Dow.




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