Could Xavier's Schedule Hold Them Back?
Xavier's continual success has them as one of the nation's best programs the past few seasons and their achievements have set up a troublesome non-conference schedule this year. The Musketeers will be tested with matchups against top 25 teams like Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Memphis, and Cincinnati and several more foes ranked just outside like Purdue, Butler, Long Beach State and Georgia. Not to mention another two teams in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, but only Georgia, Purdue, Cincinnati and Gonzaga are at home this year, while Vanderbilt, Butler, Memphis and A-10 foe Temple will be played away from home. Could be a tough going for the early-season favorites, but Chris Mack will have the experience of All-American caliber guard Tu Holloway with role players Mark Lyons, Kenny Frease and two first-year standouts (2011 wing Dezmine Wells and 2010 guard Justin Martin who sat out last season).
Xavier surely will not go undefeated, but this schedule will more than adequately prepare the Musketeers for the A-10 and the subsequent postseason.
By President Corey Ruff - 9 - 16 - 11