Chris Mack Has Xavier Rolling, Yet Tougher Tests Loom for Musketeers

Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports

A season ago, Xavier advanced to the Sweet 16 before bowing out to Baylor in a season that marked the end of a successful run for a trio of players.

Following the graduation of Tu Holloway and the transfers of both Mark Lyons and Dez Wells, the Musketeers were facing uncertain expectations in 2012-13.

However, through the first 2+ months of the season, head coach Chris Mack has Xavier rolling and at 4-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, it’s probably once again time for the hype to circulate back in favor of the Musketeers. At 11-6 overall, Xavier still has plenty of work to do if they want to improve their resume and qualify for the Big Dance via an at-large bid. Their best advantage however, is one that combines with all members of the A-10. The league continues to flex its muscles with a number of contenders, and multiple bids can automatically be expected once March arrives.

A win over LaSalle on Saturday boosted the Musketeers to 4-0, but it’s an approaching stretch that could determine just how much of a contender they can be. Next week, road games at both Charlotte and St. Joseph’s hold important implications for all three teams, but for the Musketeers there are additional chances to carry over their current momentum.

Semaj Christon leads the way offensively, while forward Travis Taylor has become a consistent threat for double-double-like numbers.

If Xavier can stay relevant in their push for a postseason berth, a brutal five-game stretch to the end the regular season could be the tell-all for the Musketeers.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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