If you go back and look at the Xavier Musketeers from a season ago, “roller coaster ride” might be the best phrase to describe things.
The Musketeers ended the season on a positive note, advancing to the Sweet 16 when all was said and done. However, senior point guard Tu Holloway graduated, Mark Lyons decided to transfer to Arizona and Dez Wells made the decision to attend Maryland after being expelled from the university.
Fast forward to the present day, it’s pretty incredible that head coach Chris Mack has been able to lead Xavier to 17 wins this season. The Musketeers have become one of the bigger enigmas in college basketball however, winning games that they weren’t supposed to, but also losing games that should’ve been theirs.
A brutal schedule down the stretch could’ve been a dagger for Xavier, but a pair of wins over ranked teams helped Xavier avoid quite the losing streak. The Musketeers have flip-flopped back and forth between a win, then a loss each game since picking up back to back victories back on Feb. 9th and 13th.
The bright spot in another up and down year has been the play of 6-foot-3 guard Semaj Christon. Just a freshman, Christon has burst onto the scene within the Atlantic 10 Conference this season, averaging a team-high 15.4 points per game in the process. When you wonder how Xavier would replace a guy like Holloway from last year’s squad, it’s nice to turn around welcome in someone like Christon.
Christon has continuously been the catalyst for this team. He also leads the team in assists at 4.7 per game.
Xavier will square off against St. Joseph’s on Thursday in the opening round of the A-10 Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30pm (EST).
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS