This year the Xavier and UC rivalry will be an even matchup. Both teams have similar strategies that have to lead them to victory. This year the winning team will earn bragging rights because each player will have had all of his skills and talents tested coming out victorious in the end.
Both Xavier and UC use pressure defense to trip opponents up. Each team has done its homework and knows which players from the opposing team are scoring threats. Using this knowledge, players from Xavier and UC double team, and they will occasionally triple team the scoring threats. Both Xavier and UC apply half court pressure to force turnovers. In tightly contested games full court pressure is enforced by both teams to limit scoring opportunities by opponents. The defense that holds its ground, and does not get rattled will win the defensive game.
Good defense leads to turnovers. Both Xavier and UC will have to keep their heads in the game and eyes on the ball and be aware of where opponents are on the floor The players for both teams have to resist being overwhelmed by the hype and pressure of the rivalry. Let what each knows about basketball guide them. Pass the ball when being pressured rather than taking a contested shot. Do not go for just the perimeter shot when a two-point bucket is available.
Multiple players that can score often is another similarity between Xavier and UC. Xavier’s starting five likes to drive to the basket with frequency looking to score and draw fouls. This may be problematic for the aggressive defense of UC. Xavier will be working hard to score, and UC will be working hard to defend this may result in foul trouble for UC. Drawing fouls is great as long as Xavier can successfully convert those fouls into points. If Xavier does not continue to improve its foul shooting getting UC in foul trouble will not make a bit of difference to the outcome of the game. UC has Clark, Evans III, and Jennifer that take many drives at the basket which are often successful.
Xavier and UC each has perimeter shooting stars. Xavier has Blueitt, Gates, Bernard, and Macura Who are all comfortable shooting from the perimeter when they find their rhythm. UC has Caupain and Johnson who are great perimeter shooters. For UC it is not if, but when will the perimeter shooting begin.
Xavier starts out ready to play full of energy and scoring power. While UC comes out slower needing to warm up looking for its rhythm. As the second half begins if Xavier has a lead they get comfortable not as vigilante. UC comes into the second half ready to go, and their rhythm is flowing. It will be a nail-biting roller coaster up and down game involving two evenly matched teams. Whoever plays the game the way they strategized and practiced will win the game. Xavier will be King of the court this year because they play with each other for each other!