BYU vs Xavier Preview
BYU (8) Vs. Xavier (9)
Thursday, 3/15 @ 9:30
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Xavier -1.5
The 24th ranked Brigham Young Cougars (25- 8, 13- 3 MWC) won their regular season conference title by one game over #25 ranked UNLV and then lost the tournament title to that same team 78- 70. The unranked Xavier Musketeers (24- 8, 13- 3 A-10) also won their regular season title, tied with Massachusetts for the best league record, but lost in their tournament to URI 79- 71.
BYU will look to dictate the pace of the game, setting up quickly on offense while using their “D” to slow down Xavier’s “O.” Upfront, the Cougars are strong with 6-foot, 11-inch sophomore center Trent Plaisted (12.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG) and 6-foot, 6-inch senior forward Keena Young (17.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG) controlling the inside. Senior Austin Ainge (7.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.5 APG) is the dominant point man running the offense.
It will be bombs away for Xavier, a team that averaged almost 8 threes a game this season. Look for junior guard Drew Lavender (11.2 PPG, 4.7 APG), who’s a 46% three-point shooter, to be both the playmaker and the primary bomber. Forwards Justin Doellman (13.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and Justin Cage (10.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG), both seniors, will try to control the boards. Doellman is shoots 50% from the field.
Xavier, with the fifth most efficient offense in the nation, likes to work the ball around and frustrate opponents into taking fouls. BYU’s Young, MWC Player of the Year, has the potential to be the game’s impact player.