Xavier Basketball is looking to end a five game losing streak. Dropping them one game below .500 and to last place in the Big East Conference. There are several factors contributing to Xavier’s current downturn.
The most significant reason is Xavier’s frequent turnovers. The Xavier Musketeers have 305 turnovers so far this season. With a season average of 13.3 turnovers per game. They aren’t forcing turnovers from their opponents in an adequate way either. The Musketeers have 136 steals so far this season.
Turnovers played a major role in Xavier’s two most recent defeats. Xavier had 19 turnovers last Sunday in their road loss to Creighton Basketball. The Musketeers stole the ball five times in that game by comparison. They had 14 turnovers and three steals last Thursday. When Xavier lost to Georgetown Basketball 80-73 on the road.
Next, there’s a visible lack of urgency from Xavier’s defense. Those 14 Musketeer turnovers were double the number of turnovers Georgetown gave up. Hurting the Musketeers despite out-rebounding Georgetown and having a better three-point percentage. Meanwhile, Xavier had one of their worst defensive performances of the season last Sunday against Creighton. Trailing by 22 points at one point in a game where Xavier never had the lead.
The Musketeers poor shooting is another area of concern. This was a concern when Xavier had a winning record and winning in entertaining ways. Xavier is making 46.7% of it’s field goal attempts this season. They’re currently led by forward Zach Hankins’ 70.4 field goal percentage. Then there’s Xavier’s paltry 33.1 three-point shooting percentage. No Musketeers have a three-point percentage at or above 50% this season.
All of these factors contribute to the final reason for Xavier’s slide. The Musketeers are struggling hold onto a lead. For example, Xavier let an eight point lead slip away into a seven point loss to Georgetown. After leading 36-28 at halftime, the Musketeers were outscored 52-37 in the second half. That kind of swing is playing a significant role in this five-game losing streak.
Xavier will try to reverse course on Saturday against DePaul Basketball. Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM Eastern time from Xavier’s Cintas Center on FS1. This will be the second meeting this season between these teams. Xavier beat DePaul 74-65 in their Big East conference opener last December in Chicago.