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2014 Wooden Legacy: Xavier vs UTEP Preview/Open Thread

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Xavier and UTEP meet for the first time in the semi-final round of the Wooden Legacy

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP Miners

Current Record: 3-0, 0-0 C-USA

Projected Starters:

C.J. Cooper, Sr, G, 8.3 ppg, 5 apg, 5/9 three point shooting

Julian Washburn, Sr, G, 9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg

Vince Hunter, So, F, 18.3 ppg, 12.7 rpg

Cedrick Lang, Sr, F, 12.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Matt Willms, So, C, 5.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Vince Hunter became the first UTEP player since Nevil Shed to record three straight double-doubles to open a season, and UTEP is 3-0 for the first time in five years.  Cedrick Lang has played like an all-conference candidate, and Hunter has been on an All-American level through the first three games.  Against Xavier, the Miners will need another rebounder outside of Lang, and Hunter who can come close to double digits, and as well as a scorer who can bring the same high level of production.  The Miners will have their hands full in trying to handle a talented Xavier front line of players, though depth is where UTEP may have a slight advantage.  Offensively, UTEP can bang with Xavier by being aggressive and trying to get to the line, though someone is going to have to knock down some treys early to bring the defense out.  This is the biggest defensive test of the year for UTEP, can they slow down and contain what has been an efficient offensive attack from Xavier?

Xavier Musketeers

Current Record: 5-0, 0-0 Big East

Projected Starters:

Dee Davis,  Sr, G, 7.7 ppg, 6.2 apg,

Remy Abell, Jr, G, 9.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg

James Farr, Jr, F, 5.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg

Trevon Bluiett, Fr, F, 17.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Matt Stainbrook, Sr, C, 15.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg

Xavier has been rolling on offense, and continued their hot shooting by firing 58 percent in their opening round win against San Diego.  The Musketeers had 26 of their 82 points come from inside the paint, and shot 10/20 from behind the three point line. A few things jumped out from watching them: they are physical, their big men can shoot, and they can defend the paint with their length.  James Farr, Jalen Reynolds, and Matt Stainbrook all average over seven rebounds a game, and Xavier boasts a +10 rebounding margin for the season.  Freshman Trevon Bluiett is a flat out inside and out stud, shooting 12 out 23  from deep, and is also shooting over 65 percent from the field.  The Muskies have made more free throws than their first five opponents have attempted.  I feel this will truly test the Miners depth and ability to defend down low.  Stainbrook and Bluiett have been to the line the most for Xavier so far, and both are shooting over 70 percent.  Expect some defensive tricks from Tim Floyd in trying to keep those two away from the rim and paint, while trying to keep hands in shooters faces.

Xavier vs. UTEP

Game Information
Who? Xavier Musketeers vs. UTEP Miners
Date/Time Friday, November 28th, 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Location Titan Gym, Fullerton, California, Wooden Legacy Second Round
TV/Radio

ESPN2

Play-by-Play Available on the TuneIn App, or 92.3 FM In El Paso In English, Spanish 1650 AM In El Paso

Series Record First Meeting

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