Siena at No. 19 Xavier
When and Where: Friday, Nov. 8, Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 p.m. EST.
Still looking to iron some kinks out from its season-opening win, 19th-ranked Xavier looks to build on its last performance Friday night as it hosts Siena.
Maciarello wins coaching debut with SaintsCarmen Maciarello, a Siena alum who was an assistant last season and promoted after Jamion Christian left to coach George Washington, was a winner in his debut as Siena raced past American 96-80 on Tuesday night.
"I'm really excited to get back and play a high-level game. It's going to be a very good experience for our team." Troy native Elijah Burns, a Notre Dame transfer, on facing 19th-ranked Xavier on Friday:https://t.co/yLxYulkFkV via @timesunion— Mark Singelais (@MarkSingelais) November 8, 2019
Jalen Pickett scored 22 points off the bench, not starting due to being late to a weight training session, and Notre Dame transfer Elijah Burns added 19 for Siena, which hit 11 of 21 from 3-point range and shot 52.2 percent overall.
"I was ready to get out there with the guys and just help us where we needed to be helped,'' said Pickett, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, to the Albany Times-Union. "They did a great job starting the game off and I was just able to come in and try to pick it up."
Donald Carey had 17 points while hitting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, and Manny Camper rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting while pulling down eight rebounds. Despite using a four-guard alignment, the Saints still amassed a 41-26 edge in rebounds, something that will have to continue if they are to record their first victory over an AP Top 25 team since stunning then-No. 19 Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
"I'm excited,'' Burns said about facing the Musketeers. "I played with a couple of their players in high school, so I'm really excited to get back and play a high-level game. It's going to be a very good experience for our team. We're going to grow from it whatever happens."
Steele looking for 40-minute effort as X tries to build on victoryAfter its strong close to last season, the 19th-ranked Musketeers have been pegged as a potential darkhorse in the Big East race as everyone once again tries to dethrone Villanova. Xavier is the only school to have done that previously, and got this season off to a solid start with a 76-57 win over Jacksonville on Tuesday night.
Tyrique Jones and Naji Marshall scored 17 points apiece for Xavier, which opened a 21-point lead at halftime and cruised in the second half. That part of the game did not sit well with second-year coach Travis Steele, who is looking for a more focused effort in this game.
"He always tells us never cheat the game," Jones told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The game is 40 minutes so he just wants us to play a whole 40 minutes and if we do that, then I don’t think he’s going to call timeouts like that. I don’t know. It brings a different excitement when you have a coach who’s into it."
Steele sought out this matchup as part of building Xavier's non-conference schedule with an eye on NCAA Tournament seeding. The Saints were projected to be in the middle of the pack in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, but Steele has been impressed by what he has seen from Pickett and knows of Burns from his players.
"You look at a team like Siena. You try to predict out, right? I figured Jalen Pickett would be coming back and we knew this could be a great game for us as far as a numbers game because I think they're going to be good," Steele explained to the Albany Times-Union. "We wanted to challenge ourselves and play against a really good team."
- 1-6 ATS in its last seven Friday games.
- 6-14 ATS in its last 20 games following a straight up win.
- 5-1 ATS in its last six home games.
- 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a straight up win.