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Men's basketball exceeds expectations

By sabrina Brown
On November 21, 2012

No one had high hopes for Xavier basketball this season. The Musketeers were picked to finish ninth in the Atlantic 10 and were counted out before the season even started. But no one expected how the Musketeers' first two games of the 2012-13 season would play out.
Xavier defeated its now conference rival Butler 62-47 in the ESPN Tip-off Marathon. The Bulldogs were picked to finish sixth in the A-10 and were the national runner-up in both 2010 and 2011.
"I see them having a great year. I kind of laugh at the whole ninth place thing," Butler head coach Brad Stevens said.
While Stevens may have always seen Xavier as a contender, the Musketeers saw this game as an opportunity to show the world of college basketball not to count them out.
"We're a tough team. We don't take criticism. We don't just lay down and let teams run over us. Today we played against a well-coached, tough team, but today we just played harder and we showed that we were a tougher team," senior forward Jeff Robinson said.
In its season opener, Xavier set a new record of points scored in single game with 117, surpassing the previous record of 108.
This marked Xavier's 23rd straight victory in a season-opener. The Musketeers had seven players score in double-digits, including sophomore point guard Dee Davis, who recorded his first career double-double.
Davis more than doubled hisMatsushitaprevious career-high of 10 points and led all Xavier scorers with 22 points. The sophomore also set a career-high in assists with 15.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes in this team from last season's squad can be summed up in one word: team.
Last season, the Musketeers were often hindered by the offensively driven backcourt duo of Mark Lyons and Tu Holloway, and this season, at least thus far, the team plays with a fluidity that can only exist through truly unselfish play.
The Musketeers are doing something refreshing this season: having fun.
It's clear that this is a team that loves to play together, a quality that's evident not only in its play but in the atmosphere in Cintas as well.
"The fans made the game fun. A lot of teams may not have fun, but I know for sure that we have a lot of fun when we play," Robinson said.
Xavier will take to its home court again when it takes on Robert Morris at 2 p.m. on Saturday


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