Xavier Musketeers vs. Delaware Blue Hens Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 5th 2023

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After a loss that showed the Musketeers are not all that far from the team they want to be, Xavier will stay at home for a matchup against Delaware on Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Battle-tested Xavier is far from content with its overall situation. It’s dropped four of six overall and lost consecutive home games, including one to then-No. 6 Houston on Friday. Houston is No. 3 this week.

Another of those Xavier defeats came on the road Nov. 13 against Purdue, then the No. 2 team in the country. The matchup with Purdue was a Gavitt Tipoff Games contest, while Friday’s was a matchup in the Big East-Big 12 Battle.

The competitive 66-60 loss to Houston took away at least a bit of the sting that came from a 78-76 home loss to Oakland last week.

The Musketeers (4-4) received 17 points from Quincy Olivari on Friday, while Desmond Claude scored 14 points. Xavier shot just 32.7 percent from the field but held the Cougars to a season-low 34.4 percent.

“Playing at Purdue, and Houston at home, two games that we did not schedule, there’s a lot of coaches that would be absolutely (expletive) that we played those two games. Those are two (No.) 1 seeds …” Xavier head coach Sean Miller said.

“Those aren’t easy games if you’re the best team in America, let alone right now, our group. We’ll be tougher because of it and we’ll move on.”

Delaware (5-3) also is trying to extract itself from a funk while on a three-game losing streak. The most recent defeat was a heartbreaking 74-73 setback at Ohio on Saturday.

The Blue Hens led by as many as 11 in the second half and were up 66-58 with 7:10 remaining. The first time Delaware trailed in the second half was on Ohio’s go-ahead basket with 31 seconds remaining.

Jyare Davis scored 17 points for the Blue Hens, while Jalun Trent scored 14. Delaware head coach Martin Ingelsby has been impressed with the leadership of Trent, a transfer from North Dakota, who has a team-best 24 assists, while scoring 9.3 points per game.

“(Trent) is a guy that’s in the gym, he’s dragging guys in there with him, he’s got a great presence about him, he’s a vocal guy,” Ingelsby told The Portal Report. “I think he is a pass-first point guard that’s going to get his teammates involved.”

–Field Level Media

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