Men's College Basketball
Preview
Texas-El Paso vs Xavier
When: 3:30 PM ET, Friday, November 28, 2014
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

Xavier has outscored its first five opponents by an average of 22.4 points, but the Musketeers figure to be tested Friday by UTEP in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy in Fullerton, Calif. The Miners remained unbeaten Thursday as forward Vince Hunter continued his torrid start with 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 62-56 victory over Princeton. Hunter, a 6-8 sophomore, became the first UTEP player to open the season with three double-doubles since Nevil Shed in 1966.

The Musketeers opened the tournament with an 82-71 win over San Diego and made quite an impression on Toreros coach Bill Grier, who said Xavier is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. “They have quickness on the perimeter, a really terrific freshman (Trevon Bluiett) and on the interior they are just a load,” Grier told Cincinnati.com. Bluiett scored a team-high 17 points against San Diego and leads the Musketeers in scoring (18 points per game) behind 64 percent shooting.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT UTEP (3-0): The Miners opened with wins over Washington State and New Mexico State before holding Princeton to 29.6 percent shooting in the first half. UTEP boasts an impressive frontcourt led by Hunter, 7-1 center Matt Willms and 6-10 forward Cedrick Lang, who is averaging 12 points and 7.7 rebounds. Senior wing Julian Washburn, picked to the preseason All-Conference USA team, is off to a slow start while shooting 28.1 percent from the field, including 3-of-10 against Princeton.

ABOUT XAVIER (5-0): Senior center Matt Stainbrook collected 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against San Diego and will need a repeat performance against the imposing UTEP front line. Xavier boasts a solid backcourt led by point guard Dee Davis and Remy Abell, as well as a frontcourt that includes 6-10 forward James Farr, who has 24 rebounds over his last two games. The Musketeers received a boost on Thursday from freshman guard J.P. Macura, who bounced back from a scary fall Monday to score all 11 of his points during a key stretch in the second half.

TIP-INS

1. Xavier G Myles Davis is expected to be available Friday after missing Thursday’s contest due to disciplinary reasons.

2. UTEP is 65-13 under coach Tim Floyd when leading at halftime.

3. Xavier features a balanced attack, with nine players averaging at least 16.8 minutes.

PREDICTION: Xavier 74, UTEP 67
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Texas-El Paso 3-0 W3 2-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 2-0 0-0
Xavier 5-0 W5 4-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 4-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Texas-El Paso Xavier
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Texas-El Paso N/A
Xavier N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Texas-El Paso N/A
Xavier N/A
Assists Player  
Texas-El Paso N/A
Xavier N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Texas-El Paso V. Hunter 55 48.8 14
Xavier T. Bluiett 90 64.0 14
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Texas-El Paso V. Hunter 38 12 26
Xavier M. Stainbrook 39 15 24
Assists Player  
Texas-El Paso C. Cooper 15
Xavier D. Davis 31
Quickchart Matchup
Texas-El Paso Off vs  Xavier Defense
68.0 Points For
66.0 Points Against
41.7 FG%
44.4 FG%
35.7 Reb
25.0 Reb
Xavier Off vs  Texas-El Paso Defense
88.4 Points For
61.3 Points Against
55.8 FG%
42.2 FG%
25.0 Reb
29.7 Reb