It was the best matchup of the night and it did not disappoint between the Xavier Muskateers and the West Virginia Mountaineers. It was one of those games where nobody deserved to lose. But there can be only 1 winner and lucky for Xavier it was them.

Heading into the game, Xavier was one of the best 3-pointer shooting teams in the country (top 25). At the end of this game, 3-point shooting would say alot, Xavier ended up shooting 11-for-19 while WVU went 1-for-11. Xavier does a great job getting 3-point shots in a variety of ways and a variety of situations. In this clip, they score off of an inbounds, a fast break and finally a drive and kick,

Though at times, it doesn't appear that Xavier runs much of an organized offense (they primarily run set plays, no motion). But they really understand how to get open. That is a a key concept for any team that shoots the 3-pointer as well as Xavier does.

Flare Screen:

I don't think this was even the real design of the play. But Lavender screens the 2 defenders allowing Brown to flare to the 3-point line for an open 3,

Ball Screen:

I'll admit, the screen here by Burrell was a moving screen. But the idea here is what we're getting at. Off the break, set an open court screen for Lavender to step into a shot off the break,

Drive and Kick:

This is just great court awareness. Burrell drives baseline and actually gets caught here. But Jackson knows it's his job to shuffle to the weak side corner on the drive and set his feet in case the pass comes along the baseline,


Xavier now faces their biggest game of their lives, possibly for the entire program's history this Saturday in the elite eight matchup against UCLA. Though the Muskateers don't press much full court, from watching the WKU/UCLA game, it was clear that UCLA was exposed in 2 ways, problems handling the full-court press (esp. point-guard depth) and open-court 3-pointers. If Xavier can somehow get 1 or both of those things going, they could pull of the mighty upset.

Look for a shooting video? A nice new shooting video you might want to consider is Steve Smith's DVD on team shooting. Coach Smith is the head coach of Oak Hill Academy, the prep school powerhouse featuring famous alum such as Jerry Stackhouse and Carmelo Anthony. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.