FS1’s Marshall, Lavin assess Xavier’s loss to Butler, long layoff

Fox Sports 1's Donny Marshall and Steve Lavin assessed Xavier's costly Big East Tournament first-round loss to Butler on Wednesday night, and agreed that the Musketeers suffered significantly this season from a stretch between Jan. 11 and Feb. 12 in which they played just one game (a win, ironically, at Butler) because of issues related to COVID-19.

Xavier Musketeers guard Paul Scruggs (1) reacts after being called for a foul during the second half of a Big East conference tournament game against the Butler Bulldogs at Madison Square Garden on March 10.

"This team this season can say, 'We hit some bumps. We had two really bad injuries. We missed almost a month of basketball.' Every team can say that," Marshall said during FS1's postgame show after XU's 70-69 overtime loss. "But your concern is what happens with your team. And when you lose veteran guys - listen they lost two guys who transferred in who were upperclassmen. That hurts. Now you put more pressure on Paul Scruggs to be that kinda alpha male. He was much better with those other two players around. Then you put pressure on guys who aren't used to having that pressure. This is a team that could not afford the herky-jerkiness of a college basketball season that we've had. Some teams are built a little better to be able to fight through that. This Xavier team just couldn't figure out how to keep themselves going. ... An 85 percent free-throw shooter, and you reach in. It's not like you're out of position - it was a reach. That's - again - it's the mental, it's those attention to details that I think a lot of teams that fall by the wayside have struggled with all season. ... I don't see them in (the NCAA Tournament). You think about other teams around the country - even in this conference, a team like St. John's. I do not think that they have done anything - especially in the last eight games - that would say they still have a foot in."

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