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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
Xavier capped 2010-11 by finishing second in the
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament for the second time in four seasons
and earning a berth in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship
for the fifth time in seven seasons. Of the 12 Gold Rush appearances
at nationals, five have occurred under Jackson.
2011-12 Xavier University of Louisiana Men's Basketball Preview
Rush expect more success if defensive intensity continues
Men's Basketball Home Page
Xavier University of Louisiana will attempt to keep
the momentum going in 2011-12 and continue its reputation as one of the best
defensive men's basketball programs in the NAIA.
Ninth-year coach Dannton Jackson has nine returning
lettermen, including four starters, and strongly believes those goals are
"Everyone on this team is committed to defense,"
Jackson said. "If our guys can maintain that commitment throughout the season, it
will pay dividends for us."
At Xavier, recent dividends have been reinvested.
Xavier is one of just six NAIA or NCAA basketball teams to rank in
the top six in scoring defense in their division in each of the past four seasons. (The other teams
are Biola's men in NAIA I, Indiana Wesleyan's women in NAIA II, Alaska Anchorage's women in NCAA II and
Mount Saint Mary's women and William Paterson's men in NCAA III.)
Xavier opened this past season by allowing 70 or fewer points in its first 17 games,
its longest streak since 1950-51, and finished 27-6 for its most victories since 1983-84.
The Gold Rush allowed 62.3 points per game to rank fifth in NAIA Division I after three
consecutive seasons at No. 6.
About the Gold Rush
• Head Coach: Dannton Jackson (Xavier 1992 and 1996), ninth season; 179-81 at Xavier and overall
• Assistant Coach: Alfred Williams (Xavier 2008), third season
• 2010-11 Record: 27-6 overall, 4-2 in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
• 2010-11 Postseason: GCAC Tournament runner-up; first round of Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship
• 2010-11 Scoring: offense 71.0 ppg, defense 62.4 ppg
• Leading Returning Scorer: Anthony Simmons, 9.0 ppg
• Leading Returning Rebounder: Cordell Hadnot, 5.6 rpg
XU's men are picked second in the
GCAC preseason poll behind Tougaloo, which beat the Gold Rush in overtime in the tournament
final. The Rush have earned a second consecutive
top-25 rating — No. 21 — in the NAIA preseason poll. Xavier spent
all of 2010-11 in the top 25, including three weeks in the top 10.
Returning starters are forwards Anthony Simmons and Denzell
Erves and guards Chris Iles and Kevin Miller.
Simmons, a 6-foot-8 junior, was All-GCAC and honorable-mention
All-Louisiana after averaging nine points and 5.5 rebounds and shooting a team-best
.598 from the floor. He had three of Xavier's seven double-doubles.
Erves, a 6-7 junior, averaged 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds,
shot .576 from the floor and blocked 30 shots to lead the Gold Rush for the second
Iles, a 5-11 senior, averaged 8.5 points and led the GCAC
and ranked 14th in NAIA Division I with 4.9 assists per game. He shot
.833 from the line to rank second in the GCAC and 19th nationally.
Miller, a 6-4 junior, averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds,
shot .765 from the line and made 11-of-19 3-pointers. This past season he earned
a starting role during the second semester and scored in double figures in
seven of his final 13 games.
Also returning are seniors Cordell Hadnot, Jamaan Kenner
and Jeremy Lee, junior Wanto Joseph, sophomore Anthony Boswell and redshirt freshman
Hadnot, a 6-7 forward, averaged 6.7 points and
5.6 rebounds and led the Gold Rush in rebounding for the second straight year. Kenner,
a 6-4 guard, averaged 4.7 points and has 58 made 3-pointers in three seasons.
Lee, a 6-6 forward, will redshirt this season after averaging
5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds a year ago. Joseph, a 5-9 guard who will back up Iles
at the point, averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 assists and scored in double figures
in both XU games at the GCAC Tournament.
Boswell, a 6-2 guard, averaged 1.2 points in 13 games.
Johnson, a 6-foot guard, returns after missing all but two games because of an injury.
There are four newcomers: 6-3 junior guard Renard Smith,
6-foot junior guard Nick Haywood, 6-4 sophomore guard Gil Mathieu and 6-4 freshman
forward Vincent Turner.
Smith is a native New Orleanian who averaged 15.4 points
for Delgado Community College this past season and 11.2 points as a freshman
at NCAA Division III Arcadia University. Haywood was Louisiana's Class 5A Player of
the Year and transferred to Xavier after two seasons at NCAA Division I University of
Houston, where he averaged 1.6 points and 9.1 minutes in 50 games with two starts.
Mathieu and Turner are walk-ons.
Xavier must replace two of its top three scorers from
this past season. One is forward Devin Andrew, who in 2010-11 averaged a team-best 10.9 points,
was All-GCAC and finished with 946 career points. The other is guard
Michael Harvey, who averaged 8.7 points a year ago and ranks fourth at Xavier all-time with 143 made
The XU men will open their 74th season on Nov. 2 at The Barn against
Carver College of Atlanta. The Gold Rush then will play a pair of NCAA D-Is, Western Kentucky
and SEC member Vanderbilt, in road exhibitions. The GCAC grew to eight members in July with
the addition of Philander Smith and Talladega, and after a one-year pause
all GCAC members will face each other twice during the regular season. Xavier will open
its conference schedule Jan. 7 at Philander Smith.
Jackson needs 21 victories to become the second Gold Rush coach to reach 200.
He averaged nearly 22½ victories in his first XU eight seasons. A winning
season in 2011-12 would be a program-record 12th in a row for the Gold Rush. And yet another milestone
involves The Barn, Xavier's 1,300-seat gymnasium which opened in 1937 but is scheduled
to be razed after the opening of a 4,500-seat facility, the Convocation Academic Center, in late 2012.
|The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC).
Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax