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2013-14 Xavier University of Louisiana Men's Basketball Preview
Newcomers will Rush to the defense to create more success

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     There are so many newcomers on the 2013-14 Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball team — eight in their first year in the program, plus two redshirt freshmen — that fans may need to keep a roster handy to keep track of them.
     But the Gold Rush defense, no matter who's on the floor, promises to produce another welcome sense of familiarity.
     "What we've seen so far in practices is a team that enjoys getting after people on defense," 11th-year head coach Dannton Jackson said. "We have a lot of athletic guys with length and quickness who take pride in shutting people down. We've had a lot of good defensive teams here, and this one looks like it will be, too."
     Jackson preaches defense as much as anyone in the college game, and at Xavier it has produced a full collection plate. From 2007-12, Xavier was the only NAIA or NCAA men's basketball team to rank in the top six in scoring defense in its division in each of those five seasons. That streak ended last season, but the Gold Rush still ranked a respectable 12th in NAIA Division I with 64.6 points allowed per game.
     Returning lettermen Xavier Rogers, RJ Daniels, Olivier
    
About the Gold Rush

Head Coach: Dannton Jackson (Xavier 1992 and 1996), 11th season; 226-98 at Xavier and overall
Assistant Coach: Alfred Williams (Xavier 2008), fifth season
2012-13 Record: 24-8 overall, 11-3 (tied for first place) in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
2012-13 Postseason: GCAC Tournament quarterfinalist; first round of Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship
2012-13 Scoring: offense 70.3 ppg, defense 64.6 ppg
Leading Returning Scorer: Xavier Rogers, 7.9 ppg
Leading Returning Rebounder: Olivier Siewe, 2.0 rpg
Siewe and Gary Smith will join the newcomers and redshirts in a bid for a third consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship and a fourth straight 20-win season and appearance at the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship. Gone from last season's 24-8 team are 83.9 percent of the points and 82.8 percent of the individual rebounds.
     But Jackson, who has produced eight 20-game winners, seven NAIA tourney teams and four conference championships in his first 10 seasons, has demonstrated repeatedly the ability to reload when needed and prosper. Jackson is 10-for-10 in producing winning seasons, and his teams never have won fewer than 18 games. Jackson was GCAC Coach of the Year each of the past two seasons.
     All four returning lettermen are second-season XU players. Rogers, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, averaged 7.9 points and shot 34.8 percent from 3-point range last season. Daniels, a 6-4 sophomore guard/forward, averaged 3.7 points and made a team-best 40 percent of his 3-pointers. Siewe, a 6-5 senior forward, averaged 2.1 points and 2.0 rebounds. Smith, a 6-1 sophomore guard, averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 assists and earned 13 starts, eight in the final nine games.
     Jackson's recruiting class was formidable enough to earn selection to the preseason All-GCAC team for newcomers Sydney Coleman and Jarvis Thibodeaux, both with experience at NCAA Division I schools. Coleman, a 6-7 junior forward, is a transfer from Jackson State. Thibodeaux, a 6-8 sophomore forward, is a transfer from Presbyterian.
     The other newcomers are 6-foot junior guard Anthony Goode, 6-3 junior guard Chaz Sharp, 6-1 freshman forward Riley Smith and 5-10 sophomore guard Morris Wright. Returning for a second year are redshirt freshmen Lucas Martin-Julien, a 6-2 guard, and Wesley Pluviose-Philip, a 6-7 forward.
     Goode is a transfer from NAIA member Virginia Intermont, where he averaged 12.0 points, made 40 3-pointers and shot 39.2 percent from 3-point range last season.
     The XU men will open their 76th season on Nov. 1 against Carver College of Atlanta. The Gold Rush then will visit LSU for the first time in an exhibition before resuming the remainder of countable games. There will be 15 home games. Xavier's second-year Convocation Center, which seats nearly 4,000, will be the site of games during the final three days of the GCAC Tournament in early March.
     There will be five games against teams which qualified for the 2013 NAIA tourney — two apiece against William Carey and Philander Smith and one against Faulkner, which eliminated Xavier in last season's opening round. Xavier and Philander Smith shared the GCAC regular-season championship.
     Jackson is 226-98 at Xavier and needs nine victories to set a Gold Rush record for career victories. He would surpass his predecessor, Dale Valdery, who was 234-136 from 1990-2002.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
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

 
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