Xavier has looked dominant during its current winning streak, but that still hasn’t been enough to satisfy coach Sean Miller.
Miller hopes his 24th-ranked Musketeers can shake off a sluggish performance when they host Fordham on Saturday afternoon.
Xavier (13-3, 1-0), one of three ranked Atlantic 10 teams, extended its winning streak to five with an 83-68 home victory over pesky St. Bonaventure on Wednesday.
Though the Musketeers shot 50.0 percent Wednesday and have won their last five by an average of 26.8 points, Miller questioned their aggressiveness and felt a sense of overconfidence infecting a team that is off to its best start since going 13-3 in 2001-02.
“I’m completely disgusted and disappointed with our team,” said Miller, whose squad allowed the Bonnies to shoot 46.3 percent overall and 61.1 percent (11-for-18) from 3-point range. “I’m going to strip the hype. The reality is we’re really average when we don’t play as hard as we can and as unselfish as we can.
“I hope we come out more ready against Fordham.”
Miller’s disappointment might be hard to grasp, considering six players average double figures for Xavier, which scores 81.1 points per game—93.5 in its last four.
On Wednesday, B.J. Raymond and C.J. Anderson each scored a career-high 21 points, but were the only two Musketeers in double figures. Xavier had seven players with 10 or more points in wins over Kansas State and Virginia, and five in a victory at Auburn in the three games prior to facing St. Bonaventure.
Defensively, the Musketeers expect to play better Saturday after allowing the Bonnies to hang around.
“We can’t have any mental letdowns,” said Raymond, who averages 12.3 points on the season but has posted 17.0 in his last three games. “Teams of the past here had mental letdowns. We’re trying to be a team that’s a different breed here, that has a different standard.”
The Musketeers hope for a better overall effort as they try for a fourth straight win over Fordham (6-7, 0-1). Stanley Burrell had 18 points in Xavier’s 71-56 road win over the Rams on Jan. 11, 2007 in the teams’ most recent meeting.
Fordham, which has lost 14 of its last 15 meetings with Xavier, fell 74-62 at Duquesne on Wednesday in its conference opener.
The Rams have been a disappointment after being picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 after going 18-12 overall and 10-6 in the league last season.
Senior forwards Sebastian Greene and Bryant Dunston each posted double-doubles Wednesday for the Rams, who had just five players score. Greene had a season-high 20 points with 10 rebounds, while Dunston had 19 points and 11 boards for his third straight double-double.
Dunston, who averages team highs with 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds, is averaging 21.0 points and 13.7 rebounds in his last three games. He had 14 points and seven rebounds in last season’s loss to the Musketeers.
Fordham, which lost to No. 7 Georgetown on Dec. 31, has dropped its last 10 games versus ranked opponents since winning 68-67 against then-No. 24 St. John’s on Dec. 9, 2000.