Xavier men’s and women’s basketball team may be different, but both coaches can agree on one thing: Last year was a special year and this year will be even better. WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Xavier women’s basketball team went 24-10 in the 2013-14 season, and 10-2 in the GCAC, becoming conference champions. The Nuggets have had 13 consecutive seasons of 20 or more victories. They also have three regular season GCAC championships and four GCAC tournament championships in the past five seasons. In the 2014-15 preseason GCAC coaches poll, the Gold Nuggets were picked first. Whitney Gathright was chosen pre-season Player of the Year. “I’m excited for the challenge of trying to bring a young team together. That’s why I have a pep in my step,” head coach Bo Browder said.
According to Browder, the Gold Nuggets plan on making a run to the Final Four this season, or at least the Elite Eight. It will not be easy though. The Gold Nuggets lost five seniors last season. This season will be different, according to Jasmine Bush, a sophomore forward. “We lost a lot of experience. This season will require a lot more teamwork,” she said. Featuring a 14-player roster, the Gold Nuggets should have no problem finding the teamwork. Over the summer, Xavier women’s basketball signed four new players: freshman Iryeon Keith, and juniors Eliqua Brooks, Trana Hopkins, and Donyeah Mayfield. The rest of the team roster includes: freshmen DaylinBoatner; sophomores Kelsey Joseph, Taylor Norman, Kelsee Singleton, and Jasmine Bush; juniors Alesha Smith, Amara Person-Hampton, Emoni Harvey; and senior Vinnie Briggs. Experience or not, fans have a lot to look forward to when watching Gold Nuggets basketball. Browder promises a lot of excitement, energy, great defense, and a lot of fun. MEN’S BASKETBALL
Xavier men’s basketball went 23-9 in the 2013-14 season, and 10-2 in the Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference. They were 14-3 at home, and won their season opener for the 18th consecutive time. Their record qualified them for the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. “I’ve been working all summer. I’m excited to play basketball,”senior Rush forward Sydney Coleman said. Lucas Martin-Julien shared GCAC Freshman of the Year Award with Fisk University’s Walter Arnold. Martin was the first from Xavier to win the award since 2004-05. Coleman and Morris Wright, a junior point guard, were voted to the 12-player All-GCAC team. Wright became the third player in XU history to reach 400 points, 40 made 3-pointers, 100 rebounds and 50 steals in the same season. Coach Jackson has plans to build on from last year’s success. “It’s a process,” Jackson said, “We’ve improved from a recruitment standpoint. Our depth has improved. Our players have gotten better. We’ve filled some holes, and we’ve added some size.” Xavier men’s basketball added five new players: freshmen Troy Salvant, Nicholas Palmer and Eugene Cooper; juniors Jacques Johnson, Charles Savoy, and Josh Freeman. The rest of the roster includes: juniors RJ Daniels, Wesley Pluviose-Phillip, Gary Smith, and Jarvis Thibodeaux, and seniors Anthony Goode and Coleman.
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