|Xavier tough as Pitt: That’s why we’re here||03.25.09 at 2:46 pm ET|
Sean Miller gave a smile on Wednesday afternoon when he called the Big East Conference the toughest league. It was smile of recognition with a hint of sarcasm.
Miller was asked how his team matched up against the ‘toughest of the tough’ in the Pittsburgh Panthers, the team his Musketeers will be facing on Thursday night.
“They’re the very best at playing that game,” Miller said. “Offensive rebounding numbers, they’re number one in the nation, when you consider what they do to their opponent, in the toughest league, so that speaks for itself.”
But Miller sees reason for hope. In 34 games, Xavier has been outrebounded just three times and none in the last 24.
“Ironically, it’s the very best thing we do,” he said. “It will be tested at high level. Our defensive rebounding, rebounding margin, our defense in general is what has allowed us to have 27 wins. It’s why we’re here and what we just did last weekend. Our greatest strength will be tested against the best at doing it. We’re going to have to play a great game and hold serve in those aereas to hae a chance to win.”
Miller has also heard enough of the questions over the last several seasons about his Xavier Musketeers being a mid-major team succeeding in the bright lights of the NCAA Sweet 16.
“I don’t hear any talk about Memphis being a mid-major,” Miller said.