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18. Xavier
B.J. Schecter
November 23, 1998
James Posey is ready to leave his sixth-man role and join the distinguished fraternity of Musketeers power forwards
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November 23, 1998

18. Xavier

James Posey is ready to leave his sixth-man role and join the distinguished fraternity of Musketeers power forwards

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STARTING LINEUP

POS.

HT.

CLASS

KEY STAT

SF Lloyd Price

6'5"

Fr.

15.3 ppg*

PF James Posey

6'8"

Sr.

15.3 ppg

C Obi Harris

6' 10"

Jr.

9.0 rpg**

SG Lenny Brown#

6'2"

Sr.

14.7 ppg

PG Gary Lumpkin#

6'2"

Sr.

12.3 ppg

'97-98 record: 22-8
Final rank (coaches' poll): unranked
#Returning starter
*ppg as high school senior
**rpg as juco soph

A Jesuit School with 6,500 students and spartan facilities, Xavier has in the last decade become a breeding ground for well-heeled power forwards. Former no-name recruits for the Musketeers such as Tyrone Hill and Derek Strong (the Nos. 11 and 47 NBA draft picks in 1990), as well as Brian Grant (No. 8 in '94), were earning pro salaries totaling $9.4 million last season. James Posey, a 6'8", 210-pound senior, may soon join them on the alumni-giving department's list of high priority calls.

When Posey came to Cincinnati from Twinsburg, Ohio, he was far from a polished product. In fact, during his first practice, coach Skip Prosser took one look at a lethargic Posey, turned to his assistants and said, "There's no way this kid will last with me." Posey admits he dogged it at times as a freshman because he had failed to qualify for a scholarship and could only practice with the team but not play games. However, thanks to the prodding of Prosser, he has developed into a player NBA scouts loveā€”sort of a sleeker version of Grant. Posey averaged 15.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season, and for the second time won the Atlantic-10 Sixth Man Award. Now a starter, he will have to help make up for the absence of forward Darnell Williams, the Musketeers' top scorer from 1997-98, who is expected to sit out the year with a torn right ACL. "I want to prove to people that I can give my team a lift for a whole game," says Posey. "I'll just have to provide the spark a little earlier. Even without Darnell, we still have the players to compete for a championship."

One of those players is 6'5" freshman Lloyd Price, a slashing swingman and three-point sharpshooter from Oak Hill Academy. He'll complement senior guards Lenny Brown and Gary Lumpkin, who have played together for eight years dating back to junior high.

Under Prosser, the Musketeers have used quickness and an all-out, trapping defense to make up for their lack of size. They forced an average of 21.9 turnovers last year. "We play a little faster than most teams and try to stay in their face for 40 minutes," says Prosser. "We try to apply pressure early and let teams know it's going to continue all game. I want people to dread playing us."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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