Linked below is a profile on Xavier head coach Chris Mack that was written during the 2012 season that saw Xavier race off to a fast start, but stumble along the way and missing the NCAA Tournament (the school’s only miss in the last eleven years). Mack and Xavier have since righted the ship, combining for 51 wins over the last two seasons and currently sit at No. 16 in the AP Poll. The writer was given an all-access pass to the team’s preparation leading up to their highly-touted New Year’s Eve matchup with Gonzaga. Really good stuff in here on what Xavier’s practices are like, how Mack balances his many duties as Xavier’s head coach, Xavier’s “kill” concept, the impact Skip Prosser had on Mack, and how Mack’s focus is on Xavier, rather than the next opponent during the season.
When they’re finished, the players spend another 15 minutes watching film on the opponent’s tendencies or “themes.” Mack keeps it purposefully simple, choosing three or four clips for each theme. He also makes sure never to be in the room during a film session. “I don’t want them to think, ‘Coach Mack is so consumed with Gonzaga,’” he explains. “I’m consumed with what we do.”