Sean O'Mara is a big human being. Let me open with that. The 6'9" 240 pound Benet Academy product is not going to be pushed around by anyone in his first season with Xavier. O'Mara has shown the ability to use his size to his advantage as well, leading his high school team in rebounding every game except one last year. That is the ability and will to find the ball and make it yours. What is yet to be seen is how that will translate on the floor when he comes up against the Villanovas and Georgetowns of this world.
O'Mara's most noted quality, aside from his prolific rebounding rate, is the ability to read the flow of the game and make intelligent, accurate passes out of the post. This is a quality X fans will recognize from their exposure to Matt Stainbrook, but having a big man who is a back to the basket player and able to find open guards is a must for a team with gunners like Xavier has this season. Having two is icing on the cake. The knock on O'Mara is that his quickness is not quite up to D1 level yet, and he may struggle with some of the longer, faster opposition thrown his way this year. He also, much like Stainbrook, will have to work hard to maintain his fitness level because of the lumber he is carrying, making him break down sometimes at the end of long stretches. In a team full of quick outside players, O'Mara figures to bring some much needed bulk to the equation.
Best Case Scenario:
Even projecting best case, it is hard to see a starring role for O'Mara this season. Stainbrook and Reynolds are both back and ready to go, but O'Mara can hope to supplant James Farr as the first big off the bench. While he certainly doesn't boast the outside game Farr does, O'Mara put up a respectable 6.5 and 5.8 in Brazil, scoring a bit more efficiently than Farr. It will be interesting to see how the competition shakes down if O'Mara proves he can continue to dominate the boards against the top competition. Best case would be a big off the bench who can spell Stainbrook and Reynolds while refining his own game and hitting the boards like a boss, much like Jason Love's role on the 07-08 team.
Worst Case Scenario:
O'Mara's size doesn't matter because his quickness doesn't play. While physicality is not going to be the issue for O'Mara, his adjustment to faster opposition is too jolting and he is unable to use his size to his advantage. Like we saw with Jalen Reynolds last season, the quickness of the game can be tough for even very talented players to catch on to, leading to ineffectiveness and foul trouble.
Most Likely Scenario:
O'Mara is Stainbrook's understudy and, while the differences are noticeable on the court, he is able to fill in when the senior is tired, in foul trouble, etc. The good thing about having players like Abell and Bleuitt, is that there will be times where X can run 4 guards and still defend competently. This season will be a growing experience for O'Mara, with flashes of brilliance to assure Xavier fans that Stainbrook's heir apparent is up to the task.