Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Banners on the Parkway postseason player report cards. We'll be breaking down each player's grades for the rest of this week and on into next week, where we'll reveal the top three finishers according to the community. We'll also be assigning and explaining our own grades of each player. We'll start with the player who got the lowest community ranking and work our way up to the MVP. If you've missed any of the previous players, check them out in our Season in Review section.
|Jalen Reynolds||# of votes||% of votes|
|Community GPA: 3.20|
Apart from the outlier which we can probably safely say at this point was either not an X fan or someone with ridiculously high standards, almost everyone in Xavier Nation felt that Jalen deserved a B or better for his work this season. With some eye-catching performances and the numbers to go with them, it is easy to see why over a quarter of the voters rated him an A, and he led the team in B votes garnered at 118, two ahead of Myles Davis.
It was often not this year that there was usually only one player capable of stopping Jalen Reynolds on a given night- Jalen Reynolds. Jalen took close to a quarter of the team's shots when he was in the game, and with good reason, given his 62% performance from inside the arc. Reynolds operated best alongside another big with Matt Stainbrook's vision freeing Jalen up for easy looks or James Farr's 11.0 offensive rebounding rate coupling with Jalen's 11.9, giving Xavier basically one out of every four misses right back. Reynolds missed his only three attempt this year, and struggled to a .663 rate from the line this year, but his 9.9 ppg were among the team's most efficient and he showed the ability to be a go-to scorer in a 21 point field day against Georgia State in the Round of 32 to help X into the Sweet Sixteen, the team and Jalen's high point of the season.
Reynolds possesses the physical skills to be at least as good on defense as he is on offense but suffers from two things. The first is that he is noted for his occasional lapses of concentration which can lead to open passing lanes or Rick Kreklow shooting X out of a game. The second is his burning lust for fouls, which limited him to only 50% of the available minutes for Xavier this season, What Reynolds does well on defense is basically everything else. He is strong enough to defend a back to the basket post, quick enough to play the hedge in man or the center of the 1-3-1, blocks shots nearly twice as frequently as anyone else on the team, and was 34th in the nation in corralling opponents misses. Focusing in on assignments and scouting reports and curbing the frequency with which he draws whistles will see Jalen easily leap up to an A on this side of the ball as well.
Overall Grade: A
Few people had as much impact in as little time anywhere in the nation as Jalen did for X. He was a vital part of the tournament run and showed a maturation throughout the year, culmination in his recovering from a poor performance against Ole Miss to be arguably Xavier's best player in the next two games. His propensity for Technical Fouls, of which he received nine this year, is at least somewhat based on his reputation for being an emotional player, but apart from some mental errors, it is hard to find a lot wrong with Jalen's play this year.
How did you rate the big Sophomore? Did you rate him higher because of how intimidating he is? What would you like to see out of Jalen next year as he assumes the mantle underneath the basket from Stainbrook? Let us know in the comments.