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.
|Community GPA 3.79|
Matt earned the Xavier fan vote MVP based on raking in 137 A votes, the most any player got on a single line. Quite simply, it was hard to look at the Musketeers this season and not see Matt as the best player on the floor. That didn't keep our faithful fan who gave everyone but Dee an F from doing the same for the team's MVP. That absurd anomaly included, this was still a runaway win for the big man.
The rise of tempo free statistics in basketball has led to different ways of evaluating players. Matt Stainbrook dominates those tempo free numbers. This season Matt was 118th in the nation with a 118.9 offensive efficiency, 31st in effective field goal percentage, and 19th in true shooting percentage. That was coupled with a 19.6% assist rate and a turnover rate of only 19.3%, making Matt an extremely rare big man with a positive assist to turnover ratio. In short, those numbers say that when the Stain Train touched the ball, good things happened.
If you prefer standard numbers, Matt averaged 12.3/6.9/2.4 on .613/.200/.764 shooting. Matt lead the team in points and rebounds per game, was second in assists per game, fell short of Jalen Reynolds by .005% for the lead in field goal percentage, and trailed only Myles Davis from the free throw line. It really doesn't matter how you prefer to take your stats, Stainbrook was the team's best offensive player by some margin.
The numbers aren't quite as glittering here, a block rate of 2.9% just cracks the top 500, but that doesn't really encapsulate what Matt meant to the team defensively. When confronted with anyone but the most nimble of bigs, Stainbrook defended one on one at all times with only the occasional guard dig for support. Despite that he committed only 3.8 fouls per 40 minutes of playing time and logged the most minutes of his career. Thanks to a notable commitment to putting his body on someone, Matt grabbed defensive rebounds at a 22.2% rate, good for 79th in the nation. That kind of work on the glass for a man for whom leaping is something other people do is incredible.
There's no question that Xavier is losing a lot with the graduation of Matt Stainbrook. He was, without question, the best offensive weapon the team had all season long, and he used that to consistently make his teammates better. Defensively he was never really exposed despite his lack of lateral speed and his constant communication was a requisite in Xavier's high hedge or 1-3-1 defenses. Teams who looked at Xavier on simply a face value level would never have guessed that the player most likely to pull them apart was the 6-10 guy in goggles and pads, but he was. Xavier's MVP for the season was a maestro in the final game, giving far more heralded big men for Arizona a torrid time until the final horn of the game, and his Xavier career, finally sounded. Matt Stainbrook is this year's Banners on the Parkway MVP, and he deserves every bit of praise he'll get.