Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Banners on the Parkway postseason report cards. With the players done, we are moving on to breaking down the various facets of Coach Mack. In addition to showing how the community rated the coach on offense, defense, man management, and overall, we'll be assigning and explaining our own grades as well. If you've missed any of the previous breakdowns, check them out in our Season in Review section.
|Community GPA 3.20|
Coach Mack's 6th season in charge at Xavier was pretty roundly received as an overall success, with Xavier's spot as a contender on the Big East being reaffirmed, a vaunted recruiting class being brought to bear, and a return to the Sweet Sixteen being the ultimate result of it all. With this being his 6th season at the helm, a picture of Xavier's future is starting to become clearer as Coach Mack's recruits have become the life blood of the program, becoming the first group of his players to end the season in KenPom's top 25. Xavier fans now have an idea of what this coach can do with the talent he attracts and, for the most part, it looks like they were pretty satisfied with the results, giving him a solid B overall, and with a high enough GPA to probably keep his parents off his back over the summer.
Overall Grade: B
If a couple of shots fall against Arizona this might have been an A; conversely, if Xavier's February funk had dragged on into March, this could have been a C. As it is, the excitement of a conference title game, a Crosstown Shootout win, and beating Butler and Georgetown five times were balanced by another Thanksgiving disaster, a losing to Auburn disaster, and generally looking lost against Villanova... disaster. The things Coach Mack does well are pretty obvious at this point- with the exception of the rebuilding year of 2013, his teams have been efficient of offense and shared the ball better than most teams, while also protecting the glass on defense. It is the strides that we have seen in his less accomplished areas that I believe should have Xavier fans excited about their coach. This was the first season in which Coach Mack has had a team finish in the nations top 200 in forcing turnovers, a result of the advent of the 1-3-1 zone Xavier implemented this season. While offense has always been a high point for X under Mack, this was an impeccably balanced attack, ranking the most efficient since Jordan Crawford took over 30% of the shots in his time on the court and taking in the 14th best assist rate in the nation. There was also the massive growth of players like Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds, who made leaps from sporadic contributors to vital cogs in another memorable X squad, as well as the reinvention of James Farr, all three testaments to the hard work of both the players and coaching staff. In the end, almost any line of work will bring about more criticism for failure than praise for success, and that is especially true of college basketball coaches. That being said, Xavier Nation spoke and were very happy with the work of Chris Mack and his staff this season, and will be waiting to see how the follow it up.