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.
|Larry Austin Jr.||# of Votes||% of Votes|
|Community GPA: 2.12
LAJ is the first Musketeer of the season review to land above the line marking a pass from fail. Most of the community fell right on the C average line, with nearly 60% of the votes being there. The fact that there were three A votes probably tells a lot about what was expected coming into the season. The six F votes probably all come from people who value ball security. There are a lot of different ways to look at Austin Jr's season, and a C average here reflects a player who did both a lot right and a lot wrong this year.
I know that's harsh, but Larry simply didn't do the one thing a point guard must do: take care of the ball. In 111 minutes of play, he managed 11 turnovers to go with six assists.That contributed to an offensive efficiency rating of just 71.3 and a turnover rate of 44.7%. Lest you think that a high turnover rate is common for a young guard, consider that Dee Davis posted a 29.3% as a freshman while Tu Holloway's was 17.6%. Even the occasionally reckless Semaj Christon managed a 22.2% turnover rate. Since KenPom began keeping his rate free statistics, no Musketeer was as careless with the ball as Austin was this season.
There was hope in Austin Jr's season. Those turnovers came in an admittedly small sample of playing time. Take away the first 12 minutes of Larry's season (admittedly more than 10% of his playing time) and he only turned the ball over eight times. More importantly, the turnovers were borne out of an urge to make something happened, not the crippling hesitation that plagues young guards. Larry shout 50% from the floor, all from inside the arc, and made three of four free throws. Points aren't awarded for effort in college basketball, but Larry's effort will pay off in the long run.
The same aggression that will eventually stand Austin Jr. in good stead on offense greatly helped him on defense. It's hard to give anyone averaging 4.3 minutes per game and only appearing in 26 games a grade higher than C, but it's tempting with Xavier's freshman. This then, is the very highest of high C's. No player on the team save passing lane savant JP Macura posted a higher steal percentage, and LAJ was clearly the superior on ball defender. More surprisingly, Austin Jr. posted a higher defensive rebound rate (10.7%) than Sean O'Mara and would have finished fifth on the team in that category if he'd qualified. That again speaks to the effort that got Austin the morsels of playing time that Dee Davis let slip. Defensively, Larry is well on his way to being a major factor.
Overall Grade: C
Thankfully, I'm not honor bound to average the two above grades to get the overall grade. Perhaps I'm being charitable, but I'm inclined to give LAJ credit for trying to make something happen on offense rather than standing around either scared or overthinking. It's easier to tone down a player than who wants to make plays than it is to force someone timid to be aggressive. Factor in the defense that Larry brought to the table and the fact that he was a very late add to this team and it's hard to be down on him. Readers put him at a 2.12 overall, that seems about right to me.
Be sure to stop by our comments section and discuss what you rated Larry and why this year. Did the community at large miss something that you think should have raised his grade? Do you think that his offensive struggles should have weighed more heavily on his overall grade? Let us know how you graded Xavier's freshman guard and why.