Let's do this a little bit differently this time, just for grins and giggles. You might be aware of the fact that we like Ken Pomeroy at this site. He's either some arcane numbers wizard opening up new levels of understanding of basketball for the masses or a dork who never moved out of his mom's basement and needs to long off and go see the sun/a game, depending on who you ask. One of the neat little details on his site is declaring an MVP of every game played by using a tweaked version of John Hollinger's game score formula. A Xavier player has earned MVP honors in 21 of the Muskies' 27 games; here are your power rankings based on KenPom MVP honors.
Guys with no KenPom MVP awards
t12. RaShid Gaston and Eddie Ekiyor
It's hard to be the most valuable player when you're not eligible to play. I'm going to go out on a limb and say each of these guys will grab at least one KenPom MVP in Xavier colors before the sun's expansion devours our planet or the Lord returns.
11. Makinde London
He may not have any MVPs to his name, but he has had some individual plays that make you wish he were capable of doing whatever it is he needs to do to get on the court. From his spinning feed to Sean O'Mara in Orlando to his back-dibbling three in the corner against DePaul, Makinde has flashed the foundation of a really fun to watch game.
10. Kaiser Gates
Kaiser gets called for 7 fouls every 40 minutes in conference play. Aside from that, he has hit a couple of big threes the year, one to keep Xavier away from Butler at Cintas and another to keep the Muskies within touching distance of Marquette before X overwhelmed them down the stretch. Those are big time plays; KPMVPs are coming for Kaiser.
9. Sean O'Mara
Realistically speaking, it's going to be an uphill struggle to be the MVP when you're the third-best player at your own position on the team. If James and Jalen depart during the summer, Sean will climb to maybe the second-best player at his own position, depending on how well Tyrique Jones and Eddie Ekiyor debut and what kind of minutes Makinde is capable of handling. It's tough sledding to get to the top of the depth chart in the middle of the floor on Xavier.
8. Larry Austin, Jr.
I thought Larry had a pretty good argument for the KPMVP against DePaul, but a lot of guys did pretty well (as is expected in a 21-point road win) and LAJ ended up getting overshadowed by Trevon Bluiett's 15/6/2 with no turnovers. A couple more offensive boards and Larry would have been right there. He remains an MVP in my heart.
Guys with a single KenPom MVP award
7. Remy Abell (Butler)
Remy has quietly snuck back into being the same player he was last year, playing solid man defense and shooting 37% from deep in conference play. You may recall that he exploded into life against Butler with Ed out, I guess just to prove the he could. He doesn't compile big numbers, but he's a big part of the group I've taken to thinking of as the Starting Seven.
6. Jalen Reynolds (Miami OH)
You lose points in the KPMVP formula for fouls, which is killing Jalen. He actually picked up his award in the first game of the year and has been silent in the category ever since. He has been playing solidly for stretches, but you'd rarely look back at a game and feel like Jalen stamped his identity all over it.
5. JP Macura (Alabama)
This kind of surprises me, because JP does the things that computer formulas really love. He protects the ball, scores efficiently, and hits the offensive glass. The things he does poorly (contain a man off the dribble, for instance) aren't really easily quantified. Regardless of what the KPMVP formula thinks of him, there's little doubt that he has been the team's most efficient offensive player in conference games.
Guys with multiple KenPom MVP awards
4. Edmond Sumner (3; @Wake Forest, @Butler, @Georgetown)
This isn't surprising at all; Edmond has the skill set to just take over, as you all witnessed in his recent decimation of Georgetown. When he has his eye in, there's just no defending the guy. An aggressive Sumner sets up the team's offense in a way that no other single player on the roster does.
3. James Farr (4; Missouri, Auburn, @Marquette, Seton Hall)
Offensive rebounding is a big factor in the KPMVP formula, and James is a monster on the offensive boards. His scoring has been touch and go in conference play, but he has posted 13 double-digit scoring games this year, including his 24/15/4 performance at Marquette to overmatch the Golden Eagles' formidable front line.
2. Myles Davis (5; Dayton, Cincinnati, @St. John's, St. John's, Providence)
Those are some pretty impressive games on the KPMVP resume for Myles. Two against hated rivals, two against the same plucky team that Xavier couldn't seem to dominate like we wanted them to, and then a triple-double against a top 25 opponent that has one of the most highly-touted guards in the nation directly opposite Myles. That's a pretty bulletproof series of contests that Myles has been the top performer in. Not bad for a dude who also has to deal with the emotional turmoil of a receding hairline. Stay brave, Myles.
1. Trevon Bluiett (6; NKU, WKU, Wright State, DePaul, Marquette)
This doesn't come as much of a surprise, and the KenPom MVP formula likes counting stats and guys who don't miss a ton of shots. When Tre is playing well, he's a really efficient scorer who also grabs his share of rebounds and dishes out a lot of assists. For someone who is more or less a jump shooter at heart on offense, Trevon brings a really solid secondary skill set to the floor. Congrats on all those trophies KenPom is sending you, Tre; I'd say you've earned them.