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 finisher 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.
|Makinde London||Votes||% of votes|
|Community GPA: 1.68|
The dubious honor of being first off the board goes to Makinde London, and it's instantly clear that there was a broad difference of community opinions about Xavier's redshirt freshman forward. Makinde's 8 A's represent a fairly solid haul, especially for a little-used reserve, but his 17 F's were just one behind the team leader in that category. On the whole, the conference thought Makinde's effort on the year was worth a D+. It's worth noting at this point that Makinde is still more than half a point above last year's low finisher, so... yeah.
Makinde's greatest flashes of potential were on the offensive end this year. Witness him spin through a crowd in Orlando to drill a pass into Sean O'Mara's belly for an easy bucket. Witness him back-dribble into the corner to drill a three while falling into his own bench against Wright State. His 7-18 (38.9%) from deep is nothing to sneeze at, and his OReb% of 9.2% is fairly solid. Unfortunately, he was a miserable shooter from inside the arc and at the line, he turned the ball over too much, and he didn't set his teammates up for that many buckets. It all added up to an ORtg of 94.2 in mostly inconsequential moments for a top-20 offense. That's not bad for a freshman, but that's about all it is.
Due to weighing approximately 17 pounds, Makinde had some trouble holding his own defensively, whether it was on the glass or as a primary defender. His skills came to the fore when he was paired with a broader man in the middle though. His block rate of 6% was impressive, and his DReb% of 16.6% was again solid. When freed up as a help defender, Makinde is definitely the kind of athletic rim protector that will make the Mo Watsons of the world decide to try out a floater rather than going all the way to the tin. More work with Matt Jennings in the weight room will no doubt make London a more imposing overall force on the defensive end.
Makinde played in 18 games and only got seven percent of the available minutes this season. That more than anything is an indictment of his season. He was a little dinged up at times this year, but that's as much down to body type as it is bad luck. The building blocks of something special are there, but in the present Xavier fans spent a lot of time watching Kaiser Gates fill the role that they had thought Makinde might be in line for. What we saw from London this season - aside from his megawatt smile and his skills as a pianist - are hopefully only faintly reflective of what we'll see from him as he continues to grow and develop.