Dartmouth grad transfer Evan Boudreaux, who has two years of eligibility, told ESPN he has committed to Xavier. Averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 boards. Also visited Purdue and Colorado.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 11, 2017
Evan Boudreaux is not some Ivy League reject that has hit the open market in search of a handful of minutes of playing time. Once again, Coach Chris Mack has pulled in a serious player who will boost Xavier in their pursuit of the Final Four. Boudreaux is a two time all-Ivy player who posted a line of 17.5/9.5/1.0 on a shooting line of .439/.352/.696 last year.
That is the headline stuff on Boudreaux. The pace neutral stats tell a slightly different story. In his freshman season, Boudreaux shot 83% and 41% behind the arc on his way to a 106.5 offensive efficiency rating. Last year, those numbers dipped to 69%, 35%, and 97.2 with a 2.1% increase in usage rate to a very 29.2%. Those are two very different stories on a player. One is a sweet shooting freshman with room to grow, the other looks a lot like a sophomore who is a volume scorer. So who, exactly, is Evan Boudreaux?
For one, he’s a scorer, not a shooter. Boudreaux’s shooting percentages even in his freshman year still earned him a TS% of 55.9%. The best recent Xavier comp for that, is JP last year. Solid, but not great. His EFG% was 48.8% last year, roughly comparable to Paul Scruggs this year. That, if you were wondering, is decidedly not good. Boudreaux did that while carrying a lot more of the scoring load for Dartmouth, but he also got to the line less frequently and converted at a lower rate than he previously had.
The same odd story was told on the glass as well. Boudreaux hit the offensive glass last year at a mediocre 7.5% rate, but dominated the defensive glass at an elite (30th in the nation) 26.3% rate. Both, again, were down from his freshman season. What did go up was a shots percentage that jumped to 31.1% and minutes that jumped to 33.4 per game.
In short, Boudreaux was asked to do a lot more in even more playing time last year, and his game suffered for it. At his best, he’s an elite possession ender on the glass who is also an excellent spot up shooter with game around the rim. At his worst, he’s a guy who can be forced to settle and will eventually wear down. What he never had at Dartmouth was Xavier level talent. Left free to do what he does and coached by one of the best staffs in the nation, he should be a valuable addition to Xavier’s roster.