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Xavier Season in Review: Edmond Sumner

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It’s hard to grade a guy who didn’t make it to the most important test.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to everyone who participated in our 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.

Edmond Sumner Votes % of votes
A 151 30.80%
B 241 49.10%
C 82 16.70%
D 8 1.60%
F 9 1.80%
Community GPA: 3.05

This isn’t going to be the standard player grading review, because Edmond Sumner didn’t have the standard player year. After just 21 games, which is a lot, but not an entire season, Sumner suffered one of those injuries that you know is bad just from looking at it. Against St. John’s, Ed went up a Musketeer and landed with his entire basketball future in doubt. Thankfully, Sumner has been invited to the NBA scouting combine and seems likely to be drafted, but the injury he suffered could have derailed Xavier’s entire season if not for Quentin Goodin.

Overall: Incomplete

Like the student who takes 2/3rds of the semester and then vanishes, Ed managed to do some work without really reaching the point where grades can be assigned. It’s hard to know what he would have done in the crucible of the stretch run that Xavier had to make, or even if the Musketeers would have had to make it with Sumner on the court. After those 21 games, Sumner’s numbers were up pretty much across the board, with the exception of three point shooting, and he was taking on a great deal more of the responsibility for the offense than he had been the year before.

Ed was also more efficient in 2016 than he had been his freshman year. That wasn’t keeping him from taking grief from the parts of Xavier Nation who felt like he should be doing more. Even here, early in the season, there was a question as to whether the explosive point guard took the game by the scruff of the neck often enough. The numbers showed that he was developing into a better player, but that he was also suffering under the cosh of almost absurd expectations.

Ultimately, Ed was the player that Xavier fans wanted him to be. The St. John’s game came after the UC game (in which he wasn’t great) and it was clear that Sumner wasn’t going to let the team lose. He was playing full tilt, mixing seven assists with only two turnovers and grabbing four rebounds to go with his 17 points when the injury happened. Quentin Goodin stepped into the gap ably on that day and again in March. What happened in between almost certainly wouldn’t have happened if Edmond Sumner were there. Ed’s last year with Xavier, and indeed his Xavier career, can really only feel incomplete.

That may be it for the grading, but that’s not really the Edmond Sumner Experience. Part of what so endeared the young man to Xavier fans was that he was living his dream and obviously having the time of his life doing it. There’s something to be said for the infectious joy of someone who realizes he is privileged and is determined to wring every bit of enjoyment out of it. Yes, this heightens the disappointment that he’s gone, but it also makes the moments where he pounded down dunks with a smile on his face that much more fun.