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Xavier Season in Review: Sean O’Mara report card

Sean O’Mara’s junior season didn’t go as planned, but his March was one to remember.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Arizona vs Xavier
What a March this guy had
Kyle Terada-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.

Sean O'Mara Votes % of votes
A 36 7.30%
B 252 51.30%
C 183 37.30%
D 14 2.90%
F 6 1.20%
Community GPA: 2.6

Sean O’Mara’s season can fairly be called inconsistent. Sean was in double figures in scoring in four of Xavier’s first seven games and then didn’t hit that mark again until the first week of February. There was one more outburst for 14 against Marquette in the senior night loss, and then Sean again went into hiding until March 8th where he, like the team, broke out for good. From that point on, Sean averaged 9.4/4.1/1.1 and missed a grand total of 10 field goals in Xavier’s last seven games. In that span, Sean did it all. He dominated Maryland for 18 points, dished out three assists against Florida St., and expertly sealed his man for the win against Arizona. It was a two and a half week tour de force that vaulted Sean up nearly into the top five of Xavier’s postseason grades.

Offense: B

This should be an A. Sean was Xavier’s most efficient scorer this year, he shot 60% from the floor, a respectable 68% from the line, and grabbed offensive rebounds at an 11.4% clip. Once Sean gets the ball in the post with his man on his back, he’s extremely difficult to stop due to his array of back to the basket moves and the ability to go to either hand. Add in a newfound sense of when to kick out or find a cutter and you have an excellent offensive post presence to offset Xavier’s bevy of athletes on the wings.

If he can hold onto the ball. O’Mara’s 17.2% turnover rate is too high for a big man. More alarmingly, it was bumping 20% before that sublime stretch in March when he only turned the ball over five times. Sean’s woes catching the ball and retaining it had turned into something of a running joke on Twitter as it seemed at least once per game the ball would grow a mind of its own and rocket out of his hands or off his body at the most awkward of angles. If Sean fixes that, like he did in March, he’ll have stretches of being unstoppable.

Defense: C

Defense is not Sean’s forte. Consider that in the seven game stretch that we’ve highlighted, he grabbed 16 defensive rebounds. In the entire rest of the season, 31 games, he grabbed a total of 45. His block percentage on the season was 2.9%, roughly the same as Edmond Sumner and well down from the 7.8% he posted as a freshman. Even with those rather pedestrian numbers, Sean still managed to commit five fouls for every 40 minutes he was on the floor.

Overall: B

There’s no question that this number is significantly impacted by that final brilliant run that Sean went on. For those seven games, and especially in the NCAA tournament, Sean took a huge jump forward in terms of production and impact on the game. While it’s not fair to base his whole grade on that and ignore a mostly frustrating junior season, it’s equally unfair to act as if those seven games weren’t a huge part of turning Xavier’s season around. Recency bias may be in effect here, but it’s not possible to look at Sean O’Mara’s season and not see him finishing off Arizona.