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 and maybe the following, just depending on how time allows. 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|
|Community GPA: 3.08|
Sean O’Mara was a model of consistency in his time at Xavier. The lowest offensive efficiency he posted was 107.5, his highest was the 122 he had this season. Sean was always able to score around the basket, rebounded well on both ends, and threw more than his fair share of shots. This season he made 80.3% of his free throws and, for the first time in his career, committed fewer than five fouls per game. Despite that, Sean still felt under appreciated at times and never averaged even 15 minutes per game.
If Xavier needed a bucket inside for the last four years, Sean was the guy to go to. That was especially true this year, when he shot 59% inside the arc and 80% at the line. O’Mara was deft around the bucket, athletic enough for the occasional dunk in traffic, and possessed of moves going to either hand. Back to the basket bigs are becoming more and more rare in today’s game, but that was where Sean found his niche. This year, he added a 12.5% assist rate to his game. That number was the best from a Xavier big since Matt Stainbrook’s 19.6% as a senior.
Sean wasn’t going to stay with a stretch four on the wing or with a new era slashing big off the dribble. What he could do was wall up like no one else on the roster in the paint and consistently use his body to get himself in the right positions. Whereas most blocks come from the weakside defender, Sean had a knack for keeping his man just off balance enough offensively that he could effectively challenge a shot. That led to the highest block rate on the team this year.
Per 40 minutes Sean O’Mara was fourth on the team in points, third in rebounds, and seventh (but only .2 out of fifth) in assists. Instead, Sean averaged only 14.6 minutes per game. Maybe it was the offense, or maybe it was his limitation on the outside in defense, but Coach Mack never seemed to fully throw in with Sean other than one brilliant run last March. There’s no question Sean’s efforts earn him an A this year. The only question is what might have been had he gotten just a little more playing time.