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.
|JP Macura||Votes||% of votes|
|Community GPA: 3.66|
JP Macura, team MVP. Change three of JP’s A’s to C’s and you have the exact vote setup the Trevon received. Instead, Xavier’s dynamic wing from Minnesota walks into the sunset having been voted the most valuable member of arguably the program’s best regular season team ever. It’s hard to say that he didn’t deserve this, all the other accolades he got, and plenty more that he didn’t.
There’s just not a whole ton JP couldn’t do on the offensive end. He was so much more than just a bucket-getter, though there’s no doubt the dude could get buckets. His magnum opus this year was 27/5/3 at a Seton Hall team that had real aspirations of making a run to the top of the league. At the tip, KenPom had the game as a toss up. At the final horn, JP’s thunderous putback dunk served as the punctuation of his complete dominance of the final ten minutes of the game.
JP his 55% of his shots from inside the arc and 38% from beyond it, all the more remarkable for the degree of difficulty he took on for some of his attempts. His final game line of 12.9/4.5/2.9 on .479/.377/.821 shooting only scratches the surface on his versatility. He was second on the team in offensive rebounds, trailing only Tyrique Jones. He was second on the team in assists, trailing only Quentin Goodin. He could do just about anything the team asked of him on the offensive end; only the incredible risks he took in trying to make plays blunted his otherwise remarkable efficiency.
Not blessed with the lateral quickness that traditionally makes a great on-ball defender, JP made up for it with his basketball IQ and incredible scrappiness. JP really found a home on top of Xavier’s 1-3-1 zone, hounding opponents 35 feet from the bucket and making himself a nuisance in the passing lanes. He led the team in steal rate and it wasn’t that close. He turned up just about anywhere there was a 50-50 ball and claimed possession of it. He wasn’t going to get on the opponent’s best scorer and lock him down, but he’d do anything else the team needed from him and deploy his trademark intensity in getting it done.
Xavier fans will likely have to wait a long time to see another scorer like Trevon Bluiett; they might be waiting even longer to see another player like JP. A leader in every sense of the word, he rallied his team and led by example, never backing down from an assignment or a challenge. That kind of intensity needs to be backed up with talent to not get old, and JP had that in bunches. The fact that the fans looked at 12.9/4.5/2.9 and saw the team’s MVP speaks volumes about what JP brought to the floor. He may not have been the guy who was going to stand out at a casual glance, but - as the Florida State game illustrated all too painfully - he was the irreplaceable beating heart of the 2017-2018 Xavier Musketeers.