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Season in Review: Elias Harden community ranking and offseason outlook

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Oh, what could have been.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Xavier
I’ll miss this guy.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Some technical difficulties slowed our poll results, but we’re back with the player-by-player autopsy of the season and a look at where each guy needs to develop to fit into next year’s plan.

Elias Harden was maybe the enigma of the Xavier season. He played a lot, then he didn’t. He shot poorly, then he couldn’t miss. He was a vital defensive piece, then he couldn’t get time for his play on either end. He’s gone to Jacksonville State now, but his time at Xavier ends mostly with a question mark rather than a conclusion.

Banners Community Grade: D

Elias Harden Votes % of votes
A 3 1.40%
B 5 2.40%
C 66 31.90%
D 77 37.20%
F 56 27.10%
Community GPA 1.09

Like Harden’s season, it’s hard to know exactly what to make of his grade. Elias was undoubtedly a disappointment at times this year, but he also provided a big spark in huge wins. The community wasn’t kind this year, though, and expected the sophomore to contribute more than he did.

Banners Staff Grade: C

Guess what? Like everyone else, we have a hard time knowing what to make of what Harden did this year. Was he the 35% three point shooter who had an offensive efficiency over 120 in six games this year? Or was he the callow youngster who had a turnover rate over 26% and multiple games this season when his minutes played were higher than his offensive rating?

Another factor that makes it hard to judge Harden is his uneven playing time. Twice this season Harden played double digit minutes for multiple games and then didn’t play at all in the next contest. He played doubles in a game, then played a total of 14 over the next three. He played an excellent 24 against Georgetown in his best game of the year and then averaged four minutes over the next five, including a DNP. There frequently seemed to be no rhyme or reason to when Eli would play. Some days he did, some days he didn’t. For six straight games in February he was over 20 minutes four times and a consistent contributor. He averaged only nine minutes per game after than and never got more than 14.

Offseason Outlook:

This is the concern of Jacksonville State now, but we all wish Eli the very best going forward.