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.
What was the turning point of Xavier's season last year, as they went from struggling to stay afloat to finishing as one of the hottest teams in the nation? You could point to a lot of things, not least of which was a defensive revival, but one factor that hardly went unnoticed was the Muskies' ability to work a double pivot. Two big men on the floor is uncommon in today's game, but that strategic change let Tyrique off the leash, and he ran rampant through the latter part of the year.
Community grade: A-
|Tyrique Jones||Votes||% of votes|
|Community GPA: 3.46|
Tyrique Jones did everything you would reasonably ask of a traditional big man, and he did it pretty dang well. His season line of 11.3/7.7/0.8 came on an impressive .624/.000/.641 shooting line. He crushed the glass at both ends - ranking 3rd in the nation and 1st among high-majors in OReb% - and defended the rim well. Incredibly, he seemed to get strong as the season went on (did you hear he lost weight in the summer!?). Over Xavier's last 11 games, he posted an ORtg above his season mark of 119 8 times, and in one the game in which he fell short he still posted a 117. The dude was a horse.
Banners staff grade: A-
Honestly, I think the community nailed this one. You could gild the lily a bit on his performance, but that would be nitpicking for the most part. He had the occasional game where foul trouble held him back, and he was inconsistent from the line. He didn't distribute that much, but they can't all be Matt Stainbrook. If you offered me Tyrique's line at the start of the year, I would have happily taken it.
Ty went through part of the NBA draft process but pulled his name out before the deadline. For this coming season, Xavier would be more than happy to get more of the same from him. He's not a guy who you'd look for a lot of long jumpers from, and he's best suited to being around the rim to clean up anyway, but smoothing out the stroke at the free throw line is about the only place he could make a major change. If a guy with his skill set and physical presence can hit 70-75% of his free throws, he's going to be an all-league player. I expect a(nother) great year from Tyrique.