|Not this one, but you get the idea|
MVP: Tu Holloway
|Team MVP, Tu Holloway|
MIP: Kenny Frease
Mark Lyons also made a run in this category, but it was the big man from Massillon who improved the most for the Musketeers. Frease averaged 5-4-1 last year and in general looked nothing like an impact player. This year Big Kenny showed up carrying a bit less weight and something of a chip on his shoulder. Against Wake Forest he scored 22 to go with 14 rebounds and finally looked like a player who could change a game. Kenny finished the year with six double-doubles and a season high of 18 rebounds. The big man finally looked like a worthwhile player.
Most Resilient Player: Jamel McLean
|Glasses and all, McLean was a monster|
Best Game of the Year: La Salle Feb. 22nd
La Salle came into town just after the debacle against Fordham that required 26 points from Holloway to win it. Coach Mack tore into his team for two days of practice and it showed against La Salle. A 38-6 to start the game put things out of doubt early and the men in white never let up. Jeff Robinson scored 22, Mark Lyons had 15, Jay Canty had 10 and the regulars dominated. It was a good night.
Best Tweet/Dunk of the Year: Jeff Robinson (@Berry_Bonkers) Feb 23rd:
"BODY IN THE TRUNK AND LOCKED IT!!!" That was Robinson's take on what was surely the hardest finish of the year. I'm not sure exactly what that turn of phrase means, but I'm going to use contextual clues to determine it's a good thing. What an absolute hammer of a dunk.
Most Inconsistent Player: Jeff Robinson
22-1-0 in 27 minutes against La Salle, 1-5-1 in 19 minutes against Wofford. Think I'm just picking extremes to make a point? Robinson had 15-2-0 in 25 minutes against Iowa and 2-5-0 in 23 minutes against Seton Hall the next night. Robinson is unquestionably blessed with the kind of athleticism that few people have, he's even a relatively capable shooter. There is, however, something that keeps him from putting it all together and it can be infuriating to watch.
Best Moment of the Year: Dante Jackson comes off on Sr. Night
Most Entertaining Player: Brad Redford
If you've never been to Redford's Rundown you probably aren't sure how an injured player who never set foot on the court could be the most entertaining. If you have, you know how it's possible. My personal favorite is the trip that Joe Hughes and Redford went on to Sport Cuts.
Most In-Season Improvement: Mark Lyons
Mark Lyons spent the first part of the season trying shoot himself into a rhythm and failing pretty miserably. In 13 non-conference games, he was a miserable -30 in PPR. His 52 made buckets, 39 made free throws, and 38 assists came at the cost of 94 missed shots, 18 missed free throws, and 38 turnovers. Cheek was gobbling up possessions (19.5 per game) and not giving X much production for them (12.5 PPG, .356/.345/.684, 1:1 A/TO). After that, Lyons decided to start to get to the rim. The change was incredible, Lyons' scoring and percentages went up as X went 13-1 in the next 14 games. Lyons cut back on his possession use (18.7 per game) and increased his production (15.4 PPG, .487/.370/.762, 1.33:1 A/TO), and X took off.
Biggest Mystery: Why not Redshirt Griffin McKenzie?
Griffin is not generally a name associated with the heroic type, but XU recruit Griffin McKenzie was attempting to defend two young men he didn't even know when he was beaten unconscious. McKenzie suffered severe damage to his head and face but returned to Xavier intent on playing. In a fairy tale story he would have returned, made some clutch shots, and sparked the team with his energy. Instead, he sat. McKenzie played 42 minutes this year and averaged only 2.5 per game. A year of his eligibility was lost while he sat with the Three Headed Monster.
Best Shot: Tu Holloway at Dayton
|Home away from home|
So that caps our review of the season. If you missed any of our coverage of the departing seniors, or any of the parts of the season recap they are all listed below for your reading enjoyment.
Three Headed Monster