Sweet 16: Arizona vs. Xavier

Let’s start with the players who are projected to play possible meaningful minutes with their common stats, ranked by HnI (ignores missed games on the season, better for game predictions than HnR).  The Rank is the player’s national rank out of 3053 “qualified” players (more than 20% of available team minutes). If there is no rank, the player played less than 20% of the available team minutes during the season. M? is the predicted minutes played for each player to best optimize team rating while still adhering to previous 2015 NCAA Tourney precedence and seasonal playing time.

Overall player rank:
HnI Rank Player Team Mn/g Pt/g Rb/g A/g S/g B/g T/g TS% M?
172 7 T.J. McConnell Arizona 30.1 10.1 3.9 6.3 2.2 0.1 2.0 0.567 39
155 39 Stanley Johnson Arizona 28.4 14.0 6.6 1.7 1.5 0.4 2.2 0.545 31
154 44 Matt Stainbrook Xavier 26.5 12.1 6.9 2.4 0.6 0.6 1.9 0.647 35
149 68 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 28.4 11.3 6.9 1.6 1.1 0.9 1.6 0.568 34
142 115 Jalen Reynolds Xavier 20.1 9.9 6.1 0.4 0.6 1.0 1.2 0.626 27
138 156 Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 10.0 3.0 1.4 1.8 0.3 0.0 0.7 0.528 13
137 175 Brandon Ashley Arizona 27.8 12.2 5.3 0.7 0.6 0.7 1.5 0.566 22
133 219 Gabe York Arizona 22.9 9.1 2.1 1.3 0.5 0.4 1.0 0.604 23
132 234 Dusan Ristic Arizona 8.9 3.6 2.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.614 4
130 258 Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 25.9 9.2 5.1 0.3 0.4 0.6 1.4 0.604 20
122 400 Dee Davis Xavier 32.7 8.9 2.4 6.0 1.3 0.0 2.4 0.502 40
122 414 Trevon Bluiett Xavier 28.4 11.3 4.3 2.0 0.6 0.1 1.4 0.543 29
121 433 Myles Davis Xavier 27.0 10.7 2.4 2.1 0.9 0.0 1.3 0.573 21
116 593 Remy Abell Xavier 27.6 8.5 2.0 1.3 0.6 0.1 0.9 0.600 28
114 647 James Farr Xavier 15.6 4.3 5.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.1 0.472 14
113 679 J.P. Macura Xavier 13.3 5.5 1.2 0.6 0.7 0.1 0.9 0.557 6
97 1486 Elliott Pitts Arizona 15.0 3.6 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.542 14

131 is the average HnI for a Sweet 16 player, while going into the tourney 118 was the HnI for the average NCAA Tourney player, 99 average for a D1 player.

Eight of the top 10 rated players are Wildcats, although two of them (Jackson-Cartwright and Ristic) play limited minutes because of how talented the roster is.

I keep reading about how gritty TJ McConnell is, how he’s the glue guy, etc. Honestly, TJ McConnell has turned into a STAR player. He does about everything well to exceptionally well, he just doesn’t take many shots.

We have four players in this game ranked in the top 70 nationally.

Scoring rating:
Player Team Sco Mn/g Pts/40 TS%
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 112 20.1 19.6 0.626
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 108 26.5 18.3 0.647
Stanley Johnson Arizona 101 28.4 19.7 0.545
Brandon Ashley Arizona 95 27.8 17.6 0.566
Dusan Ristic Arizona 94 8.9 15.9 0.614
Gabe York Arizona 92 22.9 15.9 0.604
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 86 28.4 15.8 0.568
J.P. Macura Xavier 83 13.3 16.5 0.557
Myles Davis Xavier 82 27.0 15.9 0.573
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 82 25.9 14.2 0.604
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 77 28.4 15.9 0.543
T.J. McConnell Arizona 73 30.1 13.4 0.567
Remy Abell Xavier 68 27.6 12.4 0.600
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 59 10.0 11.9 0.528
Elliott Pitts Arizona 49 15.0 9.6 0.542
Dee Davis Xavier 47 32.7 10.9 0.502
James Farr Xavier 43 15.6 11.0 0.472

An average Sweet 16 Scoring rating is 75, average NCAA Tourney Scoring rating is 69, while the D1 average is 59.

Rating from 2 point range:
Player Team 2pt Mn/g 2p/40 2pA/40 2p%
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 92 20.1 8.1 13.0 0.623
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 79 26.5 7.0 11.2 0.622
Dusan Ristic Arizona 67 8.9 5.8 9.6 0.603
Brandon Ashley Arizona 58 27.8 5.8 10.9 0.535
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 56 25.9 5.0 8.7 0.579
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 50 28.4 4.9 9.0 0.541
T.J. McConnell Arizona 47 30.1 4.5 8.2 0.552
Stanley Johnson Arizona 41 28.4 5.0 10.4 0.477
James Farr Xavier 29 15.6 3.6 7.3 0.485
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 29 28.4 3.4 6.8 0.497
Remy Abell Xavier 28 27.6 2.8 5.0 0.552
J.P. Macura Xavier 25 13.3 2.6 4.8 0.537
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 22 10.0 2.9 6.3 0.460
Gabe York Arizona 20 22.9 2.0 3.8 0.526
Dee Davis Xavier 17 32.7 2.4 5.5 0.447
Myles Davis Xavier 11 27.0 1.9 4.6 0.413
Elliott Pitts Arizona 10 15.0 1.2 2.5 0.471

Average Sweet 16 2pt rating is 36, average NCAA Tourney 2pt rating is 31, average D1 is 26. Xavier’s fortunes and offensive efficiency really lie on Reynolds’ and Stainbrook’s ability to score efficiently from the paint. Considering Xavier hasn’t faced a team all season with the defensive ability, size, and length of Arizona – it’s going to be quite a tall order for those two.

Dusan Ristic would be be a star post player offensively for about 90% of D1 programs.

Rating from the free throw line:
Player Team FT Mn/g FT/40 FTA/40 FT%
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 36 28.4 5.4 7.6 0.703
Stanley Johnson Arizona 34 28.4 5.0 6.8 0.736
Myles Davis Xavier 30 27.0 4.2 4.8 0.868
Brandon Ashley Arizona 29 27.8 4.5 6.5 0.691
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 29 26.5 4.3 5.6 0.767
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 27 25.9 4.1 6.1 0.676
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 25 28.4 3.8 5.1 0.746
Gabe York Arizona 21 22.9 2.8 3.5 0.814
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 20 20.1 3.4 5.1 0.656
J.P. Macura Xavier 19 13.3 2.8 3.7 0.762
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 17 10.0 2.8 4.3 0.647
Dee Davis Xavier 16 32.7 2.5 3.5 0.725
Remy Abell Xavier 14 27.6 2.2 3.1 0.705
Dusan Ristic Arizona 13 8.9 2.8 5.4 0.512
T.J. McConnell Arizona 13 30.1 1.8 2.2 0.800
Elliott Pitts Arizona 10 15.0 1.4 1.8 0.792
James Farr Xavier 4 15.6 1.1 2.3 0.469

The average FT rating for both the Sweet 16 and the NCAA tourney is 19. D1 average is 16.

Rating from three point range:
Player Team 3pt Mn/g 3p/40 3pA/40 3p%
Gabe York Arizona 52 22.9 3.0 7.7 0.396
Myles Davis Xavier 41 27.0 2.6 6.8 0.385
J.P. Macura Xavier 39 13.3 2.8 8.1 0.348
Elliott Pitts Arizona 29 15.0 1.9 5.4 0.356
Remy Abell Xavier 26 27.6 1.5 3.7 0.413
Stanley Johnson Arizona 25 28.4 1.6 4.3 0.373
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 23 28.4 1.8 5.2 0.336
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 19 10.0 1.1 2.9 0.391
Dusan Ristic Arizona 14 8.9 0.5 0.7 0.800
Dee Davis Xavier 14 32.7 1.2 3.6 0.318
T.J. McConnell Arizona 13 30.1 0.9 2.6 0.343
James Farr Xavier 9 15.6 0.9 3.1 0.295
Brandon Ashley Arizona 7 27.8 0.5 1.4 0.343
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 0 28.4 0.2 1.1 0.214
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 0 26.5 0.0 0.2 0.250
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 0 25.9 0.0 0.0
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 0 20.1 0.0 0.1 0.000

Sweet 16 average 3pt rating is 20, NCAA tourney average is 19, D1 average is 16. Davis and Macura, and their willingness to launch from three, might be the key to Xavier having a chance for an upset. Let’s just say Xavier needs them to get hot – and for Arizona’s Gabe York to not do the same.

Rebound rating:
Player Team Reb Mn/g Orb/40 Drb/40 Rb/40
James Farr Xavier 65 15.6 3.4 10.5 14.0
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 59 20.1 3.7 8.5 12.2
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 50 28.4 3.0 6.8 9.8
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 50 26.5 3.0 7.3 10.4
Dusan Ristic Arizona 49 8.9 2.8 6.8 9.6
Stanley Johnson Arizona 48 28.4 2.9 6.4 9.3
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 41 25.9 2.4 5.5 7.9
Brandon Ashley Arizona 40 27.8 2.6 5.0 7.6
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 30 28.4 2.0 4.1 6.1
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 26 10.0 0.8 5.0 5.8
T.J. McConnell Arizona 24 30.1 0.9 4.2 5.1
J.P. Macura Xavier 19 13.3 1.3 2.4 3.7
Gabe York Arizona 16 22.9 0.3 3.4 3.7
Elliott Pitts Arizona 16 15.0 1.1 1.8 2.9
Myles Davis Xavier 15 27.0 0.4 3.1 3.5
Dee Davis Xavier 13 32.7 0.4 2.6 3.0
Remy Abell Xavier 13 27.6 0.4 2.4 2.9

The average Sweet 16 rebound rating is 34, NCAA tourney team average is 31, D1 average is 28. If Farr, Reynolds, and Stainbrook can stay in the game and get quality minutes, Xavier should be able to hang with Arizona for the most part on the boards. If those three can’t top their average minutes per game by a decent margin – Xavier will get manhandled. Arizona is a deep rebounding team – four starters rebounding like power forwards, with good rebounding point guards to boot.

Ball handling & passing rating:
Player Team BH Mn/g Ast/40 TO/40
T.J. McConnell Arizona 64 30.1 8.4 2.6
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 51 10.0 7.3 2.8
Dee Davis Xavier 48 32.7 7.4 2.9
Myles Davis Xavier 14 27.0 3.2 2.0
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 10 28.4 2.8 2.0
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 10 26.5 3.7 2.9
Remy Abell Xavier 6 27.6 1.9 1.3
Gabe York Arizona 6 22.9 2.2 1.7
Elliott Pitts Arizona 5 15.0 1.2 0.8
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 1 28.4 2.3 2.3
Stanley Johnson Arizona -4 28.4 2.4 3.0
J.P. Macura Xavier -8 13.3 1.9 2.8
Dusan Ristic Arizona -9 8.9 0.3 1.2
Brandon Ashley Arizona -11 27.8 1.0 2.1
James Farr Xavier -15 15.6 1.1 2.7
Jalen Reynolds Xavier -16 20.1 0.7 2.4
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona -17 25.9 0.5 2.2

Sweet 16 average rating here is 9, NCAA Tourney team average is 6, D1 average is 2. There is no player in the nation that is TJ McConnell’s rival in this rating, he stands alone. His backup, Jackson-Cartwright, has the 2nd highest handles/passing rating of all Sweet 16 players. Much like Ristic, he would star at about 90% of D1 programs as a true point guard.

Xavier’s Dee Davis ain’t no slouch himself – he has the 5th best rating here of all Sweet 16 guys – only Ulis of Kentucky and VanVleet of Wichita State come between him and Jackson-Cartwright.

But, again, no one runs a team like McConnell. If Arizona is able to win it all this season, it’ll be very largely due to having a truly elite floor general. For this game, the match up between him and Dee Davis should be fun.

Defensive stops rating:
Player Team Df Mn/g Stl/40 Blk/40 PF/40
T.J. McConnell Arizona 29 30.1 3.0 0.1 2.4
Stanley Johnson Arizona 21 28.4 2.1 0.6 3.6
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona 20 28.4 1.6 1.3 3.4
James Farr Xavier 16 15.6 0.9 2.1 4.4
J.P. Macura Xavier 16 13.3 2.2 0.3 4.4
Jalen Reynolds Xavier 13 20.1 1.2 1.9 6.1
Dee Davis Xavier 11 32.7 1.6 0.0 2.9
Gabe York Arizona 10 22.9 0.9 0.6 2.2
Brandon Ashley Arizona 8 27.8 0.9 1.0 4.0
Matt Stainbrook Xavier 8 26.5 0.9 0.9 3.7
Myles Davis Xavier 7 27.0 1.3 0.0 2.8
Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona 7 10.0 1.4 0.1 4.0
Remy Abell Xavier 6 27.6 0.8 0.1 1.8
Kaleb Tarczewski Arizona 4 25.9 0.7 0.9 4.6
Trevon Bluiett Xavier 3 28.4 0.9 0.1 3.2
Elliott Pitts Arizona 1 15.0 0.9 0.1 4.1
Dusan Ristic Arizona -2 8.9 0.3 1.2 5.8

Sweet 16 and NCAA Tourney average rating is 13, D1 average is 10. I’d be willing to bet there aren’t two better on the ball defenders outside the post in the same lineup in the nation than McConnell and Hollis-Jefferson. It’s a safe bet.

The Prediction:

Using the the predicted minutes (M?) for the players in this game – here’s how the team ratings look:

Sco 2pt FT 3pt Reb BH Def HnI
Arizona 82.8 41.7 24.3 16.7 34.7 13.4 15.3 144.6
Xavier 78.2 41.7 20.7 15.9 32.1 11.7 9.0 128.6
Sweet 16 Average 75.1 36.1 19.4 19.7 33.6 9.1 13.3 131.2
NCAA Tourney Average 68.6 31.1 18.6 18.8 30.9 6.1 12.6 118.1
D1 Average 58.8 26.1 16.5 16.3 28.4 2.2 10.0 99.5

Arizona has the advantage across the board. Xavier will have to keep their three big rebounders and post defenders out of foul trouble – and they’ll need to hit their threes – to stay in this game.

Ken Pomeroy has Arizona winning 74-64. With the optimized lineups based on the player ratings, I come up with Arizona winning by 8.1 points, a 73.0 to 65.0 final.

Dan

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