CINCINNATI - FRIDAY UPDATE:
Xavier's Tu Holloway was not selected Thursday night in the 2012 NBA Draft. An influx of more European players than was expected in the 2nd Round put Holloway at a disadvantage, with many of them logging more experience and size than the average U.S. college grad.
Holloway still has hope though, he can join the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas beginning July 13, where he can hopefully catch the eye of coaches and staff to get signed as an undrafted Free Agent.
And of course, there's always overseas, potentially replacing some of the players drafted into the NBA this year.
The University of Cincinnati's Yancy Gates was also a potential draft pick on many Mock Draft boards, but also did not have his name called. He, like Tu, can also try out in the Summer League.
THURSDAY'S ORIGINAL STORY
If you asked this time last year where Tu Holloway was going to be drafted, the answer would have been a resounding, “1st Round.”
But after a bit of a performance drop in the 2011-12 season and a long, talented class of guards coming out this year, Holloway’s stock in the 2012 NBA Draft is teetering off the list.
The intangibles aside, Holloway’s overall stats fell just enough to make him less of a slam dunk pick than last year.
Here’s a breakdown of his past two years:
It’s a noticeable difference, specifically the scoring, which was down on the whole for the Muskies from year-to-year.
But Holloway still has great basketball sense, thrives in pressure, can get to the hoop when he needs to draw fouls and will always make the clutch shot. These are all things that are more difficult to teach than jump shot fluidity, so he very well could find a spot.
Where does he fit, you ask? Two teams jump off the page.
New York Knicks: Pick #48
Originally from New York, Tu would be right at home with the Knicks. This team has been ever-searching to add youth to its roster, and Holloway could fit nicely into the rotation behind point guard Jeremy Lin.
With an aging Mike Bibby gone and a fading Baron Davis on his way out, Tu would be a great roster spot to learn, put in quality minutes at either guard position, and eventually find his way into the No. 2 spot at PG long-term behind Lin.
This is of course assuming the Knicks are not interested in some of the other undersized, pure-shooting point guards in the draft like J’Covan Brown (Texas) and Maalik Wayns (Villanova). The Knicks could use scorers on their second shift, but Tu should hope that they’re instead looking for a smarter distributor who can score when needed and have an impact long-term.
Los Angeles Lakers: Pick #60
The last pick of the Draft (and L.A.'s only pick) would seemingly be a better fit. The Lakers gambled on point guard Ramon Sessions this past season, giving away Derek Fisher and largely ignoring the PG position thanks to Kobe Bryant’s presence to run the court from every position in the backcourt.
But there is no denying the reason they didn’t go far this past season was they were without a proper distributor who was also a scoring threat. And with Sessions opting to test Free Agency in the offseason, the Lakers need another point guard.
Holloway would be perfect, acting as a younger Derek Fisher with the ability to give a lot of quality minutes to fill in for 32-year-old Steve Blake, but also to serve as a “must-guard” on offense, distracting team defense from Kobe or giving them an out option when teams do try and double Bryant.
But if some of the longer point guards in the Draft like Casper Ware (Long Beach State) and Scott Machado (Iona) make it down this far, all bets are off for this Musketeer, and he may have to hope for a signing as an undrafted free agent with an injury-plagued team like the Bobcats or Hornets.
Only time will tell, but one would think that despite his small frame, Holloway’s talent combined with his decision making and leadership abilities are ripe to be picked by someone.
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Xavier University is celebrating its official entry into the Big East Conference with two events on July 1.