With roughly one month remaining until draft day and the Knicks already running pre-draft workouts, it's time to profile some folks who might be available with the 48th pick. I know nothing about college basketball, so here's the much more knowledgeable and debonair Ross Bernhardt, who you may know as viva_morrison. -Seth
Happy Thursday to you all, fellow second round hopefuls! It is I, Ross Bernhardt (aka viva_morrison), and I'm back for another rousing series of Know the Prospect! The Knicks began hosting young, starry-eyed prospects today, but how can we really know these players? I mean really know them?
Well, unless your name is Professor Charles Xavier, you can't. Last time I checked, my name was Ross Bernhardt, so telepathy is out of the question. But we can do a little old-fashioned research and come to some general conclusions about these guys.
Before we get to today's prospect, let's first try and identify what the Knicks will be looking to get come draft time. Without a first round pick, the Knicks will be drafting at 48 (18th pick in the second round). The Knicks have done pretty well in the second round the past two years (you can do better than Fields and Harrellson in the second round, but you could also do much worse) so they know how to find talent here. Let's take a look at the free agent situation for the Knicks over the next two years and what area the Knicks might want to address this draft (via The Basketball Jones):
2012 Free Agents: Landry Fields (R), Jeremy Lin (R), Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, Steve Novak, Dan Gadzuric, Jared Jeffries, J.R. Smith (P)
2013 Free Agents: Toney Douglas (R), Josh Harrellson (R), Jerome Jordan (R), Renaldo Balkman
A lot of point guards and wing players make up that list. My guess is the Knicks will go that route and try to find another perimeter shooter or another backup point guard to help Lin and Douglas. So without anymore delay, let's get to the first prospect of the 2012 Know the Prospect series: Tu Holloway. Jump friends!
Terrell "Tu" Holloway played point guard for the Xavier Musketeers from 2009-2012. He started in just 13 games as a freshman, but then became the full-time starter his sophomore year. He became one of the top players in the Atlantic-10 conference, even earning the conference's player of the year title in 2011. But where many thought he would take a bigger leap in his senior season, but he sort of languished for a Xavier team that really underperformed until the NCAA Tournament. Some of that may have had to do with a certain brawl that Holloway was involved in, but we will never truly know. Holloway did pick things up towards the end of the year, and now he looks to be drafted. He will be one of the 60 players invited to the NBA Draft Combine, so that's a good start.
Here's what's what:
Measurements: Tu stands at 6'0" (generously listed; probably more like 5'10-5'11") and weights in at around 185-190 pounds. For a short man, he does have a tremendous wingspan at 6'4.5". That could come in handy. Tu isn't especially quick. His lane agility score of 11.72 was middle of the pack.
Projected Draft Position (as of right now): 51 at Draft Express, 60 at Pro Basketball draft, not ranked on NBA Draft.net.
Amateur Take - Offense: Holloway is a playmaker and a scorer. He averaged 12.1, 19.7, and 17.5 PPG from sophomore to senior year, respectively. His best overall year came in 2010-2011, where he added 5.4 assists and 5 rebounds a game for Xavier (he also had two triple doubles that season, the only NCAA player to do so). Even at his small stature, Holloway is more of a combo guard who is still learning the position. But he is very instinctive on the court, and his playmaking skills (and lengthy arms) help him create off the dribble. It should also be noted that he has a really solid handle.
His jumper may not be the prettiest (or most effective: shot just 42.9% from the field and 34.6% from three) but he tends to rely on it a lot. He has trouble with shot selection (sound familiar?) and he might have difficulty getting his shot off at the next level. Despite that, he has supreme confidence, especially late in games. Dude wants the ball in his hands, he has the stones to take the big shots down the stretch. I like that quality in a player.
From the Scouts: Here's a small excerpt on his point guard skills from his Draft Express profile that's linked above:
Holloway's feel for the game has also improved some as a distributor, where he does a good job running his team's offense and setting the team's pace, while also having versatile court vision and passing ability. While still clearly growing into a role as more of a pure point guard, Holloway shows nice flashes of setting up his teammates in a variety of situations, being effective with post entry passes, drive-and-kicks, and in the pick-and-roll. He looks most comfortable as a distributor in up-tempo situations as well, having a very good feel for keeping his head up and making good decisions with the ball there.
Amateur Take - Defense: From all accounts, Holloway is a very solid man-to-man defender. His length certainly helps that, and through his college career he averaged around 1.5 steals a game. He is aggressive on that end and really works, but his size and lack of quickness will be a detriment at the next level. He also isn't a great pick-and-roll defender, but he has enough of the tools and defensive fundamentals to improve that.
Comparison: None of the draft sites are giving any comparisons, but I want to liken him to a taller, less athletic Isaiah Thomas. Both are scoring guards, both had to develop their point guard skills in college, and both are undersized for the position. I might be off, but their stats are fairly similar.
Random Red Flag: Gangsters and thugs, obviously.
The Clyde Factor: I would take great pleasure in listening to Clyde announce a player named "Tu" and while Holloway seems like a pretty hard name to screw up, I could definitely foresee a "Hollerway" from Clyde. Don't even get me started on what Clyde could do with Tu-related nicknames (I like Desmond TuTu Holloway).
- Tu is a local product, from Hempstead, NY. He actually finished his high school career out in Ohio, though.
- Tu was a liberal arts major at Xavier.
- Translated from Spanish, Tu means "You", which is an odd thing to call yourself.
- Late Adds: Tu was a winner in college at Xavier, getting to three Sweet 16's and winning 100 games as a collegiate athlete. Basically, Tu is Tim Tebow: HE'S A WINNER.
- Adam Zagoria wrote this about Tu and his Grandma. Allen Covert approves.
- Not much else I could find...
Let's get reel:
Xavier's Tu Holloway Sinks Back to Back 3-pointers to Win Game vs. Purdue (via ESPN) - STONE. COLD.
Tu Holloway Tribute (via RiDay10) - Pay attention until the very end. He has a message for us Knicks fans.
Things To Take Away:
- He is fearless with the ball.
- He has nice court vision, and even worked a pick-and-roll in there a couple times.
- That shot is weird-looking, but if he's confident with it who cares, right?
I have liked Holloway as a player since he came on the scene in Xavier, and I have always thought he had pro potential. Is he the right value at 48? It depends. Could he be Isaiah Thomas-like and come in to contribute right away? Sure. But without Thomas' athleticism, he might have more difficulty adjusting. It's hard to tell with Holloway. At this stage, I don't know if he's the right guy for the Knicks there based on their other needs. But I would definitely consider Holloway for sure.
What do you guys think?