Xavier's Tu Holloway Declares For NBA Draft

The Atlantic-10 Player of the Year announced he is entering the NBA Draft today - he has not hired an agent.

The junior point guard had a tremendous season, posting averages of nearly 20 points, 5 rebounds and over 5 assists but his prospects as a pro player are somewhat clouded given his unimpressive physical makeup. Standing roughly 6-feet tall (which may be generous), Holloway is undersized even as a point guard at the NBA level. While showing solid open floor speed and a good first step, he is hampered somewhat by a lack of vertical explosiveness, which will undoubtedly become more evident against larger, elite defenders.

At this point Holloway isn't what would be considered a pure point guard, due in large part to the heavy scoring load he bears for the Musketeers. With that said, one significant advantage he has right now is the usage rate he sees in pick and roll sets, which made up more than one-third of his possessions this season - an unusually high mark for a college player. Out of these sets he scored quite efficiently (.95 points per possession according to Synergy Sports) and was even better at distributing for others, with the shots he creates producing better than 1 point per possession. As a scorer the junior made definite strides in his perimeter game where he shot 35% this season over 5 attempts per game, while also proving that he can create scoring chances for himself off the dribble in the mid-range.

As is the case with many players of Holloway's makeup, perhaps the biggest question surrounding his draft status pertains to his defense. While the junior hustles and shows great effort at this end of the floor, he will undoubtedly struggle against bigger, more athletic guards at the pro level. Even in college, when Xavier stepped out of the conference we saw opposing players able to elevate over Holloway on the perimeter, which explains his very poor spot-up defense. In this setting he allowed over 1.16 points per possession which ranked in the bottom 15% nationally.

Ultimately, Holloway seems likely to return for his senior season with the Musketeers, he is taking this opportunity to get a feel for the draft process. In a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer today, both Holloway and head coach Chris Mack stated that the guard was looking to gather as much information as possible about his stock before making a final decision.

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