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Tag:Tu Holloway
Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:30 pm

Holloway, Xavier primed for another NCAA run

Tu Holloway looks good for A-10 POY

Posted by Eric Angevine

The Xavier Musketeers have a nice streak going. They've made the Sweet 16 for three straight seasons. The only other team that can say the same is Michigan State. With the Spartans unlikely to even get a chance to repeat the feat, don't be surprised if the Musketeers make it a four-year habit.

Xavier's 66-62 road win over Dayton today was fueled -- as so many Xavier wins are -- by a phenomenal all-around game by Tu Holloway (above). The junior guard from Hempstead, NY repeatedly made the plays that staved off a late rally by the Flyers, dropping in a three-pointer off the dribble with 45 seconds left to give the visitors a five-point lead, then calmly knocking down the final free-throws that slammed the door on Chris Wright and company.

Holloway's final line looked like this: 26 points, 6 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals. He was tops in each category for his team, and was not flagged for a single personal foul in his 40 minutes of play.

Holloway is the superstar, but Xavier is a threat to make a deep run in March because of a balanced attack. 6-foot-8, 245-lb. senior Jamel McLean and 7-foot, 269-lb. center Kenny Frease carry the load inside, Mark Lyons distributes the ball (whenever Holloway isn't doing that, too), and 6-5 Dante Jackson throws in whatever's needed: scoring, defense, rebounds or assists on any given night.

The Musketeers have a short bench, which could be a problem if they have another epic battle in extra periods like they did with K-State last season, but for now, Jeff Robinson and Andrew Taylor get what few relief minutes there are, and they handle the load just fine.

With Temple just one game back, and two tilts left in the regular season, it's too soon to declare Xavier the A-10 champ just yet, but there's little doubt that Chris Mack has once again put his Musketeers in a position most power conference teams would envy. All the pieces are there for yet another Sweet 16 run.

Photo: US Presswire
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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2011 7:10 am

The Morning Drive: MSU notches big bubble win

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Bubble games, top-five teams looking to rebound, conference clashes, buzzer beaters – Tuesday had everything. This late in the season, seemingly every night has an enormous impact on Selection Sunday, and last night was no different. Feel free to fill me in on any stats and trends I might have missed on Twitter: @jeffborzello

Top Performer: We discussed him last night, but Ohio State’s David Lighty deserves another mention here. The Ohio State senior finished with 21 points, four rebounds and six steals in an 89-70 win over Illinois. More impressively, Lighty personally had 13 consecutive points in a three-minute span during the second half, also notching three steals in that stretch. Illinois’ late-season struggles continue – the Illini shouldn’t feel safe just yet.

Mr. Big Shot: With 2.4 seconds left remaining in a tied game against UNC-Asheville, Coastal Carolina inbounded the ball under its own basket. However, the Bulldogs’ Matt Dickey read the pass and intercepted it, before knocking down a hanging 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to give UNC-Asheville the win. It was the second loss in two games for the Chanticleers, who started Big South play with a 15-0 record.

Stat-Sheet Stuffer: Xavier’s Tu Holloway came just one rebound away from his second-consecutive triple-double in the Musketeers’ 38-point victory over La Salle. Holloway totaled 12 points, nine rebounds and 15 assists, just three days after going for 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Fordham. He leads the nation in triple-doubles this season, with two.

Failure to Finish: Vanderbilt looked like it had a win locked up against Tennessee last night, leading by 11 with about 13 minutes left. After the Commodores went up 42-31, the Volunteers outscored them, 29-9, for the rest of the game. Even worse, Vanderbilt was held scoreless for the final 5:02. Not surprisingly, Tennessee emerged with a huge road victory, 60-51. Scotty Hopson led the way for the Volunteers with 19 points.

Bubbling: In the biggest bubble battle of the night, Michigan State went into Minnesota and came out with a big-time road win over the Golden Gophers, 53-48. After Minnesota took a 47-39 lead on a lay-up by Chip Armelin, Michigan State went on a 14-1 run to end the game, fueled by nine free throws in that span. Kalin Lucas sparked the victory with 18 points and four steals. With this result, Minnesota drops to 6-9 in the Big Ten, leaving the Gophers in serious trouble. The Spartans move above .500 in conference play and are now on the right track towards an NCAA bid -- for now.

In a Losing Effort: Mississippi’s Chris Warren hasn’t received the attention he deserves this season because of the Rebels’ struggles, but he remains one of the offensive better point guards around. Warren proved that on Tuesday, knocking down eight 3-pointers en route to a 33-point performance against South Carolina. Despite the 79-73 loss, Warren notched double-digits in points for the 27th time in 28 games.

Dub-Dubbing: After posting just two double-doubles in the first 23 games of the season, Saint Louis forward Dwayne Evans has picked up three in the last four games, with the latest possibly being the most impressive. In a 90-52 win over Chicago State, Evans went for 16 points and 17 rebounds, going 6-for-11 from the field. He also racked up three blocks on the defensive end.

Defensive Dominance: Despite South Carolina’s struggles, big man Sam Muldrow continues to cement himself as one of the best shot-blockers in the country. On Tuesday, he also contributed big numbers in other facets of the game, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a win over Mississippi. It was his fifth double-double of the year.

Set the DVR: There’s one top-25 game tonight, an intriguing non-conference tilt between Temple and Duke. It will be the Blue Devils’ first game since taking back over the No. 1 spot – how will they respond? Moreover, we have plenty of statement games from bubble teams. Colorado State has a last stand at BYU, Cincinnati heads on the road against Georgetown, Michigan hosts Wisconsin in a must-win and Baylor faces Missouri. Interesting bubble battles include Kansas State vs. Nebraska and Florida State vs. Maryland.

Numbers Don’t Lie:

  • Xavier notched 30 assists on its 35 field-goals last night.
  • Illinois has dropped eight of its last 12 games.
  • Rutgers made just 13 field-goals in its 55-37 loss to Louisville. The Scarlet Knights shot just 29.5 percent from the field.
  • The 37 points by Rutgers were its fewest since 2007.
  • In his last six games, Durrell Summers is averaging 6.0 points and shooting 26 percent from the field.
  • After going 7-for-29 in his last two games, Texas’ Jordan Hamilton shot 7-for-14 last night en route to 20 points and eight rebounds in the Longhorns’ 76-53 win over Iowa State.

Notes and Notables:

  • Virginia Tech avoided a terrible loss by heading to Wake Forest and blowing out the Demon Deacons, 76-62.  
  • Memphis also kept its at-large hopes alive with an 11-point home win over Houston.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:01 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 10:05 pm

Tu Holloway puts himself in elite class

Posted by Jeff Borzello

When talking to a Division-I head coach this week, the topic of truly elite players came up – there simply isn’t that many in college basketball this season.

The list we compiled included the three usual suspects: Jimmer Fredette, Jared Sullinger and Kemba Walker.

“After that, who else is really elite?” the coach said. “This is a year where you have some really good players, but where are the guys that make you say, ‘Holy [expletive]’?”

Well, we might need to add another player to that list for the NCAA Tournament.

Sure, Xavier guard Tu Holloway didn’t have his best game of the season tonight against Georgia – zero first-half points, 3-for-13 shooting overall. However, Holloway scored 18 points in the final 13:34 of the game, with Xavier outscoring the Bulldogs by 10 in that stretch.

Despite somehow not being named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award , Holloway is one of the premier playmakers in the country and can single-handedly change the direction of a game.

He has deep range on his 3-pointer, but is at his best when attacking defenders off the dribble and getting into the lane. When Holloway is aggressive, he is nearly impossible to keep out of the paint, where he can create for himself and teammates (he dished out five assists tonight). The Long Island native gets to the free-throw line as well as any guard in the nation, as evidenced by his 11-for-11 performance from the charity stripe against Georgia.

Just look at Xavier’s three biggest A-10 wins this season. Against Dayton, Holloway had 24 points, five rebounds and six assists. In a big victory over Temple, Holloway finished with 21 points, nine boards and seven assists. And then two weeks ago at Richmond, Holloway dropped 33 points, to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

We need only remember Holloway’s performance in the Sweet Sixteen last year for how good he can be with the spotlight on, when he had 26 points and six assists in that double-overtime loss to Kansas State.

While the Musketeers have other offensive options – Mark Lyons has been huge lately – Holloway is the player who can put the team on his back and carry them to the second weekend.

With the win at Georgia tonight, Xavier likely cemented a bid to the NCAA Tournament – and Tu Holloway might have also cemented his own spot among the nation’s elite players.

Category: NCAAB
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