Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Tu Holloway

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  • Measurables: 6-foot-0, 190 pounds, senior point guard from Xavier
  • Key Stats: 17.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.5 steals per game, 43 percent shooting, 35 percent 3-point shooting
  • Projected: Second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I like this guy

Much like Iona’s Scott Machado, Holloway represents a possible find for a team looking for a backup point guard in the second round. Now, Holloway is not the shooter or passer Machado is and isn’t quite as big, but he’s been a tough playmaker who grew into a very good college player at Xavier. Depending on what the Pistons do with their backup guards in the offseason, they could be looking to add some depth at point guard in the second round, and Holloway would definitely be a player who could fit that bill if he’s around when they pick.

Pros for the Pistons

Holloway might be a little on the small side, but he’s extremely tough. He is unafraid to take contact and got to the line eight times per game over the last two seasons. Once at the line, he hits nearly 90 percent of his free throws.

If the Pistons move Will Bynum in a trade, Holloway could step in and fill in that trademark Bynum role of playing fast, with energy and attacking the basket and finishing against bigger players. Plus, he has a little more range on his jumper than Bynum and, at least collegiately, he was a better defensive player.

Cons for the Pistons

Holloway is a good passer, particularly on the move, but he’s not what anyone would call a pass-first point guard. He’s accustomed to looking for his own offense, and with two fast, athletic, shoot-first guards ahead of him in Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey, Holloway’s skillset might duplicate what is already on the roster.

Plus, if Ben Gordon is still around next season, the Pistons’ backups would have the same problem they currently do: a Holloway-Gordon reserve combo is really small just like the Bynum-Gordon combo is. A player like Machado, for example, is both a little big bigger and is more of a pass-first, traditional point. I think that’s the type of player the Pistons would look for first if they do scour the market for a backup guard.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

  • High scoring combo guard
  • Super quick first step
  • Excellent penetrator and finisher
  • Good court vision, can play the point full time
  • Good defender


Defensively, Holloway has been excellent in man-to-man defense this season, showing great fundamentals and a high activity level. He gets right up into his man, moves his feet well, and does a good job using his hands to contest shots and make steals. His size is somewhat concerning projecting to the next level, and he will also be at a quickness disadvantage against elite guards, but his tools are solid enough here and he should be able to be an effective man defender if he continues showing the same commitment.

As Tu Holloway goes, so goes Xavier. This season’s been a rollercoaster ride for both. There’s no denying Holloway’s confidence or his scoring ability. With a solid jumper and knack for cutting to the hoop, he’s a threat to drop 20+ points every time he hits the floor. But his decision making and distribution skills have been shaky at times and he was also the lightening rod who essentially started the Xavier-Cinci brawl. Holloway is most likely a mid-to-late second round pick.

Banners on the Parkway:

Unwilling to follow the storyline of the talented headcase, Tu hit the gym between his freshman and sophomore years, putting up over 25,000 jumpshots.

What is the best thing Tu Holloway does for his team?

Brad D. (follow him on Twitter) writes about Xavier for Banners on the Parkway, SB Nation’s Xavier site:

The best thing Tu Holloway does for his team is win. Holloway’s teammates at Xavier referred to him as Mariano Rivera because of his penchant for last minute heroics. That stems from Tu’s absolute fearlessness in late game situations. Even when Xavier had Jordan Crawford, Tu had the ball at closing time. There is no shot he won’t take, and make, late in a game. Ask Purdue, Vandy, UC, Dayton (twice), or Seton Hall what he can do. Even in Tu’s last college game he scored seven points in 15 seconds to nearly bring X back against Baylor.

Tu couples that fearlessness with unbelievable determination. Stories of him hoisting 25,000+ shots during the offseason or shooting late into the night after games are common around campus. Tu may not have the most talent ever, but he will not be outworked.



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