|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Xavier PG Tu Holloway||06.14.12 at 1:45 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Point guard
Weight: 195 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Atlantic 10 first team, 2012 NABC All-District 4 first team, 2012 All-America third team (AP, Sporting News), 2011 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year
What he brings: Holloway almost entered the draft as a junior, but he decided to spend one more year at Xavier because he wasn’t ready. His last season at the school improved his shooting reputation, as the point guard averaged 17.5 points per game, leading the team in that category.
Holloway can score, and he has the ability to draw fouls and convert his free throws. He hit 85.2 percent of his free throws through his career as a Musketeer. As a senior he finished with a conversion rate of 86.2 percent, drawing 253 opportunities. He ranks sixth on Xavier’s all-time list for scoring, third for assists and first for free throw percentage
Not only can Holloway score, but he can be an instrumental leader. He led the Musketeers to 100 wins, four trips to the NCAA tournament and three appearances in the Sweet 16. His coach, Chris Mack, called Holloway a “fireplug” and the “Mariano Rivera of college basketball” because of his ability to play well late in games. Against Purdue in December, Holloway sank two 3-pointers down the stretch to vault Xavier to a win, and against Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament, Holloway scored 17 second-half points to help his team rally from a 10-point deficit with 12 minutes remaining to advance to the Sweet 16.
Where the Celtics could get him: If they decide they want to improve their depth at point guard, the C’s likely could grab Holloway in the second round.
Notes: There are two major concerns with Holloway. One is his size, and the other is potential behavioral problems. In his senior year at Xavier, Holloway was one of the players involved in a brawl with Cincinnati. He didn’t make the situation better when he referred to his teammates and himself as gangsters at the postgame press conference.
Video: Here are some of Holloway’s best plays, starting with his back-to-back 3-pointers against Purdue.