The point of Holiday

Here is a story I wrote for today’s paper about UCLA’s point guard situation now that Jrue Holiday officially is heading to the NBA.
One thing I constantly get emailed and asked is whether Howland was wrong to play Holiday at the off guard spot and allow Darren Collison to play the point. It is coming to light again since Holiday is projected as a lottery pick and Collison is projected as a late first round pick.
In short, I think Howland did the right thing. Collison cannot play the off guard, so if Holiday was the starting point, Collison would have been relegated to 15 minutes a game. Since Holiday could play both, UCLA’s best lineup had Collison at point and Holiday at the off guard spot.
But one argument I will make is Holiday could have been Collison’s primary backup at point, but that would have limited Jerime Anderson’s minutes.
What does everyone think?

  • bbruin

    Howland did the right thing. Jerime is more ready to play this year and Jrue would have left anyway. BH would have been criticized no matter what. When Collison came back that was the best and worst thing for UCLA.

    Ben wanted Jrue to adapt to the system rather than adapt his system to Jrue (and DC staying). That is the only fault I could find with CBH. Could he have changed his system in some way to allow Jrue more ball handling while DC was on the court?

  • Tristan

    I think that’s an interesting idea. I would’ve liked to have seen more minutes from Lee who showed more potential than Holiday, in my opinion. Jerime Anderson already played limited minutes, 8.6 minutes a game I think? I believe he can be a good player, but as a freshman he showed some shaky decision making. Holiday definitely played better at the point, and maybe that would’ve helped when Collison was injured towards the end of the season and in the post-season.

  • miltk

    You don’t switch a pf off his spot after going through 3 runs to the ff at UCLA.

    There are several reasons why Jrue is projected as a lottery,,AND IT’S NOT CUZ ALL THE GM’S THINK HE’S A GREAT PG! They are in love with Jrue’s size, youth, and potential at 18yrs old.

    So it’s not as if Ben had two great college pg’s on his hands…he had one, and that one had experience AND was an AA. Ben not only did the right thing, he did the only thing.

  • Joe. B.Ruin

    I think Holland played him right, what Collison is going to start, Phlease… Frankly, Holiday was a ghost in the second half of the season.

    Not sure why fans still ponder on these “one and done” kids like Love and Holiday. Regardless of how they play or how deep the team goes, they are going. My attitude is they were never true bruins, so why talk about them.

    I am always concerned about players here more than one year, and on the team now.

  • melsby’s knee was down

    Why do you always say Collison couldn’t play the 2? With his shooting ability he very well could be the off-guard on offense, and cover the opposing team’s point guard on defense.

  • barrya

    Brian, I WANT to say that last year Ben Howland did the wrong thing, but looking it from the perspective of THIS year, I’m all for it…. Truth is, Howland made the right choice, best for the team. Playing it as he did, he not only gave Jerime some needed experience, he also kept Jrue’s minutes under better control. The kid was a true freshman, you don’t want him playing every minute of every game. This way, Jerime got in at backup PG and Michael Roll and Malcolm Lee both got in at the off-guard spot. Anderson will be an excellent PG for Ucla and Lee has tremendous potential as a basketball player.

    It was what it was and it’s time to move on

  • Anonymous

    Holland should continue to put the program first, and not where these “one and done” players want to play.
    Oh, so let’s start questioning Holland’s coaching? Give me a break.

    UCLA will continue to get top notch recruits, especially since Holland’s former players are doing great in the NBA.

  • highlander

    I think Holiday should have played the point. In college basketball it is the most important position and it’s clear that his raw ability is phenomenal.

    One thing I don’t understand is why Collison and Holiday could not have played together more often. I’m not a basketball expert, but Collison can drive, shoot, play D, and handle the ball. Holiday has similar skills, but is probably a more creative play maker and not as good a shooter compared to Collison. Both are 1st round NBA draft picks. Isn’t there some offensive scheme that would have allowed them to both play, with Holiday handling more of the play making?

    Brian – maybe you could elaborate on why Collison could not play the 2 guard.

  • Anonymous

    I feel that a starting line up of Holiday (pg) + Lee (sg) would have been stronger than collison (pg) + holiday (sg).

    My reasoning for this is that I feel Holiday would have done better at the point than Collison. And that Lee would have done better Holiday at the 2guard.

  • MaltBaa

    Collison had to start at PG. If Holiday was his main back up, Holiday would concievably been playing 40 minutes a game. HOWLAND WAS RIGHT. A better situation would have been Collison going pro after his junior year and leaving Howland no choice but to play Holiday at the 1. WHich was the original plan i think.

  • Blue Bruin

    What does it mean that Collison “can’t” play the off guard? Will his body just refuse to work? Will his head spin off his neck? Is there an invisible force field preventing him from going on the court?

    Regardless, in the one of the tourney games–I think vs VA Commonwealth–Holiday did play point to break the press and looked semi-decent doing it. And since Collison is such a great shooter, seems like he’d be good coming off screens and such for catch-and-shoot opportunities.

    All I know is, if Holiday is really as good as the draft experts think, then Howland made a huge tactical error not using him effectively. Additionally, as is the case with other UCLA players, Howland’s system isn’t the best to showcase their skills (as Farmar and Westbrook can attest).

    However, I think that, regardless of playing out of position, if Holiday is a lottery pick, then he could have, should have, and would have found a way to shine. He was very average at best, and not even close to being the best freshman in the conference. I wish teh best for the kid, but I’m predicting he’s a big pro bust!

  • BruinJigs

    I think Howland did the right thing, and it will show this year when Anderson is handed the keys to the team.

    The experience he gained this past year will pay huge dividends this upcoming year (see Russell Westbrook). Although, it would be utterly ridiculous to say Anderson will see a jump in his play, ala Westbrook, it is safe to assume that we can expect better play from him from year 1 to year 2 because of the experience he gained.

  • Anonymous

    whateverz…these one and dones really screw up a squad’s flow, ya know????

  • miltk

    Why couldn’t DC have played sg?? SIMPLE…..because Ben said so.

  • Coach Thom

    College BB. ho-hum. ‘One-and-doners”…couldn’t care less. As long as it’s not made of pig skin, I don’t wanna touch it, feel it, hold it, throw it, kick it, smell it, or eat it.

  • MoeBruins

    I think Howlands only mistake with Holiday was recruiting him. At the end of the day Holiday hurt the Bruins more then he helped.

    Playing you of position he didn’t help the Bruins much and the team didn’t accomplish anything they would have accomplished without him. All he really accomplished was giving Malcolm and Jamie less playing time and not allowing Ben to recruit a top point guard for next season.

    I don’t blame Jrue one bit but one in done’s only help if you have a top team coming back and a big man who can have a huge impact in a single season.

  • miltk

    Moe,,,,I’m sorry but that is blatantly wrong! If you want to be an elite, you start by preserving your own back yard. This was ben’s PRIMARY agenda when he came to UCLA.

    You simply do not let the NPOY go, especially when he lives in your backyard.

    You are also guilty of 20/20 hindsight.

    If anything, if you want to spread blame, you should lambast DC for returning.

  • doug4ucla

    MAIN POINT…DC played FOUR years Jrue was going to play 1 maybe 2 at the most for UCLA, BEN should not recruit anymore ONE and DONE. “NOT ENOUGH BALLS ON THE COURT TO KEEP EVERYBODY HAPPY”

  • glawson07

    The question that never seems to go away. Point or no point, I don’t think was necessarily the problem. Continuity was definitely the problem. I think many will argue the Holiday was playing out of position, which contains some truth; however, cohesiveness was clearly not present. Holiday typically played better with Collison out of the game, not due to popular opinion of playing out of position, but as a result of lack of team play by Collison & Shipp! Holiday did have his share of struggles; however, the body language was extremely evident, especially on offense. The ball would manage to circulate from Collison to Shipp and back to Collison with the occassional dump to Aboya, but no other teamates were continuously actively involved. Collison & Shipp should have had their minutes down around 28 – 32, not high 30’s. Howland’s failure last season, was the inability to have the team play as a team, namely the selfish play of both Collison and Shipp. Love UCLA basketball/football to death, but bad year to have two seniors that were out to prove themselves more than the team.

  • glawson07

    With the whole “one and dones” – I wouldn’t trade watching one year of Love for four years of Fey. In a nutshell, Ben should always go for top talent that he feels illustrate the character that fits well with UCLA. Holiday gave us much to talk about, mostly the what-ifs and wtfs, but we still have four excellent recruits in the program in Anderson, Morgan, Lee and Gordon!!! You don’t go for a guy that is staying for four years, you go for guys that will add value to the program and leave something behind no matter how short of a stint. I can understand one Roll on a team, but five starters of the same caliber and everyone on the board would be screaming at the team’s underacheivement…

  • TruBruin

    Hey, so we finally get a chance to see Brian Dohn engage in a hypothetical debate!

    I have to say that overall this thread has the most thoughtful intelligent post that I have ever seen on this blog! Great timing because I was really starting
    to loose faith in some of my Bruin Brethren

    There always has to be one though……….Biggest mistake, recruiting the #1 player in the country???
    And if Collison was injured, I am sure you would have thought Howland’s biggest mistake was not recruiting the #1 player in the country who was right in our back yard. Bad take!

    Really, the debate is made more interesting by the fact that we will never know the outcome of a season with Holiday at the point, wich sucks! We were all so excited when Collison decided to stay for his senior season. In hindsight, we may have been better at the
    point and certainly, had a different look and feel as a team if he would have left. We will never know, and that is what bites!

    The 1 and done rule sucks! period! its anti-American!
    The NBA should start a minor league and College basketball scholarships should include at least a 2 year agreement to stay at the school.

  • highlander

    I’d appreciate it if someone could enlighted me on why Collison needs to be the point guard, exclusively, when he is in the game. I just don’t get it.

  • Paul M

    Yep! I think your pretty much spot on, I mean you have to have a talent like that out on the floor and not sit him and the two spot was the only way to go. Howland was basically ridiculed if he did or if he didn’t? Even though they are in the 12TH hour of recruiting,are they going after another gaurd for the late signing period

  • nycbruin

    I agree that there wasn’t much that Howland could have done differently. You’re going to take the ball away from Collison and give it to Holiday? That would have been a slap on the face to Collison. Also, there goes your senior leadership. Holiday also disappointed. I don’t care if he was playing out of position. He simply didn’t get it done for a one and done guy. Completely agree that he is being drafted on size and potential because he sure didn’t prove anything with his first and only year of college ball. The only wrinkle could have been playing Holiday more at the point when Collison was out. But again, I don’t think that the outcome would have been much different. Holiday was not ready to excel as a freshman. Few high school players are ready to do that. Bottom line is that Holiday can turn out to be a decent pro, but there is a large possibility of a bust. He is a skilled player who does most things at an above average level, but he is not a great shooter, not a great athlete, not a great decision maker, and mentally he had some severe lapses last year. Obviously he was only a freshman, so time will tell. His defense is adequate for the NBA level, but I think he will struggle against more athletic PGs.

  • CrouchingBruin

    >> The 1 and done rule sucks! period! its anti-American!

    Anti-American? I thought America stood for giving individuals the freedom to do what they wanted, to pursue whatever opportunities presented itself according to what you felt was best for yourself. Communism forces you to do what’s best for the “greater good.”

  • Joe Bruin

    Anyone who thinks last years UCLA team would have fared better with DC in the NBA and Jrue at PG truly has no clue what they are looking at and just wants to moan about last season.

    UCLAs problems were their defense, rebounding and overall mental toughness (the last point I think is both where Jrue/DC need to improve the most). Offensively UCLA was OK. Jrue/DC at PG really doesn’t matter we still gave up 90 pts to Villanova in the 2nd round.

    Jrue left after a pretty average season (for someone of his reputational caliber) had he played PG all season he would have left anyway…..So in the end who cares who played pg, Jrue’s gone, best of luck in his career.

  • BrianSF

    What do I think? I think I’m tired to hearing about Holiday. He was a one-and-done no matter what position he played. Collison was at UCLA for 4-years… came back for his senior year. He helped get us to the FF 3 years in a row. Collison deserved to be the PG, and CBH was right in playing others (Anderson) as DC’s backup since Jermine was staying. Jrue wasn’t. So best of luck to Jrue… I wish him well (and heaven help NCAA men’s basketball… it ain’t much fun anymore). I’m really pulling for DC to make good in the NBA. He deserves it.

  • TruBruin

    Its anti-American because it keeps 18 year old men that would be tried as an adult in a court of law from pursuing their life’s ambition’s

    The One and done rule states that a player must be 1 year removed from high school before he is eligible for the NBA draft. Which is Un-American because,

    “I thought America stood for giving individuals the freedom to do what they wanted, to pursue whatever opportunities presented itself according to what you felt was best for yourself.” No kidding you tool!
    Loosing faith again………….

  • CrouchingBruin

    Sorry, TruBruin, I misunderstood your stand on it. I thought you were against them leaving after just one year. I agree, do away with the rule altogether. If they’re over 18, they should be able to pursue whatever career they want.

  • TruBruin

    Then I guess we agree to agree…………
    The rediculous thing here is that the “Rule” is
    an NBA rule, and I believe if it were taken to a court of law it would never stand up. If a kid is good enough and ready to go to the NBA then draft him out of high school! If a kid chooses to go to school then there should be at least a 2 and done rule proposed by the NCAA

    Its all about money and because NBA owners lost millions on the Kwame Brown’s of the world they want players to go to college to prove they have what it takes, essentially using universitys as an expense free minor league. This situation will not last much longer im sure