Player Projection: Jrue Holiday

by Jon Nichols

Today I will be projecting the NBA stats of Jrue Holiday of the UCLA Bruins using my Box Score Prediction System (explanation here:   Although he may not stay in the draft for sure, he’s projected to be a lottery pick.

Holiday was a top prospect before this past season began and his stock did not rise or fall much during the past year.  However, his production was limited and he was often overshadowed by Darren Collison.  He struggled during the latter parts of the season, especially in UCLA’s tournament loss to Villanova.

Despite the lack of college production, Holiday’s appeal is quite evident.  He’s a long point guard who plays with intensity on both ends of the floor.  His size and quickness give him the ideal tools to become a great defender, and thankfully his effort matches his potential on that end (although sometimes he can be overaggressive). 

Offensively Holiday has good athleticism and a decent outside shot.  Collison’s presence may have limited Holiday’s ability to let loose and take over the offense.  This would explain why his box score stats were relatively unimpressive.

How does BSPS think he’ll do in the NBA?  Let’s take a look at Holiday’s projected box score per 36 minutes:

As you would expect based on his college numbers, Holiday does not have an impressive box score for a prospect of his potential.  His scoring rate is very low and he’ll only have mediocre efficiency stats.  One very small positive is that his rebounding and assist numbers could be worse.

The big question is: How much was Holiday held back at UCLA?  Many scouts love his skills and intensity.  Usually when players have both of those they turn out to be pretty good.  In my opinion, Holiday won’t be an offensive star but will be a solid role player thanks to his defensive capabilities.  If he continues to put his mind to it, he could become a tremendous asset on the defensive end a la Rajon Rondo. 

One way that you can really help your defense improve is to pressure the ball and shut down point guards every trip up the court.  If a team feels it is lacking that ability, Holiday might be a great pick.  They just shouldn’t expect a star on the offensive end as well. 





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