NCAA

Holloway shines in George Mason's loss to Maryland

patrickhollowaymason.png

Holloway shines in George Mason's loss to Maryland

Patrick Holloway started his basketball day as a deep reserve on George Mason's bench, having played only five minutes in the Patriots previous game.

By the end of Sunday's 69-62 loss to Maryland in the BB&T Classic, the freshman guard was the first player on either team mention by the opposing coach. Making your first five field goal attempts including a pair of 3-pointers will have that affect.

"What a special scorer that kid is," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "I watched him last year when I was out recruiting. To bring it to this level against us was pretty amazing."

What Holloway brought for the Patriots (5-3) was 17 points, matching Sherrod Wright for team-high honors, plus three 3-pointers.

"Overall he's a great player," Terrapins guard Nick Faust said. "He's definitely a Stephen Curry type. I would say. He has a fluid shot...He definitely lit us up in the beginning."

Even for a college kid the Fairfax native has a rather boyish look, but the former Paul VI star also has a true assassin's edge offensively. Having already hit his first two shots, last year's all-met Player of the Year drained two from beyond the arc during a 52-second stretch that helped change momentum nearing halftime.

"My teammates looked for me and found for a couple of open shots," Holloway said. "That kind of got me going...When I knocked one or two that kind of got me going."

Playing a season-high 22 minutes, Holloway finished 7 of 13 from the field with zero turnovers. In this instance, more Holloway meant less Vertrail Vaughns. The junior guard did play for the first time in a game this season.

"You saw we changed the rotation a little bit today," said George Mason coach Paul Hewitt, who also worked swingman Vaughn Gray into the playing mix." They are shot-makers; they can stretch the floor for us. There were opportunities where our bigs could slip to the basket, but we didn't take advantage, full advantage of what he can do."

George Mason trailed by nine early and 34-30 at halftime before opening the second half with a 7-0 for its first lead of the game. The Terrapins regained the lead with 10 minutes remaining and despite 19 turnovers and string of missed free throws eventually gained separation late.

Holloway's streak of successful makes ended before halftime and Maryland game planned for the 6-foot-1 from there. Eventually the Terps caught up to the Patriots' ways on both ends.

"We can't simulate their quickness in practice," Turgeon said. "We turned the ball over a lot - actually we turned the ball over the whole game. 19 turnovers and 16 missed free throws kind of kept the game close. I thought our defense was outstanding. Did a much better job on Holloway in the second half."

Back in March, Holloway led Paul VI to the City Title championship victory on the same Verizon Center court. Asked if he viewed this spotlight event as an opportunity to showcase his game, Holloway said, "Right now I see every game as an opportunity."

Despite the shooting efforts from Holloway and Wright, the Patriots shot 31 percent (22 of 71) from the field. Johnny Williams finished 3 of 13 and fellow starter Bryon Allen missed all eight of his field goal attempts.

Struggling to generate points since returning from the Paradise Jam Tournament, the Patriots are shooting 34.6 percent over their last three games.

"We had our chances, let some things slip away over the second half," Hewitt said. "Some pretty good shot selection, moved the ball well, but once we got the lead I thought our shot selection, our decision-making -- which has been up and down all year defensively kind of deserted us. We continue to play good defense. If we ever get ourselves together offensively, we have a chance to be a pretty good team."

Holloway certainly made his case for being part of the solution.

Jamion Christian, GW basketball receive commitment from Jameer Nelson's son Jameer Jr.

jameer-nelson-jr-commits.jpg
USA TODAY SPORTS

Jamion Christian, GW basketball receive commitment from Jameer Nelson's son Jameer Jr.

The George Washington University men's basketball team landed the son of longtime NBA point guard Jameer Nelson Tuesday. 

Jameer Nelson Jr., a 2019 guard out of Pennsylvania's Haverford School, decommitted from his father's alma mater (Saint Joseph's) following the news that Phil Martelli would not return for the 2019-20 season. 

This marks first-year head coach Jamion Christian's second commitment since being named head coach of the Colonials after one year at Siena College. 

Nelson Sr. played in the Association from 2004 to 2018, including 10 seasons in Orlando. The point guard averaged a career-best 16.7 points per game during the 2008-09 campaign. 

The 10 moments that defined Zion Williamson's lone year at Duke

The 10 moments that defined Zion Williamson's lone year at Duke

Duke Blue Devils freshman sensation Zion Williamson officially announced on Monday what everyone knew was coming: the 6-6 forward will be foregoing his final three years of collegiate eligibility and declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick. He announced his intention to enter the draft via his Instagram.

While he spent just one year at Duke, and the Blue Devils fell short of expectations when they fell to the Michigan State Spartans in the Elite Eight, Williamson's lone season in a Blue Devils uniform was nothing short of spectacular. 

Here are the 10 most memorable moments from his Duke career, in chronological order.

1. Debuting with a bang.

The then-No. 4 Blue Devils blew out the then-No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats 118-84 in the opening game of the 2018-19 season. All three of Duke's heralded freshman -- Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish -- scored over 20 points in the win. 

Williamson went 11-13 from the field en route to 28 points in just 23 minutes. Barrett finished with 33, and Reddish added 22 as well.

  

The dynamic duo of Williamson and Barrett, who both would eventually become All-Americans, was born.

2. Dropping a 27-16-6 slash in his home debut.

In the first regular season home game, Williamson put on a show for the Cameron Crazies.

The freshman led all scorers with 27 points, and added 16 rebounds, also a game-high, in a 94-72 dominant win over Army.

He also had a season-high six blocks, and became the first Duke player under Coach Mike Krzyzewski to score 25-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, and 5-plus blocks in a game.

3. Two jaw-dropping dunks against Eastern Michigan.

The Williamson hype-train continued into the third game of the season against Eastern Michigan, where Williamson had two of his most impressive dunks of the season in the 84-46 thrashing of the Eagles.

Here's the first, an allep-oop from Reddish. Look how high his head is.

The second, with the game well in hand, Williamson unleashed a right-tomahawk dunk that was very reminiscient of early LeBron James days.

4. Steal and 360 dunk against Clemson.

In a season full of highlight plays, Williamson's dunk against Clemson might be near the top of them all.

Just take a look for yourself:

5. Block on Virginia's DeAndre Hunter.

While the Virginia Cavaliers ended up having the last laugh, as they were crowned National Champions last Monday, the Blue Devils got the better of them in both meetings this season.

In the team's second meeting with Duke up seven late in the second half, Virginia forward DeAndre Hunter looked like he had an open three-point shot from the baseline to cut the lead to four. Then Zion entered the picture.

Williamson used his world class athleticism to contest Hunter's shot, sending it several rows into the Virginia crowd. 

6. Infamous shoe incident.

When the then-No. 1 Blue Devils hosted the then-No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels in the most hyped-up college basketball game in quite some time, the cheapest tickets were $2,989 each for a pair of them.

Unfortunately, those who were in attendance, including President Barack Obama, only caught a glimpse of the freshman sensation. WIlliamson lasted just 36 seconds before having to exit the game with a leg injury after literally bursting through his left shoe when trying to plant.

Obama even pointed it out.

The Tar Heels took advantage of Williamson being out, as Carolina forward Luke Maye exploded for 30 points and 15 rebounds in the 88-72 victory over Duke.

7. Return from injury, perfect from the field against Syracuse.

Williamson missed the next five games with an MCL injury, and Duke struggled in his absence. The Blue Devils went 3-2 over that stretch, with losses coming to Virginia Tech and North Carolina, again. They barely squeaked out a road victory over Wake Forest, who they defeated by 22 earlier in the season.

But Williamson returned for Duke's ACC Tournament campaign, and turned in arguably his most impressive performance of the season in a 84-72 victory over Syracuse.

Zion went a perfect 13-13 from the field, scoring a game-high 29 points, and added 14 rebounds as well.

8. Sweet, sweet revenge against UNC.

After missing the practically the entire first matchup and all of the second against the rival Tar Heels, Williamson and the Blue Devils got their revenge against Carolina in a 74-73 victory in the ACC Tournament semi-finals.

Williamson led Duke with 31 points (more than double than any other Duke player) and 11 rebounds in the victory. He put the Blue Devils ahead for good with a tip-in following his own miss with 31 seconds to go.

Both UNC's Coby White and Nassir Little had a chance to win it at the end, but neither could convert.

Zion got his revenge, and Duke advanced to the ACC Championship game.

9. Bounce Pass against Florida State.

The Blue Devils faced off with the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Tournament Championship, after Florida State pulled off the upset over Virginia in the semi-finals.With Duke up by five early in the second half, WIlliamson used his dominant left hand to thread the needle between two Seminole defenders to find Tre Jones for the layup. 

Williamson showed he could do it all with one of the best passes of the college basketball season. Duke ended up winning 73-63 to take home the tournament crown.

10. And-1 against UCF.

The UCF Knights had given the No. 1 overall seed Blue Devils everything they could handle during their second round matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

The Blue Devils were on the verge of getting upset, down three points with 14 seconds remaining when Williamson came to the rescue.

Zion missed the free throw, but Barrett was able to corrall the rebound and put Duke ahead by one on the put back layup.

The Knights still almost pulled off the upset, but two final attempts rolled off the rim, and Duke lived to see another day.

While Williamson may be headed to the NBA, he provided college basketball fans with a whole lot of thrilling moments; moments that NBA fans will enjoy for years to come.

MORE NBA DRAFT NEWS: