In-Depth Commitment Analysis: Holiday

We break down the game of Aaron Holiday even more, not only analyzing his game more thoroughly but the needs he fulfills and potential at UCLA...

Prospect: Aaron Holiday
High School: North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall
Height/Weight: 6-0, 180
Ranking: #28 Nationally, #2 Point Guard

Holiday committed to UCLA March 3rd over Arizona State, Connecticut, USC and Washington.

Physical Breakdown:

Holiday is just about 6-0, perhaps a tad under, and a solid 180 pounds. He has a good, lithe body, not stiff at all, with very good quickness. On offense he uses that quickness to be explosive off the dribble, and he has very good lateral quickness on defense. He hasn't grown that much in the last year, so you'd have to expect he'll remain just about the same height.

Game:

Holiday is a combo guard right now, more physically suited to being a point guard but playing more like a shooting guard. He is trying to make the transition to being a point guard, playing more point-like on his high school team as of late, but he just can't suppress that scorer's instinct. He's a slasher by nature, able to take defenders off the dribble pretty easily at the high school level, and more than likely that will still be his offensive forte in college. His shot is decent, not great, but he has a good stroke and it's consistently improved over the last couple of years. His handle is just decent, too, a little loose, especially for a point guard. His skill set overall is on the raw side, with Holiday relying more on his athleticism and strength to make plays than his skills at this point. He has, though, developed his skill set in the last couple of years, being pretty wild just a year ago. He has a good passing instinct, one you would say is very good for a shooting guard but just okay for a point guard. It doesn't necessarily come naturally to him – scoring comes naturally – but when he makes himself look to pass he generally can do it effectively.

Is This a Good Get for UCLA? Does it Fill a Need?

UCLA Depth Chart - 2015-2016
PG
SG
SF
PF
C
Bryce Alford (JR)Isaac Hamilton (JR)Noah Allen (JR)Kevon Looney (SO)Tony Parker (SR)
Aaron Holiday (FR)Jonah Bolden (SO)Thomas Welsh (SO)
Wanaah Bail (JR)Gyorgy Goloman (SO)

It's absolutely a good get for UCLA. UCLA needs at least three backcourt recruits for 2015 -- maybe even four. It truly needs a point guard, but there just aren't many out there. Holiday has a chance to be a point guard, so that's a positive. He's also a very good athlete, and we've made it clear that UCLA needs to upgrade its athleticism, especially in the backcourt. There's a good chance he'll be a great defender and be able to really defend opposing point guards.

Holiday might not necessarily be the answer for UCLA at the point guard spot. Put it this way: the jury is out. And it's not like how the jury would be out on another elite point guard prospect -- that is, whether that elite PG prospect will make the transition to college well. With Holiday it's a question of whether he'll make the transition to college, and make the transition to point guard.

So, that's the primary concern -- whether Holiday will be a point guard. He's ranked the #2 point guard in the nation for two reasons: 1) it's one of the worst years in recent history for point guards and 2) he has elite physical and athletic tools which makes his upside considerable.

Remember, too, he does have a while to continue to develop, only being a junior in high school.

There really isn't that much downside, though, to UCLA taking Holiday. Even if he never develops into a pure point guard and for his entire college career is more of a lead guard or a combo, or even a two-guard, that's fine. Again, UCLA needs backcourt players, and he's athletic and will be able to guard opposing point guards, a role that UCLA hasn't really fulfilled in a while. And offensively he has the slashing ability to penetrate off the dribble, something else UCLA hasn't had much off recently. There is a little reservation about his approach and attitude. At times this season he showed some selfishness, laziness on the court and a lack of focus. He does play very hard at times, too, and it could be just a matter of maturity. We're encouraged by recent reports that the light went on a bit and he's showing more maturity.

Another question is how he will plug into UCLA's roster. He'll be a freshman in the 2015-2016 season and, being a player who is still developing his point guard skills, it'd be too much to expect for him to be developed to the degree that he could come in and start at point guard as a freshman. But again, the 2015 season-2016 season is still a year and a half away.

If he develops his point guard skills and legitimately becomes a point guard, he has the athleticism to be an early entrant to the NBA – like a three-and-out type. His size, even though good for college, would still be a limitation as an NBA point guard.


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