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Jose Slaughter
05-28-2009, 05:37 AM
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Jrue-Holiday-Im-a-Floor-General--3234/

Jrue Holiday: "I'm a Floor General"

by: Joey Whelan
May 28, 2009

Jrue Holiday will be the first person to tell you that his freshman season didnít live up to expectations, not that that fact has scared away GMs looking to draft a point guard. Holiday entered the season as a consensus top five high school player in his class, giving UCLA fans plenty of hope for yet another appearance in the Final Four when the newcomer teamed up with returning All-American point guard Darren Collison. That dream failed to become reality for a variety of reasons, but certainly the underwhelming numbers posted by Holiday received some of the most scrutiny.

A point guard by nature, Holiday spent the majority of his time playing off the ball due to the presence of Collison. This fact, coupled with Ben Howlandís slow-paced offensive system, prevented Holiday from getting very many touches or allowing him the freedom to create. Scouts who have seen tape of the freshman from his days as a prep star in California know that Holiday is a blossoming talent with an intriguing skill set to go along with good size for his position.

Holiday has been preparing for the draft since UCLAís season came to an end back in March, but has yet to officially make a decision on whether or not he will keep his name in the draft. DraftExpress sat down with Holiday to talk about his training, his year in the Pac-10 and what the future holds for this talented youngster.

DraftExpress: Since the season ended what have you been up to? Where have you been working out?
Jrue Holiday: Iíve been at IMG in Florida working out for about 3 Ĺ weeks. Before that I was in California working out at a gym called 360.

DX: What have you been focusing on in your training? What are you looking to fine tune for individual workouts?
JH: Iím really trying to improve my jump shot because people donít think I have one. You can always improve ball handling too. Iím working on being able to shoot coming off of screens and just making better decisions. Being at these workouts isnít always 1-on-1 stuff, thereís going to be 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, so itís important to make smart decisions.

DX: During these workouts what are you hoping to show off that we didnít get to see this year at UCLA?
JH: That Iím a floor general, a leader, a captain and that I can run a team. Even though I didnít get a chance to last year and I didnít perform the way I wanted to, at the next level my position is a point guard. I truly donít think people saw that this year.

DX: Overall how did you feel about your season at UCLA?
JH: It wasnít to my liking; it wasnít up to my standards. At the same time though, I loved it, it was a learning experience. Even though I felt I played out of position, it was something new that I have to learn to deal with. I know that I can play off the ball now and that I donít always have to have the ball in my hands. I learned that when Iím off the ball I can still be a leader, I can direct people in ways that can help the team succeed.

DX: Were there ever points during the season where you wish you had gone to a different school where you would have been the focal point of the offense?
JH: No, it never did. I chose UCLA because I thought it was the best place for me. You know North Carolina was in my top three and they won it all this year. Even though they won it all, I still donít feel like it was the right place for me. Washington was interested and they had a good year as well, but I felt like UCLA was the best fit and I still think it was.

DX: Have you been talking with Coach Howland during this process?
JH: We have; I saw him before I left for Florida a couple of weeks ago. We sat down and had a meeting, he just wanted to reiterate that heís one hundred percent behind me and heís actually helping me keep up with my school work. Even though he would like for me to come back, he thinks Iíll succeed in the NBA.

DX: Has he talked to you at all about next year? If you were to return for your sophomore year would the point guard position be yours?
JH: He did talk to me about things towards the end of this season. Heís told me that the ball is going to be in my hands a lot more if I come back next season.

DX: What have you learned from playing under him this season?
JH: That I need to be more of a leader. Last year I kind of just laid back because we had Darren [Collison] as our senior point guard. Even though heís a senior I could have been a leader too while I was on the court. I think really the biggest thing was trying to be more of a leader.

DX: You were a highly ranked player in your high school class. If the NBA didnít have an age limit, would you have skipped college for the draft?
JH: I donít really know. Thatís something Iíd have to sit down and talk with my parents and advisors about. If I felt I was ready at that time, then I definitely would have taken that opportunity. I guess since theyíve put that rule in, Iíve never really looked at it.

DX: You said that you didnít live up to your own expectations for this season. Given that youíve only played this season at the college level, how much stock do you think NBA teams should invest in your high school ranking and how you performed at that level?
JH: I donít know, I really couldnít tell you. High school and college basketball are two completely different systems. College is obviously a lot harder than high school. People change a lot during that one year, some people get worse, but for the most part players get better. Most of the time in college youíre not the man anymore, you donít get to do what you did in high school because you didnít get the ball as much, or didnít play as much, whatever it is. Iím not really sure if the NBA even looks at what you did in college; when you come to these camps you get to lay it all out for everyone to see.

DX: You recently had a workout with Sacramento, how did that go?
JH: I thought it went really well. I was out there for a day; I was really aggressive I thought. I was the biggest point guard there for sure; I thought there were going to be some more guards my size to be honest. I thought I shot the ball really well and they warmed up to while I was there.

DX: Can you see yourself going 4th overall and landing with the Kings?
JH: I can, absolutely. If they feel they can use another point guard, I feel like Iím that player who can step in and fill that role. Whether itís leadership, scoring, getting the right man the ball, or whatever they need, I think I can do that.

DX: What is the range of teams that you are going to be working out for?
JH: I think the range is probably from one to twenty. But my advisors are handling that, Iím not entirely sure.

DX: How much is your size going to help you as a point guard prospect?
JH: I think it will a lot because all of the point guards Iíve played against have been shorter than me. Iím only eighteen years old so Iím still growing and still getting bigger. Iím actually a smart player; Iím just as quick and fast as any of the other players.

DX: Where are you in terms of your decision to stay in the draft? Are you going to need a promise from a team in order to keep your name in?
JH: Iím really going to have to sit down and talk with my advisors and my parents. Weíre going to have to see if staying in is going to be the best decision or if going back to school would be better.

DX: Is there anyone in the NBA that you think you compare to? Is there anyone you try to model your game after?
JH: I try to model mine after Deron Williams; heís a big point guard with a great handle and he can shoot the ball. Thereís also Chauncey Billups, just how heís able to walk in and lead a team.

DX: You played both the 1 and the 2 in college. Do you see yourself transitioning full time to the point?
JH: Thatís my position, the point guard. At the same time I can play the two-guard, but I am a point guard.

DX: Do you think youíre more suited to running an up tempo offense or a half court offense?
JH: I honestly think that Iím in between, I can do both. What I like to do more of is the up and down, just fly, get highlights and all of that. It really doesnít matter though, I can make the same progress in a half court situation as I can flying up and down the court.

DX: Have you had the opportunity to talk to any players who have gone through this process?
JH: I talked to Steve Francis, he was at IMG. Heís a veteran so heís been through this, but he just told us to stay positive. Itís a long process, your body is going to get worn and youíre going to have some bad workouts. But ultimately just work hard, stay positive and enjoy this process, it only happens once in a lifetime.

Spirit
05-28-2009, 06:25 AM
Thanks for this man.

Great interview. He seems to really be focusing on being a leader and a true point guard. I actually could see him being somewhat of a more athletic Chauncey Billups if he put his mind to it.

Anthem
05-28-2009, 08:43 AM
I'd be more than happy to draft him at #13.

MillerTime
05-28-2009, 09:14 AM
Its weird with Jrue, some mocks have him going as late as 17 some have him at 7. But I think he'll go around the top 5th pick. If he falls to us we'll be sooooo lucky. Him and Evans are PG we'll be keeping an eye on but will go before us like Augustin and Westbrook

Naptown_Seth
05-28-2009, 10:11 AM
Yeah, he's not making it to the Pacers. Even Chad Ford has finally gotten on board after probably being told by someone that Jrue is slated to go a lot higher. The Kings make sense but to me it's a minor upset if he goes before Jennings.

Once these guys take a fresh look at Jennings (I'm guessing in the Euro workouts, or is he stateside at this point?) they'll remember why he was ranked so high too.

Regardless, you have 3 strong PG prospects, Rubio, Jennings and Holliday, and none look to be going past 10th. Drat. You might even see Evans gone by then too.


If you haven't read some of the prospect discussions I'll restate my general comparison of Jrue - Vern Fleming. He's plays really tall and upright like Vern, slashes somewhat like Vern and his jumper style reminds me of that somewhat too.

One reason he might fit the Kings more than Jennings is that he is more of a scorer than Jennings. Jennings seems to take delight in just passing the ball. I know highlights always feature the dunks and crap, but when he is at his best and playing well he's usually showing a wide, and I mean WIDE, variety of passes. Doesn't work so well if the scoring options around you are limited, and that could result in him falling into a forced scoring style that doesn't suit him.

OakMoses
05-28-2009, 10:43 AM
Regardless, you have 3 strong PG prospects, Rubio, Jennings and Holliday, and none look to be going past 10th. Drat. You might even see Evans gone by then too.


Apart from Derrick Rose, I think this draft is actually far superior to last year's for PG's. I'd much rather have Rubio, Jennings, or Holiday than Augustin or Bayless. You could even make the argument that Flynn, Maynor, and Lawson are in the same class as the '08 guys.

Tiny Archibald
05-28-2009, 11:34 AM
Naptown-

Interesting comparison. Don't think he's quite as long as Fleming was,
but is a more fluid athlete.

Speed
05-28-2009, 12:04 PM
Once these guys take a fresh look at Jennings (I'm guessing in the Euro workouts, or is he stateside at this point?) they'll remember why he was ranked so high too.

.

I've wondered this too. I hope it's against the Americans really. If he's worthy of a lotto pick I think he needs to show it in that environment too.

Justin Tyme
05-28-2009, 05:45 PM
Apart from Derrick Rose, I think this draft is actually far superior to last year's for PG's. I'd much rather have Rubio, Jennings, or Holiday than Augustin or Bayless. You could even make the argument that Flynn, Maynor, and Lawson are in the same class as the '08 guys.


You are absolutely correct. When people were hoping to get Westbrook, Bayless, etc last year, it was mentioned numerous times this draft would have many good PG's in it compared to the 08 draft. AND it does.

I'm just hoping that possibly Jrue or Tyreke slips down to #13 where Bird has an opportunity to draft them if he's wanting a PG. I'm not expecting it to happen, but it would be nice to have the opportunity for a change.

Anthem
05-28-2009, 05:46 PM
Yeah, he's not making it to the Pacers. Even Chad Ford has finally gotten on board after probably being told by someone that Jrue is slated to go a lot higher. The Kings make sense but to me it's a minor upset if he goes before Jennings.

Once these guys take a fresh look at Jennings (I'm guessing in the Euro workouts, or is he stateside at this point?) they'll remember why he was ranked so high too.

Regardless, you have 3 strong PG prospects, Rubio, Jennings and Holliday, and none look to be going past 10th. Drat. You might even see Evans gone by then too.
That's how it seems, yeah. So you've got to wonder who gets pushed down?

Just like last year, I'm beginning to be hopeful that we can find a player we really like at #13.

imawhat
05-29-2009, 12:31 AM
That interview reminded me of Jermaine O'Neal. This kid's draft expectations are slightly out of touch with reality.

Basketball aside, I want no part of him.

croz24
05-29-2009, 01:08 AM
flynn before holiday, lawson, jennings, maynor, teague, mills, and curry thank you...doubt holiday will ever live up to the hype. if we can't trade up for evans, the only pg i'd want is flynn as his desire and passion alone will lead us to the postseason. i wish every college/nba player had flynn's heart and character...i guess you can say i have a man-crush on jonny flynn.

Anthem
05-29-2009, 02:36 PM
flynn before holiday, lawson, jennings, maynor, teague, mills, and curry thank you...
Noted. We'll check back in as the year goes on.

Since86
05-29-2009, 02:40 PM
Jokingly/Serious question for you Anthem.

Do you keep a database with people's quotes you disagree with, or just one hell of a memory? You call out people periodically on something they said months ago, or even year(s), when I can't remember yesterday.

imawhat
05-29-2009, 03:12 PM
All ppl born on 5/26 have a hell of a memory.

croz24
05-29-2009, 06:52 PM
Jokingly/Serious question for you Anthem.

Do you keep a database with people's quotes you disagree with, or just one hell of a memory? You call out people periodically on something they said months ago, or even year(s), when I can't remember yesterday.

anthem has never been lucky enough to call me out on something i've said...he could get close this year however if jumpin joe doesn't improve with the bucks.

Anthem
05-29-2009, 11:28 PM
anthem has never been lucky enough to call me out on something i've said...
:laugh: Well you only make long-term predictions and you haven't been here long enough for most of them to be clearly right or wrong (except maybe this one (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=42042)). For the most part, I just disagree with you on principle, not because our views are necessarily so different. Anybody conceited enough to regularly claim to be the only one capable of judging talent is somebody I'm more than happy to take down a peg if I can. It's either that or keep you on ignore.

----

Since86, I'm fairly sure you're joking but since you asked, I have a pretty sweet MySQL database running on a Beowulf cluster that I keep in my basement. It bookmarks and indexes important posts and links so that I can refer to them later. Doug helped me with some of the code (I stole some of his RoboDoug code, basically) but for the most part I wrote it myself.

There's a tiny bit of code I can slip into my important posts so that I can find them easily. The code gets ignored by your web browser (unless you're using Opera, and seriously, who uses Opera?) but my web scraper can pick it up and it really helps build my index.

croz24
05-30-2009, 12:42 PM
:laugh: Well you only make long-term predictions and you haven't been here long enough for most of them to be clearly right or wrong (except maybe this one (http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-default/showthread.php?t=42042)). For the most part, I just disagree with you on principle, not because our views are necessarily so different. Anybody conceited enough to regularly claim to be the only one capable of judging talent is somebody I'm more than happy to take down a peg if I can. It's either that or keep you on ignore.

been here longer than most...check out what i said about jo and rondo. especially jo, since i was put on ignore back then for claiming jo is not this team's franchise player and wanting him gone long before most pacers fans realized he was a cancer to this team. i don't want granger traded any longer, but i get the same treatment for stating he's not a franchise player...btw, look at the final 4 this year. denver, orlando, and cleveland were nobodies until they drafted melo, howard, and lebron, all top 3 picks ;-)