UCLA Basketball: Aaron Holiday is the best player no one is talking about

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03: Aaron Holiday
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03: Aaron Holiday /

UCLA basketball’s Aaron Holiday is putting up big numbers this season and proving he is not only one of the best Pac-12 players, but one of the best point guards in the nation and no one seems to care.

Aaron Holiday has taken the UCLA basketball team on his back many times this season. The Bruins have taken a step back from last year, but Holiday (along with the help of his veteran partner Thomas Welsh) has consistently tried to push UCLA through.

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In fact, when the Bruins seem to run out of gas at the end of games, it is Holiday that continues to fight, fight, fight. Holiday does not quit and more times than not, has been the reason UCLA is competitive.

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It may take Holiday some time to get in gear, but you can guarantee that by the end of the game, he will be the most energized and focused players on the court.

This alone should garner more attention to the junior, but alas, it has not. That is why it is absurd that he is not getting more love considering the numbers he is putting up.

For the season, Holiday has logged 19.4 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 47.1 field goal percentage, 42.6 three-point field goal percentage and 83.5 free throw percentage. All of these stats are higher than his career averages, but that’s not all.

Let us consider what Holiday has done in conference play: 20.9 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 48.4 field goal percentage, 51.2 three-point field goal percentage and 86.1 free throw percentage. This season, Holiday is doing better as the season goes on.

Additionally, Holiday is putting up some of the best numbers in the conference (he leads the Pac-12 in points per game), not just this season, but in the last three decades, especially when it comes to points and assists. Not even Lonzo Ball did that, and yet, Holiday is not getting the recognition he deserves.

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Last season he was hands down the best 6th man in the nation. This year he should be considered one of the best point guards in the nation. Unfortunately, to the powers that be, they do not see it that way.

Holiday was recently left off the Bob Cousy Award finalists list, an award given to the best point guard in the country. Though he has some fierce competition with players like ASU’s Tra Holder and Oklahoma’s Trae Young being listed, he must but in the conversation if USC’s Jordan McLaughlin 12.2 ppg, 7.7 apg) made the cut.

Head-to-head, Holiday outperformed McLaughlin when UCLA defeated USC 82-79 back on February 3. McLaughlin had 5 points, 8 assists and 2 rebounds. Holiday destroyed those stats with 23 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. I am not saying McLaughlin shouldn’t be in the conversation, I am saying Holiday should.

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Either way, Holiday is having a fantastic year and he is not showing any signs of slowing down. With three games left in the regular season, the Pac-12 tournament and the NCAA Tournament (hopefully the Bruins can land a spot in the dance), Holiday still has a lot to prove and should be even greater as we get closer to season’s end. Don’t sleep on Holiday… actually, go ahead and sleep on him, he will shock you no matter what. Don’t be surprised when he wins thew Pac-12 Player of the Year Award.