The Arizona and UCLA basketball teams will meet up in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, which means the meeting of the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Deandre Ayton, and the REAL Pac-12 Player of the Year, Aaron Holiday.
Warning! This is a complete homer post, so if you don’t like (biased) truth, turn around now. The UCLA basketball team is taking on the Arizona Wildcats this evening in the Pac-12 Tournament and two of the best players in the conference will be going right at each other.
That is right, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Deandre Ayton, and the BEST player in the Pac-12, Aaron Holiday, will lead their teams into battle as they try to get their teams to the championship game.
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There has been a lot of debate as to who the Pac-12 Player of the Year Award should have gone to and though Ayton was dominant in his own right (he is averaging 19.6 ppg, 11.3 rpg), Holiday was a bigger game changer and did a lot more for his team.
Holiday is currently leading the Pac-12 in scoring and the way he has been playing lately, his numbers continue to grow. After his 34-point performance against Stanford yesterday, Holiday is now up to 20.1 ppg. On top of that he is also second in the conference in assists with 5.9. Additionally, he was also named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.
Now imagine that, a UCLA team that is not known for their defense, has a player that was one of the top five defenders in the conference.
Without Holiday, who knows where the Bruins would be right now. He is definitely the best player on the Bruins, but he is also the best player in the conference, whether you agree with that or not.
For what he has done to keep this team relevant is simply amazing. Sure, he has not done it alone. Thomas Welsh has been a huge factor with the Bruins as well as what Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands and Gyorgy Goloman brought to the court, but Holiday is the reason UCLA is one of the top scoring teams in the Pac-12 and one of the last four teams remaining in the tournament.
Though he does not have the hardware to show it, Holiday displays what he is worth on the court and tonight he is going to continue that process as he helps UCLA try and get past Arizona and Ayton. Now do not count out Ayton, but I think Holiday has a chip on his shoulder and will show why he is the best in the west. Go Bruins! Go Holiday!