Posts Tagged ‘John Holland’

Heaven is a Playground: FIBA 2014 team preview — The Philippines

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Andre Blatche was officially sworn in as a citizen of the Philippines.

Andre Blatche was officially sworn in as a citizen of the Philippines.

Columnist Noah Perkins will be covering the 2014 FIBA World Cup for One-Bid Wonders. Over the next 17 days, leading up to the Aug. 30 tip-off, he will be previewing all 24 qualified teams.

Maybe it was the three slices of Papa Johns, or the slice of buffalo and ranch street pizza. Or perhaps it was the jalapeno chicken sausage, or possibly the black and white cookie, or the two peanut butter squares. There’s even an outside chance it was the RumChata mixed with milk and ice cream. Though, I’d like to think my 3 a.m. wake up call was something bigger than food poisoning, as if my body was trying to signal my brain that something amazing was happening half a world a way.

Early Monday morning, at approximately the same time that I was having an intimate experience with the porcelain throne, Andray Blatche was making his debut with The Philippine National Team in a world cup tune-up game in Spain.

Yes, the same Andray Blatche who once attributed losing 5-pounds to a haircut. Andray Blatche, whose shoe was shit in by Gilbert Arenas. Andray Blatche, you know the guy who was forced to go to a seminar on solicitation. Andray Blatche, the man who did this!

In other words, Andre Blatche, the African American, 100-percent-not-Filipino, free agent who spent last season on the Nets, was playing for the Filipino national team.

(Editors Note: Andray Blatche was also shot during an attempted carjacking)

Because only 700 Americans care about the FIBA World Cup, here are some of the basics: National teams from 24 countries participate. These 24 teams are broken into four groups of six teams. Every team in each group plays every other team in their group once. The top four teams in each group move on to the round of 16, at which point the tournament adopts the exact same format as March Madness (one-and-done style brackets).

Entry into the tournament is determined via regional qualifying tournaments, I.E.: Euro-Basket, Asia, Africa, etc. In addition to the top few teams from each qualifier, four wild card teams are selected from around the world. Automatic entry is given to the host city (Spain) and the previous Olympic gold medal winning team (the United States). The team that wins the world cup automatically qualifies for the 2016 summer Olympics – but considering how much larger the world cup is, the argument can be made that it is THE tournament and the Olympics are played in its shadow.

So how is it that an obviously non –Filipino is allowed to play for the Philippine national team? Well, every team is allowed one naturalized player — basically like when a company hires the dude who can’t work the office fax machine but can hit home runs over the lights for the company softball team. Many teams abstain from bringing ringers in; some don’t — god bless teams like the Philippines and the Ukraine.

Why Andray Blatche? (more…)

“I should have known better”

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Special to One-Bid Wonders
By Zach Bye

When it comes to the America East matchup between UAlbany and Boston University, it seems the improbable becomes probable and the unlikely becomes certain.

With roughly 12 seconds remaining in the contest Wednesday night, hometown fans began to put on their jackets and prepare themselves for the sub-zero temperatures that awaited them outside the SEFCU arena in Albany. I remember the phrase I used on the air during my radio broadcast of the game after Mike Black’s two free throws gave Albany a seemingly comfortable six point cushion: “All signs here point toward a Great Danes victory that would give the club a 17-4 overall record and remain atop of the America East standings.”

I should have known better.

Boston’s junior guard DJ Irving would somehow jam six points into ten seconds to force overtime and eventually knock off a Danes team that had come into the contest a league best 7-1 at home.

Think about that for a brief second: Six points, ten seconds.

I found out after the fact that Boston’s play by play man and I both made the on-air analogy comparing Irving’s last second heroics to that of Reggie Miller against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. It was the same scenario with the same result, except no Spike Lee on the sidelines, and Irving didn’t put his hands over his throat symbolizing ‘the choke’. My expression of disbelief must have matched that of the season high crowd of 3,685 judging by their gasp I could hear through my headset.

If this was the first time that UAlbany was on the wrong end of an absurd finish against Boston University I’m pretty sure Danes fans would tell you this single instance would fill their quota, but that’s not the case. Albany has now lost to Boston eight consecutive times dating back to 2009, and more specifically, four straight at home. Between then and now the matchup between the two has been nothing short of storybook. (more…)

Rivalry Renewed: America East alums Dane DiLiegro and John Holland take their competition, friendship, to the world stage.

Monday, November 5th, 2012

John Holland is playing in the Spanish ACB League, widely regarded as the top domestic league in the world outside of the NBA.

The America East season may not begin until Albany tips off against Duquesne on Friday, November 9th at 6:30 pm, but two days earlier, an America East rivalry will be renewed. Only this time, instead of the dirty orange light of the glorified high school gymnasiums of the AE, it will be played under the bright lights of the world stage.

Nearly five years ago, on cold Boston night in January of 2008, two unheralded freshmen took the floor in an empty Case Gymnasium. Half a decade, over 3,600 miles, and an ocean away from their first encounter, former University of New Hampshire Wildcat Dane DiLiegro and former Boston University Terrier John Holland will face off again Wednesday night; the tenth time in their careers that they have gone head-to-head, but the first time as professionals.

Holland and DiLiegro will be playing in the Eurocup, a transnational professional basketball league — second only to the prestigious EuroLeague — comprised of top teams from the top leagues in Europe. DiLiegro will be taking the floor for Banco Di Sardigna Sassari of the Italian SerieA League, the top league in Italy and one of the top domestic leagues in the world outside of the NBA. Holland will be suiting up for Cajasol Banca Civica Sevilla of the Spanish ACB League, the top league in Spain and arguably the top domestic league in the world after the NBA.

“Its unbelievable being able to play against him again,” said DiLiegro excitedly while relaxing in Sassari, a city that sits on the northwest coast of the island of Sardigna, Italy. “I’m hoping that maybe I can get the opportunity to make him miss a free throw by making him laugh or something.”

“It’s going to be really fun to compete against him again.” said Holland, enjoying some down time in Sevilla, a city that sits on the Guadalquivir River in Spain. “I always admire his energy.” (more…)

NBA Dreamin': Former Terrier John Holland signs (for the summer) with Western Conference Champs.

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Former Boston University Terrier John Holland is one step closer to his dreams of playing in the NBA. The 2011 America East Player of the Year, Holland is one of 13 players signed to suit up for the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League.

A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, Holland etched his name across the Terriers record books during his four-year career (2007-2011), ranking in the top-10 in program history in 11 different statistical categories. His 2,212 points, 725 rebounds, 200 steals, 129 games and 4,195 minutes rank second, sixth, first (tied), first and first all-time in program history, respectively.

A 6’5” guard-forward who excelled in run-and-gun transition as well attacking the hoop off the bounce in the half-court, Holland was the recipient of the 2011 Kevin Roberson Award given to the America East regular season Player of the Year.

Holland capped his career by carrying the Terriers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002, scoring 27 points to go with 10 rebounds in a 56-54 comeback win in the championship game. Holland scored 23 of his points after the intermission, including all of the Terriers points during a 14-0 Terriers’ run which erased a 15-point Stony Brook lead. Holland’s two free-throws with 2.4 seconds left gave the Terriers their first lead of the game as BU punched its ticket to The Big Dance.

After graduating, Holland, spent the summer playing for the Puerto Rican National Team (he was eligible through a Puerto Rican grandparent) before signing his first professional contract to play for Chorale Roanne in the French Pro A league. (more…)

Invite Only: BU’s Holland, Maine’s Barnies score pre-draft workouts from NBA teams

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Boston University small forward/shooting guard John Holland and Maine

John Holland has several NBA invites on his slate

power forward Troy Barnies have scored workouts with NBA franchises leading up to the 2011 NBA draft. Holland, the 2011 America East Player of the Year and a three-time first team All-Conference selection, worked out with the New York Knicks on Tuesday and has future workouts scheduled with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets, while Barnies, who enjoyed a breakout season as a senior and was named to the All-Conference First Team (the first All-Conference selection of his career), has workouts scheduled with the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Being invited to NBA workouts is a heck of an accomplishment for any player from a low mid-major like the America East and gives Holland and Barnies a chance to show what they can do in front of NBA coaching staff’s and front office personnel.

However, it is important to note that not all pre-draft invites are equal. There are typically two kinds of players invited to pre-draft workouts with NBA teams: true NBA prospects that NBA teams want to take a very long look at to assess, and players to push them through the workouts and bring out the best in them (in essence, practice players).

Among recent America East Alums who scored NBA workouts, Taylor Coppenrath, Jose Juan Barea, Kenny Adeleke, Jamar Wilson, Marqus Blakely, Nick Billings, Trevor Gaines, Rashad Bell, Errick Greene and Justin Rowe were all brought in for true NBA looks. The likes of Muhammad El-Amin, Mike Trimboli, Chris Holm and Kevin Gardner (to name a few) fell into the second category. (more…)

John Holland invited to Portsmouth Invitational Tournament

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

John Holland is officially wading into the waters of professional basketball, as he has been invited to (and will participate in) the 2011 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which starts today and runs through April 9th at Churchland H.S., in Portsmouth, Va.

The “PIT,” which enters its 59th year, is the oldest amateur tournament, having been run continuously since 1953, and is a by-invitation-only showcase for some of the best college seniors in the nation. The tournament itself consists of eight teams and 12 games, and serves as the first of two NBA pre-draft camps, the second being in Orlando (previously Chicago). 200 NBA scouts, officials and front office personnel are expected to watch the PIT, as well as numerous European scouts and owners.

While the Portsmouth Invitational likes to bill itself as a big-time NBA camp, citing such former participants as Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, Tim Hardaway, Ben Wallace, Avery Johnson and Rick Barry, to name a few, it is in reality a showcase for marginal NBA prospects. Of the 64 participants in 2009, only six were drafted, none in the first round. (more…)

Let’s Dance! John Holland’s 27 points power the Terriers to a 56-54 win over Stony Brook and a trip to the NCAA’s

Monday, March 14th, 2011

(Photographs courtesy of Steve McLaughlin)

Terrier Nation was elated. Mankind (the wrestler) was devastated.

The best player in the league stepped up in the conference’s biggest game. John Holland powered Boston University to a thrilling 56-54 win over Stony Brook in the final seconds of the America East championship game, and the Terriers punched their ticket to the Big Dance for the first time since 2002.

Boston University took its only lead of the day over Stony Brook with 2.4 seconds left, as Holland calmly sunk two free throws and survived a half court heave to win the America East title. It was an interesting (nail-biting, thrilling, heartbreaking, controversial) end to a memorable title game played on national TV in the league’s best venue in front of a raucous crowd and terrific atmosphere. (more…)

The One-Bid Wonders America East All-Tournament team

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Before last weekend gets too far in the rear-view mirror, here’s our picks for the five best players from last weekend:

Tim Ambrose, G, Albany (24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, four rebounds, four assists vs. Stony Brook)
Albany went out in the quarterfinals, but the Seawolves’ advancement came despite a vintage performance from Ambrose. The Great Danes’ bowling ball of a guard was at his best, combining efficiency and volume in a way that few others can.

Leonard Hayes, G, Stony Brook (11 points on 3-of-5 shooting, two rebounds, one block vs. Albany; 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks vs. Vermont)
Hayes made 9-of-11 shots from beyond the arc on the weekend and averaged nearly two points per possession used over the course of Stony Brook’s two games. When Vermont cut the Seawolves’ lead to six midway through the second half, it was a Hayes 3 that cut the Catamounts’ momenutum. And even in the postseason, Hayes continues to add elements to his game. Before Saturday, Hayes had not recorded a blocked shot in his career. Now he has three.

John Holland, G/F, Boston University (17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, four rebounds vs. New Hampshire; 16 points on 3-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals at Hartford)
It says something about John Holland that this weekend’s performances weren’t particularly strong compared to his usual standard and he still makes our All-Tournament team. For most players, a 9-of-10 performance at the line is something noteworthy. For Holland? That’s normal. And sure, he wasn’t dominant, but BU doesn’t win without him.

Chris Martin, G, Stony Brook (18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, five assists vs. Albany; 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, three rebounds, three assists, one steal vs. Vermont)
You can change your defense. You can bring extra help defenders. You can wreck one of his knees. It doesn’t matter, Chris Martin will still take you off the dribble, barrel down the lane, and convert a layup or draw a foul, or both. He’s like the Terminator, both because of his refusal to quit and because he terminates teams’ seasons. Traveling Stony Brook fans, there’s your new sign idea. Thank me later.

Greer Wright, F, Binghamton (31 points on 11-of-21 shooting, nine rebounds, six assists vs. UMBC; 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, one block, one steal vs. Vermont)
Greer Wright’s Thursday night would be a nice weekend for most players. Moussa Camara had a similarly strong weekend as Binghamton broke the AE single-game record for 3-point baskets, but what separated Wright was – and this sounds so unlike everything we’ve ever said about Greer Wright – his ability to help his team beyond just scoring the basketball. Thursday’s performance wasn’t just about shooting, it was a complete game from Wright.

Honorable mentions: Moussa Camara, G, Binghamton; Genesis Maciel, F, Hartford; Anthony Minor, F, Hartford

One by one, BU free throws add up to 55-49 semifinal victory over Hartford

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Boston University redshirt junior forward Pat Hazel is a lot of things. A muscular 6-foot-6, the Marquette transfer holds his

BU's Pat Hazel throws down the second of his two dunks (Photo courtesy of Shane Bufano)

ground in the low post, and has blocked a league-leading 62 shots from both that position and as a help defender. On offense, Hazel generates plenty of second-shot opportunities – his OR% of 11.1 is tied for third-best among all AE qualifiers, trailing only Stony Brook’s Dallis Joyner and Albany’s Blake Metcalf – and despite often finding himself in a crowd of defenders around the hoop, Hazel shot a tidy 52.8% from the floor. The All-Defensive Team nominee’s ability to function effectively as a clean-up guy around the hoop made him a valuable contributor at both ends of the floor for the Terriers this season.


But after 32 games this season, it was safe to say that Hazel was not either of two things: a dunker or a free throw shooter. Heading into Sunday’s semifinal against the host, the No. 6 Hartford Hawks, a Hazel dunk prompted a hard pinch to make sure the observer wasn’t dreaming. And the charity stripe was anything but charitable to Hazel. Pat connected at a wholly uninspiring 44.0% clip. In fact, Hazel had never attempted more than one free throw in a game for BU without missing at least once. Hoping for 2-of-2? Good luck with that.

So years from now, when robots parse the box score from the Terriers’ closely contested 55-49 semifinal victory at Hartford for the umpteenth time, they won’t realize that what Pat Hazel did on Sunday took a running leap past “improbable,” landing safely in the zone of “unthinkable.” (more…)

Refuse to Lose: Martin, Hayes deliver a shocker as Stony Brook stuns Vermont, 69-47

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Photo courtesy of Shane Bufano

In the post game press conference following No. 5 Stony Brook’s surprise 69-47 upset over No. 1 Vermont in the America East semifinals, Seawolf guard Leonard Hayes was asked if he thought good shooting was infectious. That was a question in need of an answer, but when it came to the heart and effort of his teammates, no question was required.

Hayes poured in a game-high 20 points while Chris Martin added 14 and continued to carry an emotional and physical load despite playing on one leg, as the Seawolves shocked top-seeded Vermont and earned a trip to the America East championship game for the first time in school history. (more…)