Michigan State basketball is on a three-game winning streak, making progress towards the top of the Big Ten standings after a rocky start.
An immense reason for this turnaround is the emergence of guard Tre Holloman off the bench. In the 61-59 win at Maryland Sunday, Holloman had 12 points, which included three 3-pointers that helped the Spartans obtain an early first-half lead.
It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for Holloman. Last year he shot only 38 percent from the field and 23 percent from deep averaging a mere 1.3 points per game. This season, Holloman is averaging 6.3 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. Plus, beyond the arc he is shooting it at an elite level of 44 percent on almost three attempts per game. His juice off the bench has been critical when Jaden Akins, Tyson Walker, or AJ Hoggard need a breather.
Holloman's contributions on defense shouldn’t go unnoticed either. He made the game-winning play against Maryland when he poked the ball away from Jahmir Young as time expired. Tom Izzo after the Minnesota game Thursday praised Holloman’s improvement on the defense end of the floor.
College basketball insider Jon Rothstein has begun to take notice on how important Holloman is to this Michigan State team. He tweeted, “Michigan State is 9-0 this season when Tre Holloman scores six or more points.” With Jeremy Fears out, Holloman has needed to step up and run the point and play off the ball and he’s stepped into this role with ease. Holloman deserves a lot of credit for this team's success.
As the season goes on, especially in March, benches get much shorter as coaches will lean on their best five to get the job done. Look at the 2019 Final Four run, Izzo has shown he’s not afraid to cut down on the bench minutes and run a seven-man rotation. If Holloman can keep this up, it will give the Spartans a huge leg-up come tournament time.
It’s been great seeing Holloman emerge as a reliable option and watching him grow even more over these next couple of seasons should be something Spartan fans look forward to.