Guard to Guard, Holder Thriving Under Hurley

Tra Holder has taken a big step forward as we are halfway through the 2015-16 season.

The sophomore point guard from Southern California could have been in a tough situation as the head coach that recruited him to Tempe was fired after his freshman season. Guards who anticipate running a certain style of offense can be chased off when a new head man comes into the fold, especially in the landscape of college basketball today.

However, when Arizona State announced Bobby Hurley announced that their new head coach would be former All-American point guard Bobby Hurley, that should easily perk up a young guard’s interest.

Now watching Holder on the court, Holder is playing with great confidence and it is easy to see that the young Sun Devil is soaking in his head coach’s knowledge.

“Day after day, you just see his leadership qualities, how hard he works” Holder said. “I guess it has just translated to my game and everyone else. We just learn from him everyday and he instills confidence in us so that’s why we are playing well right now and hopefully it can continue the rest of the season.”

“With Tra, we just talked about taking command of the team, being a leader out there and being in control,” mentioned Hurley of his conversations with Holder right after he was hired. “Guys do it in different ways. You don’t have to be a rah, rah, you know talking every few seconds out there. But he has taken control of the team, I feel confident when he has the ball in his hands and he’s making big plays for us.”

Without question has Holder made big play after big play for ASU to this point. He currently leads the Sun Devils in scoring (15.8 points per game), assists (3.4) and steals (1.0) with a true shooting percentage of 55.5 percent (measures shooting efficiently taking into account two point and three point field goals as well as free throws). There have been points in games this season where the team has hit a lull offensively and more often than not, it has been Holder who has been able make the plays to get them out of it.

“He’s a unique guy,” Hurley explained. “Tra and his playmaking and when a set play breaks down late in the clock, he has been very effective for us. He’s bailed us out in some possessions just making a shot using his skills as a creator out there.”

“I always wanted to be the person who makes big plays or something like that but I just give all the credit to my teammates and my coaches,” stated Holder. “They give me confidence and I feel like they deserve all the credit and not really me.”

Holder and the Sun Devils are in Southern California for their first Pac-12 road trip. It starts with USC on Thursday night.