“Junior guard Sherrod Wright has started every game this season, the only Patriot player to do so. With his expected start on Monday night against Santa Clara, Wright will set a new single-season school record with his 36th start. That eclipses a mark of 35 set by Lamar Butler and Will Thomas both during the Patriots’ Final Four season of 2005-06.”—http://www.gomason.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=25200&ATCLID=207019295
“In the 17 games since the change, Allen is averaging 9.8 points, shooting 49.2% from the field and 44.0% from three-point range, with 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. In the first 18 games, he averaged 6.1 points, on 45.7% shooting from the field and 21.4% from three-point range, with 3.0 assists and .7 steals per game. The team averaged 65.1 points in the first 18 games and 70.5 in the last 17.”—Around the Rim
The Patriots have that attitude despite having lost their last two games and three of their last five. Junior Sherrod Wright, the team’s leading scorer at 16.5 ppg, was feeling discouraged after the 82-77 loss to Delaware in the regular-season finale until he received a text from director of operations Scott Lombardi that the Patriots had drawn Drexel, with whom they split games during the season, in the first round.
“I was in my room, screaming and yelling,” said Wright, who has been battling a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) for much of the season. “I’m excited, I’m ready to go. This is our one last opportunity to let everybody know. They claim we had a bad season. We’ve got to prove everybody wrong.”
Practicing against teammates like Sherrod Wright, a redshirt junior guard, who has about four inches, 40 pounds and three years of college experience on Holloway, was also a wake-up call. Wright considers it his duty to prepare Holloway for the college game; the two guard each other a lot in workouts.
“When we go at it in practice, I try to test him and make sure he’s working his hardest,” Wright said. “When people see him on defense, their eyes can light up because he’s smaller. They’ll try to push you, bully you.
“I try to get physical with him so he’ll be prepared. If he hits a couple shots, somebody may do something dirty with an elbow or put him on his back when he goes in the lane. He’s going through his freshman bumps like we all did. He’s starting to mature and take better shots and play harder defense. Those are things we need him to do and he’s doing them.”
Compared to early-season practices when Holloway was hitting the deck regularly, he’s holding his own. He even seeks out matchups against Wright, who leads the Patriots in scoring at 16.5 points a game.
“It was kind of embarrassing,” said Holloway of some early practices, who is averaging 5.4 points and 12.6 minutes per game while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. “I stopped looking at it as intimidation and looked at it as a way to get better. Now I like playing against Sherrod, because it’s going to make me better. He might score on me, he might push me down. But I know in the long run its going to help me.”
His body has been beaten up by the season; he’s committed to getting into the weight room in the offseason to bulk up. Still, he has handled the physical transition and the mental transition to the college game, not that it was easy.