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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

April 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Why is Justin Holiday playing at Portsmouth Invitational?

Washington senior forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning takes his first step towards a professional basketball career today when he plays in the Portsmouth Invitational.
Justin Holiday, the other UW senior in the three-day tournament, plays tomorrow.
Here’s a look at the rosters.
Bryan-Amaning has a chance to star on his team. None of the other seven players are projected by DraftExpress.com to selected in the NBA draft. The three other big men on his squad are serviceable, but not dominating.
Holiday appears to be out of position once again. The 6-foot-6 senior played a lot at forward at Washington, including in the post against bigger power forwards. In the NBA, Holiday is a wing and he’d do well if he could prove to the NBA people that he can shutdown opposing shooting guards.
He’s listed as a front line player on his PIT team. A source at the tournament said Holiday’s stiffest competition is on his squad. He’s teamed with Gonzaga’s Steven Gray, Michigan State’s Durrell Summers and Texas’ Gary Johnson. Those three aren’t projected as NBA draft picks according to DraftExpress.com, but Holiday is predicted as a mid-second round pick.
In fact Holiday is one of four players at PIT who are expected to be taken in the draft, according to DraftExpress.com. The others are Pittsburgh wing Gilbert Brown, Syracuse forward Rick Jackson and Marquette forward Jimmy Butler.
Holiday is one of the headliners this week in Virginia and he’s taking a gamble by playing in the PIT, which has been devalued over the years to be a showcase for mid-major players.
By no means is he a sure-fire lock to be taken in the draft and he faded late in the season. He could conceivably cement his position in the draft with a strong showing over the next three days, but he also has a lot to lose.
The PIT is where NBA folks go to find the diamonds in the rough. The top seniors avoid the tournament.
Last year Stanford’s Landry Fields and Rutgers’ Hamady Ndiaye played at PIT and were taken in the 2010 draft. Marquette’s Lazar Hayward, Harvard’s Jeremy Lin, Rider’s Ryan Thompson, Tulsa’s Ben Uzoh and Wake Forest’s Ishmael Smith played are 2010 PIT participants who made their way on a NBA roster this season.

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