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Washington Post / News - Politics

UCLA’s Aaron Holiday plays ‘amazing’ in Pac-12 Tournament win over Stanford

Those were the words of UCLA Coach Steve Alford, who believes Holiday has been overlooked after his 34 point, eight-assist, six-rebound night against the Cardinal.

Stanford’s Oscar da Silva, covers UCLA’s Aaron Holiday as he looks to pass during the second half of the Bruins’ win at the Pac-12 Tournament. (Isaac Brekken/AP)

After UCLA guard Aaron Holiday finished with 34 points, eight assists and six rebounds in Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup with Stanford in the Pac 12 Tournament, Bruins Coach Steve Alford didn’t hesitate to declare that Holiday was snubbed earlier this week as a finalist for the Cousy Award, which is given to the country’s top point guard.

“He is amazing, and I’ve said it all along. Again, for him to not to be in the finals of the Cousy Watch, I’m at a loss,” Alford told the Pac-12 Network. The five Cousy finalists named this week were Devonte’ Graham (Kansas), Joel Berry II (North Carolina), Trae Young (Oklahoma), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), and Jevon Carter (West Virginia). Here’s the rest of Alford’s comments:

"There's not another point guard in the country that's statistically doing what he does, defensively does what he does…" – Coach Steve Alford on Aaron Holiday.#Pac12Hoops pic.twitter.com/f8mjQHzhI6

— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 9, 2018

Holiday’s performance, which tied for sixth-most ever in a Pac-12 Tournament game, also triggered plenty of takes that he should’ve been the conference’s player of the year. That award went to Arizona freshman DeAndre Ayton.

I know Ill get some heat for this, but if I had a Pac-12 Player of the Year vote Id give it to Aaron Holiday. I love DeAndre Ayton, but Arizona would be OK without him. UCLA wouldnt have won five games this year without Holiday

— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) March 4, 2018

Convince me Aaron Holiday wasn’t the Pac-12’s player of the year.

— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) March 9, 2018

Ayton is supremely talented, but Aaron Holiday has been the best player in the Pac-12 this season.

— The Mighty Bruins (@themightybruins) March 4, 2018

Nonetheless, Holiday kept UCLA on track for a potential at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament — The Post’s bracketology currently pegs the Bruins as a No. 8 seed while other analysts have the team more squarely on the bubble — but a win over USC in the semifinals on Friday night could all but end that conversation. UCLA should be in good shape if Holiday maintains his late-season production. Over the past five games alone, he’s averaged 28.2 points (on 51 percent shooting), 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 rebounds per game.

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