Holloway Looks Ahead

Holloway Looks Ahead

After the Sweet 16 loss to Baylor, Tu Holloway spent time talking to MusketeerReport both about what's ahead for him, and what's ahead for Xavier basketball.

It's almost hard to imagine Xavier taking the court without Tu Holloway.

For the last four years, No. 52 has been a fixture in the Cintas Center, as he racked up the sixth most points and third most assists in school history.

As the senior sat at the podium following the Sweet 16 loss to Baylor though, he acknowledged both the disappointment that came with the end of his career, and the bright future ahead for Xavier -- even without 52.

"You know, I'm very disappointed. This is the furthest point I've been able to go in my college career. I've never been past the Sweet 16. I told the guys in the locker room I'm really happy. After everything we've been through this season, everyone counted us out. People said we weren't going to make the tournament, and we made it here. This isn't the end of the road for a guy like Mark Lyons, who's going to be someone to lead the team next year."

Holloway reaffirmed the sentiment about Lyons when he spoke to MusketeerReport inside the locker room.

"He was a leader the last two years on this team, so he's next. Mark Lyons is going to be the guy to lead the team next year."

While he expects Lyons to be the leader going into next year, he also has high expectations for some of his younger teammates to carry on the Xavier tradition.

"Dez Wells is going to be one guy. He was a starter this year as a freshman," Holloway said. "And you know, Dee Davis, I was in his way this year, so he couldn't show everyone how good he was because I was here."

"Justin Martin played well in the tournament, and that shows people real character and how good they are and how tough they are, when they can play good in the big stage."

As for what's next for Holloway…

"I'm a couple weeks away from getting ready for real training and getting ready for the draft in June," he said.

Currently projected to go in the middle of the second round according to Draft Express, Holloway helped his stock with his play in the postseason. With the national spotlight on him in the NCAA Tournament, Holloway averaged 22.7 points over three games, and maybe more importantly, he displayed some very impressive defense against really talented guards in Notre Dame's Jerian Grant, Lehigh's CJ McCollum, and Baylor's Pierre Jackson.

Holloway will get the chance to further improve his stock with workouts for NBA teams. He also accepted an invitation to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a draft showcase event in April, where he could really make a good final impression on scouts.

Not surprisingly, Holloway's mindset going into the process, which he's somewhat familiar with from last year when he declared for the draft before pulling his name out, is similar to the mindset that turned him into an All-American at Xavier.

"The main thing is you have to be tough when you're training. You can't have the mentality of being lazy, because you're trying to set yourself up for the rest of your life, so you want to train really hard," Holloway said. "You also want to have great advisors around you -- people giving you the right information that I need."

While Holloway's focus is now turned toward the future and continuing his playing career elsewhere, he still spent a moment inside the locker room after the Baylor loss to reflect on what Xavier meant to him.

"Xavier meant a lot. It gave me stability. I grew up at Xavier. I became a man. This is going to help me out for the rest of my life. This is the most important four years of my life.

"I feel like I learned a lot."

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