NCAA

Holloway shines in George Mason's loss to Maryland

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Holloway shines in George Mason's loss to Maryland

Patrick Holloway started his basketball day as a deep reserve on George Mason's bench, having played only five minutes in the Patriots previous game.

By the end of Sunday's 69-62 loss to Maryland in the BB&T Classic, the freshman guard was the first player on either team mention by the opposing coach. Making your first five field goal attempts including a pair of 3-pointers will have that affect.

"What a special scorer that kid is," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "I watched him last year when I was out recruiting. To bring it to this level against us was pretty amazing."

What Holloway brought for the Patriots (5-3) was 17 points, matching Sherrod Wright for team-high honors, plus three 3-pointers.

"Overall he's a great player," Terrapins guard Nick Faust said. "He's definitely a Stephen Curry type. I would say. He has a fluid shot...He definitely lit us up in the beginning."

Even for a college kid the Fairfax native has a rather boyish look, but the former Paul VI star also has a true assassin's edge offensively. Having already hit his first two shots, last year's all-met Player of the Year drained two from beyond the arc during a 52-second stretch that helped change momentum nearing halftime.

"My teammates looked for me and found for a couple of open shots," Holloway said. "That kind of got me going...When I knocked one or two that kind of got me going."

Playing a season-high 22 minutes, Holloway finished 7 of 13 from the field with zero turnovers. In this instance, more Holloway meant less Vertrail Vaughns. The junior guard did play for the first time in a game this season.

"You saw we changed the rotation a little bit today," said George Mason coach Paul Hewitt, who also worked swingman Vaughn Gray into the playing mix." They are shot-makers; they can stretch the floor for us. There were opportunities where our bigs could slip to the basket, but we didn't take advantage, full advantage of what he can do."

George Mason trailed by nine early and 34-30 at halftime before opening the second half with a 7-0 for its first lead of the game. The Terrapins regained the lead with 10 minutes remaining and despite 19 turnovers and string of missed free throws eventually gained separation late.

Holloway's streak of successful makes ended before halftime and Maryland game planned for the 6-foot-1 from there. Eventually the Terps caught up to the Patriots' ways on both ends.

"We can't simulate their quickness in practice," Turgeon said. "We turned the ball over a lot - actually we turned the ball over the whole game. 19 turnovers and 16 missed free throws kind of kept the game close. I thought our defense was outstanding. Did a much better job on Holloway in the second half."

Back in March, Holloway led Paul VI to the City Title championship victory on the same Verizon Center court. Asked if he viewed this spotlight event as an opportunity to showcase his game, Holloway said, "Right now I see every game as an opportunity."

Despite the shooting efforts from Holloway and Wright, the Patriots shot 31 percent (22 of 71) from the field. Johnny Williams finished 3 of 13 and fellow starter Bryon Allen missed all eight of his field goal attempts.

Struggling to generate points since returning from the Paradise Jam Tournament, the Patriots are shooting 34.6 percent over their last three games.

"We had our chances, let some things slip away over the second half," Hewitt said. "Some pretty good shot selection, moved the ball well, but once we got the lead I thought our shot selection, our decision-making -- which has been up and down all year defensively kind of deserted us. We continue to play good defense. If we ever get ourselves together offensively, we have a chance to be a pretty good team."

Holloway certainly made his case for being part of the solution.

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

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USA TODAY Sports

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

Marquise Moore is not your prototypical college basketball star. But as the 2016-17 season prooved, he is one of the most intriguing and interesting players. 

Standing at just 6-2, the George Mason guard averaged a double-double, and the second category wasn't assists.

The lightly recruited Queens, N.Y. native averaged 16.9 points and 10.9 rebounds, while being the eighth best rebounder in the country. Of the top 50 rebounders last season, Moore was the only one under 6-5 and was the best rebounder among guards. 

Entering college as a two-star recruit with just three offers, Moore's collegiate career ended as a all-conference performer at a traditional mid-major power.

This past season the Patriots finished 20-14, the best mark in Moore's four years with the team. It was also Moore's coming out party, Moore flourished on court and garnered attention from several national outlets due to his unique and unlikely skillset.

Outlets like the Washington Post and Bleacher Report were baffled on how a 6-2 guard could be so good at rebounding. His opponents were baffled too.

"Marquise could not be guarded and kept out of the paint one-on-one in the Atlantic 10," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "I gotta believe he'd have the ability to get into the lane, to attack at the highest of levels."

Now, the Atlantic 10 is nothing compared to the level of play in the NBA, but his skills can transfer across all levels. In the association, teams cannot collapse on a small guard driving down the lane, otherwise sharp shooters will be left open. If his college game can translate, he could be the perfect bench point guard to at least get starters rest and generate scoring opportunities. Already his workouts with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers prepared him for the higher level of play. 

"You want it more when you are playing against those type of guys," Moore told CSN in Early July. "I've never been highly ranked, highly recruited or anything. Definitely felt overlooked so I'm glad I proved I'm just as good or better than them." 

Getting some pre-draft workouts with both the Rockets and 76ers, there was optimism that Moore could get pulled for a summer league roster.

Unfortunately for the George Mason grad, an ankle tweak in early May served as a major setback for a player that has a lot to prove with opportunities few and far between.

"I think he'd have four or five more workouts if he hadn't had the ankle sprain," Paulsen said. "Had he had a few more workouts, that would have gotten him more exposure to get in for a summer league thing. He's a few weeks behind because of the ankle sprain and its going to take him a little longer to get where he wants to go."

With the summer league now gone without Moore on any roster, he is now in a limbo like many other talented stars who did not benefit from the high-major spotlight. Of course for all basketball prospects, the ultimate dream is to play in the NBA, but the best path to get there is not always clear.

The two primary options for Moore is to play overseas or continue to get workouts with the NBA and G-League teams domestically. 

Currently, Moore is still battling for his NBA path. He is set up to participate in the G-League Player Invitational Aug. 13 in Chicago, an event he can earn eligibility for the G-League draft in October. 

"I feel like I have interest from NBA teams," Moore said. "Going to the G-league will be a more foreseeable option, but I'm not sure if I want to enter the G-league blindly without hearing from any NBA teams becuase its really hard to move up that way."

As a guard with incredible physicality, the unknown is actually what could bring Moore to an NBA team.

Will there be a team willing to bite?

The G-League Player Invitational will be the next measuring stick on how NBA coaches and scouts feel about Moore a month removed from summer league. Admitting his weaknesses in the workouts, Moore thrives during live-ball action, which is a huge part of the invitational. 

Look out for teams that need rebounding and thrive off of physical play. Teams that come to mind instantly are the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers; two teams that had pre-draft interest, the Chicago Bulls and Rockets; and the team who followed him thoughout his senior season, the Brooklyn Nets.

Its too bad that Washington's G-League team will not be formed until next season, otherwise there would be a perfect backup guard that could work right into Washington's system. 

"Mason fans know what I can do but I feel like most people still don't know. Just trying to show people what I can do one person at a time, you know, get a shot."

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

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Virginia Lottery

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

Virginia cornerback Chuck Davis hit all five numbers recently on Cash Five game from the Virginia Lottery to take home $100,000.

He went on a coffee run one morning for his mom and decided to play the numbers his gradmother gave him and now he's $100k richer and looks like the happiest person on the planet.

God first last and always 🙌🏽

A post shared by Charles Davis (@forevergone6) on

Davis is a redshirt freshman after sitting out a year after a transfer from Nebraska. As for his plans for the money?

Here's hoping he gets to enjoy all the money and doesn't get a call from the NCAA.