January 13, 2009

Holmes a giant on the court

When looking up and down the Texas A&M roster before the 2008-09 basketball season began the name you were looking for as the next breakout player in the maroon and white isn't who it turned out to be. After an admittedly tough freshman season, your eyes would have easily passed over guard B.J. Holmes who's listed height of 6-foot tall draws giggles from teammates.

In reality, Holmes probably stands about 5-foot-10, or maybe 5-11 with those padded hi-tops. But his game has been anything but small this season as the sophomore has clearly become the offensive, and surprisingly defensive, spark off the bench the Aggies were in desperate need of before the season began.

And his play combined with the disappointing play of some others may get Holmes off the bench permanently, but it won't be against Baylor Wednesday night at Reed Arena. And if Holmes has anything to say about it, it won't happen at any point this season.

"It just because that's what we've been doing and it keeps the chemistry where it's at. I think that's part of our success," Holmes said. "It just depends. That's what we're used to as a starting five right now. If I come off the bench it doesn't matter because whoever is in at the end is going to be who is one the floor."

Holmes is averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The latter number leads the team. He has started twice this season with both due to injuries to starting shooting guard Derrick Roland. The most impressive stat, however, is that Holmes is the only Aggie player to play in every game and still be in single digits in turnovers. He has nine, which equates to a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

He started off the season with a 1-15 streak in the first three games, but since then he's been nothing short of automatic for the Aggies. He leads the team in 3-points percentage by hitting 39.7-percent of his long-range shots, and that's after starting the season 1-9. And now Holmes is coming off a career-high 19 points against Oklahoma State.

So keeping him out of the starting lineup might not be so easy if he continues along his current path.

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