Detroit’s Eli Holman plays well at Nets draft combine

May 24, 2012 in Division I

By Patrick Hayes

The University of Detroit‘s Eli Holman might still be a longshot to get drafted in next month’s NBA Draft (he wasn’t among the 60 invites to the NBA’s combine), but he continues to make himself into an intriguing prospect with his mix of size and defensive ability. He had some good moments at the Portsmouth Invitational last month and recently had impressive measurements at the Brooklyn Nets combine, which featured 44 prospects.

Holman’s 7-foot-4.5-inch wingspan tied for the second longest of all 44 prospects, according to DraftExpress. His 11.98 agility score was also impressive for a player his size.

Writing for SLAM Magazine, Ed Isaacson noted that Holman was among a group of bigs who performed well at the combine:

The final session of the combine had four big men, all with different skills, but all who impressed in their own way. LSU’s Justin Hamilton is fundamentally solid and is an offensive threat inside and out. Kyle O’Quinn showed the great athleticism on both ends that people have come to know since he popped up on the radar after Norfolk State’s great season, but you can see he has also been working hard at developing his post skills. Eli Holman, out of Detroit, also showed great athleticism, and defended well in the post and on the perimeter. Finally, Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre showed all of the skill fans have appreciated through the last few years, and he set the intensity level that all of the big men looked to match. Even during drills, you could see most of the NBA personnel surrounding the court moving their focus down to where the bigs were battling.

Holman isn’t the typical Mid-Major player. He was once a highly regarded prospect who was heavily recruited by high majors and played briefly at Indiana before running into some off-court difficulties that he worked to straighten out at Detroit. NBA teams always need tall, athletic players who defend and block shots. If Holman continues to have good pre-draft workouts and impresses in the Summer League, there’s a chance he could be a real find for a team looking for a young big man who could possibly develop.