BY Todd Dybas 02:52PM 03/14/2011

Holiday has a shot when fog lifts

Washington co-captain Justin Holiday has been struggling from behind the three-point line since receiving a concussion against USC. He, and his coach, say he will be fine for the tournament.

Washington senior co-captain Justin Holiday went through the Pac-10 Tournament dealing with symptoms from a concussion / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Which way to view the cup?

Justin Holiday is 0-for-12 from behind the three-point in his last four games, ever since having his skull rattled in the first half against USC caused a concussion.

The senior forward pulled in 23 rebounds, deflected passes, defended, during Washington’s three-game winning streak to take the Pac-10 title.

The deep shooting has abandoned him for now. But he, and his coach, feel once the fog lifts Holiday’s shot will be back. Things are half full for them because Holiday can contribute beyond his three-point shooting.

But Holiday turned down open looks Saturday in the title game. He passed up one three-point attempt that led to a fastbreak for Arizona. He had other clean chances that he chose to pass off.

Despite being cleared to play following his concussion, Holiday still dealt with light-headness and fog floating within his cranium. Hence the passes.

“I didn’t really feel comfortable shooting them because of my concussion,” Holiday said. “I was a little .. I was a little light-headed at times and felt like the other guys could have made a better shot than I could have.

“It was really just being out there for the team. I wanted to make sure we got up the best shot possible. Just help in the ways I knew for sure I could get done.”

He went through the required tests and felt well enough to play. Holiday was not cleared until shootaround Thursday.

Holiday averaged 29 minutes a game during the Pac-10 tournament after being shut down following the concussion against USC. Washington limited his first-half minutes in the opener against Washington State in order to work him back in cautiously.

The co-captain, who was shooting 40.2 percent from behind the three-point line prior to the injury, said he felt obligated to play once he knew he was going to be able to contribute on some positive level.

“If I felt like I was just going to play and be out there and not help them? I’m not going to do that to my teammates,” Holiday said.

Shooting, with all, is heavily influenced by confidence. Holiday’s has waned since his injury. It’s another half-full, half-empty issue. In the past, Holiday had not been a scoring threat. That changed this season. The upside to the downturn is he’s managed this prior.

“Once you lose confidence, you don’t really know what’s going to happen,” Holiday said. “I’ve been that player that has lost confidence before.”

Holiday says once his head improves, so will his aim. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar argues that the two weeks between the date of the injury and Friday’s tip will be enough for Holiday to go back to what he was, at least from deep.

“His poor shooting to me was directly related to that so it doesn’t concern me as much,” Romar said.


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