Former coach lauds Avry Holmes' 3-point shot, pull-up game, ability as playmaker

'He was a catalyst for what we did. He made big shots in big games...He's got a world of potential'

San Francisco guard Avry Holmes is set to transfer to Clemson and eligible to play in the  2015-16 season. (AP Photo)

San Francisco guard Avry Holmes is set to transfer to Clemson and eligible to play in the 2015-16 season. (AP Photo)

Avry Holmes' desire to play in the spotlight at major conference school has resulted in a coast-to-coast transfer, with the University of San Francisco point guard landing at Clemson a week after announcing his intention to leave the Dons' program.

Holmes, a native of Salem, Oregon who originally selected San Francisco over Oregon State, Harvard, Boston College and others, helped lead the Dons to the NIT last season under head coach Rex Walters.

He earned West Coast Conference All-Freshman honors as a freshman, and then was a WCC honorable mention all-conference selection as a sophomore.

In announcing Holmes' decision to transfer a week ago, Walters praised Holmes for his playing ability, academics and community involvement.

"Avry has indicated to me he would like to continue his studies and basketball career at another school," said Walters. "Although I'm disappointed in his decision, we as a staff and team want him to find what he is looking for and wish him nothing but the best in the future.

"Avry was a big part of a good season for us this year and we appreciate his work in the classroom, in the community and on the court."

As a sophomore, in his first season as a starter, Holmes finished second on the team in scoring with a 12.5 per game average and was eighth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at .419. As a freshman, he led the WCC in three-point shooting with a .471 mark (41-of-87).

A two-time Oregon All-State selection in high school, as a senior he averaged 20.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He was also a second-team all-conference wide-receiver in football.

In a 2013-14 season wrap-up on the Dons' athletic website, USF associate head coach Luke Wicks talked about Holmes' emergence as one of the league's top players.

"Avry will never back down from a challenge," said Wicks. "He took the challenge and embraced the opportunity to run the team. He really matured this year and still has plenty of room to get better.

"He was a catalyst for what we did. He made big shots in big games. People might not give him the credit he deserves as a point guard because he didn't have great assist numbers, but he was really good at getting the hockey assist. He'd kick it to a guy and he'd drive and kick it for a score. It's about making the right play.

"He's got a world of potential. He has a three-point game, a pull-up game. We want him to be recognized as one of the best point guards on the west coast."

Following is Holmes' preseason bio from the USF basketball media guide:

2012-13 (FRESHMAN): WCC All-Freshmen selection…played in 29 games and drew two starts (Pepperdine and Northern Kentucky)…averaged 6.7 points and 1.7 rebounds a game…led the WCC in 3-point field goal percentage at .471 (41-for-87)…was the third-highest single-season mark in school history (min. 2 attempts per team game) behind Angelo Caloiaro (.491 in 2009-10) and Tomas Thompson (.484 in 1991-92)…did not meet the NCAA standard of 2.5 made per team game to qualify among the national leaders…made at least one 3-pointer in 26 of his 29 games on the year, including 22 in a row…served notice in his collegiate debut, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting against NIT champion Stanford at Oracle Arena…followed up with a 13-point outing against Cal State-East Bay on Nov. 13…made 4-of-5 shots from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and finished with 12 points in the WCC opener at Santa Clara…began a 14-game stretch in which he shot .571 (24-for-42) from three-point range which boosted his season percentage to .513 (39-for-76)…was 5-of-7 from the floor and made all four of his 3-point attempts in a win at Pepperdine on Feb. 2…helped the Dons set a school-record with 14 3-pointers, a mark they would match in the next game in a 99-87 victory at BYU…matched his season-high with 17 points against the Cougars at the Marriott Center…also made a season-high eight free throws in the game…was 2-for-11 from long distance over the last four games of the year.

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL: Graduated from North Salem (Ore.) High School…two-time all-state selection…twice named Central Valley Player of the Year…four-year starter for the Vikings…North Salem posted a 40-14 record over his last two seasons and qualified for the Oregon 6A OSAA playoffs each year…averaged 20.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists as a as a senior…also lettered in football and was a second-team all-league selection as a wide receiver as a junior.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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