Holmquist ready for that golden season at Trine
ANGOLA, Ind. — Jared Holmquist is now enjoying the summer months, but the former Reed City boys basketball standout very much has the 2015-16 college basketball season on his mind.
Holmquist is preparing for his semifinal collegiate season and has already built the foundation for what could be a unique finish to his career.
Trine finished the season at 17-9 and was 10-4 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. It ended with a loss to Hope in the MIAA playoffs.
“As a team, we finished extremely well,” Holmquist said. “We finished second in the conference. We played very well as a team and got better throughout the season. Our goal was to get in the top two of the conference so we could host the conference tournament, which we did. Unfortunately, we lost in the semifinals.”
For the season the 6-foot-4 junior forward, in 26 games, averaged 33.0 minutes, 15.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists a game while shooting 51.6 percent from the floor and 85 percent in free throws.
Holmquist would like to think it was his best collegiate season.
“Statistically, I think it was as well,” he said. “My biggest focus last offseason was to work on my body, get stronger and quicker at the same time. I didn’t lose any weight, but I thinned out. I guess leaner would be the right word.
“I was quicker on the court. I was able to move better. That helps me offensively to get to the basket and get rebounds. Defensively, I was able to guard smaller guys. Before, I just guarded guys at the post.”
It was steady improvement from his previous two years. As a freshman, he started all but three of the team’s 26 games and averaged 25 minutes and 8.4 points per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the floor.
As a sophomore, he started all 26 games and averaged 30.8 minutes and 12.6 points, and shot 48.4 percent from the floor.
Holmquist said his role changed a lot from his freshman season.
“We had two seniors my freshmen year that scored about 40 points a game,” he said. “Then they both graduated my sophomore year, I was looked more as a scorer and I did more. This past year, I was even more of a scorer. The biggest jump was from my freshman to my sophomore year. I’ve gradually taken on a role as being more a scorer and more in charge. Next year, I’ll be one of the team captains. I’ve grown in the role of being a leader over the four years.”
His coach at Trine, Brooks Miller, can’t wait for Holmquist’s senior season.
“Everything he does he just excels at,” Miller said. “He’s everything you’d ever want. I’ve got a 15-month old son and you hope he grows up to be like this kid. He’s responsible he’s reliable. I just got his grades. He got a 4.0 this semester.”
Miller said Dec. 20 was a definitive moment for Holmquist.
“He decided to be the best player in our league,” Miller said. “He decided that’s what he was going to do and he had an incredible year.
“He showed great improvement from our first part of the season to the second part. He was having a good year. If we were going to have a chance to compete in the MIAA, he was going to have to be great because of the position he plays and what he brought to the table. We had a week off between exams and he went home for a couple of days after that and came back to practice over Christmas break. He went from a good player to a great player in seven days. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
As a junior with Trine, there were various special moments for Holmquist to enjoy.
“We beat the sixth team in the nation in Division III, Ohio Wesleyan,” Holmquist recalled. “That was a tremendous game. It was awesome. It was fun to play in. We also beat Hope and Calvin for the first time in three years of being at Trine. Those three games were the biggest games from a team standpoint.”
Holmquist likes prospects for 2015-16.
“We lost three seniors, but we have three guys coming back that were starters all year,” Holmquist said. “We had 14 guys and lost three. Our goals will be to win the conference, if we can, and finish in the top two so we can host the conference tournament again.”
He wants to expand his game
“This past year, it was pretty much 15 feet or in, shooting-wise,” Holmquist said. “I want to be more of a 3-pointer threat so (defenses) have to honor that, and also continue to work on my body so I can guard better on the perimeter if we have a big guy guarding the post. That’s why I can guard the other team’s wing or forward players.”
Holmquist said he and returning players have worked out in open gyms until school ended for the summer. Holmquist is back in Reed City for the summer.
“Over the summer, it’s all on your own,” he said. “We’ll get back to doing stuff again once school starts.”
Holmquist can’t wait, and neither can his coach.
“We’re real excited for what lies ahead of Jared next year,” Miller said. “He had a competitive urgency. His competition level and how hard he competes has drastically changed. He always played hard. But the competitive urgency of it totally changed. It’s like he had something to prove to everybody. He became a competitive monster after that.
“My expectations of him aren’t anywhere near what his are. That’s what make him so unique. He called me one time and said he was concerned he wasn’t being challenged enough in one of his classes. I’ve never in my 15 years of college athletics as a player or coach have had that brought up by a teammate or a player in my life. That’s the kind of guy he is. He wants to be perfect at everything he does. And he’s pretty darn close.”