UCO Basketball’s Outstanding Backcourt: Guards Josh Holliday and Marquis Johnson
(Left) Marquis Johnson, 13, dribbles the ball during a Spring 2017 playoff game in Hamilton Field House. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).
(Right) Josh Holliday, 11, blocks his opponent from the ball during a Spring 2017 playoff game in Hamilton Fieldhouse. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).
Marquis Johnson and Josh Holliday are two standout guards for the UCO men’s basketball team who are looking to help lead UCO next season, following a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) quarterfinals run.
Johnson and Holliday made significant strides during the 2016-17 season. A year after losing their top six scorers, the Bronchos needed a scoring punch and Johnson and Holliday were able to make up for the loss.
With both Holliday and Johnson each scoring more than ten points, the team had an 8-2 record and in all other games were 8-10.
Holliday saw his minutes per game jump from 13 to 25.8 and the team reaped the benefits. The guard from Broken Arrow, who came off a freshman season averaging 6.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, exploded during his sophomore year to lead the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game.
Holliday also broke a longstanding UCO men’s basketball free throw percentage record. The knockdown shooter only missed nine free throws on the year, shooting 91 percent from the foul line, which was a full five percentage points above the second best percentage in the conference.
Holliday earned All-MIAA Honorable Mention honors for his season.
— UCO Men’s Basketball (@UCOMBB) February 28, 2017
Johnson, on the other hand, just finished his freshman year. Though Johnson is just a freshman, he played the most minutes of any player on UCO’s team and was on the top ten of the MIAA conference in minutes per game. The freshman guard out of Putnam City West started in 27 games for the Bronchos and averaged 10.5 points per game.
Where Johnson really shined was on the defensive end, racking up 1.6 steals per contest, which is the fourth best average in the MIAA.
“He just does whatever needs to be done,” sophomore guard Josh Holliday said.
Both Johnson and Holliday played high school basketball in Oklahoma, where they both earned All-State selections their senior year.
Johnson averaged 25.1 points, six assists and five rebounds per game in his last season for Putnam City West, where he lead the team to their first-ever state championship.
Holliday went to high school in Broken Arrow, where he averaged 16.7 points per game as a senior while leading his team to the Class 6A quarterfinals.
Fast-forward a few years later, the duo is transferring their high school success to the collegiate level.
“We can go to nationals, go deep in conference and win a lot of games,” Johnson said.
Neither had started a game at the collegiate level entering this season, but now they are experienced players ready to help their team take the next step.