Holman’s absence will greatly affect Horizon League race

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It’s September, so news that Detroit senior Eli Holman is on an indefinite leave of absence didn’t register among most sports fans. Not with baseball playoffs approaching, NFL and college football in full swing and the NBA labor talks going on.

Then again, it’s Detroit hoops. Even when March Madness rolls around, Holman’s name still won’t ring a bell for most. But it should.

Especially when the Titans become the team that ends Butler’s reign in the Horizon.

The 6-10 center averaged 11.8 points and a team-high 9.6 rebounds last season, but those underscore how impressive his efficiency numbers were last year. Some think he could be the conference’s player of the year. Teammate Ray McCallum Jr. is just as important to the Titans making a leap from a 17-16 squad to a conference champ, but the talent’s there.

However, everything changes without Holman. Now Butler, Milwaukee and Cleveland State all have an opening.

“We have been working with Eli Holman for some time to assist him in addressing his personal matters,” Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Keri Gaither said in a statement.

“At this time, we feel it is in Eli’s best interest to step away from basketball to allow him to concentrate on these matters. He has been excused from all team-related activity for an indefinite period while actively addressing these issues.”

Personal matters are always a tricky matter. Even if Holman doesn’t miss any games or just a few, whatever it might pop up again during the season. There’s no reason to return until the issue’s completely resolved. Then the Titans can focus on bigger things.

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