The weekend didn’t end well for Shaheen Holloway and Saint Peter’s, as the darlings of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament ended their run with a blowout loss to North Carolina. Still, it was an amazing run and, Sunday notwithstanding, a pretty good weekend. Holloway’s team became the first 15 seed to advance to the Elite 8, a thrilling moment for the team and its coach.
And now that it’s over, Holloway has already taken his next step: He’s going to take the Seton Hall job, returning to the school where he played in the late 1990s. Pretty neat. Surely he’ll get a nice pay bump and a bigger basketball budget—and the schools are like 20 minutes away. He doesn’t even have to move!
Having seen him in person over four days this weekend, I found Holloway to be upbeat and likable, and seemingly a good guy. Thrilling analysis, I know. I also noticed something else, something that doesn’t quite match up with that persona. He makes this one face a lot.
You recognize this face, right? It’s most commonly associated with gymnast McKayla Maroney, who made it on the podium after finishing second in the vault final at the 2012 Olympics. She’d fallen, and was upset she didn’t win gold.
Now Holloway’s expression is not quite the full Maroney—also, he does it in reverse, on the right side of his face as opposed to the left. But no matter. He makes this face a lot!
Now, maybe Holloway is just unlucky in this one and Patrick Smith of Getty Images just happened to capture him making a face. But I noticed this all weekend. And even a layman photographer like myself was able to get a shot of him doing it at the press conference on Sunday night.
What’s great about this face is it is so versatile. Sure it’s instantly recognizable as the “displeasure” face, one that could maybe directed at a referee. But it can also be the face of a person pondering a good response to a question, or just the face of a basketball coach who likes to make that face. I hope to see it much more at Seton Hall in the coming years.