The Idaho Stampede are going to finish this season with more losses than wins, but the team still has some success stories.
No. 1 on that list: guard Justin Holiday.
"He's one of our most improved players," Stampede assistant coach Barry Rohrssen said. "He's not just one of the most improved players on our team, but in the entire league."
Rohrssen might be a little biased, but a strong case can be made for Holiday.
He was the team's leading scorer one time in its first 12 games. Down the stretch, however, Holiday has become the team's go-to guy, leading the team in scoring 10-of-18 games prior to Friday night's 109-94 loss to the Bakersfield Jam.
And Holiday doesn't just contribute points. He's had three games when he led the team in rebounding, and five when he led in assists. On top of that, he's blossomed as a defender. He had a streak of 16 games in which he had at least two steals. Holiday had an off night Friday, but still finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three steals.
"He's now our most important player," fellow guard Coby Karl said. "And he's been that for the last two months."
Karl is one of the team's older players, and one of its leaders. He said watching Holiday improve was one of the bright spots of a season that wasn't always loaded with them.
"Out of all the guys on the team, I'm as proud of him as anyone," Karl said. "He struggled through tough times when he wasn't playing well, but he consistently has gotten better and he never let it get him down. I think every aspect of his game has gotten better."
The NBA Development League maintains a list of its top NBA prospects. Holiday was nowhere to be found on that list in the first few months of the season, but he has recently jumped up to the No. 15 spot.
"Things have been going well for me lately," said Holiday, whose brother Jrue is an All-Star guard who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. "The reason I'm playing in the D-League is to get a call-up, and as far as that goes, I feel like I've shown that I can do everything they said I can't do."
Holiday's doubters might have wondered whether he could have made it through the grind of a D-League season. He is listed as 6-foot-6, 185 pounds, and the first thing most fans notice about him is his rail-thin legs.
"I think that's his one downfall, the eye test," Karl said. "You look at him and he looks frail, and not capable of taking the bumps and hits throughout a season."
Turns out, Holiday has endured those bumps and hits - and gotten better. During the month of March, he leads the team in minutes played, field goals made, 3-pointers made, free-throw percentage, steals, blocked shots and points scored.
"He's wiry strong, and he's just so athletic," Stampede coach Mike Peck said. "He got comfortable within our system and things started clicking. His confidence started to build, and then there was a snowball effect."
Holiday, who has a wide smile and engaging personality, said the last time he played with this much confidence was in high school.
That NBA call-up hasn't happened yet, but if Holiday continues to improve the way he has this season, it might just be a matter of time.
"I can't say I'm satisfied with this year, as far as wins and losses, but I am satisfied with how I'm playing," said Holiday, who played four years at Washington and went to the Sweet 16 with the Huskies as a junior in 2010. "I'm doing the best I can, and that's all you can do."