Texas Basketball Gets NBA Lottery Talent In 5 Stars F Ron Holland

The first commitment came in strong in the 2023 Texas basketball recruiting class for head coach Chris Beard this weekend in the form of this cycle’s primary goal. On the morning of Nov. 5, the announcement was made that Duncanville five-star elite forward Ron Holland would commit to Texas against the UCLA Bruins, Arkansas Razorbacks and Texas Wildcats. Kentucky.

It’s huge for Beard and the Longhorns to land this commitment from Holland in the Class of 2023 less than a week before the early hoops signing period begins. And I expect Holland to put pen to paper in the next seven or 10 days to officially sign with the Longhorns class of 2023.

So how did it come about that Beard and the Longhorns staff were able to capitalize on the commitment of one of the country’s top 10 2023 high school prospects to Holland?

The Texas Path to Landing Ron Holland

It all started when Beard and the Longhorns offered Holland shortly after the former Texas Tech Red Raiders bench boss was hired to replace former Texas head coach Shaka Smart in April 2021. Texas has sent an offer to Holland on May 4, 2021. Texas was one of the first major college hoops programs to be offered in the Netherlands.

And Texas would continue to be a major player in Dutch recruiting for the next 18 months or so.

Beard and assistant coach Rodney Terry have done a great job cultivating the relationship with Holland and his camp over the past year and a half. And it came to a head when Texas hosted Holland during his official visit to Austin in late August 2022.

Texas knocked it out of the park during Holland’s official visit to Austin in late summer. In fact, this OV made such an impression on Holland that he’s returned to Austin several times over the past month for unofficial visits.

The last time Holland was in Austin before announcing his commitment to Texas this weekend was on Oct. 29 when the Longhorns hosted the Razorbacks for a charity game at the brand new Moody Center. Texas looked good in this preseason charity game, beating a top-25 ranked Arkansas team by 30 points.

From everything we’ve heard following that visit for Holland in the Texas-Arkansas scrimmage, it sounds like he was extremely impressed with what he saw from the program.

And that was probably one of the factors that pushed Texas to the top to land the Netherlands commitment on November 5.

What does 5 star F Ron Holland bring to the table for Texas basketball?

Holland is a huge initial commitment to enter the 2023 Longhorns class.

He is an extremely talented and athletic 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward who can play multiple positions on the ground. Holland is a natural forward who will likely play most of his four-man minutes once he arrives on campus in Austin. But he also has the athletic traits to thrive at any position between twos and fours.

Holland’s explosiveness vertically and in terms of foot speed allows him to defend essentially every position on the floor, perhaps outside of some of the most important scoring centers.

Additionally, Holland uses his insane physical tools and quickness to stand out in multiple ways at both ends of the floor. He’s almost the definition of a great two-way forward with NBA-caliber tools.

The aforementioned speed and agility for Holland translates into effective coverage of all areas of the floor defensively. His size and his lateral speed make him a formidable defender on the perimeter. Holland is also a very effective rebounder given his ability to live above the edge.

And he has many of the tools and skills needed to be one of the Big 12’s most disruptive and interchangeable defenders.

Holland’s length and vertical ability means he can cover ground quickly to raise his hand against the opposing offensive player. But he’s still disciplined and more than physically capable enough to track virtually any player off the dribble if he tries to break into the hoop.

When Holland defends a player inside the arc, he is basically sound and uses his length well. He is able to block shots, get his hands in the passing lane, and disrupt shooting motion with his defender activity.

How Holland embodies these defensive skills and values ​​will translate seamlessly to the tenacious style of defense Beard teams play.

Much of what Holland does well defensively transfers quite well to the offensive end of the field. The disruption Holland brings to the table on defense often results in transition chances for quick and easy points.

Even when Holland doesn’t have a clear path to the basket or blow and/or run away from opposing defenders in transition, he’s a capable enough ball handler to create his own look.

Holland is a very good ball handler, and he has an underrated view of the pitch, which makes him quite a lethal playmaker and facilitator. This combination of pitch vision and ball handling shows that Holland will be a viable option as a secondary or tertiary ball handler and facilitator in the set half court offense.

Admittedly, there are times when Holland gets a little overconfident and forces passes and/or hard punches. That will be a point of improvement for Beard and his team once Holland arrives on campus next year.

Some of the other areas where Holland still needs to improve his game start to show when you look at his jump shot. Holland has made progress over the past year in terms of his confidence in his jump shot and the effectiveness of his pulling game from the midrange.

But you’d still like to see more effectiveness from Holland’s deep shot.

There is long-term potential though with his jump shot from mid-range and from three-point field. His fundamentals are improving. And it seems that with increased confidence in his pull-up game, there’s more pace and efficiency.

If Holland can become at least a decent shooter from deep and continue to improve his mid-range jump shot, that would make him a real NBA top-five or top-10 prospect.

To sum up, Holland has plenty of tools needed to become a surefire NBA Draft Lottery-caliber prospect. It has that rare combination of a high engine at both ends of the ground with elite physical tools. With a high rate of improvement in some of the more questionable areas of his game, such as his jump shot and decision-making with the ball in his hands, Holland is bound to be special for the Longhorns and has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA.

Appropriate comparisons for Holland

There is no exact comparison yet that I see in Holland. He’s quite unique in that he’s already a very capable and versatile defender on and off the ball who just needs to show more confidence and better decision-making in certain areas of his attacking game.

The comparison that comes to mind is a combination of Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes for his elite physical traits and defensive prowess with Dallas Mavericks winger/forward Dorian Finney-Smith for his versatility in both ways and his undervalued offensive skills. Barnes had many of the same strengths as Holland as a high school player (high motor skills, competitiveness, elite athleticism, etc.).

And DFS was someone who had to develop a solid shot, but was often overlooked for his vision of the field and his finishing within eight or 10 feet of the edge (specifically to reach the basket and finish by contact).

If Holland can continue to show more confidence and efficiency in his pull-up game, there will certainly be some valid similarities to the game of DFS.

It’s clear that Texas is getting a really special playmaker in Holland who could eventually become a versatile forward that impacts the team on both ends of the court.

Securing that commitment from the Netherlands could also serve as a launch point for the 2023 Longhorns class to pack another blue-chip on or before the signing period ends later this month. Holland is the type of rookie who could attract someone of the caliber of five-star winger Andrej Stojakovic and/or five-star guard AJ Johnson to join him in the 2023 Longhorns class.

With Holland now committed to the 2023 Longhorns class, Texas has the foundational piece Beard and his staff need for this recruiting round. More could arrive in the near future in the Longhorns class of 2023 if Beard and his staff can also recruit an elite recruit such as Johnson from Donda Academy or Stojakovic from Carmichael Jesuit.

According to 247Sports’ composite team rankings, Texas’ recruiting class of 2023 now ranks 49th in the nation and eighth in the Big 12.

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