U17 Spotlight: Ron Holland Scouting Report

Ron Holland has been arguably the best player for a 3-0 United States team that’s winning their games by an average of 55.7 points.

This is Holland’s second tour with Team USA, having won the Gold medal at the 2021 U16 Americas, where he averaged 19.0 points (65.3 FG%, 22.2 3P%, 58.3 FT%), 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 21.5 minutes per game.

At home, the Duncanville, Texas native is a top 15 senior coming off a Texas state championship for Duncanville High School alongside Anthony Black, a highly-touted 6-foot-7 point guard that’s preparing for his freshman season at Arkansas (Black is in my early top 10 for the ridiculously loaded 2023 NBA Draft).

Holland’s own collegiate future is still in limbo, deciding between five teams: the aforementioned Arkansas, UCLA, Kentucky, Texas, and the G League Ignite. Arkansas has my vote for the best fit among the five, following in the footsteps of his former teammate.

Physically, Holland profiles as a combo forward, standing 6-foot-9 with what looks to be a 6-11 wingspan. He has a relatively narrow frame that would likely keep him from playing effectively in bigger, stronger matchups, however, his guard skills – dribbling and passing – make him a matchup nightmare going the other way.

playing for #1st-ranked USA:

Game 1: 120-44 W over #35 Lebanon: 16 points (6-10 FG, 1-2 3P, 3-4 FT), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, and +48 in 16 minutes

Game 2: 88-55 W over #14 Slovenia: 14 points (5-10 FG, 1-4 3P, 3-3 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and +20 in 24 minutes

Game 3: 112-64 W over #15 Mali: 14 points (6-10 FG, 1-3 3P, 1-3 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and +17 in 23 minutes

I particularly enjoy watching Holland drives because of the downhill nature. He quite often will decide to get to the rim and just get there no matter what defender(s) stand in his way.

Sometimes, Holland is a little too slight to go through defenders, so he’s mastering a floater that will force defenses to ease up how closely they guard the rim:

He’s no slouch from three positionally, though it’s a bit of a work in progress for now; shot 22.2% in U16 and is 3-9 through three games at U17. It’s also promising that some of the ones he’s hitting are a little more on the difficult side of things, like this transition 3 out of a full sprint:

As well as this example, where he uses a step back to create space from the defender:

While Holland isn’t a playmaker (offensively) at the moment, his understanding of the game and the moving parts around him is so clear to see. Here, he throws an extra pass to the corner without looking, allowing fellow five-star senior Ian Jackson enough time to get the shot off before a closeout comes:

The above parentheses serve as some foreshadowing because “playmaker” is the best way to describe Holland’s defense. His guard skills show up again here, though this time it’s in the form of quick feet and fast hands, forcing a turnover (and fast-break bucket) on one possession…

…and completely squeezing the life out of a driving lane on another:

I like prime Thad Young as an archetype that Holland could strive for: big enough to operate effectively in the paint, but quick enough to catch slower defenders off guard. Though the playmaking isn’t quite to that level yet, and there truthfully aren’t that many indicators that say it could get there, but I’ll bet on the high-level intelligence every time.

Categories: High School Basketball

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: