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Arkansas impresses 5-star Ron Holland during official visit

by Richard Davenport | June 11, 2022 at 1:43 p.m.
Tarasha Holland (right) and her son Ron Holland are taking the recruitment process one step at a time. Ron, who is from Duncanville, Texas, narrowed his list of possible schools to include Arkansas.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Eric Musselman and his staff impressed ESPN 5-star prospect Ron Holland, and it appears the Razorbacks enhanced their chances with the top 5 recruit. 

“Fayetteville, it was more than I expected because I’m used to coming to the country side of Arkansas,” said Holland, who arrived Thursday and left Saturday afternoon. “There’s a whole lot down here. It was way more than I expected.”

Holland, 6-8, 200 pounds, of Duncanville, Texas, narrowed his list to Arkansas, Texas, UCLA, Memphis, Houston, Auburn and Kentucky while also considering the NBA G League in early May. 

He explained why Arkansas was way more than he anticipated. 

“When I first touched down, you know, I’ve never been to the Arkansas airport,” Holland said. “I saw the views. It was crazy. Coach took me to a little spot where you can see like the whole view of the area. It was just real beautiful to me.”

Holland is also rated the No. 2 power forward, No. 4 overall recruit in the nation for the 2023 class, and No. 1 prospect in Texas. He has previously made official visits to Memphis and UCLA. 

He is slated to officially visit to Kentucky on June 13-15 and has mentioned he is working on one to Texas.

Musselman and the Razorbacks are known to conduct well-organized, high-energy practices and that’s what Holland saw Friday. 

“I feel like the highlight of the trip is watching them practice,” he said. “The way they just vibe with each other and the conversations that go on. Just the way they compete. There’s just a lot of high-level energy. Coach Muss knows how to get those guys going. You see that in practice.

“When I see that it shows Coach trusts his dudes and they trust their coach. Coach allows them to be them, but when it’s time to get down to business, it’s time to get down to business.”

A high school teammate of future Razorbacks guard Anthony Black at Duncanville, Holland averaged 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2.9 assists per game for the Panthers, which finished 35-1. He helped Duncanville win a third straight state title as a junior. 

The Panthers finished the season as MaxPreps No. 1 team nationally.

The trip to Fayetteville was very productive for both parties and allowed Holland to experience something unique.

“It definitely brought up their chances because they’ve shown me a lot of things,” Holland said. “They showed me a lot of my analytics and my stats from these past few seasons. Showing where I can improve at and what I’ve been doing good at. Comparing it to NBA players. I really haven’t seen that before.” 

His parents also liked the visit. 

“I feel like they like it,” Holland said. “They've been talking to me. They really like this.” 

Playing for Dallas-based Drive Nation, Holland has averaged 10.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 46% from the floor and 24.2% from three-point range in 11 games in EYBL action. He is shooting 55.9% at the free throw line. 

Musselman was a regular at Holland’s games during the live evaluation periods this spring. Arkansas assistant Keith Smart visited with Holland and his family recently during the recruiting period. 

Most of his communication with the Razorbacks' coaches has been via phone. His visit allowed him to interact with them in-person. 

“I talked to Coach Gus (Argenal) and Coach Smart a lot, but you can tell them guys really care about me,” he said. “But as soon as I got with them in-person, it was just like, wow. I feel like we had a good relations."

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