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UA commit, 5-star target, 2 Hog recruits shine at Wootten camp

by Richard Davenport | October 7, 2022 at 12:22 p.m.
ESPN 5-star Ron Holland

This year’s Wootten Top 150 Camp in Mansfield, Texas, once again featured many of the nation’s top basketball prospects. 

Four standouts at the two-day event over the weekend included an Arkansas target, a commitment and two underclassmen being recruited by the Razorbacks. 

ESPN 5-star prospect Ron Holland, an Arkansas target, continued his impressive ways by catching the eye again of ESPN national director of recruiting Paul Biancardi, who scouted and coached at the event. 

Biancardi named Holland, 6-8, 200 pounds, of Duncanville, Texas, as one of the top seven standouts and one of the six of the hardest-playing prospects at the camp. 

“Along with his long, athletic frame, defensive mindset and developing skills, Ron Holland owns an every-day approach to the game,” Biancardi said. “It’s hard to find players with his makeup. He understands he needs to improve daily and stay hungry. If not, none of this is possible."

ESPN also rates Holland the No. 4 power forward, No. 10 overall recruit in the nation in the 2023 class. He has narrowed his list to Arkansas, Texas, UCLA and Kentucky, and he is considering a jump to the NBA G League. 

“A collaboration of his talent and traits make him highly ranked, and his teams win,” Biancardi said. 

Arkansas point guard commitment Layden Blocker also made Biancardi’s list of top standouts at the camp. 

“One of the best in the class when it comes to end-to-end speed and pushing the fast break,” Biancardi said. “His lob passes have accuracy and are on target. With his vertical bounce you can back screen him to the rim as a lob catcher, too.” 

Blocker, 6-2, 172 pounds, Sunrise Academy in Kansas, is an ESPN high 4-star prospect, the No. 6 point guard and No. 22 overall prospect in the nation in the 2023 class. 

“His ball screen offense has improved,” Biancardi said. “Slowing down, changing gears and locating his man, reading the initial defender as well as the help defender. His jumper is showing progress and he does a very nice job playing from a jump stop in the paint from his drive game.” 

Blocker averaged a third-best 9 points per game along with 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals per game as a junior on a loaded Sunrise Christian team that finished No. 5 nationally in ESPN’s ranking.

“I expect a big senior year from him under the direction of Luke Barnwell at Sunrise Christian,” Biancardi said. “Luke does a terrific job watching film with his players and explaining their role. Blocker is an exciting prospect for Arkansas.” 

Biancardi was very impressed by class of 2024 Arkansas target Annor Boateng.

Boateng, 6-6, 203 pounds, of Little Rock Central, has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, TCU, Auburn, Mississippi State, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and other schools. 

Biancardi also placed Boateng on his list of the six hardest-playing players at the camp. 

“A physically imposing specimen who competes with endless energy,” Biancardi said. “He made my hardest playing list at the Wootten Camp. He has tremendous upside and is a multi-positional switch defender. He scores best finalizing a play above the rim or around defenders in transition.” 

ESPN rates him a 4-star prospect, the No. 14 small forward and No. 44 overall prospect in the nation in the 2024 class.

He was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All Arkansas Preps second team after averaging 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals per game for the Tigers as a sophomore.

“In the half court he scores by driving the ball, second-chance opportunities, basket cuts and post-ups,” Biancardi said. “If he decided to become a screener, he could free up others and create looks for himself.

“His jumper will develop because of his work habits. An absolute joy to be around.” 

Landren Blocker, the younger brother of Layden, was one of 12 prospects Biancardi named as prospects to watch after his performance over the weekend. 

“A great-looking athlete with early size and strength,” Biancardi said. “Right now, he (makes) plays from his energy and effort. Still learning how to face up and post up. Would be a great screen setter and pop and roll player as well as a high post or baseline driver.” 

Blocker, 6-5, 190 pounds, of Little Rock Christian, has scholarship offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Missouri, St. John’s, TCU, Creighton, Tulane and other programs. He's drawing strong interest from Arkansas. 

He was named Class 5A All-State and 5A-Central All-Conference after averaging 14.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game as a sophomore for the Warriors.

“A promising prospect with emphasis on rebounding more, post and perimeter defense and moving without the ball,” Biancardi said. “As his IQ increases the game will become easier and slow down.” 

Benton’s Terrion Burgess, an Arkansas target for the 2025 class, was one of 14 in his class invited to the event.

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