DUNCANVILLE, Texas — ESPN 5-star prospect Ron Holland has narrowed his list of schools to four plus the possibility of playing professionally, but he doesn’t have a firm date for a decision.
Holland, 6-8, 200 pounds, of Duncanville, Texas, narrowed his list to Arkansas, Texas, UCLA and Kentucky, and he is also considering the NBA G League.
“I got through with all my visits and everybody is coming back to solidify with what they want to do with me and what I want to do with them,” Holland said. “I really don’t have a commitment date, but I’m still jotting down and making sure I’m picking the right school or G League spot.”
He made an official visit to Fayetteville in June while also officially visiting his other three top schools. Coach Eric Musselman, assistant coach Gus Argenal and other members of the staff are trying to get him back on campus for an unofficial visit.
“They’re trying to get me back up there as a quick as possible,” Holland said. “They want me real bad, so every time I call Muss and Gus, they’re calling me saying, ‘When we getting back to campus? What you working on?'"
Holland indicated a trip to Fayetteville might happen quickly, and Oct. 1, when the Razorbacks' football team plays Alabama, is a possible date.
A day doesn’t go by without contact with the Razorbacks' coaches.
“They hit me up every day making sure my family is good, making sure I’m good, making sure I’m in the gym, what I’m working on,” he said. “Just checking up on me just as a person, an individual, and I really like that about them.”
He is also rated the No. 4 power forward, No. 10 overall recruit in the nation in the 2023 class and No. 1 prospect in Texas.
A teammate of Razorbacks freshman guard Anthony Black at Duncanville, Holland averaged 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2.9 assists per game for the Panthers’ 35-1 team, and he helped the program win a third consecutive state title as a junior.
Black started recruiting Holland shortly after his own commitment on March 28. Now that he’s on campus, he tells Holland the Razorbacks put in the work.
“It’s real. What he’s saying, it’s really real over there,” Holland said. “They’re going to help me reach my dreams the same as they’re helping him reach his.”
While the work is hard, Black also stressed the team has fun, too.
“They’re putting the work in,” Holland said. “They have fun. They make sure they have fun, but the work is really the best part about it. AB tells me everybody knows how coach Muss is, but AB really expressed to me the work, the work, the work.
"You’re going to have to work when you get there."
One of the ways Musselman and the players have fun is participating in videos showing Musselman as a techno DJ and two Razorbacks dancing in the background. The videos are wildly popular with fans and recruits, and a recent one with Musselman, Black and freshman guard Nick Smith Jr. was a hit.
“I did see that. It’s college, they’re suppose to have fun,” Holland said. “They’re going to hoop, but they have to have fun while doing it.”
His first thoughts after seeing the Musselman, Smith and Black video?
“Yeah, that’s something I might want to do,” Holland said.
The Arkansas fans have also made an impact on him.
"The fans are crazy,” Holland said. “You can’t post one thing without Arkansas fans on Twitter going crazy, or even on Instagram. They’re always in the comments showing love or showing why I need go there.”
While a fan base like Arkansas’ might not play a major factor in his college decision, it is a plus.
“It’s always nice to have fans like that,” he said. “They’re showing you a preview of what you’re going to get when you get there.”