How he got here
My first exposure to Aric Holman occurred at the Jayhawk Invitational last April with the Louisville Magic. On opening night of Under Armour’s live period event, Holman impressed as a mid-level prospect thanks to his length and mobility.
Albeit in measured tones, here’s how I described him that evening:
”This skinny, long-armed big man is something of a project, but he boasts solid mid-major potential. At 6-9, he obviously boasts excellent size for the college post and can play center without an issue, should he not develop into a power forward the way he'd like. He's a slightly above-average athlete and uses his length to block some shots. He also surprised me with one post move that included a drop step and lefty hook off the glass. He missed it, but the attempt was promising.
|Holman has made significant progress over the past 10 months|
Holman’s situation changed over the next few months. He became more assertive and confident during the July live period, and additional offers flowed in from Western Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Auburn. No more “mid-major potential” — he had generated clear high-major options.
He has continued to impress this season and recently decided that he’ll spend the 2015-16 campaign at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy. Further offers have arrived from Louisville, Cincinnati, Xavier, VCU and others.
To 2015. …
The key for Holman over the next year, by far, will be to gain strength. He’s very thin and sometimes unable to establish himself in the post offensively, simply because he can’t hold his ground. A year of prep school in a rigid, disciplined environment should do wonders for his ability to compete physically.
His skill level needs work, too, but he does wield a nice looking jump shot and can hit a short hook with either hand. As he gets stronger and improves his footwork, he could blossom as a two-way performer.
Defense is where Holman likely will make his initial impact. At 6-9 and with long arms, he blocks shots and pulls down defensive rebounds thanks to fairly good quickness and leaping ability. He doesn’t mesmerize with his explosiveness, mind you, but he’ll be on a par with other major conference big men.
Make no mistake: Holman is a long-term prospect. If he ultimately chooses a high-major, don’t expect much as a freshman or even a sophomore, with the idea that he’ll provide experience, continuity and reliable production as an upperclassman. In the meantime, he’ll focus on closing out his senior season and preparing for his prep year in 2015-16.