After a run to the Elite Eight, the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team looked like they were in excellent position moving forward. It was their deepest run in 15 years. Head coach Rodney Terry had his interim label removed and signed a long-term contract. Their cupboard was about to be refilled with a pair of incoming five-star prospects from the class of 2023.
That continued growth has become harder since April began.
In mid-April, five-star AJ Johnson announced he will forego college and join the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL instead of following his commitment to Texas. Johnson, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, was ranked No. 18 nationally at time time.
On Friday, five-star forward Ron Holland announced he too has decommitted from the Longhorns. He said in his Instagram post that Texas will “still be one of my top schools of choice.”
Holland immediately received responses in the comments from players like five-star Kentucky commit Aaron Bradshaw and former Duncanville teammate Anthony Black, an Arkansas guard who has declared for the draft.
Both Arkansas and Kentucky were among Holland’s final five choices before his commitment, as were UCLA and the NBA G League. With mere weeks left of the 2023 school year and nearly every player committed, with college programs already planning their seasons, the G League or another professional league would be a realistic expectation — but for an athlete like Holland, pretty much any team in the nation would be more than happy to adjust their schemes for the upcoming season if it means adding him to the corp.
Losing Holland hurts Texas. Widely regarded as a top-five player in the recruiting class, he was the best player on the No. 1 team in the Super 25 national rankings. He has shown elite play on both ends of the court, can shoot 3s at his 6-foot-8 stature, and was named MVP of the McDonald’s Game practice sessions.
With that said, the door might not be shut on Texas. Holland told the Athletic that Terry “really deserves that job” as head coach and added “It’s a really good feeling for me because I get to stay committed to that team.”