PHOENIX — Every one of Arizona’s schools and coaches — Arizona’s Sean Miller, ASU’s Bobby Hurley and Grand Canyon’s Dan Majerle — were on hand at Brophy Prep on Friday night looking at a player they can boast about keeping at home.
Goodyear Millennium Class of 2021 forward DaRon Holmes showed why each would benefit from signing him and it goes beyond trying to keep a local talent. Holmes was clearly one of the best players to participate in the opening day of the Section 7 Team Camp event.
Holmes, a wiry, yet athletic player at 6-foot-8 and 185 pounds, had 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field while matched up against Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s formidable size in Millennium’s 94-59 loss.
Mater Dei has three players who are about 6-foot-9 and 200 pounds — Nick Davidson, Wilhelm Breidenbach and Harrison Hornery. Holmes combatted their size with his athleticism. He was also able to extend them with his ability to shoot from the perimeter and make plays for his teammates away from the basket.
Asked of where he is at with his development, Holmes said, “I think I’m doing pretty well with my handle, my mid-range shot, footwork and athleticism, but I need to work on my strength, getting stronger for the next level.”
Nobody can question his intensity level. He had two blocked shots, swooping from out of nowhere it seemed with his athleticism and long arms, and pulled down five rebounds. His aggressive style enabled him to get to the free throw line 10 times and he made seven.
He also showed his versatility defending every other position, a la Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, occasionally matched up against five-star point guard Devin Askew.
“Me and my team … we play really hard,” Holmes said. “No matter what’s in front of us, we want to dominate.”
Arizona, ASU and Grand Canyon are among the 11 programs that have offered Holmes a scholarship to this point. The list includes Kansas, Cal, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Wake Forest.
Two of the top Class of 2021 prospects playing today at Brophy — Goodyear Millennium's DaRon Holmes (left) and Mater Dei's Devin Askew. Both on Arizona's radar. pic.twitter.com/gVzkxMobKo
Miller reached out to Holmes less than a month ago to make the scholarship offer.
“It was really nice. It was exciting for me. It was big to me,” said Holmes, who made an unofficial visit to Arizona last October for the Red-Blue Scrimmage at McKale Center. “Every school that has offered me is in the picture.
Whatever coaches communicate with me and I build a great relationship with, those schools are in my ballpark.”
Sean Miller here as well. pic.twitter.com/zpK9CARUQY
Time will tell if Holmes can progress from a 4-star talent to 5-star level (as rated by Rivals.com). Arizona has done well through the years with such prospects.
Under Miller, some of the top in-state players have stayed home including Nico Mannion, DeAndre Ayton and Alex Barcello. Lute Olson was notorious for recruiting elite Phoenix-area talent including Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Jerryd Bayless.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.