As one of the top rising juniors in the country, Ron Holland has an intense training and travel schedule that doesn’t afford him very many napping opportunities.
Between countless workouts and practices before shuffling in and out of airports all over the country for showcases and games, Holland’s typical focus, as it pertains to his sleep, is on getting as much as possible overnight.
“Even that’s hard sometimes,” he said.
Still, the versatile 6-foot-7 forward plans to catch some major z’s this afternoon in preparation for what will likely be a circus of an early morning once the clock strikes midnight.
NCAA rules permit college basketball coaches to make unlimited calls and texts to recruits on June 15 after their sophomore year, which has elite rising juniors like Holland “super excited.”
“Man, I can’t wait,” said Holland, who hails from Duncanville (Texas). “I want to be rested up and ready to talk to whoever. I’ll be up all night. I want to experience it all.”
Holland’s sentiments are shared by most of the top tier players in the class who say they’ve had the date circled on their calendars for the better part of the last year.
“It’s a big deal for us,” said Jalen Lewis, a center at Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.). “Most of us have heard about this night from older guys before and everyone says it’s fun when all the coaches start up at midnight.”
As the top center in the class, Lewis will likely need a full charge for his cellphone come midnight with schools like Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Cal, USC and Stanford already pursuing him.
“I’ve been able to talk to a few coaches here and there, but not consistently,” Lewis said. “Now, they’ll be able to reach out whenever. That’ll be the day everything changes. We’ll be able to build those connections.”
Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) point guard Bryson Warren is coming off an unofficial visit to Kansas this past weekend and said that being around Bill Self and his staff only heightened his excitement for June 15.
"I had a great time on the visit, mostly because we talked and got to know everybody better," Warren said. "I've been waiting for this night; I think we all have. It's just a different experience when you can communicate whenever you need to or want to."
That’s the part that excites Crestwood Prep (Can.) shooting guard Elijah Fisher too.
Fisher is the top Canadian prospect in the 2023 class and is widely regarded as a top five player overall; because of that he’s already picked up offers from Kansas, Oregon, Ole Miss, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Seton Hall, South Carolina and USC.
Still, Fisher said he feels that being in constant contact with the coaches is what will ultimately allow him to see which schools he connects with best.
“That’s gonna help me make the best decision when the time comes,” Fisher said. “You get to know people by talking to them regularly. It’s been harder because the rules hadn’t let us do that, but now we’ll be able to see who we like. This will separate schools.”
Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) shooting guard MJ Rice vividly recalled being downright giddy this time last year at the thought of early morning text conversations with countless college coaches.
“It’s fun and it’s something that most players don’t get to experience,” Rice said. “You just get to see what the coaches are gonna say, who’s gonna offer and who may stand out from the beginning. Just the anticipation alone is fun, so when you actually get the experience it’s like nothing you’re used to.”
That said, Rice cautioned 2022 stars that the line between fun and stressful is paper thin when it comes to the recruitment process.
“It can be a headache for sure,” Rice said. “That’s where you have to have your circle in place. You can’t let it get to you. Best way to do that is to stay humble and motivated by all of the attention from the coaches. The work got you those calls, so work harder to get more in the future.”