Here's an evaluation on the most recent UT basketball commit, Jonathan Holmes.
Bio: 6'8" 232 lbs.
City: San Antonio, TX
High School: Antonian
AAU Team: San Antonio RoHawks
Position: Combo forward/power forward
The 83rd-ranked prospect in the Rivals150 has been a UT lean for quite a while, supposedly, so today's announcement to Texas was a surprise to very few.
After DeAndre Daniels decommitted from Texas at the end of the summer, UT had to find somebody else in a mostly-tapped-out recruiting class with some semblance of height. While neither Daniels nor Holmes project as inside players down the road, Holmes is more capable of playing the position than Daniels.
Holmes is currently thought of as mostly a power forward by recruiting services, but he spends very little of his time on offense in the post. His greatest assets are a surprisingly good outside stroke and an equally surprising handle. Though neither is at, or near, the level shown by Daniels, both skills are D1 quality and can be refined by the coaching staff, as Holmes is still an extremely raw talent.
He's capable of getting his own shot deep, but he's much better when he can operate from a triple-threat position and have both the ability to drive with his right hand past a defender or shoot over the top of him. Translation: he's a better shooter when he's set. Holmes will also be a valuable asset in both the pick and pop game and coming off off-ball screens set primarily for him. Again, all these abilities are extremely raw, and I doubt we will see consistent primacy from Holmes until at least his third year in college.
Jonathan needs to work on post moves, because his repertoire is limited right now. He has the size, talent, and body control to be a solid interior scorer, but he's just not there right now. He also frequently floats to the perimeter, a problem seen in far too many "big men" these days.
Offensively, a great parallel to Holmes is Damion James. He'll probably start off as a mildly undersized, athletic post guy and, over the course of his career, move out to the perimeter. In my opinion, Holmes has better coordination and body control than DaMo did, especially early in his career.
Unfortunately, Holmes doesn't have near the tenacity or fiery will that Damion has. Whether it's because he's generally playing against kids that are simply not at his level of size and talent or because it's just his personality, Jonathan frequently loses focus when a rebound that should be his is up for grabs. Oddly, I've noticed he'll often simply "snap out of it" and realize he needs to engage, in which case I guarantee the next board is his and he's racing down to the other basket for a dunk.
Defensively, Holmes just isn't there. He doesn't move laterally very quickly, a problem Jordan Hamilton has had at UT so far. He's complacent in guarding the opposing team's biggest player, who is usually far smaller and less athletic than he is. This unfairly stunts his ability to grow defensively like the Tristan Thompsons of the high school basketball scene, who are going up against D1 post players nearly every game of the season.
Holmes should be a solid four-year player for Texas, but he's not the answer we've been looking for inside. He's not a banger, he's not a great rebounder, and he's not that big or tall. I will say he looks like a pretty strong guy with a solid core that can only get better with the best strength coach in the nation (Todd Wright) working with him.
Holmes has good athleticism, a solid offensive ceiling, and plenty of room to grow basketball-wise. Disregarding the incredible passing ability, a good comparison for Holmes' potential is the NBA version of Jeff Green. If he's anything like Green was at Georgetown, Holmes will be a solid commit for the Horns.
Here's a quote by Jonathan on choosing UT:
"It was the chance for early playing time, and I feel very comfortable with Coach Ogden and Coach Barnes," Holmes told Orangebloods.com of the Rivals.com network. "I feel comfortable around all the guys there.
Holmes joins PG Myck Kabongo, and SGs Julien Lewis and Sheldon McClellan as commits in the 2011 UT basketball class, ranked 5th overall by Rivals.
*Note: The video at the top should get you to all four quarters of the Central/Antonian game. Daniels is the really, really big guy on the white team. I think you can cycle over to similar videos after the original video ends. If not, here's a link to the website where the video was posted: Central vs. Antonian