Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Terriers Have Another Star Freshmen

February 14, 2008 Columns No Comments

Holland Leads Terriers’ Resurgence

by Phil Kasiecki

BOSTON – In recent years, Boston University has been able to ride the play of several good young players, like last season when they finished third in America East behind the play of three freshmen guards. Now the Terriers are doing it again.

This time around, it’s primarily one freshman, John Holland, who is sparking the Terriers. Tuesday night was the highlight to this point, a 25-point effort in their 79-53 win over Binghamton, their fourth straight win.

Although Tuesday was the highlight, Holland has really turned it on since America East play began. He moved into the starting lineup against New Hampshire – immediately following his first DNP of the season in the opener at Binghamton – and hasn’t left after he scored nine points on 2-7 shooting but registered six steals. He’s scored in double digits all but three times, and on each time he missed he scored nine points. In addition, he’s posted two double-doubles and leads the team in rebounding in conference games.

Every significant number is up for him in conference play, but more importantly, he’s given the team an injection of life at a time when they had been struggling. The Terriers were 3-9 in non-conference play, and truth be told they simply were not very good. Holland was part of that, as he had his moments but was inconsistent, and his coach has an explanation.

“He had a tremendous energy level, primarily because he conserved for most of the practices up to the beginning of the year, so he’s got it all saved,” said head coach Dennis Wolff with a tongue-in-cheek tone.

Wolff has always been a coach for whom players earn time by their practice play. Holland didn’t adjust to the college game and life right away, but he hasn’t had any more of an issue with it than many others. The adjustment looks to be more complete now if his play is any indication, especially after he won America East Rookie of the Week the last two weeks. In their four-game winning streak, he’s averaging 16 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and his impact has been greater than the numbers can convey.

“John has played, for about two weeks, probably as well as any freshman I’ve had here,” said Wolff. “John is an unbelievable kid. The transition to college sometimes takes a little bit of time. People are going to make mistakes, and he’s right now playing through those better than he did early.”

A native of the Bronx who played a prep year at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., Holland was known for his athleticism coming in. He’s capable of scoring plenty of points, as he once showed at a major AAU tournament when he scored 30 to help his team to a high consolation round finish. As is often the case with players in this conference, he flew under the radar quite a bit, and in his case it was in a metropolitan area that is always loaded with talent and makes it easy to get lost.

On Tuesday night, he looked like much that same player as he did a little of everything. He carried the Terriers in the first half with 15 points, as they didn’t have a lot of life early on but gradually took over. Whenever there was a play to be made, it seemed like he was there, from getting steals to grabbing a loose ball or getting ahead of others on the fast break. He was aggressive at both ends of the floor, playing with no fear and making things happen. And while he’s more of a scorer than a shooter, he is capable from behind the arc and went 3-5 on three-pointers. Most came after he got his offense going on slashes and in transition.

The opposing coach certainly took notice. Considering how important Holland’s role was in the win, it would have been hard not to.

“The guy is an animal. He plays hard, and that’s the kind of guy that I like,” said Binghamton head coach Kevin Broadus. “Forget the points, the guy was just everywhere. He was the best player on the court today, simple as that. He looked like a four-year veteran, and he’s got three more years, right?”

While Holland has clearly made great strides and might be the most improved player in the conference since the start of the season, he certainly has more work to do. That was even evident on Tuesday, as he was excellent but at times tried to do too much. He can’t get into the pattern of taking contested fade-away jumpers as he did a couple of times, as that will limit his effectiveness. As his confidence continues to go up, that’s one thing he needs to avoid falling into, especially since he’s done so well playing as he has to this point.

This season’s freshman class at Boston University isn’t producing a group of stars like last season’s did, as well as a couple of other recent ones. But Holland is the one player out of the group who is playing well, and lately at the nerve center of their turnaround after a slow start.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 by

As Championship Week heats up, we talk about bubble teams who may or may not want to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament, as well as a couple of mid-majors whose conference championship game was played earlier in the week.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.