Had a feeling we might hear more about this today, and we have.
Jonathan Holton has signed with WVU and Bob Huggins has just one more scholarship to award for the 2013 class, though we really are getting close to the end of the early signing period on May 20.
Horton has signed a grant-in-aid, which is essentially the same as a scholarship. College players can only sign one national letter-of-intent in their careers and Holton did that at Rhode Island.
“Jonathan is a prototype Big 12 forward,” says Huggins. “He can really score it off the bounce, play with his back to the basket, stretch defenses to make 3-pointers, as well as being a terrific offensive rebounder. He should give us immediate help on the front line.”
At Palm Beach State this past season, Holton averaged 17.5 points and 14.1 rebounds per game and shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range. He earned NJCAA and FCSAA player of the week honors during his outstanding season. Holton is rated by JucoRecruiting.com as the 13th-best junior college player in the 2013 class.
What I’m hearing this afternoon is that nothing has changed from yesterday in that there is work to be done for Holton to resolve his legal issues and make sure WVU keeps its promise to honor his grant-in-aid. What remains seems to be a collection of little things and Team Holton, and presumably WVU, is confident nothing will trip it up before the finish.
(Aside: This is probably a terrible thing for me to do to you because I can’t give you much more than what I’m about to give you, but I read all the comments from the post earlier and I think what follows has a place. I’ve had two people who, I have to think, don’t know one another give me a version of events recounting the original incident and their summaries are just about identical. The story is out of this world and, if true, would likely lighten some opinions. If true. But don’t get me wrong: It doesn’t forgive everything.)
Having said that, Butch Estes, Holton’s coach at Palm Beach State in 2012-13, said Holton has some work to do to be eligible at WVU. “It will go into the summer,” he said.
This is basically handing in assignments and finishing classes and making sure the associate degree is secured. But graduating in time for the 2013-14 season has always been the goal for Holton, so it’s not like they’re improvising here.
WVU wins Holton’s services at the expense of Memphis and Southern Miss. Estes, a former Division I assistant and head coach who has known Huggins for many years, said this is a big deal for the Mountaineers.
“If he’s focused, he’s going to be really, really good. He’s got the size. He can shoot the 3 from a good distance. He can go inside and post up and he is highly skilled with either hand. He can bring it off the glass and bring it up on the break.
“I laugh because part of that is sometimes his decision making, when he’s blowing down the court at his size, is a little questionable. One out of every three or four passes might end up in the stands. That being said, he has the ability to do that.
“I don’t want to overdo it, but he’s an exceptional rebounder. He’s got the reach. He’s got the vertical. He’ll go out of his space. He has the tenacity to go get it. When he wants to be, he is an extremely talented player.”
Huggins called Holton a “prototype Big 12 forward,” and that language has gotten a lot of play around here. If Huggins was looking for someone who can better handle himself against the Big 12 forwards on offense and defense, Estes thinks Holton is it.
“There are a lot of those stretch 3s who will hang around outside on the perimeter and he’s a little like that, but you never have to say anything and if you give him a moment or two or three, he’ll migrate inside like a nail to a magnet. So he ends up around the basket a lot and he’s figuring out now how good he is down there.”