Ryan Hollins of the Charlotte Bobcats has become the first NBA player sent to the D-League for the 2006-2007 season. Hollins was drafted 50th in the second round during the 2006 draft, after averaging 7.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and .9 blocks per game for UCLA last season.
In Fort Worth, Hollins will work with newly hired coach Sidney Mocrief, who was hired after Coach Sam Vincent
took an assist coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks. He will compete with centers Luke Schenscher
and Deji Akindele
for playing time.
With the Flyers, Hollins will need to focus on further developing his offensive game, and using his amazing athletic ability on the defensive end. Right now, he can hit a 15 foot jumpshot, and finish with an explosive dunk inside if hes open, but he has little offensive game outside of this. Hollins participated in track one year at UCLA, and is very athletic, but he doesnt use his athletic ability to its fullest on the basketball court. For a player that explosive, youd expect him to block shots and rebound the ball better. The Fort Worth staff will need to teach him how to better use his body to his advantage.
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff discussed the possibility of sending Hollins to the D-League in a teleconference before the season started.
I think its a good grooming ground and I think a kid like Ryan Hollins
, if hes on the roster once we start the regular season, I think it would be great for him because guys need to play basketball, said Bickerstaff in October. You dont get better just by sitting and during the regular season you dont get a chance to practice that much. I think its a terrific situation to send young players down and theyve got some really good coaches and you can send some of your own coaches down now just to take a look and work with those players.
With the D-League regular season starting on Friday, more players are expected to be sent down in the next couple of days. There will be 5 games on Friday
, but Hollins will make his season debut on Saturday as the Fort Worth Flyers visit the Austin Toros. The game starts at 8PM EST, and audio coverage is available at nba.com/dleague