Ryan Hollins is all upside at this point, mostly based off his impressive athletic ability for a seven-foot center. Hollins is indeed a true seven feet tall, and has a very long wingspan to boot.
Despite seeing inconsistent minutes in college for one reason or another, he showed some flashes on the court, mainly in the last month of his college career. He is not an ideal specimen physically because he is not very strong, however he is not frail.
Being a former track star, he has very impressive leaping ability, being able to get off the ground quickly and knowing how to use his length well to finish around the hoop if strength is not an issue. At times on offense UCLA would just throw the ball up to him and let him go get it. Hollins is a ferocious dunker when no one challenges his shot, if he has a free lane or path to the basket he can finish with authority.
He is also very efficient at running the court, physically being in good condition and not appearing to have any problems in an up and down basketball game. Ideally if Hollins runs the court possession after possession, he has the ability to be very dangerous in transition. He is not a powerful athlete, relying more on his quickness than anything.
On the offensive end, Hollins gets a majority of his shot opportunities either running the court or getting put back dunks on the offensive glass. He really knows how to finish when he gets the opportunity, as his long arms and quick leaping ability make it possible for him to take off far away from the basket and still finish. With his quickness, size and long arms if he polishes his post moves and improves his lower body strength he could be a real force down low.
In terms of shooting, Hollins can step away from the basket and make shots periodically. He has a surprisingly effective fifteen-foot jump shot at the top of the key that he uses with regularity, showing a nice soft touch for a big man. Expanding his range to all areas of the court inside of the three point line will be critical to his success at the next level.
With his quickness and length, Hollins can potentially be a real asset on defense. He has the ability to step away from the basket and provide help, and is exceptional when doubling on the perimeter because of his length really.
With his good conditioning and overall athletic ability he is a very adequate defender away from the basket. Hollins is not really a shot blocker though, instead he can get in the way and make it difficult to dribble around him or make a pass.
Looking at Hollins as a complete athlete he does indeed lack true strength needed in the low post. He is a skinny kid in the upper and lower body and at times can get pushed around by bigger players. Being listed at two hundred and twenty five pounds is definitely a deterrent to many NBA teams because that weight is considered too small for a power forward, much less a center. He is just not very strong and it shows. After four years of college you would expect him to have put some weight on his frame by now, and considering that that hasnt really happened, you have to wonder if it ever will. What might be most affected by his lack of strength is the fact that he sometimes has trouble finishing in traffic. Even though he should be able to dunk almost at will, he sometimes struggles finishing close to the basket because he does not have the strength or toughness to power through contact while in the air. It appears that he has very small hands for his size, which affects his play on the court.
What is somewhat disturbing about Hollins is the fact that after four years of college he is still very raw on the offensive end in terms of post moves. He can make outstanding plays dunking the basketball running in transition, but still does not really have very good footwork. Hollins does not any real back to the basket game and sometimes struggles in the paint when he cannot go for a lay up or dunk.
At the next level he either has to extremely define his already decent outside shooting ability, or develop a more effective back to the basket game, be it using a fade away or a short hook shot. And because of his lack of offensive post moves, his overall soft play and his lack of footwork, he is not very dominant on the offensive end. When he is aggressive going to the basket and running the court he is a lot more effective and dangerous on offense, but that is not always the case and taking his four years as a whole, quite rare actually.
Because of his diminutive hand size he has trouble passing and dribbling the basketball. If he is pressured he will most likely turn the ball over and he looks very uncomfortable with the ball in his hands. In the post he does not have strong hands and that might be part of the reason he has trouble posting up down low and grabbing rebounds out of his area.
Another issue that stems from his lack of strength is his inability to defend in the post during certain situations. Sometimes he can get out muscled down low because the opponent simply pushes him around with his lack of strength. Another disappointing part of his game is that he has the potential to be a great shot blocker, however he has yet to show that ability at the college level so it is unlikely to develop in the NBA.
Hollins will also have to improve his ability to box out to play at the next level. With his lack of lower body strength, he will have to become more skilled at using his length and leverage to carve out space for rebounds. If he gets low and focuses on boxing out, his length and quick leaping ability will make him potentially a very good rebounder.
If Hollins was physically more of a tough kid, willing to hit the floor and get roughed up every once in a while he could better compensate for his lack of physical strength. It would also be nice to see Hollins develop some kind of mean streak and play with more emotion on the court. His play is way too soft and this affects him in every facet of the game. His basketball IQ in general does not appear to be off the charts.
In four seasons at UCLA his senior season has really only been his impressive showing where he gave glimpses of potential at the next level. It is easy to like his athletic ability, size and his long arms but there are also many weaknesses to his game. Simply put he is still a very raw basketball player, he has potential but also has a lot to work on. However to his credit he has just began to peak as a senior, starting out the season out pretty weak, but finishing it very strong with some very good showings in the month or March. If he continues to carry that over to NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando and private workouts he will have a chance of being a 2nd round pick based off of his athletic ability as a seven-foot center.
The latter part of Hollins senior season was by far more impressive than the start of it, performing well on a big stage against quality competition. However it would have helped his case if he dominated the way he should have against lesser competition. Hollins consistency over the years has not been very good; he has been very up and down and has yet to be truly dominant in the college game. His career numbers are very underwhelming for a player with his size and athleticism.