Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thanks for the Memories, Will Holland

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

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If you ask me about Will Holland 20 years from now I'm probably going to chuckle, and say - the guy never missed a shot from April to November. Because the buzz about Will was always that he was this shooter who never missed.

I didn't ever really see that part of his game until his senior season. Instead, I saw a kid from Texas - who worked hard, played solid defense, posted up well on the low block - and occasionally knocked down the open jumper. I think he got more out of his game then his physical attributes called for - and I'll remember #11 as one of the guys I'd like to see on the floor again.

His career at the Mount started as a freshman out of Texas - and he quickly got early minutes. He came with high hopes - he set a Texas 3-pointer record as a senior in the Houston Area - and to come north to the Mount was a good get for the program.

He quickly became a starter - and he had some good games - but he never quite became the three-point marksman that we were expecting. And during the NCAA run of his sophomore year - he certainly contributed - but he also looked like the one guy most likely to be replaced next season. And that is exactly what happened. Kelly Beidler and Jean Cajou - both earned their minutes on the floor - and Holland was pushed to a back-up sixth man role. Never did we see an outward display of displeasure. He still played hard - and he was a positive influence. Yet his play seemed to suffer.

However, the NEC semifinal his junior year was one of Holland's finest games as a Mountaineer. With roommate and point guard Jeremy Goode saddled with four fouls early in the second half, Holland almost willed the Mounties to victory and a spot in the championship game.

All through his career we also heard about a knee injury that was bothering him. There was always the offseason question of whether or not he'd have surgery. There was always the relief felt when it wasn't necessary. But it finally cost him some games during his senior year. At first it didn't seem to really bother the Mount. But then the losing streak started. Nine games. Holland played in a few near the end. But he wasn't playing full minutes. And then all of a sudden he was back to full strength. And the jumpers started to fall - and the wins came. He led the NEC in 3-point FG % - his senior season. And the little things he did continued to be part of his game - and he recorded a double double or two - and may have been the key factor in the Mount's second half resurgence.

If I'm writing about Holland and I failed to mention the support he got from his family and Texas friends, I'd be missing something. Here was a kid from Houston - whose family seemingly never missed a game. And I recall one game over Christmas break either last year or this year - there was a group of college aged kids rooting especially hard for Will Holland. It was always nice to see.

Will Holland will always be part of the first Mount team to win an NCAA Division I tournament game. And
he will always be a part of my memories of Mt. St. Mary's basketball - and I thank him for his time and effort over the years. He will be missed when they start shooting basketballs in the Knott Arena again next fall.

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  1. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Beautifully written, thank you. We await Kelly's obit next and then the final words on Jeremy!

  2. Richard3:42 PM

    Wonderful Raff. I still wonder how we ever found Holland way down in Texas. The Mount did not have any pipeline to Texas like they do Hampton Roads. Raff, do you know the details on his recruitment?

  3. Richard3:44 PM

    Holland used to remind me of Eminem at first. I never got a chance to talk to him like I did other players. So Raff, is he sort of similar to Eminem as far as how he acts?

  4. Never talked to Eminem

  5. Richard10:21 PM

    You know what i mean raff, cmon silly. Does he act white or black?

  6. Richard10:37 PM

    I will say one thing- there is no way in hell that RMU is truly that good. Villanova musta really gave up. Watch St. Marys get blown by Baylor. RMU sucks though, for real. Now we will have to deal with them bragging until we actually win a tournament game.

  7. Richard10:38 PM

    We will be fine as long as Burrell lives up to his billing. If not, then Golladay will run the NEC!!!