Rondae Hollis-Jefferson


Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson declares for the 2015 NBA Draft


Arizona sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, the school announced on Tuesday night.

“To start off, I just want to say thank you to the city of Tucson and our great fans for everything over the last two years,” Hollis-Jefferson said in a statement. “It’s not every day that a kid from where I grew up gets blessed with an opportunity like this.

“I’ve decided to move on to the next chapter of my life and enter my name in the 2015 NBA Draft. After talking with my family and Coach (Sean) Miller to weigh the pros and cons, I fully believe this is the right choice. I’m excited for the challenges that lie ahead, and with the knowledge that God rewards hard work, I plan to attack them.”

Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, as arguably the best defender in the Pac-12 Conference.

The 6-foot-7 forward is projected as the No. 23 overall pick, according to

On Monday, Arizona forward Brandon Ashley announced he would enter the draft. Sean Miller is still waiting the decision of freshman wing Stanley Johnson and possibly big man Kaleb Tarczewski.

Arizona sophomore forward denies reports that he’s turning pro

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Arizona is expected to lose some pieces to the NBA Draft in the aftermath of their Elite Eight loss to No. 1 Wisconsin, and Wednesday afternoon it was reported by multiple outlets that one player has already decided to enter his name into the 2015 NBA Draft pool.

It was first reported by Evan Daniels of that sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson plans to forego his final two seasons of eligibility. However, Hollis-Jefferson took to Twitter shortly thereafter to deny that any decision had been made.

“When the time is right I’ll make my decision. I must first have a sit down with my coach and my mother. No decision has been made.,” Hollis-Jefferson tweeted.

Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for the Wildcats this season, shooting 50.2 percent from the field. Expected to be a small forward at the next level, the 6-foot-7 sophomore is projected by to be selected 24th in this year’s NBA Draft and he’s ranked 24th among the site’s top 100 prospects.

Hollis-Jefferson’s defensive ability, athleticism and motor are reasons why he’s projected to be a first round pick, but he’ll need to be better offensively (especially in regards to perimeter shooting) should he decide to move on.

Sean Miller and his staff have planned for early departures in their recruiting, with guards Justin Simon and Allonzo Trier and wing Ray Smith joining the program this summer, as will big man Chance Comanche (and they’re one of two finalists for Ivan Rabb, with Cal being the other).

In addition to the newcomers guard Kadeem Allen, who redshirted this season, will also be available for Arizona. Freshman Stanley Johnson and juniors Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski are the other Wildcats who have decisions to make regarding this summer’s NBA Draft.

#POSTERIZED: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson takes off on California (VIDEO)

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Here’s a Rob Dauster Lifehack for you:

Don’t jump with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

I tried to tell you…

POSTERIZED: Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson dunks on Washington State defender

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After losing at in-state rival Arizona State last Saturday, No. 7 Arizona rebounded with two blowout wins in Washington. After handling the Huskies in Seattle Friday night, Sean Miller’s team rolled to an 86-59 win at Washington State on Sunday. And the final score doesn’t do this one justice, as Arizona led 53-19 at the half.

Three starters scored 17 points apiece and point guard T.J. McConnell added 14, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Wildcats, who are now 10-2 in Pac-12 play.

One of the three starters with 17 points was sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who also grabbed a team-best ten rebounds. He also provided the highlight of the game, as he dunked on Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson in the second half.

Video credit: Fox Sports 1/Pac-12 Networks

Arizona giving sophomore forward practice reps at point guard

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After suffering a concussion late in No. 6 Arizona’s win over Oregon last Wednesday, freshman point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright missed the team’s win over Oregon State two days later. Without Jackson-Cartwright, head coach Sean Miller used junior Gabe York as his backup to T.J. McConnell, with York seeing extended minutes at the point once McConnell landed in foul trouble in the first half.

Thursday, two days prior to the team’s trip north to take on rival Arizona State, Miller stated during his weekly press conference that Jackson-Cartwright has yet to return to practice. And with that being the case, Arizona has worked out a third player at the point to cover themselves should something happen to McConnell and/or York.

That player: sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who is one of the most versatile defenders in the country.

“It’s going to call on Gabe (York) and Elliott (Pitts) to play more minutes,” Miller said. “They did that in the last game and I though both guys did a really good job. Mostly Gabe but we also let Rondae (play the point) in case we got into an injury or foul trouble. You always want to have three who can play that position because of an injury or foul trouble. You don’t want to get caught where you can’t execute your normal system.”

In the story written by Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star, York was complimentary of Hollis-Jefferson’s play at the point during practice Wednesday. Jackson-Cartwright has shown signs of progress at the point, as his daily work with and against McConnell helped the freshman carve out a spot in the rotation.

But the injury has, for the time being, put that progress on hold which means Arizona has to find other solutions while Jackson-Cartwright is out of the lineup.

Hollis-Jefferson getting reps at the point won’t change his primary role offensively, as he’ll continue to start on the wing opposite freshman Stanley Johnson and McConnell will continue to get the lion’s share of the minutes as the team’s primary ball-handler. But with their depth at the position taking a hit, Arizona needed to come up with another contingency plan should they need it one the future.

The little things made a big difference in No. 3 Arizona’s win over No. 15 San Diego State

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Last season the Arizona Wildcats won 33 games despite having some significant issues on the offensive end of the floor. They struggled to find consistent perimeter shooting, especially after losing Brandon Ashley in early February, and their foul shooting was also a concern. Arizona made up for those issues by being one of the best defensive teams in the country, and through six games this season the defense has proven to be ahead of the offense.

That was the case Wednesday night, as Sean Miller’s Wildcats held off No. 15 San Diego State 61-59 despite shooting just 36.5% from the field. Stanley Johnson scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way offensively, and Arizona’s ability to convert its defense into offense was critical.

Arizona used its man-to-man defense to force the Aztecs into mistakes, and while the number of turnovers committed by San Diego State (14) may not seem like much it’s what Arizona did with those turnovers that made the difference. Arizona converted those turnovers into 22 points, and the live-ball opportunities would be as close as either team would get to establishing some sort of fast break. In a game that was played in the half-court for most of the night, Arizona outscored San Diego State 11-2 in fast break points.

Those extra opportunities can make the difference for any team, much less one that’s still a work in progress offensively. The Wildcats scored 11 points off turnovers in each half, and just as important in the first half was the 13 points their reserves provided.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is one of the best wings in the country, and his willingness to take on the sixth man role is something that has helped Arizona thus far. But he wasn’t the only player to step forward with starting guards T.J. McConnell and Gabe York both dealing with early foul trouble. Elliott Pitts knocked down a three-pointer and both Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored as well, making contributions that aren’t as expected as those provided by Hollis-Jefferson on a nightly basis.

How much will those players factor into the rotation as the season wears on? Given Miller’s desire to have a rotation of seven or eight players, finding minutes for those guys will be difficult. But due to a number of possible variables, including foul trouble and injuries, those players have to remain ready to step in at a moment’s notice.

That was the case Wednesday night, and as a result Arizona went into the intermission leading (32-31) despite the fact that San Diego State shot 52.6% from the field.

Whether it was the ability to convert turnovers into points or their shooting 20-for-24 from the foul line, Arizona’s ability to take advantage of areas that are akin to special teams in football led to them taking home the trophy. And while the Wildcats have the talent needed to be a much better team offensively, they’ll need to continue to take advantage of those areas while also maintaining their level of play on the defensive end of the floor.