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 Scout.com 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 DraftExpress.com 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.