Play of Arizona Wildcats freshmen Gordon, Hollis-Jefferson symbolizes Miller’s process

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WHAT IS PRODUCTIVITY RATING?:
PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)

ARIZONA 63, COLORADO 43
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS

Player Pos PP MIN PR
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 23 28 .821
Jordin Mayes PG 8 10 .800
*Nick Johnson SG 25 35 .714
*T.J. McConnell PG 21 32 .656
*Aaron Gordon PF 21 33 .636
*Kaleb Tarczewski C 3 26 .115
*Gabe York SG 1 27 .037
LESS THAN 10 MIN
Matt Korcheck PF 1 2 .500
Zacn Peters C 0 1 .000
Elliott Pitts SG -1 7 -.143
TOTAL TEAM 102 200 .505

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — McDonald’s All-Americans with five-star ratings from recruiting services come to a program with a celebrity status that translates to a desire of wanting to not only call the shots but also try to make most of them.

Aaron Gordon

Aaron Gordon

Arizona’s freshman sensations Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are throwbacks to another generation when young newcomers understood their place on the team, respected the upperclassmen and honored the coach’s process.

As the nation has discovered this season, with Arizona achieving only its fifth 30-win season, Sean Miller has a instilled a process as good as anybody.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

“They bought into the system; it’s as easy as that,” Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson said after the Wildcats’ 63-43 win over Colorado Friday night. “They came here and they left their egos at the door and they bought into our system.

“They don’t get mad when I come up to them and say, ‘Hey look, I don’t care about your offense, you need to buckle down on defense.’ They trust me as a leader and trust what coach preaches everyday that we’re a defensive team. When we get stops and get rebounds, you know, do the little things, that’s when we’re the best. That’s really a credit to them as people as
young men that they can do that.”


TOP FIVE ARIZONA REBOUNDING TEAMS

Margin Team Avg Opp Games
19.3 1950-51 59.5 40.2 30
9.7 1976-77 46.7 37.0 27
8.7 2013-14 38.9 30.2 31
8.3 1975-76 47.2 38.9 33
8.1 1998-99 41.7 33.6 29

Gordon registered three steals and three blocked shots against Colorado. One of the blocked shots was as electrifying to the partisan Arizona crowd as the two alley-oop dunks by Johnson (one of which was in transition from a Gordon pass).

Gordon swatted down a dunk attempt by Colorado nemesis Xavier Johnson during Arizona’s game-clinching run in the second half.

“Basketball is a two-sided sport,” said Gordon, who also had two steals in Thursday’s 71-39 win over Utah. “It’s not just offense. It’s not just defense. I’ve always prided myself being a great defensive player.

“It’s not like I accepted a role of playing defense. This team has a good number of very talented basketball players. One night be his night. Another night might be his night. Whoever’s night it is, we’ll roll with it.”

Hollis-Jefferson, who led Arizona in productivity against Colorado, also had an emphatic blocked shot and a steal against the Buffaloes. He routinely goes against the opponent’s best offensive player when Johnson needs a rest or must switch to somebody else.

Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson combine for 62 blocked shots and 50 steals. They also rank first and third on the team in defensive rebounding. Gordon has 169 to lead the team. Kaleb Tarczewski is next with 137, followed by Hollis-Jefferson’s 101.

Doing the little things, as Johnson calls them, makes Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson a significant reason why this is Arizona’s best defensive team since the program started 109 years ago.

Hollis-Jefferson has bought into Miller’s process enough to accept his role as the sixth man. McOonald’s All-Americans usually believe their lofty status merits a starting role.

“Aaron and Rondae are two big reasons why our team is where we’re at right now,” Miller said. “Rondae’s extremely unselfish, as is Aaron. He comes off the bench, and he sometimes doesn’t like to come out of the game, but he’s okay with not starting.

“But it’s his unselfishness that I think you love. He gives his heart and soul on defense. On offense it’s not about scoring for him. It’s about passing, and he’s one of our best offensive rebounders. So he gives you talent, but talent in an unselfish way which is a good characteristic for somebody who doesn’t start.”

PAC-12 RPI (ESPN.com)

RPI Team D1 W-L SOS 1-50
1 Arizona 30-3 7 11-2
16 UCLA 25-8 32 7-5
29 Oregon 23-9 15 4-6
31 Colorado 23-11 9 5-8
41 Stanford 21-12 16 5-9
43 Arizona St. 21-11 57 4-7
59 California 19-13 36 4-10
76 Utah 19-11 103 4-8
100 Washington 17-15 60 4-7
101 Oregon St. 16-15 69 4-7
169 USC 10-21 40 2-12
218 Washington St. 9-21 65 1-11

ARIZONA OVERALL PRODUCTIVITY RATING

Player Pos G S PP MIN PR
Nick Johnson SG 33 33 732 1065 .687
Aaron Gordon SF 33 33 622 1015 .613
Brandon Ashley PF 22 22 371 609 .609
Kaleb Tarczewski C 31 30 519 873 .594
R. Hollis-Jefferson SF 33 5 484 823 .588
T.J. McConnell PG 33 33 516 1052 .490
Gabe York SG 33 8 265 697 .380
AVG 5-9.9 MIN
Jordin Mayes PG 29 1 41 164 .250
Elliott Pitts SG 19 0 32 171 .187
AVG 1-4.9 MIN
Chris Johnson PF 4 0 5 6 .833
Jacob Hazzard PG 12 0 21 28 .750
Matt Korcheck PF 20 0 47 90 .522
Erik Conklin F 7 0 6 17 .353
Trey Mason SG 10 0 7 22 .318
Drew Mellon F 6 0 2 12 .167
Zach Peters C 10 0 -6 29 -.207
TOTAL TEAM 3583 6675 .537

ARIZONA PAC-10/12
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:

Name (Year) G S PP MIN PR
Derrick Williams (2011) 38 38 1190 1141 1.043
Sean Elliott (1989) 33 33 1128 1125 1.003
Chris Mills (1993) 28 28 838 870 .963
Sean Elliott (1988) 38 38 1167 1249 .934
D. Stoudamire (1995) 30 30 964 1092 .883
Mike Bibby (1998) 35 35 905 1124 .805
Jason Terry (1999) 29 29 877 1107 .792
Nick Johnson (2014) 33 33 732 1065 .687

NICK JOHNSON CAREER POINTS RANKING

Rank Player Years Points
25 Mustafa Shakur 2004-07 1318
26 Ivan Radenovic 2004-07 1300
27 Nic Wise 2007-10) 1285
28 Link Richmond 1944-49 1246
No. 29 Nick Johnson 2011-14 1245
No. 30 Derrick Williams 2009-11 1227
No. 31 Ed Nymeyer 1956-58 1225

ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS

Date Opponent Results TeamPR Productivity Leader Pos PP MIN PR
March 14 Colorado 63-43 (W) .505 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 23 28 .821
March 13 Utah 71-39 (W) .565 Nick Johnson SG 23 26 .885
March 9 @Oregon 64-57 (L) .380 Aaron Gordon PF 28 33 .848
March 5 @Oregon St. 74-69 (W) .470 Nick Johnson SG 35 33 1.061
March 2 Stanford 79-66 (W) .605 Aaron Gordon SF 39 32 1.219
Feb. 27 California 87-59 (W) .730 Nick Johnson SG 38 31 1.226
Feb. 22 @Colorado 88-61 (W) .720 Aaron Gordon PF 35 27 1.296
Feb. 19 @Utah 67-63 OT (W) .391 Gabe York SG 20 36 .556
Feb. 14 @ASU 69-66 2OT (L) .356 Kaleb Tarczewski C 22 45 .489
Feb. 9 Oregon St. 76-54 (W) .575 T.J. McConnell PG 25 30 .833
Feb. 6 Oregon 67-65 (W) .455 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 31 34 .912
Feb. 1 @California 60-58 (L) .430 Kaleb Tarczewski C 34 35 .971
Jan. 29 @Stanford 60-57 (W) .400 Nick Johnson SG 24 33 .727
Jan. 26 Utah 65-56 (W) .435 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 16 24 .667
Jan. 23 Colorado 69-57 (W) .525 Brandon Ashley PF 24 31 .774
Jan. 16 ASU 91-68 (W) .675 Nick Johnson SG 23 27 .852
Jan. 12 @USC 73-53 (W) .520 Brandon Ashley PF 28 31 .903
Jan. 9 @UCLA 79-75 (W) .570 Gabe York SG 16 18 .889
Jan. 4 Washington 71-62 (W) .580 Nick Johnson SG 34 36 .944
Jan. 2 Washington St. 60-25 (W) .510 Kaleb Tarczewski C 20 22 .909
Dec. 23 NAU 77-44 (W) .660 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 30 27 1.111
Dec. 19 Southern 69-43 (W) .535 Aaron Gordon SF 28 29 .966
Dec. 14 @Michigan 72-70 (W) .530 Kaleb Tarczewski C 23 26 .885
Dec. 11 N.M. State 74-48 (W) .555 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 22 23 .957
Dec. 7 UNLV 63-58 (W) .450 T.J. McConnell PG 29 35 .829
Dec. 3 Texas Tech 79-58 (W) .570 Brandon Ashley PF 32 28 1.143
Nov. 29 Duke 72-66 (W) .590 Kaleb Tarczewski C 21 28 .750
Nov. 27 Drexel 66-62 (W) .505 Nick Johnson SG 31 36 .861
Nov. 19 Rhode Island 87-59 (W) .685 Nick Johnson SG 39 26 1.500
Nov. 18 Fairleigh Dickinson 100-50 (W) .890 Nick Johnson SG 30 20 1.500
Nov. 14 @San Diego State 69-60 (W) .490 Nick Johnson SG 29 31 .935
Nov. 11 Long Beach State 91-57 (W) .790 Brandon Ashley PF 28 21 1.333
Nov. 8 Cal Poly 73-62 (W) .565 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SF 20 21 .952

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.



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