Arizona sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson plans to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com and confirmed by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The sophomore hasn’t publicly made a decision, but the plan is to go pro.
Hollis-Jefferson helped lead the Wildcats to the Pac-12 title and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Arizona’s calling card was defense, and Hollis-Jefferson was one of the best defenders in the country. Not only did he guard wings, but he also spent time guarding point guards and big men.
Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds on the year while shooting 50.2 percent from the field. He got to the line 5.4 times per game, where he showed off his rather unique free throw routine:
Arizona was one of the favorites to win the national title, but the Wildcats ran into a buzzsaw in Wisconsin in the Elite Eight. Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky were just too much for Arizona, although Hollis-Jefferson had a strong game with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Hollis-Jefferson will likely be a first-round pick, as he’s currently 24th in DraftExpress’ mock draft. At 6’7 with a 7’1 wingspan and great athleticism, he has the ideal physical tools to be a staunch wing defender in the NBA, and he should be able to make an impact defensively right away.
The problem is that Hollis-Jefferson has no semblance of an outside shot. He shot just over 20 percent from three in his two seasons at Arizona, and he wasn’t that prolific from mid-range, either. Even so, if he can play elite defense at the next level, he’ll carve out a niche in the NBA. Just look at Tony Allen.