Hollis-Jefferson ready to roll

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson knows that Arizona's identity is on defense. Read on for his thoughts about that side of the ball, how it prepares Arizona for its tournament game, and more.

Although Sean Miller was an instant hit on the recruiting trail, it took him a few years to get an ideal match of talented and selfless players.

Regardless of what happens in the tournament, it's safe to say the transformation is complete.

This group of players has more or less become an embodiment of Sean Miller's philosophy and they know sticking to tough team defense and selfless play on the offensive end could ultimately result in a national championship.

Perhaps no player is more representative of this mindset than future first round pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

"One of the first things Coach Miller said to me when he was recruiting me was that he loved my defense and how I looked to help others on offense," Hollis-Jefferson said.

"He then said he wanted more guys like that. He then told me if I came in and played like I did in high school I could play early here and help out a pretty good team."

Miller's words proved prophetic.

"He told the whole team at the beginning of the year that we would win on defense and that everything would go from there," Hollis-Jefferson said. "We had to get our hands on the shooters, but be able to slide and help out if needed."

Once Brandon Ashley, Arizona's lengthiest defender, went down for the season, Miller only doubled down on that mindset.

"Coach said we would all have to pick our games up and even though we lost a few games to close the season out, we were in every game and you could see his plan coming true," said Hollis-Jefferson.

Staying true to the defense-first mindset figures to carry Hollis-Jefferson and his Arizona mates over these next couple weeks.

"We're ready to roll right now," he said. "We feel good about where we are. At the very least we will be in every game and then it just comes down to outplaying the other teams in the closing minutes.

"I came here to play these types of games and everything coach said we can do has happened so far. We just have to keep it going. That's what he brought us in for."


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