"It was tough when Ashley went down," Hollis-Jefferson said. "He was a great low post player and a stretch four and we needed him a lot. We had to make a lot of adjustments and as the season went on, we had a little lapse.
"Teams have that, it's adversity. A lot of teams go through it, but we kept working, striving for the best, and things picked up. Losing him, he is an excellent rebounder. We kind of started to lose our rebounding advantage, but we were able to pick that up as well."
It was not always easy for Hollis-Jefferson, who admits that he struggled at first with the transition to Arizona.
"Just being away from the people you love," he said. "I would say it was pretty tough because you are used to seeing their face every day. When you go miles away from home, it is tough to make that adjustment, but I did a pretty good job at that.
"There were a lot of days where I missed my mom and I missed my friends, but that's what you sacrifice for. You want to play this game and you love it, so you make sacrifices."
Fast forward to March and The Wildcats are now in the Sweet 16 and looking to give their head coach his first appearance in a Final Four.
"We love Coach Miller," Hollis-Jefferson said. "He is a great coach that cares about all of his players. There is nothing better than to see him happy and we are just going to keep working and doing our best. As long as we do our best and give it our all, I am sure we will get him there."
In order to get to that Final Four, the first step is defeating San Diego State. Although he was not on the team last season, Hollis-Jefferson remembers how the journey ended here in the Sweet 16.
"I think I was watching it at home with a couple of my family members and then it came down to the last play and they started laughing when they hit the shot," Hollis-Jefferson said. "I just looked at them like ‘Are you serious?' That's my future team, you can't be laughing. I didn't find it funny."