"It's big to come from high school where I lost my last game in the state championship," Hollis-Jefferson said. "I don't want to have that feeling again."
As Hollis-Jefferson and Arizona proceed through the tournament, he is careful to take a step back and realize what kind of opportunity he has.
"To come to college and be in the Sweet 16 in your first run is pretty great," Hollis-Jefferson said. "Kids don't do this every day and I think it is a big accomplishment for me."
Not only has Hollis-Jefferson come a long way from one year ago, but he has also taken major steps in his game.
"I came a long way with basic things like learning how to come over screens, boxing out, and just became better as a player," he said.
Not only that, but the Aztecs have taken a similar course this season.
"I think both teams have gotten better as the year went on," Hollis-Jefferson said. "We can't relate to things back then, but we know what type of players they are."
Hollis-Jefferson also knows what type of effort it will take if Arizona is going to move on to the Elite Eight.
"They are one of the best teams at offensive rebounding in the country, so it would be big if we can limit that," he said. "They play very hard and they want to win. If they keep playing like that, it is hard to beat them, so you need to bring you're A-game."