Hollis-Jefferson putting in work

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has worked hard in the off-season. Read on to see what he says about that effort, an expanded role, and more.

After much speculation near the end of last season, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson decided to return to Arizona instead of declaring for the NBA Draft.

"Rondae had an opportunity to leave Arizona last spring and declare for the NBA Draft," Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller said. "There is certainly a lot of traction in the NBA that they love who he is as a player or they love who he will one day be.

"Rondae made a very mature decision with his family and support system to come back to Arizona for all the right reasons, to get closer to his degree, which he is doing a very good job at, and to become a more responsible person and player."

During the summer, Hollis-Jefferson participated in the Kevin Durant and LeBron James skills camps. His performance at Durant’s camp had scouts raving about his NBA potential and his showing at James’ camp in Las Vegas was more of the same.

“My experiences over the summer were honestly too great to describe,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “I was blessed enough to play with and learn from two of the best NBA players right now.

“Learning from Durant and James was a great experience, but playing against some of the best college players in the country was great and I took a lot from it.”

The second-year forward plans to take what he learned from the summer and apply it to this season. Hollis-Jefferson envisions his role on the court as an expanded one this season, but he let the media know that he will play where Miller needs him to.

“I will do a lot of what I did last year, but it will broaden some,” he said. “I’ll probably have to score a little more and defend the team’s best player more often, too.

“Me being a sophomore, it’s now my job to be more of a leader and to show the way to the new guys.”

One of the aspects of Hollis-Jefferson's game that needed the most improvement was his jumper and the sophomore has put in plenty of work to make it better.

"Nobody has shot the ball more this summer and fall than him," Miller said. "We keep track of that, that’s a fact. He shot thousands of shots to improve in that area. He already had a really good basketball body, but it is even better now because he worked hard in the weight room.

"He spent a huge portion of the summer here in Tucson and I think he’s hungry to have a better year and show everybody he is an improved player across the board. No question I believe that is the case watching him this fall."

In addition, Hollis-Jefferson feels more confident in his ability to consistently hit jumpers.

“I feel like I am much better shooter this year,” he said. “A lot of being a good shooter is confidence and I am confident that I can knock down jumpers.”

Along with his return, Arizona has brought in a plethora of talented players to complement an already talented team.

Hollis-Jefferson is excited to work with a new crop of talent and feels that Arizona can reach new heights with this year’s team.

“Listen, these guys are intense and ready to play,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “Practices are heated in a good way. The competitive fire comes out when you have guys playing similar positions, and I think it’s exciting to be a part of.”


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