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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Hot N’ Not

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Tyler Baker / Arizona Summer Wildcat

Stanley Johnson

The former Arizona forward was drafted No. 8 overall to the Detroit Pistons and was expected to accomplish big things in Motor City. Johnson earned his privilege to play in the NBA this summer after putting the Pistons Summer League squad on his shoulders. Johnson’s offensive style of play is easily compared to the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, and the defensive side of the ball can be compared to Metta World Peace. Johnson has a 6-foot-7, 245-pound frame with freak athleticism and an alpha dog attitude, so the comparison has weight. Johnson led the Pistons this summer with 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Johnson’s Summer League run was cut short after the Pistons lost their final game to the Miami Heat 91-68.

Brandon Ashley

Ashley might be the most underrated Wildcat entering the NBA, even with T.J. McConnell who also went undrafted. Ashley originally committed to the Los Angeles Lakers Summer League squad, but instead bolted to Atlanta to play for the Hawks. It’s a possibility that Ashley went to the Hawks due to the Lakers trying to hit the lottery in free agency in their attempt to lure big men LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan. The Lakers didn’t acquire them and are now left playing small ball where Ashley could fit well. However, Ashley is going into an Atlanta organization that was playing for a spot in the NBA Finals last season. Ashley averaged 10.4 points along with 5.3 rebounds per game. Over the years, Arizona basketball has struggled from the free-throw line, but Ashley worked on his free-throw game as the Bay Area native had a 80 percent free-throw average. Ashley will look to contribute early for the Hawks. Look for him in the same role he was at Arizona.

NOT:

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Hollis-Jefferson was drafted No. 23 to the Portland Trail Blazers and probably had the greatest pants of all time in the NBA draft. The stars aligned for the red and black plaid pants after being drafted to Portland, however the Shim Reaper would eventually be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Hollis-Jefferson makes the not list for not his overall performance in the NBA Summer League, but for his shooting percentage. Sure, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 11.2 points and 1.2 blocks per game in the Las Vegas portion of the Summer League, but he was shooting the ball 36.4 percent. On top of that, he’s shooting a free-throw percentage of 57.7 percent—so, in reality, the mid-range shot isn’t quite there. If Hollis-Jefferson wants to be a franchise player, then the jump shot must be tweaked.

T.J. McConnell

McConnell is arguably the most beloved Wildcat to step foot in McKale Center. McConnell is a Pittsburgh native, point guard and has a basketball-savvy mind. He’s the prototypical Sean Miller product, which is why he will go down as one of the greats to play for Miller, but now he’s with a totally different beast in the NBA. McConnell went undrafted to the Philadelphia 76ers, which could very well be the best fit considering it’s a team full of big men. McConnell didn’t have the breakthrough summer he had hoped for, only averaging 5.2 points per game and 3.3 assists. McConnell will fit like a glove in Philadelphia, but if he wants to bring up the ball every game in the city of brotherly love, the assist maestro must improve.

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