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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson Going East

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Kyle Hansen

Arizona men’s basketball forward Stanley Johnson (5) smiles during Arizona’s 73-51 win against California during the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday. By defeating Cal, Johnson and the Wildcats advanced to the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.


Dreams became a reality for a pair of former Arizona high flyers after the 2015 NBA Draft
Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Former Arizona
small forward Stanley Johnson was selected No. 8 overall to the Detroit Pistons
making him the sixth player drafted in the Sean Miller era. Johnson is also
Miller’s third lottery pick following Derrick Williams in 2011 and Aaron Gordon
in last season’s draft.

Johnson will go
to a Detroit team that is need of depth on the wing as Tayshaun Prince’s career
is set to finish any season now and the team traded away Caron Butler. Johnson
will step in and be an impact player similar to his situation at Arizona.

Detroit’s head
coach Stan Van Gundy emphasizes defense and is consistently animated on the sidelines
as well as getting players to buy into his system. Johnson is 6’7” and weighs
245 lbs. so he has the frame of a more athletic Ron Artest. Regardless, don’t
be surprised if Johnson turns Detroit into a playoff team.

“It’s Detroit
vs. everybody,” Johnson said.

Johnson wouldn’t
be the only Wildcat selected in the first round as the Portland Trail Blazers
selected Arizona wingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at No. 23 overall. Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson would the first Wildcat pair in the first-round since 1998 when Mike Bibby was selected at No. 2 and Michael Dickerson was picked at No. 14. UA coach
Sean Miller shared via Twitter his thoughts on Hollis-Jefferson’s toughness.

“Portland you
are getting an absolute dog in Rondae!!” Miller tweeted.

Hollis-Jefferson
would be instantly recognized for his fashion choice with red and black plaid
pants that could be seen from Madison Square Garden. As the draft progressed, the
former Arizona standout would be dealt to the Brooklyn Nets along with Steve
Blake in exchange for Mason Plumlee and Pat Connaughton.

The draft would
conclude and neither Brandon Ashley nor T.J. McConnell heard their names
selected, but they would instantly agree to play in the NBA Summer League.
Ashley committed to the Los Angeles Lakers summer roster and McConnell would
commit to the Philadelphia 76ers summer roster.

Sean Miller
added numbers to his draft résumé as Johnson would be his third lottery player
and Hollis-Jefferson would be his fifth player selected in the first round of
the NBA draft. Of course those numbers have the potential to change next season
as Arizona returns center Kaleb Tarczewski and brings in McDonalds All-American
Allonzo Trier.

NBA Summer
League will begin July 10 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nev.   

 

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