UA HOOPS

Arizona basketball: Seen and heard at McDonald's All American game in Chicago

2013-04-03T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:30:41Z Arizona basketball: Seen and heard at McDonald's All American game in ChicagoBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For mom

Known as Rondae Jefferson throughout his career at Chester (Pa.) High School, the incoming UA freshman wing will start going by the last name "Hollis-Jefferson" starting tonight in the McDonald's All American Game.

He will also do so at Arizona, as his older brother, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, started doing at Temple two seasons ago. Both are honoring their mother, Rylanda Hollis, who worked two jobs during many of their early years.

Rahlir "got me on to show appreciation for my mom," Rondae said. "It was hard to not see your mom all the time, coming home to sleep and then waking up and still not seeing her. It was a rough time for us."

Helping hand

When East coach Freddy Johnson was unable to play two point guards in practice Tuesday, he didn't have to look hard to find a replacement.

Hollis-Jefferson, a natural wing forward, quickly approached.

"He said, 'No problem, I got it,'" Johnson said. "He stepped right in. He's willing to do everything, and he plays hard every single possession."

High expectations

By the time Hollis-Jefferson and Aaron Gordon arrive in Tucson this summer, expectations for the Wildcats will be higher than they've ever been under Sean Miller.

But that's OK with them. Their own expectations are just as high.

"I think next year we've got a great chance to compete for a national championship," Hollis-Jefferson said.

When Gordon was asked what a successful season would be for him at Arizona, he answered with two words.

"National title," he said.

Even more help

While Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson are in the glow of the nation's most prestigious high school all-star game this week, there's another member of Arizona's 2013 recruiting class whom Gordon can't wait to play with.

Guard Elliott Pitts, who was UA's first 2013 commitment last August, finished his senior season at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., just about an hour away from Gordon's Mitty High School.

"Elliott's my boy," Gordon said. "He's a really, really cool dude. A good team player. And he can shoot the lights out. He'll be a good player."

Frazier picks SMU

Another McDonald's All American, onetime UA recruiting target Keith Frazier, also announced his college decision Tuesday. But Frazier did not do so at the McDonald's media day as did Aaron Gordon, instead issuing this tweet:

"Ya boy a SMU Mu$tang lets get it!"

Frazier is a 6-5 shooting guard from Kimball, Texas, who drew UA's attention through last summer while he played for travel teams from both Houston and Dallas.

"I'm all right," Frazier told the Star one July morning in Las Vegas while pulling double duty with the Houston Hoops and Dallas-based DJH5 club. "I'm kind of tired. I got up around 6, and that ain't good. But it's no big deal."

Quotable

"The thing about us is we can go small and not even be that small. And if you want to put me at the four instead of the three we'll still be just as big." - Aaron Gordon, on UA's potential lineups next season

Blowing up

After his announcement and 30 minutes of stand-up interviews Tuesday, Gordon retreated to the United Center stands for a break to sit with his mother and check his phone.

Thanks to social media, the moment was hardly restful.

"Twitter's going crazy," Gordon said after he arose. "I'm a trending topic right now on Twitter."

The big number

19

Arizona players or recruits to play in the McDonald's All American Game, 15 of whom signed out of high school. Four of them were recruited by Miller.

More numbers

20

Spots UA moved up in ESPN's Top 2013 team recruiting classes after Aaron Gordon announced, from 25 to 5.

4

The number of Pac-12-bound players in tonight's McDonald's All American Game - UA's Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson, plus guard Jabari Bird (Cal) and guard Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington)

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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