The way Rondae Hollis-Jefferson looks at it, the Arizona Wildcats' balanced attack on Monday didn't just evolve from practice inside the Richard Jefferson Gym.
"We’re great friends off the court," Hollis-Jefferson said after UA beat Augustana 84-52 on Monday. "We go out to eat and do a lot of things that some teams don’t do. The cohesiveness, I think, is pretty good.”
Hollis-Jefferson said he's enjoyed playing with his new teammates on the court, too, though it hasn't always been an easy adjustment so far.
During UA’s 84-52 win over Division II Augustana (S.D.) College, Hollis-Jefferson rode a wave of highs and lows. He shot 2 of 7 from the field, but managed to make his way to the line for 6 of 9 free throws, and collected three steals and three rebounds.
“It’s just a different experience coming from high school,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “The pace of the game is much fast, it’s quicker and the transition of it is tough. Then you’ve got a great point guard, a great shooting guard and it’s different to play with those guys. Being able to work with those guys is tremendous.”
T.J. McConnell was listed at 185 pounds at Duquesne, and shot 41.6 percent from three-point range over two seasons there.
He's expecting those numbers to improve this season. McConnell, now listed with 195 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame, hit both three-pointers he took Monday and was 5 for 6 overall from the field.
"I think my pullup jumper has gotten a lot better and I definitely was hitting the weights over the summer," McConnell said. During a redshirt season last season, "I pretty much just worked on my game as a whole. I didn’t try to focus on one thing. I was in the gym every day just working on everything.
"I wouldn’t take that year back for anything. I’m really glad I got to sit out and work on my game and with the camaraderie on this team, I was glad I had that experience."
NBC's Rob Dauster has a look at Arizona's prospects this season. A lot of the analysis appropriately centers on whether or not Aaron Gordon will play the three, but the way UA's rotation is shaking out, it won't be a surprise to see him ultimately spend most of his minutes shuffling inside to the four.
Grant Jerrett is one of 20 NBA early draft entries who didn't make an NBA roster this season.
UCLA's Travis Wear has appendicitis.
Angus Brandt and Daniel Gomis will make long-awaited debuts for Oregon State in an exhibition tonight.