Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: UA showed its resourcefulness in win over Stanford



Brandon Ashley reacts after making a long-range three-pointer that put Arizona ahead in the second half of last night's game (ESPN screen shot)

Brandon Ashley reacts after making a long-range three-pointer that put Arizona ahead in the second half of last night’s game (ESPN screen shot)

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PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)


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Present RPI ranking of the Pac-12.
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:


Arizona’s basketball team is resourceful and deep enough to overcome potential difficulties when a player is struggling.

In Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s case, it’s not so much that he’s struggling, he is fulfilling Arizona’s needs that don’t always show up in the boxscore.

Hollis-Jefferson was called upon to defend hot-shooting Colorado guard Askia Booker, Utah’s Pac-12 player of the year candidate Delon Wright and the conference’s leading scorer, Chasson Randle of Stanford, in the last three games.

That concentration on defense has taken some out of Hollis-Jefferson’s productivity on offense (shooting 6 of 17 from the field against Colorado, Utah and Stanford). In those three games, Hollis-Jefferson’s productivity rating was .357. His overall team-leading productivity rating of .807 after the Oregon State loss has dipped to .721.

Meanwhile, Brandon Ashley has picked up the slack on the offensive end. After the loss to the Beavers, a game in which Ashley had only two productivity points in 29 minutes, he has was at a season-low .550 productivity rating. His team-leading 1.375 rating (22 productivity points in only 16 minutes) last night at Maples Pavilion, increased his season production to .584.

In the last three games, Ashley posted a productivity rating of .792.

Arizona coach Sean Miller called last night’s victory the “ultimate team win” because of how almost every player in the rotation — and out of it (see Matt Korcheck) — contributed.

In terms of getting the most out of his minutes, no matter how limited they might be, no player can top Korcheck.

He has played a scant 26 minutes in only nine games. His productivity rating of 1.000 (26 productivity points in the 26 minutes) suggests that he is productive in every single minute he is on the court. Too often, a reserve player deep on the bench does not play with right amount of focus and determination. Coming in cold off the bench, they are slow to get in the flow during junk time.


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Present RPI ranking of Arizona’s non-conference opponents.
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Korcheck is a no-nonsense player who looks like he played throughout the game despite having to sit through the first 38 minutes. He is a rock.

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins and post player Stefan Nastic must have asked, “Who is this guy?”, when Korcheck grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback in Arizona’s pivotal 11-2 run in the second half.

If Korcheck was on Stanford’s roster he would be in the top-eight rotation, unlike being Arizona’s 10th option. Before Craig Victor’s transfer to LSU earlier this month, Korcheck was at No 11.

A case can be made that Korcheck could be in the top-eight rotation for ASU, USC, UCLA, Colorado, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.

Korcheck understands his role with Arizona, much like Hollis-Jefferson has accepted the responsibility as of late to be more of a defender than an offensive player.

One of Miller’s greatest coaching traits is blending diverse talents into a cohesive unit. That quality has improved season-to-season in his six years at Arizona.

The maturation of Johnson, who is accepting Miller’s process and balanced team approach, is a prime example.

That mentality leads to resourcefulness, with some rising while others are down. Teams in March are successful because of that.


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[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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