Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Productivity Report: Analyzing McConnell’s impact in Pac-12 season



T.J. McConnell’s improvement from the non-conference season to now merits him the Pac-12 player of the year award (YouTube video screen shot)

[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

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)


[table “” not found /]


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

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:

This site’s productivity rating is a way to monitor which players get the most out of their minutes.

It’s not an exact science. Elliott Pitts, for example, has a low rating of .236 out of the 461 minutes he has logged. That’s not all because he has not produced — he would be the first to tell you he has room for improvement — it is because of how he fits into Arizona’s equation on the floor. He is often the Wildcats’ last option when he’s on the court, giving way to the more experienced and called upon players.

T.J. McConnell ranks third among players of that category behind Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the overall production ratings. But none of the Wildcats come close to the gains McConnell made in the Pac-12 season.

Among Arizona’s top six regulars. NC: Non-conference
[table “” not found /]

His productivity rating in conference games is .672. He was at a .561 rating in the non-conference schedule. The plus-.111 in the ratings is the only positive advancement among the regulars other than Kaleb Tarczewski, who had a .483 rating in the non-conference season compared to .529 in Pac-12 games.

Johnson was at .748 in non-conference games and is at .730 in Pac-12 games. Hollis-Jefferson went from .781 after the UNLV game on Dec. 23 to .642 in Pac-12 games.


[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]

Present RPI ranking of the Pac-12.
[table “” not found /]

Hollis-Jefferson’s dip of .139 is the most significant among the regulars, but there are factors involved. He was not called upon as much to be a focal point of the offense; McConnell took on more of that role when the Pac-12 season started. Hollis-Jefferson’s priority in many games was to shut down the opposition’s top threat whether it be a point guard or power forward.

McConnell’s development as an all-around performer in conference play warrants him the Pac-12 player of the year. The productivity numbers bear that. Johnson has a better productivity rating in conference games than McConnell, but McConnell’s dramatic emergence put Arizona over the top.

McConnell’s surge actually started to happen in the two games before the Pac-12 season started Jan. 4 against ASU at McKale Center. He led the Wildcats in productivity rating in the games at UTEP and UNLV, the team’s first true road games.

Before the UTEP game, McConnell had the seventh-highest productivity rating on the team at .525. He now ranks third at .625.

He went from a potential second-team All-Pac-12 choice on Dec. 16 — less than three months ago — to a Pac-12 Player of the Year favorite now.

One national college basketball analyst, Doug Gottlieb, Tweeted last night that McConnell is worthy of a first-team All-American selection.

McConnell means as every bit as much to this year’s teams as Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott meant to theirs in their respective senior seasons. That sets up an emotional farewell tomorrow at McKale Center.

“I’m hoping tears don’t come out but I’m imagining they will,” McConnell said. “There’s no place like this in the country. I love playing for this school. I love playing in front of the fans. And with my teammates and the coaching staff, it’s going to be an emotional day for me because I don’t want to leave this place ever.”


[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]

[table “” not found /]

[table “” not found /]


[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.

To Top