Selecting the Arizona Wildcats’ 2016-17 All-Pro Team — an elite group of their own players now in the pros here and overseas — is not a difficult task.
Lute Olson and Sean Miller have made it that way, generating 28 players who are now in the NBA, D-League or playing professionally in a foreign land.
Note: The 28 does not include players who left to another school and are now playing professionally, such as Lamont “MoMo” Jones (Montenegro), Will Bynum (D-League Windy City) and Angelo Chol (Portugal).
In selecting the Arizona Wildcats’ All-Pro team, statistics is a major factor incorporated with level of difficulty of the league. For example, Nick Johnson playing in Germany is literally a different world than Daniel Dillon competing in Japan because of the overall level of competition.
Here are the teams (first through third with honorable mention):
ARIZONA’S ALL-PRO TEAM
PG T.J. McConnell, Philadelphia 76ers
Tops all former Arizona Wildcats’ point guards averaging 6.6 assists per game. He is a media darling mostly because he is producing for the 76ers. He is the first Philadelphia player with at least 500 assists and 125 steals in a season since Allen Iverson in 2005-06.
SG Gabe York, D-League Erie BayHawks
Gabe York ended his first professional season averaging 15.8 points per game for the Erie (Pa.) BayHawks of the NBA’s D-League. He also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. York’s 3-point shooting was his biggest asset as he made 10 in one game and eight in another. York, who started the season in Italy, made 107 of 296 attempts for a percentage of 36.1 for Erie.
SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets
Hollis-Jefferson is gradually improving, averaging 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds in his second season with Brooklyn. Although he was the 23rd pick overall in the 2015 draft, he is 11th in career scoring and sixth in rebounding among the draftees from that year. He posted his second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 114-105 loss to Boston on Monday.
FC Channing Frye, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ageless veteran (33 years old) who is a major contributor for the Cavaliers with 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds a game. He is showing signs of coming on strong at the right time, scoring in double-digits in five of his last six games.
PF Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
Gordon has three 30-point games this season, a sign of his potential. He showed plenty of flashes of being a talent through his first three years in the NBA. He has put it together seemingly more this year. He has produced a career-best 12.5 points a game this season. Since the All-Star break he has averaged 16 points and 5.9 rebounds a game.
PG Mark Lyons, Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv
— Tops all Arizona scorers in pro ball with 18.3 points a game.
SG Kyle Fogg, Spain Unicaja Malaga
— Another solid season overseas with 10.4 points a game
SF Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
— Efficient in role with the Warriors (7.6 points and 4 rebounds a game)
PF Jesse Perry, Italy Universo De’Longhi Treviso
— Best rebounder among ex-Cats with 9.3 a game (also averaging 12.3 points)
PF Grant Jerrett, China Shougang Beijing
— Odyssey in only four years has taken him to China, where he is a teammate of Stephon Marbury. Jerrett is averaging 17.9 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.
PG Mustafa Shakur, Germany s.Oliver Baskets
— Now 32, Shakur averaging 4.7 assists and 9.5 points
SG Nick Johnson, Germany Bayem Munich
— Johnson averaging 9.1 points in 40 games
SF Solomon Hill, New Orleans Pelicans
— Productive role player with 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds a game
PF Mark Tollefsen, Estonia BC Kalev-Cramo
— Averaging 10.9 points and 4.4 rebounds a game
PF Ryan Anderson, Belgium Port of Antwerp Giants
— Doesn’t average double-double like at Arizona but still solid (13 points/7.9 rebounds)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers; Derrick Williams, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers; Daniel Dillon, SG, Japan Hiroshima; Ivan Radenovic, C, Belgium Proximus Spirou Charleroi
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.