- John Gasaway, ESPN Insider
When you're 21-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation, I suppose the present moment represents the "worst of times" for Arizona. Starter Brandon Ashley has been lost for the season due to a foot injury, and the Wildcats just suffered their first defeat of the season. In the wake of these two unsettling events, I thought this would be a good time to take stock of Sean Miller's personnel.
And as long as I'm reviewing the Wildcats' individual levels of performance, I feel like handing out awards. Therefore, I've taken it upon myself to declare one of these guys the most valuable player at Arizona. No need to thank me, Coach Miller. This is just the kind of pro bono, drive-by evaluation the faithful readers around here have come to expect.
Here's a breakdown of Arizona's top five players this season, along with my vote for the team's MVP.
I know Hollis-Jefferson has started just two games this season, but don't dismiss him. Arizona is a tremendous defensive team that looked very shaky on offense during the Wildcats' recent two-game swing through Northern California to play Stanford and Cal. And for Miller's team this season, the best offense often has come via an offensive rebound.
That's where Hollis-Jefferson comes in.