Arizona’s Brandon Ashley out for season with foot injury

Arizona had feared the worst, after sophomore forward Brandon Ashley went down with a foot injury during the first half of Saturday’s game at California — and those fears were realized.

Arizona announced Sunday night that Ashley, the team’s third-leading scorer, will miss the remainder of the season.

Brandon Ashley suffered a foot injury that will end his season,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement. “While we’re all disappointed, we are also aware that Brandon needs our support and positive energy surrounding him. Someone once told me, the hottest heat forges the strongest steel. This adversity will ultimately make Brandon and our team stronger moving forward.”

The injury occurred when Ashley landed badly on a jump.

“That’s the hard part of sports,” Miller said after the game Saturday. “Things can be taken from you on one play.”

 

Ashley’s injury is a serious one, and Arizona’s first significant setback for a team that had been undefeated until Saturday and ranked No. 1 in the nation for about eight weeks.

In recent weeks, Ashley had become one of the Wildcats’ most versatile players, giving Miller flexibility with bigger and smaller lineups. He had also been playing extremely well in recent weeks, particularly on the offensive end. He had started every game so far this season.

Ashley, a 6-10 forward, was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.2% from the field. KenPom.com has Ashley’s effective field-goal percentage (which weighs 3-point shooting) at 55.3%.

Moving forward, expect more playing time from Hollis-Jefferson, a 6-7 forward who played 31 minutes off the bench Saturday and averages 23 minutes per game as a reserve. As Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star writes, Miller could also try out go a smaller lineup that includes three guards – T.J. McConnell, Nick Johnson and Gabe York.

“Maybe a three-guard lineup, that’s something we have to look at,” Miller said late Saturday night. “But the other thing is Rondae has played 23 minutes a game – he’s capable. Gabe York has played around 18, and he’s certainly capable. (Seven-foot center) Kaleb (Tarczewski) played more tonight (35 minutes) and that’s going to be part of it, too. No one on our team has played more than 32 minutes so we’re now going to become a team where those guys are going to play more and probably go one guy deeper into our bench.”

Written by Nick

Nick

Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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