"Brandon Ashley came into Arizona ranked by recruiting services as the 15th best prospect in his high school, something he hasn't been able to quite live up to.
To this point, Ashley has been a key contributor on two very good, and very deep, Arizona teams that have gone a combined 60-13. The 6'8" power forward did see a bigger role last season, as his playing time increased to 27.7 minutes per game, up from 20.5 his freshman season. His offensive output increased as well, as he scored 17.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted, an increase from the 14.3 he scored the previous season, while maintaining a high level of efficiency, with a 59.4% true shooting percentage.
Still, Ashley's overall contributions might be considered disappointing to some, as he hasn't been quite as productive much as his talent level would indicate. Whether that was because of Arizona's depth, the passive nature that Ashley displayed at times, or the necessity for further refinement in his skill level, it will be interesting to see how Ashley responds to the changing dynamics of an Arizona team that lost major contributors in Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon to the NBA draft.
As we noted in previous write-ups, a very big part of Ashley's game is based on on his perimeter jump shot, at times too much of his game, perhaps. That is still the case, as jump shots made up an even bigger portion of Ashley's half-court shot distribution, up to 32.1% of his half-court attempts, an increase from 27.9% during his freshman season, according to Synergy Sports Technology. On the positive side, Ashley was far more consistent and effective shooting the ball from the perimeter last year than he had previously been. Ashley made progress extending his range out to the collegiate three point line, seeing his attempts increase from only 3 total during his freshman season to 29 attempts (in 22 games) last season, connecting on an encouraging 37.9% of those. Beyond that, his mid-range game was automatic last year, connecting on an incredible 63.2% of those attempts, generating 1.263 points per possession in those situations, which would be in the top percentile of college basketball..."