In addition, Ashley seemed to struggle a bit on defense, as he had numerous games in which he fouled out, which is normally due to being a bit slow on rotations.
Still, Ashley had a solid freshman year and it is hard to complain about what he brought to the table. Now, expectations will be raised and his role should be bigger, allowing him to get closer to reaching those expectations.
With the departure of Grant Jerrett to the NBA, it is difficult to imagine that Ashley's minutes and production will not increase. However, in order to do that, Ashley is going to have to win the battle of consistency.
A closer look at his initial season at Arizona reveals some numbers that, while somewhat normal, are still frustrating. For instance, he scored 14 points against Oral Roberts, 16 against East Tennessee State, and then 0 against Miami.
Ashley went from 9 against SDSU to 1 vs. Colorado, 11 vs. Utah to 3 against Oregon, and so on. In fact, Ashley played one of his best games of the season when he scored 15 points against UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament. However, in the next three games in the NCAA tournament, Ashley totaled 16 points and failed to score above six points in any of them.
This may seem like we are picking on Ashley, but that is far from the case. Instead, what this shows is that he has a ton of talent. We have been watching Ashley for years and fully know what he is capable of.
Once Ashley gets going, there aren't many players that are better in the conference, as we saw in the UCLA game. Confidence is a huge part of Ashley's game because once that increases, he does not mind stepping out and hitting the jumper or keeping it on the block and taking his man individually.
Ashley can do both of those things and do it well, but he needs to be able to find his motor and do so consistently.
Arizona was able to bring Ashley along slowly in his freshman year because it had guys like Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom to take the weight off of his shoulders. Figuring Arizona does not land a transfer, the opposite will now ring true.
Ashley is likely to play significant minutes and have more asked of him. He is going to get the ball more, have more opportunities, and now be asked to have more success as well.
He has the talent to do it, but that talent will not mean much if it can't be consistently turned into production.
If he is able to do that, Arizona is going to be a much better team because of it.