Ashley's extended range paying dividends

Brandon Ashley has already made as many three-pointers as he did all last season. Read on to see what his coach and teammates say about his ability to hit those shots and more.

Brandon Ashley made all three of his shot attempts from behind the arc last season, but has already made three this season with a new found confidence in his ability to hit them consistently.

"With Brandon a wide open three-point shot for him is a really good shot for our team," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "You have not seen it yet, but I see it every day. You can tell he is really comfortable shooting.

"Nobody is there, it's not like he is going to shoot a challenged three-point shot, but an open one for him, to me, gives us another dimension to our offense."

If Ashley is consistently hitting three-point shots, it forces the defense to change its strategy.

"They have to rotate more towards him, which as a team rotates our defense and frees up the passing lanes and maybe another option a pass or two later," Miller said. "They have to respect him and guard him away from the basket, which for Brandon opens up some driving opportunities, which he is very good at."

Some teams may have an issue with its power forward taking those shots, but Arizona's coaching staff has let Ashley know it has confidence in him.

"Brandon knows a wide open three is a good shot, he works very hard at it every day, and I think he is going to settle in and shoot a very good percentage," Miller said.

In addition, Ashley making three-pointers makes his teammates' jobs much easier.

"It just makes the offense run more smoothly," McConnell said. "I have 100 percent confidence in Brandon to shoot that shot and he does too. He has been knocking them down, it has been making the offense that much easier."

McConnell doesn't mind when those shots go in, as it makes him look better as well.

"When you play with guys this talented, it makes the point guard look good and makes the point guard's life easier," he said. "Credit to them because they are making the plays, I am just getting them the ball."

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