Ashley remaining optimistic

Brandon Ashley is not panicking due to Arizona's recent struggles. Read on to see why that is, his thoughts on how to improve the defense, and more.

Despite Arizona losing to Oregon State on Sunday, Brandon Ashley is hoping that the Wildcats will learn from the experience.

"I don’t think we had to, but these two losses have opened our eyes a lot," Ashley said. "We wouldn’t want to necessarily have these losses, but they are two games that can help us out in the long run."

Still, Ashley is not afraid to admit that he is surprised by how Arizona played.

"It is definitely not something you expect from the team that we have," he said. "We expect to have always be one of the top defensive teams, so in terms of us struggling to get stops at times, it is a little surprising, but it is something that is going to help us grow and something we can change and fix."

In order to improve defensively, Ashley believes that each individual player must step up.

"It has to come from within ourselves," he said. "There’s a level of maturity that you have to develop and I think we need to become more mature as a team, as a whole. With that, I am sure effort levels will increase."

Ashley does not believe the offense has been a major issue, but acknowledges that opposing teams are likely to show the Wildcats a zone defense.

"I think effort in the two games that we have lost defensively has been the main thing," Ashley said. "I don’t think anything other than that has been a huge problem for us.

"It seemed as if Oregon State had a lot of success with it, so we definitely expect teams to bring zone and attack us with that. At the same time, I don’t think it is something we are going to struggle with."

Not only will Arizona see a good amount of zone, but the Wildcats may starting playing one a bit as well.

"In my three years here we have never really done it a whole lot, probably a handful of times," Ashley said. "It is definitely something different, but I think for our team it would be good for us to have something to change it up a little bit."

No matter what Arizona does, the hope is that the Wildcats will move forward with more focus.

"I think we have a group of guys that is focused in on this point and want to win and finish the season out strong," Ashley said. "I don’t think, in terms of our confidence and chemistry, anything is shaken up. I think it has refocused us."


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