WEDNESDAY, 6:04pm: Ashley will indeed enter this year’s draft, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets. Ashley told Goodman that he would have declared for last year’s draft if he hadn’t sustained a foot injury.
2:41pm: Ashley took to Twitter to deny that he’s made up his mind (hat tip to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv). It’s not uncommon for prospects to issue a denial when news leaks before they’re ready to make a formal announcement that they’re draft-bound, though we’ll wait to see what Ashley ultimately does.
MONDAY, 11:37am: Arizona junior power forward Brandon Ashley has decided to enter this year’s draft, sources told Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com. The 20-year-old is No. 98 on Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and No. 142 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com, so he’s a long shot to end up hearing his name called on June 25th.
His numbers weren’t overwhelming for the Wildcats, as he put up 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game this season. The 6’8″ Ashley averaged only 0.9 three-point attempts per game, but he made 33.3% of them, and he shot 38.2% from behind the arc during his college career, so he has some floor-stretching capability. Still, he missed his only three-pointer during Arizona’s four NCAA Tournament games this year, and he averaged only 3.0 RPG for the tournament.
Ashley arrived at Arizona as a fairly well-regarded prospect, having ranked No. 15 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school in 2012, one spot ahead of Gary Harris, last year’s No. 19 overall pick. This season, Ashley played a supporting role to teammates Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, both likely first-round picks. Hollis-Jefferson denied a report that he’s entering the draft, and while Johnson has seemingly yet to make up his mind, it would be a surprise if he returned for another year at school.