- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
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Brandon Ashley, the No. 4 overall player in the ESPNU 100, committed to Arizona coach Sean Miller over UCLA, Oregon and Kentucky on Monday.
"I'm ready to commit to Arizona," Ashley said. "After all the time thinking about it and getting to know Coach Miller and having two great teammates, (fellow 2012 commits Grant Jerrett and Gabe York) I knew it was the right choice for me."
The nation's No. 2-ranked power forward won back-to-back NorCal Division III titles for Bishop O'Dowd before he transferred to perennial Fab 50 team Findlay Prep this summer. He has steadliy raised through the ranks thanks to his talent, athletic ability and dedication. This past summer at the NBPA Top 100 Camp he and only four others earned the titile "workout warriors" for their desire to do extra workouts during the camp.
Ashley is not your prototypical power forward in build or in game. He possesses explosive athleticism along with a long frame and broad shoulders. He impacts the game with his shot-blocking and ability to finish in the paint. However, the 6-foot-8, 215-pound prospect is comforable knocking down high-post jumpers and even driving to the basket.
"We are going to work with Brandon to try and expand his skill level out to the arc," Findlay Prep coach Mike Peck said. "At the same time, he is a smart player and understands he dominates right now in the paint."
What's even more exciting, especially to Arizona fans, is that he still has plenty of room to grow and his upside is limitless. Miller wanted to make sure Ashley didn't go anywhere else.
"[Sean Miller] was one of the first head coaches in early on Brandon," Oakland Soldiers director Mark Olivier said.
"Coach Miller showed up to just about every AAU game, open gym or high school game," Ashley said. " He showed he was dedicated."
When you look at the Wildcat's incoming trio, the amount of talent is incredible and all three can shoot the basketball and come from winning environments. Don't be surprised to see Ashley and Jarrett trailing the break and being part of pick-and-pop situation.
This is the type of recruiting class that can make a deep run in the tournament.
Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
Brandon Ashley commits to Arizona over UCLA, Oregon and Kentucky, writes Paul Biancardi.