It’s been four months since Brandon Ashley suffered the broken foot in Arizona’s visit to Cal that changed the trajectory of Arizona’s season.
And we’re still not close to Ashley being ready to return to full contact, five-on-five action.
“This four months really was about healing, really allowing everything to take shape, to stay off it,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller told reporters this week. “The one thing he’s doing is he’s started to walk under water. He has less and less soreness; it’s not pain anymore.”
The goal, Miller said, is to get Ashley back onto the court by August.
“We look at June, July, August as being pivotal. At that point we would like to see him return to form and be out there. He’s been in a difficult situation of taking it slow. It’s not easy just to do nothing.”
On the one hand, it’s a good thing that Arizona is taking this injury seriously and ensuring that Ashley, who potentially has an NBA career ahead of him, is back to 100% before returning to the court. But on the other hand, the summer months are when a basketball player actually improves. It’s when the athlete has a chance to get into the gym and develop his back-to-the-basket game or extend the range on his jumper. That’s when a starter turns himself into an all-league player or an all-league player becomes an all-american.
Getting healthy is priority No. 1 for Ashley, but it’s hard to imagine him taking his game to the next level in 2014-2015 without this offseason to improve.
Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.
The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.