Arizona lost its unblemished record and No. 1 ranking on Saturday night. The Wildcats also lost starting forward Brandon Ashley to a foot injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
The 6-foot-8 Ashley will likely undergo surgery, within the next couple of weeks, to fix his injured right foot, according to a report from Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star.
“It’s a season-ending foot injury and it’s obviously significant,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said on Monday afternoon. “First and foremost with an injury like that, it’s always about what’s in the best interest of the student-athlete and in this case, what’s in the best interest of Brandon Ashley’s future.
“Right now the next phase is just to determine … there’s different ways of doing surgery but again, which way is going to be in his best interest and that choice is made and he can have the surgery, move forward and have a prosperous career.”
With Ashley out, freshman forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will likely be inserted into the starting lineup, moving fellow freshman Aaron Gordon to the four. According to Pascoe, players like Matt Korcheck, Elliott Pitts and Jordin Mayes could see a bump in minutes, coming off the bench along with reserve guard Gabe York.
Ashley was averaging 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, shooting 53 percent.
No. 2 Arizona plays its first game without its sophomore forward on Thursday night at home against Oregon.