Wildcats sophomore forward Brandon Ashley says he has learned a lot since his freshman season.

Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star
  • UA sophomore power forward Brandon Ashley is possibly the most overlooked player in the UA’s regular rotation. But his teammates, according to junior point guard T.J. McConnell have seen a different Ashley this year. “He’s a gym rat,” said McConnell. “He’s got more shooting range. He’s going to be a handful for everybody.” Ashley, who averaged 7.5 points in 20.5 minutes last year, said: “As a freshman, I wouldn’t necessarily work on the right things. But I learned to listen to what the coaches said and what my parents and mentors said. I watched game film, and I learned that I needed to take a different approach and play smarter.”
  • Sabino grad Dallas Brown has become a starting defensive back in his redshirt freshman season at South Dakota State. He made five tackles a week ago at Nebraska and already has two interceptions.
  • Cienega grad Edgar Poe, a redshirt freshman at Army, caught a touchdown pass against Stanford two weeks ago. He is a teammate of ex-Sabino running back Stephen Fraser, who is part of Army’s regular rotation, carrying six times for 21 yards through four games.
  • Poe and Fraser were joined at Saturday’s Army-Louisiana Tech game by former Arizona head coach Dick Tomey, who was in town to offer support to Army head coach Rich Ellerson, a Salpointe grad who was Tomey’s defensive strategist during the Desert Swarm years.
  • Former Arizona All-America swimmer Roland Schoeman, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder, continues to work toward the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which would be his fifth Olympiad. At 33, Schoeman trains mostly in Phoenix. His lifestyle as a world-class swimmer has enabled him to travel to all corners of the map. He recently told a Phoenix magazine that his favorite vacation spots are in Maldives, Bali and at Des Roches Island, which is in Seychelles. Nice work if you can get it.
  • Sad to learn that Salpointe and UA grad Jim Fleming, for 12 years the Miami Marlins director of player personnel and scouting, has been released from his duties by the National League bottom-feeder. I suppose they couldn’t fire the players. Fleming was Rich Alday’s top assistant coach during Pima College’s baseball glory days, in the 1970s and 1980s. Alday, who moved back to Tucson after being head coach at New Mexico, has spent time as a teacher, school administrator and referee/umpire. He is awaiting board approval to become the new softball coach at powerhouse Ironwood Ridge.