Wildcats' Ashley confident despite U19 competition

2013-06-15T15:25:00Z 2013-06-15T15:31:03Z Wildcats' Ashley confident despite U19 competitionBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 15, 2013 3:25 pm  • 

Brandon Ashley is surrounded by 25 equally confident players at USA Basketball’s U19 trials this weekend.

Even though there's only 12 spots for the team that goes to the U19 World Championships in Prague later this month.

 “I feel any player here will say they have a good chance,” Ashley said by telephone today from training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. “That said, I think my chances are pretty good.”

Same goes for 17-year-old Justise Winslow, the UA recruiting target from Houston who is one of only two rising high school seniors to be invited to the tryouts along with Jahlil Okafor.

“I definitely feel good about my chances,” said Winslow, who helped USA’s U17 team win a world title last year.

Speaking today after two USA workouts, Ashley said the team has been mostly playing a lot of 5-on-5. He said he’s played some small forward but mostly is a power forward, with the freedom to be a “stretch four” and roam to the perimeter.

The team is expected to be cut down to 15 players on Sunday, then down to the final 12 after practicing Monday through Wednesday in Colorado Springs. The final team will spend three days in Washington, D.C., before heading to the Czech Republic, where the World Championship starts on June 27.

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For all the players involved, the camp is part of a busy summer. Ashley said he took only one week off from basketball after UA’s season ended, then began working out again. He took pre-summer session courses at UA before returning home to California earlier this month and is expected to be at Arizona for the second summer session in July, whether he goes to Prague or not.

Winslow said he still plans to play on the July travel-ball circuit but may not play until later in July if he makes the U19 team.

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Even though he visited UCLA earlier this month and Arizona last weekend, Winslow said nothing has changed in his recruitment. Winslow said he’s still open and doesn’t know if he will take official visits in the fall or make a decision before then.

He said the hiring of Steve Alford hasn’t changed his recruitment at UCLA.

“I was always looking at UCLA,” he said. “I went out there but nothing changed.”

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Here's video of Gordon finishing an alley-oop jam at one of the practices.

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Winslow said he's excited in a USA Basketball feature written on the first day of competition.

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Azcentral has a slide show featuring ASU's nonconference schedule, which includes UNLV and Marquette.

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The AP talked with Jack Murphy about his first year at NAU.

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