TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona's Brandon Ashley says the season-ending foot injury he suffered on Saturday in a loss to Cal likely will mean he will return for the next school year.
"I wasn't 100 percent (about coming back) before the injury," Ashley told ESPN.com. "But I've thought about it, and there's a very, very, very strong chance I'll be back at the University of Arizona next year."
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound Ashley suffered the injury early in Arizona's first loss of the season Saturday at California. He was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds this season.
Several NBA executives told ESPN.com that Ashley is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Arizona is expected to lose freshman Aaron Gordon early to the NBA, but the Wildcats could return a core of current starters Nick Johnson, T.J. McConnell, Kaleb Tarczewski and freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson -- who has replaced Ashley in the starting lineup.
Coach Sean Miller will also add McDonald's All-American Stanley Johnson and top-50 recruit Craig Victor.