Phoenix Suns stay in-state inviting Brandon Ashley, Bo Barnes for pre-draft workout

Jun 3, 2015, 8:04 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2015, 11:19 am

PHOENIX – Yes, Wildcats and Sun Devils can co-exist.

The Pac-12 rivals shared the same practice court at US Airways Center during what was the Phoenix Suns seventh pre-draft workout.

Arizona junior forward Brandon Ashley joined Arizona State senior guard Bo Barnes in a six-player group highlighted by potential lottery selection Sam Dekker of Wisconsin.

Between Ashley and Barnes, it’s more likely Ashley hears his name called in the June 25 NBA Draft, most likely in the second round.

“I just want to be picked up,” he said. “What I’m hearing is I could go anywhere from the late-first to mid-second, so hopefully, I can be a first-rounder; if not—I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to play, for the opportunity to showcase my skill set and to prove myself on the next level. So, regardless of where I go, I’m going to do my best to make the most of the situation I’m in.”

Ashley, listed at 6-8 and 228 pounds, said he considers himself a stretch-4 and knows he must show consistency with his shooting, especially from long range, where he made 12-of-36 3-pointers last season.

Named the Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Ashley was an honorable mention all-conference performer with averages of 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent overall from the field.

“Brandon is very skilled, good shooter at that size,” General Manager Ryan McDonough said.

The Suns were Ashley’s fifth workout having made previous stops in Chicago, San Antonio, Memphis, and the L.A. Lakers with visits coming up at Golden State, Cleveland, Washington and Boston.

For Barnes, his workout came as a surprise.

On his way to play some pickup ball, Barnes’ phone rang asking him if he might change his plans and head downtown. He was and 30 minutes later he arrived at the arena.

“It was an honor to be down here working with these guys,” said Barnes, who is hoping to land a contract to play overseas. “It was a lot of fun. All these guys are incredible basketball players, just to be able to come out and compete with them is something I won’t ever forget. It was an awesome experience.”

A standout at Scottsdale Christian Academy, Barnes transferred to ASU in 2012 following one season at Hawaii.

He averaged 6.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 33 games last season.

UC-Irvine senior forward Will Davis II was in the group of six initially, but he sprained an ankle during a vertical testing drill and was unable to continue the workout.

“We probably have to give Bo Barnes the MVP for today,” McDonough said. “He showed himself well. We get two visits with these guys, so he’s a guy we may bring back. I told the guys that there’s a good lesson to be had there, whether you’re at the end of the bench or just sitting at home, always be ready, stay in shape.”

Another ex-Wildcat joined the workout; guard Daniel Bejarano, though his time in Tucson lasted eight games before he transferred to Colorado State in 2012.

As a sophomore, Bejarano was named the Mountain West’s Sixth Man of the Year. He followed with two years of earning all-conference selections, including a third-team honor after averaging 11.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists this past season as a senior.

Bejarano, who previously worked out for the Denver Nuggets, is a former Arizona High School Player of the Year from Phoenix North and grew up watching the Suns.

“Jason Kidd, (Leandro) Barbosa, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, I can keep going and going,” he said. “It means everything. I’m just blessed; just getting an opportunity and just get out here and show them what I can do. I’m just blessed.”

Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) UNLV forward Christian Wood (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Kansas forward Kelly Oubre (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Kentucky forward Trey Lyles (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Arizona State guard Bo Barnes (Photo:Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Colorado State guard Daniel Bejarano (Photo:Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Arizona forward Brandon Ashley (Photo:Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker (Photo:Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Virginia forward Darion Atkins (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Kentucky guard Devin Booker (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Phoenix Suns assistant general manager Pat Connelly (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Duke guard Quinn Cook (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Arkansas forward Bobby Portis (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Xavier center Matt Stainbrook (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) UCLA forward Kevon Looney (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard (Photo by Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Former Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr. (Photo: Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Former UC Santa Barbara forward Alan Williams (Photo: Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports) Former Arizona guard T.J. McConnell (Photo: Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports)

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