Season recap: Ashton Pankey
St. Anthony assistant coach Todd Palmer didn’t see much of Ashton Pankey this season on the Friars’ sideline.
Pankey, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound senior, had good reason for not being around his team that much. The Maryland-bound power forward was busy doing rehab on a stress fracture in his left leg.
“He didn’t have much involvement ... [because] he was getting his rehab done,” Palmer said. “According to him, everything’s going on schedule. He’s supposedly going to be enrolled in summer school [at Maryland]. He’s on track for that.”
Pankey wasn’t able to play a minute of his senior season, but Palmer said he did rejoin his teammates for the Friars’ state-playoff run. St. Anthony finished the season 26-3 with a loss to Trenton Catholic in the New Jersey Non-Public B championship.
Palmer said St. Anthony was able to fill roles that Pankey would have played. With a runner-up finish in the state championship, the Friars managed just fine without him. But Palmer said they could certainly have used his size and athleticism.
“He’s a very athletic player,” Palmer said. “He’s going to be an active, athletic type. A tip-dunk type of guy. He’s active on the glass. He’s a 4-man probably in the ACC. He has to work on developing his overall game with the ball handling, facing the basket, shooting. That stuff he has to work on, but his athleticism is very good. He’s exceptionally long.”
Maryland fans shouldn’t expect Pankey to make a “major impact” for the Terps as a freshman, Palmer said. Those types of big men are “few and far between.” But Palmer does think Pankey should be healthy by the start of his freshman season, and ready to see minutes as a role player.
“I think he’s back to being able to do basketball-related activities right now,” Palmer said. “As far as full strength, I don’t think he’s 100 percent yet. I think he’s in a progression, going along with his physical therapist. I’m not positive of his timeline. Obviously, I think he’ll be ready for the fall.”