Stellar season allows Ashley to step into spotlight
Updated: February 16, 2008, 10:16 AM ETBy Mechelle Voepel | Special to ESPN.com
Gosh, maybe it's worse that Ashley Paris is so darn decent about it.Perhaps it would be better if she kind of sneered at you and said, "I'm talking about Ashley. Only Ashley. You've heard of Ashley, right? You better have heard. Ashley has arrived. Ashley is here."
But, of course, Ashley is absolutely nothing like that. She's humble, gracious and very intelligent, traits that both Paris twins have in abundance Oh, darn it. I did it already. See, I was just going to just talk about Ashley Paris, the Oklahoma junior post who averages 12.0 points and 7.4 rebounds. I wanted to tell you about "AP5" and not immediately segue into "CP3," but it's just hard to do. I went to talk with Ashley after a game recently and found myself asking, "When you're both on the court playing so well, does it feel like the really good old days in high school in California?" Arrgggh!!! Why did I say that? Why not treat Ashley like she's just Ashley -- not part of a package deal? But Ashley doesn't even blink. She just smiles. "It is like back in high school, because I'm a key factor on our team now," Ashley said. "And I'm able to play a lot with my sister. Whereas the past two years, I've been kind of relieving her and just getting a small amount of time on court with her. "It was hard those first two years, but I'm so grateful for it. I've learned so much, and I feel like it's put me in a position this year to play this way." Surely, you know that the "sister" is twin Courtney Paris, who is averaging 17.4 points and 15.0 rebounds (and is nicknamed CP3, for her initials and the No. 3 on her jersey). In 2007, Courtney was Big 12 player of the year, the Associated Press' national player of the year and a Kodak All-American. She's the double-double queen, the rebounding machine, the re-writer of record books.
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiAfter starting a combined 15 games as a freshman and sophomore, Ashley Paris has started every one of Oklahoma's games this season.
Her confidence is where it needs to be and at any time, she can be our go-to guy. She's really taken on that role. When I'm not in, it used to be we were worried about things happening in the post. Now, it's like, 'Ashley will deal with it.' Which is great for us.
-- Courtney Paris on how twin Ashley has improved this season
Mechelle Voepel joined ESPN.com in 1996 and covers women's college hoops, the WNBA and additional collegiate sports for espnW. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up 40 miles north of St. Louis and is a lifelong Cardinals fan still basking in amazement over their 2011 World Series title.
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