Ashley Orris hails from one of Penn State
Behrend’s most successful eras on the basketball court from
1997-2001. The three-year starter and two-time All-AMCC selection
helped the Lions post a program-best 26 wins en route to the Elite
Eight in the NCAA Division III championship tournament in
Orris made himself right at home on the Behrend hardwood, becoming the only freshman in the starting lineup during the 1997-98 season. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 9.2 ppg, second in three-pointers with 47 and tied for second in assists with 48. That year, the Lions were ranked 10th in Division III in scoring defense allowing a stingy 61.1 ppg and earned the fourth-seed in ECAC Tournament after winning their first-ever AMCC Championship.
After contributing to an AMCC title as a freshman, Orris helped the Lions become the first men’s basketball team to reach 21 wins and claim their first ECAC South Championship. The team earned national attention with a ranking of 17th in the country by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), marking the first time the men’s team was ever nationally ranked after starting the season, 18-3. Orris averaged 4.5 ppg and handed out 23 assists, while playing 24 out of 28 games due to an injury late in the season.
Orris went through the transition of playing off-guard to point guard his junior campaign to lead Behrend to the best year in program history. As if Orris had not seen it all yet, the Lions set the school record with 26 wins and made their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, recording their first NCAA win and advancing to the Elite Eight. Starting in every game, he averaged 8.0 points and ranked first with 94 assists.
In each of Orris’s final seasons he was tabbed All-AMCC honorable mention and was a second-team choice as a senior. In 2000-01, the senior captain put up 9.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He played all four years for Dave Niland, contributing to a 79-32 overall record. Orris capped his career with the James Frye Male Athlete of the Year Award. He currently ranks 11th all-time with 142 three-pointers 12th in assists with 235.
Orris was a secondary science teacher at Fort LeBoeuf High School from 2002-2005 and is currently employed by Daiichi Sankyo Pharmaceuticals. He and his wife, Jill, live in Waterford, Pa., and have a son Austin.