(Photo: Mauricio Casillas/WCSN)
The Arizona State basketball team kicks off their season on Nov. 8. Here is what head coach Herb Sendek had to say during his press conference at ASU basketball media day Thursday afternoon.
On the preseason:
“As one of our core values says ‘Now is the only time. The path is the goal.’ We’re totally immersed in this segment of our season which is preseason practice. We have 30 days, we’ve already used three of them…Our focus has to be to improve as much as we can during that time period, and like all teams on Oct. 3 we aspire to be in the tournament. We aspire to have a great season. That’s one of the beauties of college basketball. There’s always a new beginning. There’s always a fresh faces that get you get excited, there’s always familiar faces to remind you, so we’re like everybody else, very excited for the new season.”
On Arizona State’s early start of the season:
“I love the earlier start because it allows for a gradual progression into the season. Given the fact that our first game isn’t Thanksgiving weekend as it traditionally was. We tip off Nov. 8 which will be the earliest start in the history of Arizona State basketball…We want a schedule, so that if we are on that proverbial bubble, the committee looks favorably at us.”
On the non-conference schedule:
“The weight of the non-conference schedule is very important. In some cases, it seems to me it may even be more important than the composite of your entire schedule. They really are putting a magnifying glass on your schedule in November and December…We’re going to have to be ready to go right out of the gates.
Our non-conference schedule was the weakest it’s been in the last four years.”
On the Pac-12:
“I think we’re back to the days we were a few years ago when this conference was littered with lottery picks. You see multiple bids…I expect the league to be right back where it was a few years ago, and I hope to think it will be the most competitive from top to bottom…It’s almost hard to come up with a bottom third. I think the league, clearly, is among the very best in the nation.
On Jahii Carson’s injury:
“If we had a game tonight, he would most certainly play…we’re just giving him some additional time to get his [stress reaction] calmed down.”
On the team’s playing style:
“We’re going to continue to move the needle in the direction we had it last year. We’re going to play fast-breaking, and up-tempo free-flowing attack basketball. We’re looking forward to continuing very entertaining and fast-paced hoops.”
On Carson’s emergence last season:
“The hype was tremendous, especially as the anticipation built for his first game. Then it seemed like the bright lights never dimmed. Eyes were always focused on Jahii and what he was going to do next. I just thought he handled that with a lot of poise, a lot of grace. He maintained his confidence, but at the same time he didn’t get carried away in the adulation…I think he returns, clearly, as one of the best, if not the very best, point guards in the country.”
On replacing Carrick Felix’s leadership:
“I don’t think a leader is somebody that I, as the coach, can knight…We just talked about Jahii. He’s certainly trying to put his finger print as a leader on our team. Jordan Bachysnki as a senior is attempting the same thing. It’ll be something that continues to evolve as well…I thought last year, Carrick Felix gave us as good a leadership as we’ve ever had.”