(Photo: Nick Krueger/WCSN)
The Arizona State men’s basketball team recently spent a week playing three exhibition games overseas in China, and ASU head coach Herb Sendek was more than satisfied with the outcome.
The Sun Devils won their first game against Tsinghua University, a very strong Chinese basketball program, 104-70. The other two games were played against Chinese professional team Fujian SBS. ASU won those games 94-69 and 99-77. The maroon and gold played in Beijing, Zhaoqing, and Nanning, China respectively.
This was Sendek’s first chance to see his 2013-14 team together and he liked what he saw, both on the court and off the court.
“Our guys bonded as I had hoped,” Sendek said. “I was really proud of our guys because not one time did anyone complain or whine and when you travel like that you can see some adversity….I did not hear one guy say anything negative and I was really proud of that.”
Redshirt sophomore Calaen Robinson, who had to sit out last season due to problems with eligibility, scored 16 points and dished out six assists in the lone game he started.
“Calaen (Robinson), after sitting out a year, was very good,” Sendek said. “He is really fast, quick and showed an ability to create an open shot.”
Sendek also commented on Robinson’s skill set. “He has really long arms and has an uncanny ability to get his hands on balls, an area we are trying to emphasize.”
True freshmen Chance Murray and Egor Koulechov also made impressions.
“I was really impressed with my freshman class,” Sendek said. “I thought those guys for their first inter-collegiate experience really showed well.”
Jahii Carson scored 24 points in 24 minutes in the final game of the trip.
Sendek praised the physicality and weight room work of Jordan Bachynski and Eric Jacobsen.
“Jordan has continued to get stronger and that has helped his game,” he said. “Eric has physically really turned a corner, he must weigh 260 without an ounce of fat.”
Jacobsen had a breakout game as he led the team in scoring against Tsinghua University with 25 points.
Brandan Kearney, Jermaine Marshall and Shaquielle McKissic did not travel with the team due to eligibility issues.
The team will begin practicing for the 2013-14 season on Sept. 30.