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We’re talking about practice: Sun Devils won’t let new rules or injuries stand in the way

(Photo: WCSN/Nick Krueger)

The ASU basketball team has had a few minor setbacks to begin the season that started with the Jahii Carson “stress reaction” followed by Jermaine Marshall missing the maroon and gold game with “valley fever” and Jordan Bachynski being limited by a minor ankle injury.

“It’s doing a lot better,” Bachynski said. “I’m just trying to be smart with it and take it day by day, it felt really good today.” Head coach Herb Sendek echoed Bachynski. “Hopefully he will continue to improve each day,” Sendek said.

Bachynski was limited at the team scrimmage at practice Monday only playing in the first quarter. “J.B.” was locked in a physical battle with Eric Jacobsen during most of the time he saw.

“We’re helping each other in a big way,” Bachynski said. “Last year I struggled against bigger and heavier guys in the post and I need to get better with that and that is exactly what E.J. (Eric Jacobsen) is providing for me.”

Bachysnki no longer has the luxury of practicing against a fellow seven footer in Ruslan Pateev. “I’m sure I’m helping him out as well being able to play against a seven footer and he’s doing really well so I love playing against him,” Bachysnki added.

Penn State transfer Jermaine Marshall was certainly dreaming of his old home in Happy Valley when he was diagnosed with valley fever. “I had a fever obviously, and some vomiting and a crazy cough that wouldn’t go away,” Marshall said. “ I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent but I’m getting there.

The NCAA is also implementing new rules beginning this season with hand checks and arm bars. Two hands on the ball handler will immediately be called a foul as will impeding the ball handler’s progress with an arm bar.

“Just a good sense of awareness, I think that is the most important thing,” Sendek said. “Guys who go off the dribble are difficult to defend regardless.”

Coaches around the NCAA are up in arms because they believe it will make guards such as Jahii Carson next to impossible to guard.

“I’m going to do the same thing,” Carson said. “ I’m going to go to the cup even more. Guys know now they can’t arm bar me and they can’t touch me. The refs know I’m a quicker guy and they help me with that advantage.”

The new rules also include an inability for players to continuously “jab” an opponent by extending their arm.

“Basketball is about moving your feet and trying to keep the defender in front of you without using your arms so I’m just going to try and do that to the best of my ability,” Marshall said. “I think it helps our team stay out of foul trouble so that’s huge and we just gotta do a good job of helping out.”

Start and stop was the name of the game Monday afternoon as the Sun Devils scrimmaged but also held up numerous times by Sendek who stopped to correct things he saw the team doing wrong.

“I think the biggest thing today is we came out and competed well,” Marshall said.  “I got to polish up my game too, I need to work on hitting my open jump shots, I missed too many. I missed some free throws I should have made and need to finish around the basket as well. “

Carson was a little more optimistic about the team as a whole.

“I think we played pretty good, “ Carson said. “I think we took a huge step, guys are starting to fill into their role, starting to get into shape and learning the whole system over again.”

Monday practice notes:

  • The quarters in the scrimmage were ten minutes in length
  • Scrimmage starters: Gold- Carson, McKissic, Gilling, Marshall, Jacobsen.
  • Maroon- Robinson, Bachynski, Edwards, Koulechov, Murray
  • Gold Bench: Bo Barnes
  • Maroon Bench: Everybody else.
  • Scrimmage score breakdowns by quarter:
  • 1st: Gold-19 Maroon-12
  • 2nd: Gold-29 Maroon-23
  • 3rd: Gold-19 Maroon-16
  • 4th: Maroon-23 Gold-16
  • Final: Gold-83 Maroon-74
  • Sendek experimented with smaller lineups throughout including a backcourt of Carson and Robinson alongside Gilling, McKissic, and Koulechov.
  • McKissic continued to impress with his leaping ability and overall energy on the court. He’s got great second leap ability and can definitely play at the three if necessary. He had one stretch of seven consecutive points in under a minute.
  • I timed a missed free throw rebound by Gilling with a quick outlet to Carson who took it coast to coast for the score in 4.5 seconds.
  • Play of the day was a monster Eric Jacobsen dunk on an offensive rebound that seemed more out of frustration than anything else.
  • Sendek emphasized “buddy coaching,” a term I had never heard used before. It means giving constructive criticism to a teammate once off the floor after a play is over.
  • Assistant coach Eric Musselman got on the team about echoing play calls so everyone is on the same page. “ When we’re playing at Colorado there is no way you’re going to be able to hear one guy talking.”
  • “Our movement is good, our heart is in the right place, but now we got to sprinkle that in with some intelligence”-Sendek
  • “The worst shot in basketball is right inside the three point line”- Sendek
  • “Even if it’s the worst call in the world, we hand the ball to the official we don’t lay it on the ground.” -Sendek

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