The Arizona State basketball team is preparing for their exhibition opener Saturday at Grand Canyon University without prize recruit Jahii Carson, who has been forced to sit out the first three weeks of practice due to academic complications.
The former Mesa High star could be learn his status for the upcoming season by early next week, but for now ASU head coach Herb Sendek must make due with what he has.
The Devils, who finished in the basement with only four conference wins in 2009-10, lost three of their four top scorers and will lean on junior forward Trent Lockett (13.4 points per game last season) to pick up more of the scoring slack.
ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said consistency is one of the problems Sendek has experienced in Tempe.
Jay Bilas on ‘Big Guy on Sports’
“They’ve had good teams there in a given year,” Bilas told Brad Cesmat on “Big Guy on Sports” Thursday. “But Arizona State hasn’t had a great program and I think it’s going to require Herb staying there a number of years.”
While attendance has slipped and some have grown tired of Sendek’s inconsistencies from one year to the next, Bilas knows he’s the right man for the job in Tempe.
“People start to say, ‘well, maybe it’s time to make a change.’ All that non-sense,” Bilas explained to Cesmat. “When you start doing that, what you’re really doing is taking a bow-and-arrow and aiming it straight at your foot from point-blank range. You’re just starting over again.”
The Devils only tune-up will be GCU before hosting Montana State Friday, November 11 at Wells Fargo Arena.