For the Arizona State Sun Devil Basketball team, last week’s trip to the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida for three games was as up and down as it could get.
The Devils came out and played very poor against Fairfield in a 55-44 loss on Thanksgiving night.
However, they bounced back with a very impressive performance against Wake Forrest , winning 84-56. A Wake Forrest team that just knocked off a good Nebraska team on the road in the ACC-Big Ten challenge.
After watching the film and taking in the whole trip, ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek said it comes down to just a few factors that the team must improve upon to be better.
“There are two area’s that are really causing us problems. Number one, defending the three point shot. We are giving up 37% from three.” Sendek explained at practice Thursday. “And secondly, the elephant in the room is our turnovers.”
After six games, turnovers without a doubt have been the Sun Devil’s biggest problem. Sendek explained that the team has given up close to 20 or more turnovers in four of those six games. For a team that has not played terrible defensively, it has been all of those turnovers that have really come back to bite them so far this season.
“On the year we have 63 assists and 112 turnovers. Idealy you want the reversed,” Sendek said.
Aside from defending the three pointer, defense has been one of the strong suits of this Sun Devil team so far this season. They have forced opposing teams to 37% from the field which Sendek calls “tremendous.”
But Sendek did find one more area on the defensive side of the ball where the team needs to improve. “If I had the liberty to add a third, end of shot clock defense. Right now our opponents are scoring a disproportionate amount of points with ten or fewer seconds on the shot clock where we just have a break down,” Sendek explained.
So for the Sun Devils, it comes down to three factors that are very well researched by Coach Sendek. Defend the three, cut down the turnovers and defend better late in the shot clock. If the Sun Devils can do those things, they believe they will put themselves in a much better position to win ball games as the Pac 12 season is inching closer.
Arizona State will put their work toward those factors to the test in their next game vs. Tulsa this Saturday from Wells Fargo Arena.
For more on ASU Hoops, follow Jared Cohen on twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.