After the Arizona State Sun Devil basketball team’s quick and head scratching exit from the Pac-12 Tournament after losing to Stanford 79-58, many fans are expressing frustration.
One person in particular that expressed disappointment on Friday was former Sun Devil Head Coach and current Westwood One College Basketball Radio Analyst, Bill Frieder, who joined Brad Cesmat from Las Vegas the day after the game.
“I’ll tell Herb (Sendek) the same thing, I’m disappointed,” said Frieder. “This team to me was a quality team. They have the league’s leading shot blocker, rebounder, defender in the big fella (Jordan) Bachynski, a quality, quality guard in Jahii Carson, and a great shooter in (Jermaine) Marshall plus some others back with some experience.”
“So this team I thought would be a great basketball team,” he mentioned. “I thought they would do well in this tournament and win at least a couple in the NCAA Tournament. Now, I don’t know.”
The Sun Devils have dropped three in a row heading into Selection Sunday and haven’t won away from Wells Fargo Arena since January 29th at Cal. Cesmat and Frieder discussed whether or not there could be something under the surface with this team based on how inconsistent they have been. Between that and after the little incident between Jon Gilling and Jordan Bachynski arguing on the bench Thursday night, that question is raised.
“There could be and we saw a littler bickering on the court last night which was evident to everybody,” Frieder stated. “Obviously this is a stage in the game where that can’t take place. A team has got to come first. It’s the team, the team, the team. But I don’t know specifically.”
“You’re dealing with kids and who knows what they are all going through,” he added. “I’ve got my well-documented problems with kids, but the one thing my team always did was work hard. We were always focused to play our butts off but I am seeing teams in the tournament who aren’t coming out and playing hard.”
Frieder above all expressed disappointment in Sun Devil sophomore guard Jahii Carson who is coming off of a 10 point, four assist and four of 13 shooting night against Stanford. The biggest question surrounding Carson is even though he and Sendek have said he won’t be back next year, is he ready for the next level?
“I would tell him ‘you are not ready for the pros young man,’” Frieder stated. “You need to be consistent.”
“Mario Bennett was a write-in player,” he mentioned. “I like write-in players. You can write it in advance what they were going to do. And he’s (Carson) not a write-in player. We don’t know if he is going to have is 13 for 16 shooting or his zero for seven…If you’re not a write-in player, you’re not ready for the NBA.”
Does the loss impact their NCAA Tournament hopes? Probably not. But there is still the unsettling feeling going into the announcement from the selection committee.
“They are probably going to be a ten or eleven seed,” Frieder said.
Brackets will be released and we will find out the fate of the Sun Devils on Sunday afternoon.