Sun Devils eager to embark on new season

In the midst of losing three starters from last season, a questionable beginning for highly-anticipated recruit Jahii Carson, and coming off of a 12-19 season, Arizona State head basketball coach, Herb Sendek, remains confident of his team's success for the 2011-2012 season.

At today's Media Day at Wells Fargo Arena, Sendek had little to say about Carson, but much to say about the improvement his squad had in the off-season. Crediting new changes to the offense, and a sense of a new beginning, the energy the Devils have for this upcoming season is spectacular.

"I know several of you have inquired about Jahii Carson," said Sendek, "unfortunately, I am not at liberty to say very much other than we remain hopeful that he'll be joining us in the near future."

As of right now, it appears that there are some transcript issues with an online summer school class Carson took at Adams State College in Colorado. The day Carson steps on the court will remain a mystery, but the true freshman was not in attendance at today's Media Day.

With practice beginning on Friday, it is likely that sophomore Keala King and junior Chris Colvin will be playing the point, due to Carson's current ineligibility.

According to Sendek, junior Chris Colvin's, defensive work in skill sessions has impressed his teammates and coaches throughout the off-season. A transfer student from Palm Beach State College, Colvin will likely play as the point guard at practice starting on Friday.

Sendek seemed confident in Colvin's basketball ability, stating that his quickness his eye-catching. "He's one of those guys you can get excited about on the defensive end of the floor," Sendek remarked. "He has a very quick first step."

Losing three starters from last season's team seems to barely phase Coach Sendek, as he is confident in the ability of the seven returning players, as well as the new members of the team.

Juniors Trent Lockett, Carrick Felix, and Ruslan Pateev, sophomores Chance Creekmur, Keala King, Kyle Cain, and Jordan Bachnyski have all returned this season, with Sendek stating, " they need to be better than last year".

With the help of new players, junior-college transfer Chris Colvin, and 6'7" freshman Jonathan Gilling, the new Sun Devil team is looking to bounce back from finishing last in the PAC-10 last season. (Aside from Carson, Evan Gordan joined the team this season, but due to NCAA transfer rules, he'll have to sit out.)

ASU's returning leading scorer, and veteran of the team, Trent Lockett, will be fulfilling the leadership role this season. Sendek stated that he has a good measure of experience, and that he is a true vocal leader on the team. Averaging 13.4 points during the '10-'11 season, Sun Devil fans are expecting much out of him this year. Sendek referred to Lockett as a "world-class athlete", which is something other players can truly look up to.

Sendek still plans to run his motion offense, although he did mention that a few tweaks have been put in place for this season.

"Our motion offense is massaged where guys might be in more specific places to allow them to be successful," Sendek explained, "and it also has been tinkered with so that we can play even more combinations of our nine guys together"

The ASU coach mentioned the possibility of having two big men out on the court together, which could be any combination between Ruslan Pateev, Jordan Bachnyski, and Kyle Cain.

ASU will have an exhibition game vs. Grand Canyon University on November 5th, and their season will officially begin on November 11th when they take on Montana State.

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