Men's scrimmage provides glimpse of season

With the first week of practice officially in the books, ASU's Men's Basketball team held their first open scrimmage of the season today at Wells Fargo Arena. Although it is evident that the Devils still have work that needs to be done, Coach Sendek seemed hopeful and excited about what is to come.

"There were some good things," Sendek confessed. "We missed some shots, but when you're playing against yourself, you are pleased with one team and the other team not so much.

"I thought our defense wasn't as good as it needs to be and certainly doesn't reflect the effort and time we put into it. Not a stellar defensive performance this morning".

Sendek seemed more pleased with the offense at today's scrimmage, stating that turnovers were something that needs to be worked on, though he did not seem too concerned as it is only the first week of practice.

Junior Chris Colvin, had a chance today to showcase his talents for the first time in front of the Sun Devil fans. The 6'2" guard out of Palm Beach Community college played very well, which Coach Sendek noticed.

"Chris is a quick player," Sendek stated. "A very unselfish player. He seems to be just as content making a pass as he is taking a shot. He's a good shooter. I encouraged him in practice this week, if you're open, let it rip. But he's unselfish, which is what you ideally want to have in a point guard."

"My adjustments are just getting used to my teammates," Colvin remarked. "We just have to talk and communicate. So far I'm comfortable (with the scheme). I played Division I basketball so nothing we are doing right now is new to me. I'm just picking up the new things coach is teaching me right now.

"The defense is one of the things that coach is stressing this year, so we want to get that right. I was kind of nervous today playing in front of a crowd."

Another standout player in today's scrimmage was 6'7" sophomore Kyle Cain. Coming off of a successful off-season, big things are expected out of Cain for this season.

"He's stronger than he was a year ago," Sendek commented. "I think he finally has stabilized at about 220 pounds and he has some room to continue move in that direction further. But the best thing about Kyle is he has a motive: he plays. And he does it every day. He's a great guy to coach. He's always playing."

The Sun Devils were missing from the scrimmage true freshmen Jonathan Gilling (Achilles strain) and Jahii Carson (academics). Therefore, it had only nine scholarship players eligible to play this year participate in today's session. Furthermore, walk-ons Pierre Newton, Dave Whitmore, and Max Heller got extensive playing time.

"With only nine scholarship players, we will try to not limit ourselves and basically be able to play any combination of players." Sendek said. "We don't want to be self-limiting."

Sendek added that he wasn't concerned with Gilling's injury and that the forward should be back to practice soon.

The Sun Devils' head coach seemed confident in his team's overall ability and not worried about tweaking the quirks and minor issues for this season. With one week of practices in the books, he was generally content with the outcome of the scrimmage.

"I think our guys have a good understanding of what we want to do," Sendek remarked. "We've really been able to simplify and standardize some things, so hopefully we take away decision making and we can focus on great effort and playing hard. I really like our set-up. It provides good framework, but also give them great freedom."

"I think guys played hard and we improved as the scrimmage went on," said guard Trent Lockett. "I think with all the fans out here we were trying to impress people. Obviously we have a lot to work on and it's still early in the season. But I was proud of how we grew as the scrimmage progressed.

"Personally, I think this year I can attack from any spot on the floor, whether it's shooting or driving. One thing I have been really working on is getting to the line and I think I've been doing a pretty good job making those free throws."

With a final score of 55-50 for today's scrimmage, Sendek put it all into a better perspective, reminding everyone that today was a team effort.

"If you score it's because your offense is good or your defense is bad. That's what happens when you play against yourself."

With their exhibition game versus Gran Canyon University quickly approaching on November 5th, Sendek agreed with his guard on the state of the team.

"We have a lot of work to do. We have to get a lot, lot better."


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