Coach Sendek Q&A

ASU's Head Coach talks about his team 89-69 exhibition game victory over Grand Canyon University

On his thoughts about his team's performance in that exhibition game

"With respect to our team, we felt like there were a number of positive things from Saturday's exhibition game that we can build on this week. I thought we did a better job out-letting and pushing tempo in the second half…thought our guys played with good energy both halve; We have to continue to get better across the board.

"Our defense needs to be tightened. We got to work better together and have improved awareness. We most certainly have room for improvement in that area. I thought just looking in the rear-view mirror last week, that's one of the areas we really tried to focus on. We saw a step in the right direction Saturday.

There are a number of things we could take away from the scrimmage. It was a great experience playing GCU away from home with a great crowd."

On the offense's progression in the pre-season

"I like the progress the offense is making. It gives guys a lot of freedom to play basketball. Which is a lot of fun to coach and fun to play. I think we make good use out of pick and roll. I like our spacing. I like our tempo.

"We're doing a better job of going inside right no, although we got away from that, especially early in the game. But I'm just looking over the window of the past week. I think we've made progress in those areas. I like what I see because I feel like our guys are in attack mode. I feel like they're playing, and I feel like they can make plays."

On the performance of Chris Colvin against Grand Canyon

"Colvin did two things effectively: pushed tempo and helped ignite the transition game and secondly, he really got in the paint for us. He breaks defenses down off the dribble and creates shots for himself and others. Those two things more than any other stand out."

On the performance both Keala King and Chris Colvin in the backcourt

"This gives us two guys that are very comfortable putting the ball on the floor and when you add Trent (Lockett) to that mix it gives us another guy. As a coach you have to love a player who can do different things who are multi-faceted. It allows you to play different combinations. I don't know if you can ever have too many guys who handle the ball well.

"He (King) has most notably done the best job to date at sustaining effort. He's kept his effort level up through different circumstances and I think that's been the single biggest difference."

On his thoughts about his team's rebounding effort in the exhibition game

"I thought we were much more aware and committed to blocking out and firing in for rebounds when we had been at any point up until Saturday. That was a big point of emphasis for us last week at practice and I thought our guys did a much better job in that area and at the same time we had a few guys like Carrick (Felix) and Trent (Lockett) in particular who really pursued from out of their own area on offensive rebounds. Some offensive rebounds that I don't know in the past we would have came down with but Carrick and Trent were really active in going to offensive glass."

On the performance of the team's front court players against Grand Canyon

"I thought Kyle (Cain) and Ruslan (Pateev) arguably had their best week or two in practice in tandem to date. So much though that we actually started both of them. Unfortunately both got into foul trouble and by half, both were sitting with three fouls and I don't know that Kyle in particular, only playing 12 minutes, ever really got in-sync. It seemed like he picked up his 4th quickly and just never was in the flow of game because of foul trouble. They both had a couple of nice plays each, but I think their game and contribution were so de-railed by foul trouble.

"(Jordan) Bachynski came in and most notably drew two charges and had a nice block shot and had a nice block shot and really was a presence on those three particular defensive possessions."

On playing Cain alongside Pateev or Bachynski

"I ideally liked being able to have different looks and play a variety of ways… not every team affords you that luxury. So to the extent that we can give different looks, I think that could be to our advantage. I don't know how much it'll happen and how it will develop, but that's one thing I did like about having those two guys together and then playing some other kinds of line-ups as well.

On the team's comfort level playing the same defensive scheme as last year

"I think our returners are on relatively the same page with it.. they know it relatively well.. a couple of the new guys are still trying to get comfortable with some things, which is to be expected, but really no different than any defense .. it's a team defense & we have to play it well together, in-sync."

Note: Amanda Carey contributed to this article

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