Devils hoping for different road outcome

The Arizona State men's basketball team seems to have hit more than their fair share of bumps this season. Aside from losing key players due to injuries and health issues, the team seems to be in a funk every time they hit the road, something they hope changes as they visit the Washington school this week.

"I think in the most general sense, most teams tend to be some measure better at home." Head Coach Herb Sendek stated. "We are one of those teams that have played better at home than we have on the road. This hasn't always been the case, as we've traditionally had a pretty good road program. Right now I don't think its so much a function of where we play but how we play.

"Our focus has to be internally. Its not about the opponent, its about us."

As the regular season nears a close Arizona State (8-17, 4-9 Pac-12) has lost six out of the last seven games they've played on the road. Furthermore, they were blown out by California, Stanford, Utah, and Colorado. With Washington coming up on their schedule this Thursday, junior Trent Lockett shares what he thinks about the team's road woes.

"I think we've been down a couple guys when we've been on the road these past couple games," Lockett said. "The energy is a lot different on the road compared to on our own court. If we learn how to deal with the opposing teams' crowds and really stick together I think we'll do fine.

"This'll be my third time going up to Washington and I'm looking forward to it. They always have a great crowd. They play a lot differently at home than they do on the road. I'm looking forward to a good game."

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The Sun Devils' issues this season seem to be deeper than traveling to games and dealing with the opposing team's crowds. The underlying issues with the team's inability to 'get over the hump' really comes down to basic fundamentals.

"We need to be way out of balance in favor of fundamentals," Sendek commented. "Our engine has to be driven by fundamentals. One of the ways to be a better shot making team is first to be a better pass making team. I think that has hurt us as much as anything this season. It's reflected in our turnovers and the missed open cutters that we have.

"I could show you any number of clips where we have guys that are open that we're not hitting on time, which has an impact on our field goal percentage. It's not because our guys are playing selfishly or that they don't have a willingness to do it. We have to become better at seeing and better at passing. Those are two things that haven't been our strengths this year that we're working hard to get better at."

With ASU embarking on their last road game of the year, Lockett hopes that some team goals can be attained over the next few weeks.

"We have a great opportunity in front of us," Lockett declared. "We've had a hard go this season, so we'll really find out what we're made of going through these last 5-6 games and into the Pac-12 tournament. We just need to come everyday and work hard.

"There are definitely some winnable games left on our schedule, so we'll see what we're made of."


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