Sendek pleased with nonconference schedule

Last year's Arizona State's nonconference schedule was much maligned, but this season's slate which was been upgraded with the goal of attaining a higher RPI ranking. Consequently, Sun Devil head Coach Herb Sendek feels that the upcoming November and December contests do conform to the trend he has been noticing with the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

With a recently signed home and home contract with UNLV, Arizona State's nonconference schedule is now finalized and reads as follows:

Nov. 8 UMBC

Nov. 12 Miami-Ohio

Nov. 15 Idaho State

Nov. 19 @UNLV

Nov. 22 Bradley

Nov. 25 Marquette

Nov. 28 - Dec. 1 John Wooden Legacy Anaheim Tournament (Marquette, Miami (Fla.), San Diego State, Creighton, and Cal State Fullerton). ASU guaranteed to play three games there and could play Marquette again during this tournament.

Dec. 6 at DePaul

Dec. 14 Grambling

Dec. 21 Texas Tech

Dec. 28 Cal Irvine

Sendek stated that devising such a schedule has been a challenge, but it does address an important criteria.

"Coming out of the spring conference meetings" Sendek said. "It seemed to me that the way things were presented your nonconference schedule seems to be growing in importance for NCAA Tournament selection. One could argue that it's almost disproportionately weighted in some cases. With that in mind we tried to construct a schedule that would be very pleasing for the committee, if we were one of those teams on the bubble. Looking at our schedule, it's very competitive.

"You want a schedule to give yourself the best chance of going to the tournament, which is really tricky. It's like trying to hit a moving target. It's hard to predict how good all the teams are going to be. And just because you want to play someone doesn't mean they want to play you. There are so many variables. The committee is saying if you play a conference schedule like we do, you still better have a good nonconference schedule or you will be penalized."

Sendek added that losing to a very high RPI team is being viewed more favorably than winning versus a low RPI team. He felt that teams such as Bradley, Miami-Ohio and Cal Irvine, while not being known as household names in college basketball, still have a high RPI value that will address the schedule's overall goal.

Sendek addressed additional team items in this Thursday morning media gathering. Click here to read more.

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