Average isn't good enough for Ray Anderson
Addressing a throng of reporters gathered Tuesday afternoon to further inquire about his decision to replace Arizona State basketball coach Herb Sendek after nine seasons, the second year Vice President for Athletics said he felt the program wasn't going to get good enough, quickly enough for his satisfaction. He felt he needed to make a change.
So Sendek was fired in a meeting earlier this morning, after an 18-16 (9-9) final season in Tempe that concluded a 155-133 (68-86) record at the school.
"We didn't come here to be ordinary," Anderson said. "We came here to be extraordinary. (University President) Michael Crow wants to be extraordinary at everything this institution stands for and part of the reason I'm here is I want to help him get extraordinary in everything athletics."
Perhaps more than anything, Anderson felt after taking more time to get a complete sense of ASU fans' sentiments about the program, not firing Sendek would have kept a status quo that he considered untenable.
"We're going to better the program," Anderson said. "We're going to give this basketball program a chance to compete consistently for championships. That's one of the things we promised we wanted to accomplish here. We want to have our fan base energized and passionate and fired up about men's basketball and we didn't see that, I didn't see that occurring. And now is the time with the momentum we have at this university in this athletic department to make that happen."
"It will be thoughtful, it will be deliberate," Anderson said of the impending process, which will not include an extensive search firm according to a program source. "We don't have a short list. We will have a list together in short order to because in fact we want to make sure that we get ourselves reset to really be able to get out and are recruiting and retaining. That will be kind of our time frame. It won't be a lot time but we're not going to rush it.
"We haven't hired anybody, we haven't offered anybody, we haven't talked to anybody."
Following on the heels of the excitement and intensity brought to ASU football by the hire of Todd Graham three years ago, Anderson said he wants to operate in a similar mold with regard to his process with this search.
"Very frankly, I'm looking for someone who is going to come in here and provide electricity and fire and sparks and really ignite the thought that Arizona State University men's basketball can be really dynamic," Anderson said. "I'm looking for someone who has that personality, who is a dynamic recruiter, a dynamic developer of basketball talent, someone who can come in here and energize the people who want ASU basketball to be really electric, to get those people excited about participating and investing and supporting the program. That's what we're looking for.
"The person who comes in here will buy in to the vision that this is a rocket ship and they can be part of it if they come in with the right attitude."
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