Dodd Back to Familiar Scene, but Different Role

Yes, that really is him. No, he wasn't granted another year of eligibility. Those who came to ASU's first practice on Saturday saw a very familiar face. Former point guard Kyle Dodd has returned to the ASU basketball team as an assistant coach. He told DevilsDigest that despite the fact that he really wanted to coach, he also wished he could be one of the players again.

We caught up with Dodd right after the first practice, and he shared the mixed feelings he was having after this personal career choice. "It was interesting," he said. "It was a weird feeling. It's kinda cool to sit out the defensive drills (smile). Obviously I wish I was out there, but it was fun being on the other side too."

The 2003 ASU graduate averaged 19.3 minutes a game in his senior season, and had a remarkable ratio of assists to turnovers – 104 to 22. He stated that the decision to coach was a result of several conversations he had with head coach Rob Evans. "It's something we talked about last year," exclaimed Dodd. "Coach Evans told me after the season that he really wanted me to do this, and I told him I wanted to do it. He gave me the opportunity to go home to California this summer, play some basketball, and see if I wanted to continue and play (professionally) or do this. He gave me the summer to think about it, and I came back in August and said I wanted to do this and be part of the program."

Dodd claimed that the biggest adjustment was to know that even though you still belong on the team, you know you're on the other side of the fence. "I know that I'm part of the family, but not part of the players. It's a little bit different, but the guys treat me the same way so that's good." He added that the players haven't tried to take advantage of their new assistant coach, and have made the adjustment that much easier.

And now the question remains if Dodd will take it easy on the guys that he used to call teammates earlier in the year? "Yeah, it's a little different mindset, especially with guys I played with. But it's nice because they know I've been here for four years, and been through all the ups and downs. So, if I have to get on them, I don't think they will have a hard time with it." The Sun Devil players should indeed embrace the attitude and work ethic of one of the fiercest competitors to ever lace it up in the maroon and gold.

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