Q: With two weeks of practices under your belt right now, is the team where it needs to be at this point of the pre-season?
A: "We have a lot of catching up to do and we're running as fast as we can. I wish we were back in the day when we have six weeks of pre-season practice before your first game, instead of four. When you're installing a new system not only for your freshmen, but for the entire team, you need every split second you can garner."
Q: What are the specific challenges you are faced with during this these first couple of weeks of practice?
A: "Terminology, getting familiar with each other…We're still very much a collection of individuals striving to become a team and everybody like I said is learning a new system. I like the guys and they're a great group of guys for the community to get behind. They want to do well not only for themselves but for all the Sun Devils."
Q: With nearly half of the team being true freshmen (four in all), it would be probably fair to say that much of the success this season will be due to their play…
A: "I think that everybody will have to be ready to contribute to our team. We're not gonna have the luxury of guys taking a pass when they come to the games. If they have their warp-up on, they better have their uniform on underneath."
Q: What is the reason that you watched some of this (Saturday's) practice in the stands?
A: "They are certain segments where I want to get a better view of what's happening. When we scrimmaged at the end that was one of them. The other one, was when we working with one of our defensive segments. Typically, I like to be on the court, but every once in a while when you go upstairs, you can really get a great aerial snap shot of the whole court, where if you are eye-level it's a little difficult to see everything."
Q: What has been the toughest thing to instill in these guys so far?
A: "I don't know if there's any one thing. We're certainly trying to establish habits of excellence. In everything we do we want to attend to details. We want to make sure that we give great effort all the time and we're still working to be a team that strives to make each other better. We're trying to establish that cohesiveness that you need to have."
Q: What are the realistic expectations for this squad this season?
A: "Play hard. Have fun. Make sure everyday we bring our lunch pail and hardhat, give our best effort and enjoy the journey together as much as we can."
Q: Is there one point in the practice schedule where you maybe shift away from fundamentals and focus more on game planning and such?
A: "Fundamentals are always the centerpiece. No matter what team you have, how many years you're at a school…fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. That's one thing that will never change or waiver."
Q: It was nice touch bringing the fans down to the court after practice…
A: "Yes, it was great to have so many people that gathered up here today to watch us practice. We wanted to make sure that we extended our gratitude, made sure our guys had a chance to say hello to them and introduce themselves. It was great. It's really important that we're fully integrated in the community, and give back as much as we can. In order to establish consistent excellence, everybody in town has to take ownership of the program. We're gonna have a great college basketball program, because the community wants it. Because it matters. We have enough students and enough people here that populate the valley, that we should be able to do that."
Q: When you built programs before, is there some kind of blueprint you follow or do you just adapt to the situation you're in?
A: "I think that it's both. You certainly have your experiences to draw on, you write the things that you would do over if given a chance…but at the same time every situation is unique. The circumstances are always particular, and form that standpoint it's always important to adjust to that."
Herb Sendek's Post-Practice Comments
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