Rudd will be worth the wait

At the 4:25 mark of the second half against San Francisco, Victor Rudd had a thundering one hand alley-hoop dunk, to score his first ever points as a Sun Devil. It was almost symbolic that an exciting and powerful play marked Rudd's much anticipated debut. After getting academically cleared less than four hours before Friday's tip-off, the forward is now ready to unleash his basketball fury.

"I've been waiting a while," said Victor Rudd after his first game in the maroon and gold. "It felt great. It's been tough. I never really had to sit out, not being able to practice or play."

Rudd was cleared to practice on November 13th, and felt from that point on that he would shortly get to see the court. Sure enough, a week later he was dressed for the first time this year. With ASU being thin with their depth up front, the 6-7 207 is a welcomed addition to say the least.

"I can add versatility, rebounding, play all position the floor," Rudd said of his skills. "I can bring a lot of intensity on defense, on the glass. I don't know the plays well yet, but coach always said that if you play hard it will make up for not knowing what you are doing.

"I'm just gonna pick up everything in the walk thru and in practice so I can play early."

Rudd played just the five minutes of the game versus the Dons, and in his team's next game, against Duke on Wednesday in Madison Square Garden, he naturally hopes to be on the court for longer than that.

It has been quite the journey for Rudd, who prior to attending national powerhouse Findlay Prep, also played for Southern California high schools Sylmar and Van Nuys.

At Findlay Rudd averaged 16.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He was suspended late in the season for one game yet decided to leave the team at that point.

It was a one time, uncharacteristic incident for the shy and reserved Rudd, who got into an altercation with teammate in the heat of competition. The forward did apologize to the team over that occurrence, but since his teammate who instigated matters didn't get suspended as well, Rudd decided not to go back to what he felt was an unfair environment.

Once the facts came out on this matter, that incident didn't hurt Rudd's recruiting, since the teams pursuing realized that this episode was an aberration.

Rudd said that ever since his sophomore year he had interested in the Sun Devils, and when he told his AAU club Head Coach Bill Hankins of that, he got the impression that it would be a good fit.

Consequently, Rudd verbaled to Arizona State sight unseen. In fact all his other suitors which included Arizona, Gonzaga, Marquette and UNLV didn't receive visits from the forward as well since he took the SAT exam for the first time only last spring. Furthermore, throughout the recruiting process with the Sun Devils Rudd never met face to face with the ASU coaches and all the commutation was done by phone.

"Arizona State contacted me right before I left Findlay Prep," recalled Rudd in a previous interview to "All the people I talked to had nothing but good things to say about the coaches there. I really like they what they had to say to me, and how they will use me in the offense.

"I always had good conversations with them, even if the conversation wasn't about me coming to ASU, and just about basketball."

Having the multitalented forward join a Sun Devil squad who is out to a 4-0 start, is naturally an addition ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek embraces.

"It's great for him, that he's able to join us,'' Sendek said."He's only practiced a few days. I guess the first step is he has to really improve his conditioning. He's been on the sideline for several months now, so he's at the very, very beginning stages."

And so far the Sun Devil faithful like how Rudd's career is starting to unfold.

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