Fast decision for Felix

Southern Idaho wing Carrick Felix knew prior to his visit to Arizona State that it was only a matter of time that he will be a Sun Devil. The 6-6 195 Felix ended the suspense on Saturday night, while still on his visit, to make his pledge. Devils Digest caught up with the former Goodyear (Ariz.) Millennium high school star, who is more than happy to come back home.

"There was never a doubt in my mind," Felix claimed. "The minute I got to campus I knew right then and there that I was going to be a Sun Devil and that this is where I should have been all along. Right when I got off the plane it's like me and the coaches already knew each other. They treated me like family and I felt part of their family.

"It was a great feeling."

Felix couldn't put his finger on one aspect of the visit that impressed him more than the others or that triggered his commitment last night.

"The whole visit was perfect," Felix stated. "Everything was just clicking on all cylinders with myself and my mom. We know this program is progressing and we already felt part of the program on the visit. I really connected with Ty Abbott since we both have known each other for a while and we hung out a lot.

"He's also a player that was signed with a different school before he came home to Arizona State. So we could both relate to each other. He told me that coming here is the best decision he made. It's great to be home again and when I play here I'm so comfortable and have so much confidence because I have so many people I know here supporting me."

It wasn't only Abbott and the other players that made an impression on Felix. The wing player appreciated the recruiting approach of the Sun Devil staff.

"All the coaches are so cool and laid back," Felix described. "Like I said, treating you like family the whole time. I was very comfortable around them.

"Each coach has his own individual personality. Coach Sendek is very funny and he kept walking around on Saturday telling everybody that I committed to ASU because of his good looks. I just love all their personalities and I know that they will treat me well."

When he attended Millennium Carrick Felix was on the Sun Devils' radar. Felix paced his squad with 19.7 ppg, 13.2 rpg and 3.1 bpg, and was integral in Millennium's 4A championship run in 2008.

The wing player ultimately went the junior college route and attended Southern Idaho College. The beginning of Felix's tenure with the Eagles was forgettable as his broke his wrist and had to redshirt his first year in Twin Falls. Next season was an entire different story.

As a redshirt freshman the wing was one of the team's leading players on the 20-12 squad. He averaged 14.8 ppg (shooting 51 percent from the field) and 4.7 rpg.

"The ASU coaches feel that I can be a very versatile player," Felix commented. "They told me that I could get the ball off the board and either make the pass for a fast break of bring up the ball myself and make decisions. I can come of screens and make a jump shot, take my man off a dribble in an iso(lation) and take it to the hole.

"They see me as a big guard that they can really trust to make good decisions not only for myself but for others too. With my athleticism they think I can do a lot of different things on the floor. I'm very excited to get to work."

Those are the same qualities that endeared him to Duke, and he signed a letter of Intent with the Blue Devils. A few weeks later, on May 24th, he asked and received his release.

"There was no problem with the academics," Felix said as to his decision to leave Duke. "Even though Duke is a great school with a great basketball program, I just felt that I needed to go somewhere where I could be happier and more comfortable. It was a hard decision and honest to god I am a humble person, and I hate hurting people. But sometimes you have to be selfish and do what is best for you and find what fits you the best."

After being released, over two dozen schools contacted him with scholarship offers. Schools such as Butler, Villanova, Washington, Baylor, Washington State, Xavier, Kansas State, St. Mary's, Alabama, and Arkansas, were some of the programs that came calling.

Nonetheless, while feeling extremely fortunate he wasn't overwhelmed or blinded by all those offers pouring in and didn't explore the multitude of opportunities he had. He knew he could write his own ticket in terms of where to play his college ball, but in his mind there was only one final destination.

"Why didn't I look at others schools besides ASU? Because that's not where my heart was," Felix explained. "When I chose Duke, ASU was definitely my number two school. I've known where my heart was for a long time and I built a relationship with the ASU coaches. It's hard building a relationship in two weeks with a school you never really talked to.

"It's all about the trust factors and that's what I have with the ASU coaches. I know what they are all about and how they go about their business. I know that they can get me to where I want to be and I will help them get this program to where they want it to be."

Growing up here in the valley, Felix witnessed earlier in this decade how much the ASU basketball program has struggled. Seeing the Weatherup center for the first time this past weekend was all the evidence he needed to realize how far the Sun Devil program has come in the last few years.

"A lot of schools have a facility like this," Felix said, "But for a school like ASU to have it it's huge. This isn't a losing school because ever since Coach Sendek has been here this school has grown and grown. They were number two in the Pac-10 last year and just imagine what Coach Sendek can now do this year and in the future.

"He really has turned this program around. This year people need to open their eyes and realize how good we can be. If you don't we will shock you, because this is team that can contend for the Pac-10 championship."

There was certainty a time when Felix wanted to spread his wings and leave the state, as evident with his decision to play with Southern Idaho and later on with Duke. His friendship with Abbott and his overall strong positive feelings towards the maroon and gold helped him warmed up to the idea of being the hometown hero, a role he now relishes in.

"I feel that I can go to ASU and make a name for myself," Felix stated. "Just like Ty came over here and grew as a player I know I can do the same and build my own dynasty. Everything is in place here for you to succeed. These coaches can make me the player I want to become.

"I'm very excited to play here and my expectations are high. I feel that we will more games this year and I can contribute not only with my own game but also helping others on and off the court. I feel very highly of the situation I put myself in and feel highly about where ASU is going. We will be successful and get out of this season whatever we want out of it."

Felix is a three for three player in terms of eligibility, and is scheduled to arrive back in Tempe in July in time for second summer school session.

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