"I think they're an excellent team," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Sometimes you say much improved and that doesn't mean they're good. They're not only improved from a year ago, but one of the best teams in the conference."
One of the main reasons why the Sun Devils have improved is the play of their freshman point guard Jahii Carson.
"With the addition of him at point guard, he gets his teammates easy shots and you see how easy it is to get to the foul line and score himself," Miller said. "From an offensive perspective, they have an element that very few teams have."
In addition, Jordan Bachynski has improved tremendously since last season and may currently be the best shot blocker in the country.
"It's hard to have somebody that size affects the game defensively, and at the same time averaging 12 points a game," Miller said. "He rebounds, he blocks shots, he scores in double figures.
"He's learned how to score with his back to the basket; he's really developed. He's one of the best players in our conference."
At the end of last season, it looked as if Herb Sendek would only get one more year as the coach of ASU. However, his hiring of two new assistants and change in philosophies has him looking as if he will be getting more time as the Sun Devils' head coach.
"He has done a great job playing man-to-man," Miller said. "He puts Bachynski in a good position to affect the team and they've become a very good defensive team."
Of course, coaching always looks better when you have improved players such as Carrick Felix.
"The improvement of Carrick Felix as a senior -- he's averaging 17 and 10 in four conference games, that speaks for itself," Miller said. "He's also an all-conference type of player."