Sendek ready for Wildcats

Herb Sendek is ready to see his Arizona State Sun Devils tested by Arizona on Saturday. Read on for his thoughts on ASU's improvements, how Arizona has been playing, and more.

As Arizona prepares to take on Arizona State on Saturday, the Sun Devils are working to be ready for the favored Wildcats. Herb Sendek's ASU squad is the best it has been in years, but Sendek does not like comparisons.

"The guys have done a good job of coming together and working hard and this is just a different team," Sendek said. "It is a different season, just as it is for everybody."

One of the biggest reasons for Arizona State's jump in quality has been the play of Carrick Felix, who has improved greatly from last season.

"Carrick has had an outstanding year so far," Sendek said. "It really is a function of his habits and his daily approach. He has just been outstanding, starting with the end of last season all the way through the offseason into this year with his leadership and doing everything the right way."

Although Felix is averaging 15 points per game, Sendek says that it is his defense that has been the most impressive aspect of his game this season.

"Right now, I don't know if there's a guy that's playing better defense anywhere," Sendek said. "What he's doing on that end of the floor is just remarkable, and he does it night in, night out.

"His entire game, both ends of the floor, when you look at his production, and the results that he's getting, it's been terrific as is reflected in the fact that he's already been player of the week twice."

Arizona also has numerous players that have had impressive seasons, one of which Sendek feels can be dangerous at any time.

"Well he's a really dynamic player," Sendek said of Mark Lyons. "He has experience and he has talent, which is a great combination. He plays with tremendous energy. I just have been tremendously impressed watching him play."

Like ASU, Arizona is a different team than last season. While the Sun Devils added Jahii Carson to the mix, the Wildcats dramatically increased their depth in the frontcourt.

"Well, they have great size up front," Sendek said. "And they also have the ability to play smaller. Against Oregon they decided to start a smaller lineup. They have within their team the ability to give you different kinds of looks, but they do have some impressive size up front, and they're deep.

"They're not the kind of team that has foul trouble, or fatigue going on because they always have another guy at the scorers table ready to check in and there's not much drop off, if any."

While the anticipation for Saturday's game may be greater than others, Sendek is careful not to treat it like a bigger game.

"I guarantee you that whatever the next game is always the biggest game and you always give everything that you have, so that wouldn't even be possible," Sendek said of whether or not Saturday's game is bigger than others.

"I think there is always excitement and certainly I expect the atmosphere on Saturday to be electric, but I think this game in particular always brings that pageantry and excitement."

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