Arizona State Notebook: Devils know direction

Late-season slump means Arizona State likely must win out
2013-03-08T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:33:06Z Arizona State Notebook: Devils know directionPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

TEMPE - His Sun Devils having lost three straight and five of their last seven, Herb Sendek was asked Thursday what Arizona State's route to the NCAA tournament could possibly be.

"We're just trying to plot the best route to Tucson, so we don't get lost," Sendek said, smiling. "Take the freeway."

The only sure way to the Big Dance figures is by winning the Pac-12 tournament's automatic bid.

To end their slump before the Las Vegas tournament, the Sun Devils (20-10, 9-8 Pac-12) would have to beat the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday at McKale Center.

"We might have to win every game remaining," Sendek said, playfully. "And even if we win the conference tournament, we might have to play an additional game for good measure."

The bubble has not been kind to the Sun Devils, who, one month and one day ago defeated Cal to improve to 18-5.

On Thursday, ASU had an RPI of 98, according to's "Bracketology" has the Sun Devils the seventh-best team left out of the Big Dance.

"I think some guys individually were taking it at heart, wanting it so bad that they ended up burping," guard Jahii Carson said. "Things happen like that."

Senior wing Carrick Felix said that, "when we start looking ahead," perhaps the Sun Devils struggle.

"It's a little tough knowing we've been on the bubble for a little while," he said. "Now we know we can't really worry about it.

"We have to kick it to the side and just worry about what we're doing now."

Prep time

Carson, who averages 21.5 points in 38.5 minutes on the road in Pac-12 play, called Saturday's contest in Tucson "the biggest game, probably, that we've played" this season.

"You know - our rival," he said.

The freshman was happy to have six days to practice beforehand.

"Definitely, giving us a week to prepare, rest our bodies and mentally check in again definitely helps us in our favor, I think," he said.

Sendek said he wasn't sure of the correlation between extra time off and performance, but that "it was good, from the standpoint that we got a little bit extra rest."

Rim shots

• ASU center Jordan Bachynski needs six blocks to set the all-time single-season Pac-12 blocks record of 115, set in 1994-95 by a fellow Sun Devil, Mario Bennett.

"It's something I've always been good at for my whole career," the junior said, "and it's something I've always prided myself on."

Sendek said it was a "real luxury to have a guy who can block shots like that."

• The Sun Devils will likely keep senior Chris Colvin in the starting lineup and bring Evan Gordon off the bench, the coach said.

• Eleven of ASU's 17 league games have been decided by two possessions or fewer. In eight road games, the Devils have totaled almost exactly as many points as their foes, trailing 543 to 540.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 12 1 0 0.923
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 11 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 10 2 0 0.833
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 9 2 0 0.818
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 4 0 0.667
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 8 5 0 0.615
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
USC 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 5 6 0 0.455

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Harvard at
Arizona State
12/28 12:00 pm
Cal State-Bakersfield at
12/28 1:30 pm
Cal-Davis at
Washington State
12/28 4:00 pm
12/28 4:30 pm
Stony Brook at
12/28 6:00 pm
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at
12/29 9:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
12/29 9:00 pm
UC-Santa Barbara at
Oregon State
12/30 7:30 pm
Carroll (Mont.) at
12/30 7:30 pm
Vermont at
12/30 9:30 pm
Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Tanks Green Stuff…

A division of the Fairfax Companies

½ Price bottle of wine!

Come in Monday and Tuesday and pay ½ price on a bottle of wine