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Coach Sendek and Jahii Carson Chat It Up With Fans
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/07/2012
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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June 7, 2012

Want to listen to the Fan Forum with Coach and Jahii? Click right here...

This Ballislife.com video on Jahii has been viewed more than 400,000 times. If you like dunks, click right here...

Here is a look back at the May Fan Forum with Jahii and Coach Sendek as they talk about the growth and development of Jahii in his first year as a Sun Devil, among many other things, which was hosted by Sun Devil Kyle Dodd, also the color commentator for Sun Devil basketball on the Sun Devil Radio Network.

Kyle Dodd
Welcome everyone to the Fan Forum with Sun Devils basketball coach Herb Sendek and Jahii Carson. This is an exclusive event for Sun Devils basketball season ticket holders with both Coach Sendek and Jahii Carson taking questions live from Sun Devils basketball season ticket holders.

Kyle Dodd
And at this time I would like to turn it over to Coach Sendek and have him talk a little bit about what's been going on in Sun Devil basketball land since we last hosted the fan forum. Coach thanks for coming out.

COACH SENDEK
Thank you Kyle, I appreciate you doing this again. Jahii and I are really excited to be talking with our fans. We had such a great turn out about two weeks ago when we did this. I think we had over 1,100 people online and tonight we have several hundred joining us, so there's a tremendous amount of interest for this time of year, so we're excited to talk Sun Devil basketball this evening.

Kyle Dodd
And also like we mentioned earlier have Jahii here, and I know every Sun Devil fan out here in the valley is excited to see this guy on the floor. And we want to turn it over to Jahii just for a second to address some of you guys and if he has anything to say.

JAHII
Hello everybody, I'm just excited to be here talking about the upcoming season, we're here with Coach Sendek. It's been a great year for me so far except for all the little things that happened in the past. I'm just looking to put those things behind me and I'm just ready to talk to you guys today.

Kyle Dodd
All right thanks Jahii. We're going to go back to coach here for a second.

COACH SENDEK
Now I'll tell you what, I would tell all of our listeners, and all of the Sun Devils that Jahii has had a great spring. He's worked extremely hard in the weight room. He's worked very hard in our skill sessions. The one thing he has is a great passion for the game and he brings tremendous energy to the floor. And even more importantly I think you know he has earned my tremendous respect with the grace and dignity with which he has handled a tough situation this year. I couldn't be more proud of him and he's going to be a great success story for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Kyle Dodd
Thanks Coach and Jahii, and right now we have so many Sun Devil fans, passionate season ticket holders on the line. We're going to try to get out to the questions right now. Our first question is going to go out to my buddy Eric in Tempe. He's been a season ticket holder for 20 years. He's been a very passionate fan, and Eric you're on with Coach and Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN ERIC
Hey Coach and Jahii how are you doing? With the culture in college basketball so many players want the opportunity to play early and to play often, so what kind of things can you do to keep these guys happy and not consider transferring to another school?

COACH SENDEK
Well I don't know that happiness is a gift you can give anybody else. I think those things have to come from within and there's only so many minutes that every college team has to distribute. And unfortunately I think too often young guys are looking for answers somewhere else rather than looking in the mirror and saying, "Hey listen if I want to play, I've got to get better." And obviously I'm painting with a broad base brush right now but transfers have reached an epidemic level. There was an article just the other day in the Washington Post addressing it again, followed by the article in USA Today. So I think for the first time the situation is getting national attention. But guys now go to multiple high schools; they play on several summer teams, they watch what happens with free agency in the NBA and it's just something that is really permeating not only our sports culture but our business world as well. So I don't know if it's incumbent upon a school or a coach. In many respects you have to find ways that all of a sudden we are not going to be able to have ways to have perfect retention.

Kyle Dodd
Thanks again Eric, and we certainly know how passionate you are about ASU basketball and thanks for your support. We're going to go out right now to Marty who has a question for Jahii. Marty you're on with Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN MARTY
Hey Jahii, I was curious with all the changes with ASU basketball over the last year here, I was wondering why you decided to stay with ASU and what you like about them?

JAHII
I've decided to stay at ASU because they've been with me through all the tough and rough times that I've had to face this season. I feel like they are a part of my family and I love Arizona State. I grew up watching Arizona State as a kid. My mom is an alumni from Arizona State. I think me and Coach Sendek have a pretty good bond on and off the court so I feel like I should have stayed. I also wanted to stay and support my teammates since they supported me through my tough season this past year.

Kyle Dodd
And I think that's what's so impressive about a guy like Jahii, a young guy that's showing some true loyalty there and understands what loyalty is all about. And I think that's just another reason to chalk it up to why we're so excited to get him on the floor next year. We're going to go back to a question right now, we're going to go with Larry. You're on with Coach and Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN LARRY
Hey Coach and Jahii. I would like both coach and Jahii to answer this question. What is Jahii going to do to change the floor game of Arizona State? How is Jahii going to change what ASU does on the floor?

COACH SENDEK
Well if I can take the first part of that and then certainly Jahii can dovetail. You know one of our responsibilities as coaches and really the part I enjoy as much as any other is putting our guys in the best position to be successful and I think Jahii obviously has some real gifts in the open floor. I think he's going to be particularly good at using ball screens. He's a guy that can really create shots not only for himself but his teammates and so I think he will allow us to open some things up and in particular do some fun things with pick and roll that we probably weren't in as good of a position to do this past year.

JAHII
Yes I'd also like to tell you about what Coach said. I would like to try to create shots for other guys, get guys open and try and bring a little bit of energy to the floor. I'm an energetic guy, I like to get up and down the floor, I like to get in people's faces on defense, and I think that we have the personnel to be able to do that. And I think that's what I'm going to try to bring to ASU next season.

Kyle Dodd
All right great question there. Moving along here we're going to go with Robert who has a question for both Coach and Jahii. Go ahead.

SUN DEVIL FAN ROBERT
Hey Coach, on the first conference call you mentioned recruiting. Explain to me the recruiting process. What specifically do you think you are going to change to get better at recruiting? Won't it be harder for you to recruit now and what do you do from here to go forward?

COACH SENDEK
Well we most certainly have had some tremendous players we've recruited, and we've had some other guys that haven't worked out. But we've been recruiting a long time as well as developing players, and at every school I've worked at including Arizona State. Not only have we recruited and coached first round draft picks but we've also had guys who have been picked in the lottery and we've had outstanding players here, like an Eric Boateng, like a Jahii Carson. You mention Jeff Pendergraph, and we have good players on our team now. Have we had some guys that we haven't retained that weren't as good? Absolutely, but as we look forward in our recruiting, here's what we are looking for. We are looking for guys with great character, that's really important. We're going to be a character driven program. We're going to be integrity based. We want guys who can do the work academically obviously. But then we're looking for guys who have a passion for the game, guys who have competitive toughness, and guys who have a good basketball IQ outside of the obvious skill level and athleticism that everyone looks for. And the other thing is we'd like to as much as possible build from the inside out. We have a number of Arizona kids joining our program. On top of that we have what we call the X-Factor. We want people who want to be at Arizona State. That's important to us. The guys who want to be at Arizona State ultimately are going to be very successful. But we've made some mistakes in recruiting. I don't know that we stand-alone with that, it's certainly not an exact science. But we also celebrate some tremendous recruiting successes and the young man sitting next to me right now is one of those.

Kyle Dodd
Yes as Coach mentioned it, we have had some successes and quite a few Sun Devils that have been in the NBA and I think Joel who has been a season ticket holder for 34 years from Scottsdale has a question on some of those NBA alumni.

SUN DEVIL FAN JOEL
Yes my question is to what extent do we make use of the NBA alumni in terms of the recruiting process and encouraging folks that we really want to be at ASU to come here?

COACH SENDEK
Well the NCAA rules really restrict us from using any alumni, any booster in recruiting. But what we are able to do is point at some of the guys we have had through the years and look at there successes. James Harden, Jeff Pendergraph, Julius Hodge, Cedric Simmons, Wally Szczerbiak, Eric Murdock, all of these former guys who have had long time NBA careers. We point to them in terms of the development and careers they've enjoyed playing for us though the years. But in terms of them being able to speak on our behalf or contact recruits the NCAA prohibits that.

Kyle Dodd
Great question we are going to keep moving along. We're going to go out to Julie who has a question for Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN JULIE
Good evening. I wanted to first touch up with Coach and say I'm really happy to hear that you're focusing on the character and the integrity. That's really important to me as a mother of two young sons and so I continue to appreciate you recruiting high caliber young men that are role models on and off the court.

COACH SENDEK
Thank you, thank you very much. We want a program that's easy to cheer for, one that we can all be proud of. And right now we have some outstanding men in our program and guys that are going to be easy to get behind and pull for and we're going to continue to be a character driven and integrity-based program. And I don't mean to cut you off but I want to just add one more thing, and the last question we had about our recruiting. We're positioned extremely well in our recruiting right now. For our young guys I couldn't be more excited than where we are today. But anyway I didn't mean to jump in like that, please finish your question.

SUN DEVIL FAN JULIE
Jahii my question to you is that you sat back and patiently did what you needed to do this season. What do you see is your role on this team going into the 2012-13 season and what are your personal goals?

JAHII
I just feel like my role is to do what the coaches ask of me. I don't really come in looking to prove any statements or make any statements. I just try to come in and I feel my role is to do what the coaches ask of me. If they ask me to play defense, then I'm going to play defense, if they ask me to score the basketball then I'm going to do my best to try and score the basketball. I'm just trying to make my team better, that's what I'm here to do. I'm here to be a team player, and I have goals of my own, I have goals academically and athletically. And one of my goals athletically is to just help my team become a better team. And one of my goals academically is just to become someone who strives for graduation when its time for me to graduate. Hopefully I'll have all of my credits in and I succeed with my academics.

Kyle Dodd
Jahii you mentioned doing anything that the coaches asked. What if the coaches asked you to engage in a slam-dunk contest with the former point guard Kyle Dodd, would you do that? And do you think you could win that contest?

JAHII
Of course that's something I would do. And right now yes, but in his prime I think he might get me.

Kyle Dodd
No chance. No chance. Thanks, great question Julie. We're going to move along, we're going to go to Bob. He's been a season ticket holder for 4 years. He's out in Chandler. Bob you're on.

SUN DEVIL FAN BOB
Hey thanks Coach, thanks Jahii. Even though we've had some ups and downs I've enjoyed watching the Sun Devils. I'm an alumni, I've only been back in town for 4 years and I enjoy the game very much. Jahii I was wondering what part of your game do you think you have to work on the most to really take advantage of this next level?

JAHII
I'm a little guard and there's not a lot of little guards in the Pac-12. There have been successful little guards in the Pac-10 in the past with Isiah Thomas and Randle from Cal, and I think the main focus is getting stronger and being able to go to the basket, take the contact of the bigger guys and having a consistent mid-range jump shot. A lot of guys forget about the mid-range jump shot nowadays in the game and that's one thing that I feel is effective for a point guard of my size is to be able to hit the mid-range jumper to keep the defense honest. If they go under the screen and hit the consistent three, and if they go over the screen and are able to hit floaters and dish the basketball to the big guys underneath the basket.

Kyle Dodd
Great questions so far. Right now we are going to move on to John who has been a season ticket holder for 4 years from Tempe. John you're on with Jahii and Coach.

SUN DEVIL FAN JOHN
Hi Coach how are you doing? With everything that has happened the last few years what is your definition of a successful season for the 2012-13 year?

COACH SENDEK
Well let me first ask you, what would be your definition?

SUN DEVIL FAN JOHN
Postseason of some type, at least the NIT, but hopefully the NCAA.

COACH SENDEK
Sure, well I'll tell you what we're excited about our team very much. I tell these guys day in and day out about how much I believe in them, and if you would be in the trenches with me on a daily basis with these guys you'd feel the same way. We're tremendously excited. You know, we know we're challenged and as you so accurately pointed out we're coming off of two tough seasons. But we have a long track record of those 20 win seasons that you also mentioned and our guys are working very hard and they have tremendous resolve and determination right now and we're going to shoot for the stars. I'm not going to put any limits on these guys by trying to fix a number of wins or how far they can go. At the same time we're not going to make any bold predictions. We're going to keep our feet on the ground, we're going to work as hard as we can and at the end of the time we'll see where we stand.

Kyle Dodd
Good question. Along that same line we have Philip from Scottsdale who has a question on next year as well.

SUN DEVIL FAN PHILIP
What's your outlook for the Pac-12 next year and Arizona State in it?

COACH SENDEK
Well I think the league once again will be very competitive. I think the difference between teams on most any night is very, very thin. I think our league will be better. We've had a couple of tough seasons as a conference where you look at this past year Washington won the regular season and didn't get an at large bid. A couple of seasons ago we finished second in the league and didn't get an at large bid. And our league as a whole has lost a number of players early to the NBA, and its taken us a little bit of time to replenish that. But I look for the league to be very strong top to bottom, extremely well balanced, and we look forward to competing for sure.

Kyle Dodd
I have a question actually for Jahii about that, how excited are you that the league is going to be better next year? And I know as a competitor like you are you always want to play against the best and obviously we've got some guys coming into the league that can really go, how excited are you for the competition?

JAHII
I'm really excited. It just makes me want to work that much harder and prove a little bit of a statement. I know all the guys are feeling the same way on the team. They see that the recruiting classes of UCLA and the Wildcats are becoming strong, and people start to forget about us a little bit. And I think that puts a little bit of a chip on our shoulders to go out there and compete that much harder.

Kyle Dodd
Absolutely Jahii. And we're going to keep it going, we have Dennis who has a question for Jahii and has been a season ticket holder for 6 years. Dennis you're on with Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN DENNIS
Hey Jahii, I was just wondering what you thought of playing with an athletic big man like Jordan Bachynski and how you feel the team is developing?

JAHII
Well with me being on the sidelines this year I was able to watch everybody's strengths and flaws, and I saw JB just develop and shoot through the roof as far as development went through. He has an amazing pivot game, he's very athletic and he's very skilled. I know that he will be able to get up and run up and down the court with us and I'm looking forward to feeding him the basketball and knowing that a big guy is going to be able to finish, as a point guard is a dream. You don't want a big guy who isn't able to catch passes and then finish lay-ups, but he can do both of those. And Jonathon Gilling he's also been a guy who skyrocketed through the roof as far as improvement. He's a great three-point shooter. He also has great character and is fun to be around. So I like playing with guys who are fun to be around. But everybody is pretty good and they are all pretty nice guys so I feel comfortable playing with them and I'm excited to be playing with them.

Kyle Dodd
Great question, we're going to Steven, and you're on with Jahii and Coach.

SUN DEVIL FAN STEVEN
Can we expect the possibility of any additional recruits to be added by fall, especially to the frontline?

COACH SENDEK
You know unless something very unexpected happens our team is complete for next year. And I don't share the same sentiment about our frontcourt I really believe in those guys. We touched on Jordan's play towards the end of the year. Arizona actually went to a double team against him. Jonathon Gilling had an outstanding freshman year and I think he really projects well into the future. Ruslan Pateev will be back for his senior year and he's working extremely hard right now on his body. And then we have a couple of young guys that will be joining us, Eric Jacobsen from Chandler Hamilton who is 6'10" a very rugged front court player and Kenny Martin who is 6'9" from Kellis in Glendale who has long arms and is a tremendous shot-blocker and brings great energy. And so I think we have a very formidable frontcourt and I think those guys will continue to progress very well.

Kyle Dodd
Thanks, great question. And along the lines of those recruits coming in and coach mentioned a couple of them in Kenny Martin and Eric Jacobsen, I think we're going to go out to Gene who has been a season ticket holder for 35 years in Tempe, we appreciate your support. Gene you're on with coach.

SUN DEVIL FAN GENE
Thanks for taking my call. Could coach give a little rundown on some of the other recruits coming in? And also I just wanted to tell you that you did a great job at the last fan forum.

COACH SENDEK
Absolutely. First let me just respond to your comment about the season ticket holder appreciation night we had at Macayo's the other night. We had about 500 people in attendance, as you know Gene a tremendous turnout. We had a lot of good laughs. We shared some great insight and information about our team. Our players had a lot of fun being there. They formed kind of a receding line for people who came through the door and shake just about everybody's hand. So it was a great night for Sun Devils basketball. In terms of the new players for next year we actually have six. We have Jahii, and then we also have Evan Gordon and Bo Barnes who like Jahii were able to practice with us this year. They're two tremendous shooters and two guys who can really score. And coincidentally two guys who have transferred in. So I think that runs both ways. And then we have three freshmen. I just mentioned Eric Jacobsen and Kenny Martin. We also have Calaen Robinson who is a 6'1" left-handed lightning quick guard. He has a very quick release on his shot and was player of the year here in Arizona as his high school team actually finished the season in the top 25 nationally, Corona del Sol.

Kyle Dodd
Great questions so far. Right now we are going to go to Larry Kelly who has a question and has been a season ticket holder for 20 years and we appreciate it.

SUN DEVIL FAN LARRY
Hi Coach. Premier players like to play in a packed house. What are you going to do to make the game more exciting to help fill those seats?

COACH SENDEK
Well winning always helps. But even when we've won a lot of games we still have room for improvement with our attendance. I really like the fact that we have a strong local flavor on our team for next year. We have six guys on our roster from right here in the valley. And at the end of the day it's not just what I'm going to do, its about what you and me are going to do together and all of Sun Devil nation. Because you're right it does impact recruiting and it does affect the guys we have on our team. You know maybe Jahii can speak to that because you know we need to have every seat filled, even that Bob Uecker seat in that last row is important for that competitive home court advantage and for that edge in recruiting. And that's something quite frankly right Jahii? We have had to battle on the recruiting front.

JAHII
Yes definitely, as a player who is coming up and playing next season I definitely think the crowd is a disadvantage to opposing teams. Having the loud fans on the sideline screaming and yelling at the point guard is really going to help me out. So I have tried to spread the word to everybody that I know in Arizona and hopefully those seats are filled from the bottom to the top.

COACH SENDEK
You know just to every season ticket holder listening right now, if they would get one friend to join the ranks, and if we can't get everyone listening right now if half the people right now would get one friend that would fill some more seats. And that's how we will have to do it, one person at a time. Everybody's important and everybody counts.

Kyle Dodd
I think that's a great point coach. And I think that is one thing that everybody wants to point to. And winning takes care of it, but I think as a Sun Devil nation and administrations, the coaching staff, players and former players need to decide what they can do to help build this thing to where it needs to be and it's headed in that direction.

COACH SENDEK
You know and it's a two way street. Our guys do a great job in the community. Their involved in countless community service out reach activities. They go to schools and read, they help at the Pat Tillman run, they're down at St. Vincent De Paul, they're at Andre House. They're fully engaged and committed in the community. And I know Jahii moving forward that's going to be a big part of his development and his branding here at Arizona State. So our guys know that it's not a one-way street and I assure you they are out there trying to give back to the community at every possible opportunity. Jahii has the kind of charisma and leadership and he just does a great job of that and I know that's something he takes seriously, right Jahii?

JAHII
Yes, recently I just got done refereeing Junior High games over at Pueblo just for the fun of it, just to give back to the kids who look up to me and are excited to see me playing at ASU next year. I'm a hometown local guy and I try to give back to everybody who has supported me at Mesa High and throughout my High School career, and to the ones who are still following me here at ASU. So I do take pride in my character, and I do take pride in being a gentleman and having integrity and that's one of the things that coach has said all along on this forum and has told us countless times during the season that he wants guys with good character and who are gentleman, and that's something that I thrive on.

Kyle Dodd
And that's great to hear Jahii and as a former player that's what you want to hear. And we're going to keep this moving along. We're going to go with Dennis. You're on with Coach and Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN DENNIS
Hi Jahii and Coach how are you doing? When you first came to Arizona State you went to the match up zone defense but with you recruiting these large 7 foot centers I have seen them get pulled out of position to cover a guard or a small forward and they aren't in the inside to rebound or defend. Won't you have to adjust your scheme and have your centers more in the lane to guard the basket and help with the fast break offense and rebounding?

COACH SENDEK
Well we will certainly consider all facets of our scheme. But regardless of whether you are playing our zone or a man to man your frontcourt players are going to have to be pulled away from the baskets. For example, our frontcourt players in the zone are never pulled away to defend the ball screen. But if you play conventional man-to-man especially the way the game has now evolved almost on every single possession one of your frontcourt players is pulled away from the basket. Usually it's your center to defend the ball screen. So they're actually out on the perimeter whether you are playing man or zone. And even if a team is running a less conventional offense because today's conventional offenses are polluted with ball screens they are still out defending screens on staggers and other kinds of actions when you play man-to-man. The way offensive basketball has evolved, unless you're going to play a 2-3 zone like a Syracuse does and keep your center at home base the way that offenses have evolved playing often times with four guards on offense and with the pollution of ball screens they are still out on the perimeter. So that is a consideration, but we are doing right now like we always do is we are going to evaluate who we have and try to put those guys in the best possible position to be successful and we're going to do that on both ends of the floor.

Kyle Dodd
And just to piggyback on what Coach said and the evolution of basketball and the ball screen he hit it right on the head. So many times Coach a lot of these ball screens to bring these bigs out is called a step-up screen or a flat ball screen. These bigs don't even know really what side their hedging on because it's a flat ball screen what's the challenge of running a man-to-man or are these bigs on that particular screen?

COACH SENDEK
Well I think that without question the greatest advantage that our match up has given us is the way we defend ball screens. In fact we have received a lot of interest from the NBA in our defense and it's because it really is ideally suited for defending ball screens. And you're right Kyle not only are they setting conventional ball screens as we know them, but as things have evolved now teams are setting flat ball screens or even more lethal sometimes as they get out there depending on the craftiness of the guard they quickly change the angle of the ball screen. And so it really is tough and it puts your big guys in position where they really have to be agile, they have to move their feet and sometimes they are literally guarding a player like Jahii coming at them with a running start full steam. And so the advantage of the match up has helped keep our perimeter players on the ball screen action. Now having said all of that everything is on the table for careful consideration.

Kyle Dodd
Thanks Coach, and we're going to go back to the callers here. And we're going to go to Wally he's been a season ticket holder since Wells Fargo was built. Thanks for your support Wally you're on with Coach and Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN WALLY
Thank you for taking my call. I was just wondering if you could tell us who you have on your non-conference schedule for next year?

COACH SENDEK
Sure, it's not finished yet but I'll give you a couple of the highlights. We are once again going to play in a nationally televised exempt tournament. And that tournament will have two home games against Florida A&M and Cornell from the Ivy League. And then we'll advance to Las Vegas we're there will be Creighton and Wisconsin and Arkansas. And then from there we have a home series that we are going to start with DePaul. We have a strong ASU alumni base in Chicago and we wanted to get up into that area and play for them. And then we also are going to travel to play at Texas Tech and then we are still working on completing the schedule.

Kyle Dodd
Jahii just hearing some of those names how excited are you to get going right now?

JAHII
I'm excited, you know playing AAU ball all across the country you know playing some of those guys who are at those schools who are a little bit of rivals of mine. So I'd like to get out there and get a little piece of them.

Kyle Dodd
Sounds great, and we are going to move along. We're going to go out to Howard. He has a question on recruiting and has been a season ticket holder for five years. Howard you're on.

SUN DEVIL FAN HOWARD
I was wondering to what extent can Coach Sendek use those players such as a Rihards Kuksiks and how international players can develop in this program and actually serve as an equalizer to some of the recruiting advantages of more traditional schools such as UCLA?

COACH SENDEK
That's maybe the most insightful question of the night. That's a great question. And it's a real part of our strategy right now. We're trying to do a great job from the inside out. But we've had tremendous success with international players. When I was at NC State two of our very best players were international players and right now on our team we have a few guys that are tremendous. We had Eric Boateng who obviously had a tremendous career for us and right now we have Jonathon Gilling and Jordan Bachynski and that's a real part of our recruiting strategy moving forward. So I think you're right, and I think the cornerstone of our program though has been to continue to be player development. I think if you look at the guys who have stayed with us, you know they've almost to a man gotten better, and not just a little bit better, and maybe no better example of that Kyle than Derek Glasser. You know this young guy was going to be a walk on in our conference and he left with four school records. And you look at Eric Boateng or even Jeff Pendergraph who is in the NBA he wasn't among the top 200 players in the country coming out of high school in terms of all the rankings and he's playing for the Indiana Pacers. So I think guys almost to a man have really gotten better in our program and they work hard. And I go back to Jahii only because he's sitting here and just tell you that you can't believe just how hard this young guy is working right now. And he's very determined and if he can just maintain that he's going to get a lot better. And it's just a fun part of coaching, and I think it's the part we enjoy just as much as any.

Kyle Dodd
Yes and I touched on it the last fan forum we did, but it's so huge today in college basketball that player development side of things. And just witnessing in person by being out at practice I assure you that even during the Pac-10 stretch Coach has these sections of practice where he is working on nothing more than skill development. That's so huge and it's just a credit to him and the staff. We're going to move along we have Edward, he has a question. You've been a season ticket holder for 10 years, thanks Edward.

SUN DEVIL FAN EDWARD
Do you have the personnel to play man-to-man defense?

COACH SENDEK
I do, I think we do have the personnel to play man-to-man. Whether we play man or zone though it still comes down to the fundamentals. And if you would come to one of our practices you would probably look to your buddy and say are they playing man-to-man? Because everything is fundamentally driven, we teach it the exact same way, but having said that throughout the evening we will continue to look at all of our schemes to put this group in the best position to be successful. But I can tell you no matter what we run on offense, no matter what defense we employ it still comes down to the fundamentals. And right now you know one of our real goals is to be more fundamentally sound and we have to teach and emphasize and drill fundamentals.

Kyle Dodd
We have William you're on with Coach and Jahii.

SUN DEVIL FAN WILLIAM
This year what type of offense will you be running? And also will you still be running the same defense as last year?

COACH SENDEK
Right now we're actually working on all those plans. Our offense will look different, I think we'll be much more transition oriented just like we kind of started the year playing. If you go back to the way we played at the beginning of the year, when we thought we had one team in place it dramatically changed when we had some personnel changes. I think Jahii is very comfortable in the open court as are his teammates. I think we can do some more things with the pick and roll. Chris Colvin did some nice things with pick and roll for us. Who can forget the pick and roll where he scored the big basket against USC. Then we went pick and roll when Jon Gilling hit the three against Arizona at the end. I think we can continue to do things towards that end. We like some quick hitters to put our guys in position to score. But I think all of that is going to be a lot of fun with this team.

Kyle Dodd
Thanks Coach and I'm going to give Jahii a chance right now to play coach here for a minute. Jahii what would you say in your opinion what you feel like the best offensive defensive stuff that you could run for you personally? What would you like to see you guys do?

JAHII
Honestly I don't think that there is any defense that I wouldn't be able to feel comfortable in. You know I'm a quick guy and able to cover a lot of ground in a little time. I'm very athletic I'm able to get deflections whether it's zone, man, or any type of half-court or full-court press. I think I can feel comfortable playing any type of defense that Coach is willing to play. And with any offense I think that he has a good enough basketball IQ, and he can scout players good enough to know where his players can thrive and what offense that they can thrive in. He's going to put me in the best position possible whether that's pick and roll, four-flats, motion offense coming off screen. I think that he can see that and I'm going to trust him with that.

COACH SENDEK
One thing that is important is that Jahii and I as well as the other players we have conversations. So I don't make those decisions all on my own Kyle, I enjoy talking to our guys because everybody has there favorite spots, everybody has things that they like, and rather than me simply dictate I'd love to go back and forth and probe and ask questions and then take their input when we actually design what we are going to do.

Kyle Dodd
Yes and to be honest that was kind of a test for Jahii right there that he just passed, because that's a great answer from a great young guy. It just seems that the more you hear this guy talk he truly gets it and I think Coach for you that you've got to be excited for a guy like that who will be leading your basketball into the next year.

COACH SENDEK
Well I have just been tremendously impressed with the way that he's grown as a young man. I go back to what I said earlier in the evening Kyle. He has handled a difficult situation with grace and dignity. I think that he has really shown all of us a very honorable way to deal with adversity. I couldn't be prouder of him, he's my guy, and I love him to death. Just listening to him talk he kind of stands for what we also said at the beginning of the show that we want to have a program that we can all cheer for and is easy to pull for and that we can all be proud of. And when you listen to this young guy talk how could you not cheer for him? How could you not cheer for the Sun Devils? And you can tell why we are so excited.

Kyle Dodd
And I think that's a great point Coach. Like you said we are all going to be excited to watch him play, but the fact that the guy has that kind of head on his shoulders being at his age is going to be great. We have time for just a couple more questions. We're going to go to Joel right now he has a question.

SUN DEVIL FAN JOEL
What can you do to get more students in the stands?

COACH SENDEK
Well I just want to let you know that we are doing everything we possibly can. Last season Jim Rund led a charge from the University administration to get more and more students to our games. Our Athletic administration has been actively involved in that more than ever. As have the coaches and players. In fact this week on Wednesday I'm going to be serving a 9 p.m. breakfast for students before finals. We're over at the MU and we have lunch with them and we have pep rallies and giveaways. So I assure you we are actively involved, we have another full-fledged plan we are going to launch and try and touch as many students as we can, and I couldn't agree with you more. Hopefully we have so many students who want to come that it eventually becomes a problem.

Kyle Dodd
All right guys well we certainly appreciate all the calls tonight and we're going to wrap it up, but we're absolutely really thrilled we had a chance to talk to Jahii tonight and I know you fans are excited to see him play. But just for him to come out and spend some times answering questions we really appreciate that. And as always Coach does a great job at taking and answering questions. Appreciate the calls and we look forward to doing this again at some point. Thanks everyone for calling in!

Arizona State Sun Devils Men's Basketball
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