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Courtesy: Steve Rodriguez
SUN DEVIL NCAA TOURNAMENT QUOTES FROM SUNDAY
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/16/2014
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QUOTES FROM COACH SENDEK'S PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER LEARNING NCAA TOURNAMENT SITE AND PLAYING TEXAS...

“I’d like to thank everybody for coming out this afternoon and let you know I’m so thrilled for our university, our athletics department, our basketball program and the men on our team. We just watched the pairings together and when our name went up on the screen there was tremendous joy and excitement in the room. As a coach being able to stand in the back and watch our guys celebrate like that is about as good as it gets. So I’m tremendously happy for them; they put a lot of hard work in. They came together quickly as a team with so many new comers and did a terrific job, I’m very proud.”

WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN NAME WAS CALLED...

“There’s no feeling like it… it’s hard to describe… You have a pretty good sense of where things stand because it’s now so covered… Every body scrutinizes every detail but until your name actually appears up there, you wait in anticipation. When it finally goes up it’s an incredibly good feeling.”

WERE THERE ANY TENSE MOMENTS?

“Absolutely, especially as it unfolded today; we weren’t announced until the third region, so half the field had been announced before our name appeared.”

ON HOW THE TEAMS HITS "RESET"...

“I think everybody does and I think it comes pretty naturally. Everybody has a sense of rebirth going into the tournament. I don’t think the games that were most recently played necessarily carry over. I’ve done it long enough to see so many stark examples of that. Maybe the greatest example was our 1987 team that went to the Final Four from Providence. We lost in the Big East Tournament probably by 30 points to a tremendous Georgetown team and a couple weeks later that was the very team that we beat to go to the Final Four. Even when teams like Villanova have gone on to win the National Championship with coach Massimino. I remember their last regular season game at Pitt, I think they lost by 26 points. It depends on how far back in the season you want to pick a point. All those teams, when you see those names pop up on the screen; you’re saying, boy there’s a lot of good teams. A lot of evenly matched teams. No matter what bracket you’re in, you can’t think you have anything other than a challenging game.”

THOUGHTS ON TEXAS AND ITS PROGRAM AND RICK BARNES...

“The one thing I would say with respect to Texas is, I worked for Rick Barnes at Providence as an assistant. He’s somebody who I consider a great friend, somebody who is not only a great basketball coach, but even a better person. He’s the kind of man that if you have a son, that’s who you want him to play for. He’s that good of person. I just have tremendous respect for coach. What he’s been able to do at Texas over the years is incredible. He’s really taken that program to unprecedented and sustained heights.”

CAN ASU PLAY ITS BEST BASKETBALL NOW?

"Nobody can predict the future. We’re certainly going to do our best. We’re certainly going to give everything we have. How that plays out, we’ll see. It doesn’t serve any higher purpose to make bold predictions. We have to prepare well, then when the game comes, we’re going to have to play together and hopefully play our best. I don’t think we’ve necessarily played our best lately but we’ve played very good teams. We’ve been on the road four of our last six games, not including the Pac-12 tournament and our league is really good. Washington State, the last place team in our league, beat the Pac-12 champ by 18 points. There’s a lot of people beating each other through the course of this season. We lost the last regular season game to Oregon State on the road in a tough overtime game that was important to us; but Oregon State is a good team. They beat UCLA, Oregon and Stanford and people of that caliber at home. That’s the kind of league it was this year in the Pac-12 and I think the committee recognized that giving six bids to our league.”

ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO SEE SIX PAC-12 TEAMS GET BIDS...

“We talked about it all year. We felt the league was as good as it has been since I’ve come to Arizona State. Really a strong basketball conference right now, any win you get is hard earned. It really was a great day for the league. There are other teams that didn’t get a bid that are really good basketball teams in our conference. You think about the likes of Cal, Utah, Washington, Oregon State. Those are good basketball teams. I think the same could be said in all fairness to a lot of different leagues. There’s good teams with good records who aren’t able to make the field.

ON SMU NOT GETTING A BID...

“I don’t know a lot about the resume, I haven’t studied the analytics of it like the committee has; but I don’t envy their position. To discern who’s in and who’s out has to be extremely difficult and when you talk about seeding teams, that almost has to be impossible. How do you discern between who’s 7, 8 who’s 9 and who’s a 10? Once you get the outliers, like everyone knows Florida is a one. Once you get beyond those outliers, just by the nature of college basketball; look inside our own conference. How could you possibly at the margin, split hairs like that? I think they have an increasingly difficult task as college basketball gains popularity. There’s more teams playing division one basketball. There’s more teams who invest great resources and energy’s to be good at it. I can’t remember at any point in my coaching career, that started a long long time ago, where there’s been this many good teams, capable teams.

ON HIS PLAYERS GETTING THAT NCAA MEMORY...

“As a college basketball player, it’s a memory that you’re going to have the rest of your life. There’s a lot of good players, good teams, that don’t have this opportunity. I’m very happy for them, but not only for Jahii and Jordan; but we had two senior walk-ons. Jarett Upchurch and David Whitmore. I was just filled with joy for them as well. Countless hours. Selfless hours that they put in and they have a chance to be part of it too. From that standpoint it’s a really good feeling to see so many young people be in that position.”

Arizona State Sun Devils Men's Basketball
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