Everyone knew Jordan Bachynski and his NCAA-best 133 blocks were graduating, and that Jahii Carson and his 43 wins the past two years would be moving on. Jermaine Marshall made the most of his one year in maroon and gold (did anyone have a better 90 seconds than him against Arizona?).
So who is back and who is on the way? Returning will be six players who earned playing time last year, including four players who averaged more than 10 minutes per game. The NCAA made the right move in allowing Shaquielle McKissic an extra year, and despite some premature news Bo Barnes was leaving, he is indeed back, after earning his B.A in Business Communications. Also back from starting 33 combined games last year are Eric Jacobsen and Jon Gilling, while Sai Tummala and Chance Murray both look to make an impact in 2014-15 with a year under their belts.
2014-15 SUN DEVIL RETURNERS
#3 CHANCE MURRAY (LOS ANGELES, CALIF./6-3/GUARD/SOPHOMORE)
Chance saw action in 22 games and simply couldn’t find minutes because Jahii Carson (35.4 minutes), Jermaine Marshall (31.7) and Bo Barnes (13.8) snagged all the backcourt playing time. One thing to remember about Chance...he doesn’t turn 19 until November. He probably should be entering his freshman year. He was the youngest player in the Pac-12 last year.
#21 ERIC JACOBSEN (CHANDLER, ARIZ./6-10/FORWARD/JUNIOR)
Eric started 15 games last year and averaged over 10 minutes a game. He has made 46-of-94 (.489) from the floor and had 13 blocks. With 64 games in two-year career, expect him to build on the minutes from last year and increase the 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds he averaged in 2013-14. Here is random stat on Eric...when he scored five points last year, ASU was 5-0.
#24 SAI TUMMALA (PHOENIX, ARIZ./6-7/FORWARD/JUNIOR)
The pre-med major from Salt Lake C.C. played in 15 games in his sophomore year. When Shaq’s minutes went up and it was impossible to take Jermaine off the floor, minutes were hard to come by, but he has his eye on making an impact this season.
#31 JON GILLING (SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ./6-7/FORWARD/SENIOR)
Jon Gilling’s .434 (66-of-152) shooting from the three-point stripe last year is the fifth-best in Sun Devil history with at least 100 attempts and is the second-best in the past 17 seasons as only Rihards Kuksiks .443 (93-of-210) mark in 2008-09 is better from 1997-98 to present. With 203 career three-pointers, look for him to pass Jeremy Veal (224), Eddie House (250) and Ron Riley (263) this year and push Kuksiks (280) and Ty Abott (273) for second and third on the Sun Devil career chart.
SUN DEVIL THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE (MINIMUM 100 ATTEMPTS)
.453, Tarence Wheeler, 1987-88 (58-of-128)
.443, Rihards Kuksikis, 2008-09 (93-of-210)
.443, Jeremy Veal, 1996-97 (58-of-131)
.438, Alex Austin, 1988-89 (49-of-112)
.434, Jon Gilling, 2013-14 (66-of-152)
#33 BO BARNES (SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ./HAWAII/6-4/GUARD/SENIOR)
Barnes has played in 85 games in his three-year career, with 53 at Arizona State and 32 in his freshman year at Hawaii when he knocked down 57 three-pointers (2010-11), a school freshman record. His stats from last year don't show the whole value, as his 8.7 minutes and 4.5 points per game can be misleading. In the final 16 games, Barnes averaged 19.6 minutes, shot .466 (34-of-73) from the floor and was 20-of-48 (.417) from the three-point stripe. He chipped in with 6.7 points per game, and had four double-figure scoring games on the year. Yes, he switched to No. 33 this year.
#40 SHAQUIELLE McKISSIC (SEATTLE, WASH./6-5/SENIOR/WING)
Shaquielle posted double digits in 16 games and after averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in the first nine games in 18.9 minutes per game, he was third on the team in minutes per game in the final 24 games at 32.0 and averaged 10.5 points (fourth on the team) and 5.8 rebounds (second on the team). He shot a team-best .509 (82-of-161) from the field in that time and was second on the team with 65 assists.
THE NEW GUYS...
So what about the newcomers? Well three of them earned high praise already and UNLV transfer Savon Goodman will add to that mix, and freshmen Tra Holder, Kodi Justice and Connor MacDougall all will get a chance. Here is a listing of all seven below.
2014-15 SUN DEVIL NEWCOMERS
#0, Tra Holder, 6-2, Guard, Fr., Brentwood High School/Los Angeles, Calif.
#1, Roosevelt Scott, 6-4, Guard, Jr., Indian Hills C.C./St. Paul, Minn.
#2 Willie Atwood, 6-8, Forward, Jr., Connors State College/Memphis, Tenn.
#4 Gerry Blakes, 6-4, Guard, Jr. San Bernardino C.C./Los Angeles, Calif.
#11 Savon Goodman, 6-6, Forward, Soph., UNLV/Philadelphia, Pa. (note: will be eligible after fall of 2014 semester)
#44 Kodi Justice, 6-4, Guard, Fr., Dobson High School/Mesa, Ariz.
#55 Connor MacDougall, 6-9, Forward, Fr., Corona del Sol High School/Tempe, Ariz.
SUN DEVIL NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
NOV. 14: CHICAGO STATE (CBE CLASSIC)
NOV. 17: BETHUNE COOKMAN (CBE CLASSIC)
NOV. 20: LOYOLA-MARYMOUNT
NOV. 24-25: CBE CLASSIC IN KANSAS CITY
NOV. 29: COLGATE
DEC. 3: UNLV
DEC. 6: @ TEXAS A & M
DEC. 13: PEPPERDINE
DEC. 16: @ MARQUETTE
DEC. 20: LEHIGH
DEC. 23: DETROIT
DEC. 28: HARVARD
WORTH REPEATING ON THE HOME RECORD: A reminder of the great home record the past two years. ASU is 32-5 (.865) at home the past two seasons, tied for the second-best mark in the Pac-12. Only Oregon (32-5) also has 32 home wins in that time. Also, ASU’s 14-4 (.778) Pac-12 home mark is tied with UCLA, Oregon and Cal for second in the league in that time.