Oct. 9, 2012
QUOTING Coach Sendek
ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT 2012-2013 TEAM
"What I like most about this team are the guys on the team. We have really great guys. We have guys that are easy to cheer for and easy to be proud of. I enjoy our time together. Our team has a good personality and a good a good chemistry. They are enjoyable guys to coach. Obviously we have not had any adversity yet, and every season every team encounters some form of it and that is always a test of character and chemistry, but right now as we go into the season I just really enjoy this group of young men."
ON HAVING COACH ERIC MUSSELMAN AND COACH LARRY GREER ON HIS STAFF
"I am really excited to have to the opportunity to add Coach Musselman and Coach Greer to our staff. Together with Coach Taylor, I really believe it gives us the best teaching staff in the country. We have a wealth of experience on our staff. We have a staff that is really passionate about the game and they are really good on the bench and on the practice court. It has been invigorating for all of us to have some good basketball talks and X and O sessions. I really love being around good coaches who are passionate, care about the game, and people who know about the game. Any time you come to work and are around people like that, it is invigorating. We have a group of guys who really love basketball. It Is fun to be around people who love the same things as you do."
ON THE SPECIFIC ROLES THE NEW COACHES WILL BE TAKING ON
"When we first sat down as late as I was and had our first meeting, I said to them that everybody's role right out of the gate is to make each other better and as we go forward we can fill in some of the particulars but right now lets have everyone focused on making each other better. Coach Taylor has done a great job in catching them up in the recruiting areas. There has been a lot of cross-pollination, a lot of inner change but it has been very healthy and a great work environment for us."
ON THE STRATEGIES AND SCHEMES THAT HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED BETWEEN THE NEW COACHES
"What drives us is the fundamentals and those typically does not change when you make changes in the coaching staff. Obviously having coached as long as I have there are things that are really important that we continue to buy in to. But having said that each and every season, and in fact all the time, it is good to be aware of all possibilities and put everything up to question. Always try to get incremental improvements in every area. So something as simple as how many and whom we should send tot the offensive glass could be an hour long conversation where everybody is interjecting perspectives; point, counterpoint, advantages, disadvantages. Then ultimately you make a decision and that has to be centered around who your players are because none of this is done exclusively in a laboratory or in an office, it is done with the guys on a particular team. So what you may believe in theoretically may not be the best fit for this team. So we take all that into account and we shape it for the team. It happens to be one of my most enjoyable aspects of coaching. I love those kinds of exchanges. I love learning, exploring new possibilities, maybe thinking outside the box. It is always fun to put a new team together. What are we going to keep the same, what are we going to change, to me that is the fun part of coaches. Over the summer we decided the big directions we are going. What these sessions have done is helped us identify some of the details and particulars I think overall the plan and superstructure is in place for this team coming out of last season and over the summer and now most recently we are just filling in the details to support that overall plan."
IMPACT OF HAVING NBA COACHES ON RECRUITING
"That was one of the things we really considered. All the guys on our team and all the guys we recruit aspire to be NBA players. So to us it made sense that we could draw off of their personal experiences and expertise and it would do nothing but help us."
ON WHAT THE TEAM NEEDED COMING OUT OF LAST SEASON
"I will hit on one thing that isn't necessarily X and O orientated that is important is that we continue to improve our mental and our physical toughness. I think that is a real area of concentration for us. That doesn't mean that somehow we are meaning to be bravado or macho or see how hard we can hit our head against the wall, or how loud we can growl. We have to be more mentally focused, more mentally able to take a blow and respond the right way. We have to be a more physical basketball team without fouling, without being foolishly aggressive. So that is one area we have really focused on as we have put our thoughts together going into this season that is outside of the box of schematics."
ON Jahii Carson"Just looking in the rear view mirror, I think he handled a very challenging experience exceptionally well with a lot of grace and a lot of dignity. I don't know how many of you have teenagers at home or around young people on a regular basis, but to be put in a public light that he was and handle it the grace he did was really impressive. He continued to make great progress in all ways in over the course of the last year. Obviously like you, just like the community, we are excited about him being able to compete with us this year. He is an extremely talented young man. My central message to Jahii was that I have your back, and I'm standing with you, just be yourself because I think the danger is that legendary reputation, the great interest, there is some of us that expect him to take us to the court with an S on his shirt and a cape on his back wouldn't be fair to him. It doesn't mean we do not have high expectations for him, for all of out team, it just means sometimes we have to stay on earth."
ON Jahii Carson's STYLE OF PLAY CHANGING SINCE HIGH SCHOOL
I think his thing is the team concept whereas in high school he could have got the rim for a layup. I think he will still get in to the paint, but if he can't get the layup he will find the open man. In other words I don't think his thing is separate than the team thing. I want to see him in attack mode, I want him to be aggressive and our system will encourage and allow for that as long as he takes care of the ball. A player of his abilities demands that he has the freeways to attack."
Because of on-court swagger, past academic issue, I think people expect something diff from @jahii_carson1 in person-He's bright, personable-- Paola Boivin (@PaolaBoivin) October 9, 2012
ON Jordan Bachynski's PROGRESS
"We talked about the fact when we played at Utah in mid-January it seemed like he did his own impersonation of Underdog. He went into a phone booth and he came out and he was a different player. And then I thought the last part of the season he was pretty consistent in that. Even at the last home game against Arizona, he was drawing the double-team. His free throw shooting went from roughly 40 percent and the last third of the season it was up over 70 percent and that alone is a monumental difference in how much he was getting to the line. Hopefully and expectedly he will continue in that upward trajectory to this season."
ON Evan Gordon
"I expect Evan to have a major impact on our basketball team. He is a very hard worker, a gym rat, and I think from that standpoint that approach can become contagious on a team. He is very serious about basketball and he knows how to train. He has a unique uncanny ability to score. He does it in multitude of ways. I expect Evan to have a major impact on our basketball team. The one thing that impresses me about Evan is that this isn't just a hobby for him, this isn't something he does because he think it will give him a better chance to get a date with the homecoming queen. He does this because it is important to him and he wants to be the best player he can be. He has a great work ethic. He has been someone that has really improved. Coming out of high school he was clearly not a highly recruited or rated prospect but by good old-fashioned hard work he has put himself in the position to be, in my opinion, to be one of the better guards in our conference and that is a credit to him. Really there is no other explanation other than he has really, really worked at it. One day at a time he has gone from a guy in high school that really was flying under the radar to a guy that has a chance to be one of the best guards in our conference."
ON THE MAJORITY OF THE BACKCOURT BEING ABLE TO PRACTICE DURING THE OFFSEASON
"I think it is helpful. I was thinking about that today and as good as it was having Evan, Bo, and Jahii practice last year, I think there will be a little bit different of a mindset going into a practice that you will be playing in Saturday's game. It adds a little bit more of an edge. When you are on the scout team per say, and you're practicing and you know your next game isn't going to be for another nine months, there is something psychologically that isn't the same that when you are at Friday's practice and tomorrow at noon you are playing the UofA. It is a whole different psyche and world. I think it is better that they have practice rather than didn't, but there is different element of practice now with them being able to play in games."
ON THE PRESSURES GOING INTO THIS SEASON
"Obviously we want to get this team turned around. We have a great plan, we have a great group of guys and we really have a big picture in mind. We have a very accurate, honest evaluation of what happened and I think we also are bolstered by the fact that if you look at a large body of work it is very, very positive. There is a lot that goes into any one season so you learn from every experience and keep the big picture in mind and you stay the course. With that we have a very strong belief, and we are looking forward to it."
ON Carrick Felix BEING A LEADER
"He has done an outstanding job coming out of last season all the way through today and he has really taken ownership of leadership. Leadership is something that we emphasize in a great deal our program not to just one player or one captain but to all of our guys. Carrick is such a good person and he is naturally connected to a lot of people. He is easy to smile, he is sensitive and caring, so I think he really think those characters enhances him as a leader."
ON THE IMPACT OF Jahii Carson JOINING Carrick Felix"I think it will help Carrick a lot. I think it will open the floor and take advantage of his athletic ability with Jahii. I think it will be a real positive. Carrick is at his best when he is playing with high energy, making hustle plays. But in saying that, high energy cannot be confused with playing fast all the time. We have to get Carrick to get some tempo, and if we can couple that with making high energy plays he is going to be playing at his best."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAYING SMART, DISCIPLINED BASKETBALL
"It is always vital that you play smart balanced basketball. Speed can be fun and it can be an easy sell, but speed also kills. We always talk about what John Chaney, the legendary coach at Temple would say about road conditions. You could drive one day if it was sunny, bright beautiful day but if was stormy and rainy; you would have to play another way. I know there is always a push to play fast. People like passing more than running. They tend to like running more than slow in basketball. But having said that when you play against the best teams you must be able to execute in the half court. The best teams don't give you a lot of east baskets in transition. Watch the NCAA tournament against two teams who have reputations for running or watch the NBA playoffs and see how difficult it is for anyone to get an easy basket. So although it is a fan-favorite topic and players always talk about playing fast, ultimately you must be able to execute in the half court because the best teams don't give you a lot of easy baskets in transition. I have said this all off season so it is not breaking news, but I would be surprised if anyone is able to push the ball any faster than Arizona State."
ON Jonathan Gilling MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM DENMARK
"Jonathan has done remarkably well. The game was a little faster than he was used to at first, but once he got his feet on the ground and got comfortable he just took off and I think he had an outstanding freshman year. He did it in big games, he did it in clutch moments and I think with that year under his belt he is really looking forward to this season. I think he is a really good player."
ON FILLING THE HOLES FROM TRANSFERS IN THE OFF SEASON
"We aren't looking to fill anyone's holes, anybody who left. We aren't looking at it as a one-for-one proposition. This is a new team. It has its won personality. We have guys from last year's team that are no longer here and we also have a new group of guys that weren't here last year. So this team is unique to itself. It has to become a team all over again."
QUOTING Jahii Carson
ON LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FIRST GAME
"I'm ready. I wish the game was tomorrow. Chomping at the bit, I'm ready to go out there and get it."
ON WHAT HE LEARNED ABOUT HIMSELF DURING THE TIME HE WASN'T ALLOWED TO PLAY
"I learned to never take anything for granted and to always work hard for everything. I also grew a little bit and matured more. I looked at things from a different point of view as I became older. I definitely grew a lot and learned not to take anything for granted realistically."
ON HIS TEAM'S GAME PLAN FOR THE SEASON
"I think I'm one of the fastest guys in the country. With the offense Coach is putting in and the fast break style we're putting in, I think I'm going to flourish on that offense. I think Carrick Felix is going to flourish on offense as well as Evan Gordon, Chris Colvin, Jordan Bachynski, and Ruslan Pateev. I think everybody is looking forward to pushing the ball down the court and beating the defense down."
ON ANY PRESSURE BECAUSE OF HIS POPULARITY
"I try not to think about the pressure. I'm just trying to think about taking the Sun Devils to another level. I know there is a lot of pressure coming in on me but I try not to take too much of that load onto myself. I think about the season and having a better season. I'm trying to take the Sun Devils over the hump. I'm trying to be a better teammate and making my teammates better every day."
ON HAVING LOCAL DISTRACTIONS FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS
"I try to keep them out of our locker room. Sun Devils here are my family and friends as well. I don't want to tell any personal business that my friends have outside the Sun Devils. I try to keep them out of the locker room and keep everything else outside. I just know that they're my family so I have to keep everything in the house."
ON BLOCKING OUT ANY EXPECTATIONS
"I try not to think about it. It's something that's there but the more I think about it, the more it's going to affect me. The more I don't think about it and keep focus, the better I'll play and the more I'll keep that out of the way."
ON READING ANYTHING ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE MEDIA
"It pops up and people talk to me about it. I listen and I have my opinions about it, but I try to keep that out of the way. I try not to think about it as well. I just try to focus on the season since I wasn't able to play last year. I think that is what's best for me."
ON WHAT HE NEEDS TO BE PERFECT
"I would say the mid-range jump shot. A lot of guards nowadays like to shoot 3s and take it all the way to the basket. I think if guards have a great mid-range jump shot, it keeps the defense on their feet. They can't really guard it. Coming off the pick-and-roll, it's the hardest thing to guard in basketball. I think being a small, under-sized point guard with a mid-range jumper is definitely something I would like to perfect."
ON WANTING TO COME OUT AS "SUPERMAN"
"I definitely have a certain confidence and swagger about myself. I don't want to seem arrogant or cocky, but I definitely have a confidence about my game. I have a confidence about my teammate's game. I think that together, we can be something super. I just have a nice little swagger about myself and about my teammates. I think that us coming out on the floor together, not just myself, we can be something super."
ON ALTERING HIS GAME FOR THIS LEVEL
"In high school I just had one speed; just go fast. In college, I think for me to get defenders off balance, changing my gear and speed is going to be something that can help me get to the basket easier. Having a mid-range jump shot will keep the defense balanced and not just have them commit to every move I do. Having a nice three-ball will keep the defense on its feet. I think once I get that going, my teammates are going to be open. I can hit the wings with the shooters that we have. We can pinpoint guys. I think the post down low has the moves to nail guys and I can feed them. I want to feed them. That's how I'm going to change the game. I think that with me having a jump shot, bigger defenders won't be able to back off. With me having the speed that I have, I don't think they can come up too close. With me having the shooters in the corners and down low, I don't think they can help too much. I think it's going to be tough for the defense this year."
ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AT MEDIA DAY THIS YEAR
"I feel I was part of the team last December so it's not about me being excited around my teammates because I've been with them since December. I've been through boot camp, summer training, summer school, skills, and individuals with them. It is definitely exciting for me having the media here for all my teammates and the season coming up. It's something I'm excited to be around again. In high school, I was always ready for the first day of try-outs. Now I'm ready for the first day of practice, the first games, and just getting focused. It's very exciting for me. I feel like it's very exciting for me to have my teammates and go to war with them."
ON MISSING MEDIA DAY LAST YEAR
"It was tough for me to miss the basketball season in general. I slipped up doing something that was kind of dumb on my part. I definitely think it took a toll on me but I'm ready. I'm ready to come back strong."
ON HAVING COACH MUSSELMAN AND COACH GREER
"They're high-volume and high-intensity guys. Being at the NBA level and coming down to college, I think they have higher expectations of us because they see so much potential in us. They see that we have high basketball IQ's. They bring so much intensity and energy. They know a lot about the game. They're picky about things that they know we should be doing. They know if we're slacking. They know if we're trying to fool them with voices or sounds to try to get out of things. They know every trick in the book. They bring high intensity, high basketball IQ, and high volume to the gym."
ON THE IMPACT HE WOULD HAVE HAD LAST SEASON
"It's tough to say. With me coming in with my academic status, I didn't have much time to practice with the team. I didn't have much time to bond with the team. It probably would have been tough for me to adapt to my teammates and my teammates to adapt to my game. It's tough for me to say that we would have been any better or any worse."
ON THE IMPACT HE WILL HAVE THIS SEASON
"I'm very confident now since I have been with them since last December. Going through practices, boot camp, and skills camp, I think that mesh will help us on the court."
ON Carrick Felix's GAME
"I think he's going to flourish. Carrick and I played AU basketball together for about three years. I know his game and he knows my game. He knows what I like to do and I know what he likes to do. He knows that if I get it and I'm on the break, I'm going to give him the basketball. He's looking forward to it because he's a high-flyer. He's looking forward to alley-oops and getting the excitement going. I'm ready for the same thing because I know he will throw me a couple lobs. I'm looking for some excitement and some jams. We talk about it every day. He'll text me saying `It's go time'. Every time I see him, he's so excited for the season in general. This is his last season so I know he wants to make a stamp on the game. I know he wants to be remembered. This is something new and I think he's excited to get back on the floor with me as well."
ON PLAYING WITH Evan Gordon
"I think we're going to be like the guards that were in Florida. We're about the same size and same speed. Evan's good. He has a good basketball IQ. He's an older guy so his body language is very mature. I think he's going to surprise a lot of people. I think people are going to take him for granted. He's going to be a silent assassin. I think we're going to cause problems in the Pac-12. He's like Chauncey Billups. He has the maturity of Billups. He can hit his spots. His body structure is like Baron Davis. He has a swoll, buff tone."
ON THE ADVANTAGES OF PRACTICING WITH THE TEAM LAST YEAR
"I was able to face the seven-footers. I got the physical strength of the guys on defense. I was able to adapt to the speed of the game. I had a better IQ of the game after practicing with the guys. I learned how much intensity I need and how fast I need to get my shot off. I learned how fast I need to get my floaters off and how crisp my passes need to be to the shooters. I think overall, it helped me out a lot. I was able to watch and break down film. That helped me break down the other players in the Pac-12. I was able to watch the game from the sidelines and become a better student of the game."
ON Jordan Bachynski's OFF-SEASON
"I think he's carrying the same swagger that he had at the end of the season. I think his confidence is a little bit higher but he's staying humble with it. I think he's bringing that to everyone on the team. Everyone on the team has a certain swagger now that the season is coming up. He's been good in the off-season. He's been working on his jump hooks, his jump shot, and he's dunking in practice. He's been blocking everything in practice. I think he's going to be something down the paint to reckon with. I think he's about 7'3" and he has about a size fourteen shoe. He's very mobile. He can get up and down the floor really well. There are times that he's beaten me down the floor. I'm able to get it to him for quick and easy buckets. He's excited too because he likes to dunk the ball. We're all excited to get out there and run."
ON HAVING TWO STARTERS AT LEAST SEVEN FEET TALL
"It's always good to have big men who can score in the post. The defense can't double any wing or deny any wing because they have to worry about the post. We can come up, set screens, and roll to the basket. It's definitely good to have two bigs like Ruslan and Jordan down there to cause some ruckus."
ON WHO HE MODELS HIS GAME AFTER
"As far as in the NBA, I definitely look at Ty Lawson. I look at his change in speeds and his body structure. I look at how he's able to get in the paint and cause ruckus in the paint. I also look at Tony Parker. I think he's one of the masters of changing speed. I look at his pick-and-roll. Of course I look at Steve Nash and how he's able to use the ball screens, rejections, mid-range, find the open post, find the open wings, and just dominate in the game as far as his status on the court. He's able to change the game whether it's with defense, vocal, or just his presence on the court. That's something I try to model my game after."
ON WHAT TYPE OF LEADER HE VIEWS HIMSELF AS
"There's times where I'm quiet and I want to be a silent assassin. There are times I like to get out there and make my teammates energetic so we can all be assassins. It's pretty even."
QUOTING Evan Gordon
ON HAVING CARRICK ON THE FLOOR DEFENSIVELY
It's a good advantage for me. I don't think there's anyone in the country that is as athletic as him. Especially, with him being long, athletic, and him challenging the shot, it gives me a good hand and defensive presents at all times.
ON HAVING CARRICK ON THE FLOOR DEFENSIVELY
It's a good advantage for me. I don't think there's anyone in the country that is as athletic as him. Especially, with him being long, athletic, and him challenging the shot, it gives me a good hand and defensive presents at all times."
ON THE NEW ASSISTANT COACHES
"Our practices are much different, much different than what I'm use to. But, I think they've stepped in and done a good job with what they have so far. With them bringing in their knowledge and focus to detail, it helps us a lot. They have helped me by pointing out the little details. For example, when we are running plays, they'll make sure I'm walking my guy down two steps...the things that you kind of don't do when you're just in the moment."
ON SHOOTING AND PLAYIN WITH HIS BROTHER IN THE OFFSEASON
"I got a chance to play with him a little bit. He has knee problems, so he hasn't been doing a lot, just trying to rest it for the season. But we got at it a little bit when he was feeling alright."
ON LESSONS HIS BROTHER CAN GIVE HIM
"He does teach the game to me. With him resting his knee, he says he's going to have an explosive season this year. With him just taking it easy and watching our games, he helps me know the differences in the game."
ON WHERE THE SCORER MENTALITY HAS COME FROM
"I don't know, I came from a scoring background and a scoring family. I think that the ASU fans can expect me to score and just help us win games. I can do a little bit of both of driving and shooting from the perimeter. Being short, compared to those guys, I'll be on the perimeter a little bit more than normal. I did a little bit of both (at Liberty).
ON ADJUSTMENTS HE EXPECTS IN THE PAC-12
"The speed of the game. The different actions, the things they run at this level, as well as talent and size differences."
ON PLAYING IN THE SAME BACKCOURT AS JAHII
"It's going to be exciting and fun. We've played a little bit last season. He's as confident as I am. He's very explosive, he can score in different ways as well, so it will be exciting to watch him play.
ON WATCHING JAHII'S HIGHLIGH VIDEOS
"To be honest, I only saw one. I really don't get onto YouTube and watch highlight videos that much, because they hit every shot. But watching and guarding him in practice, he shows he's just an amazing player.
ON PLAYING AN UP-TEMPO STYLE
"We'll definitely have to play up-tempo with our personnel this year. You have Carrick who can get out and run, I can get out and run, and Jahii is pushing the ball. It'll be very high octane.