ASU Basketball Minute 12-10-2012

What a week for the Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team. First, the Devils defeated the Hartford Hawks because senior guard Carrick Felix took the floor. Every time the Devils needed an effort play, Felix was there to provide it.

Don’t let the stat line tell the story, although that was very impressive (11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assist, 2 steals and 2 blocks), it was the big timely plays that a box score can’t track. When a steal, defensive stop, rebound or hustle play was needed, Felix was Johnny on the spot for the Devils.

The Devils played a lackluster first half of basketball. They shot 62% from the field but only took a 1-point lead into the locker room mostly because they shot 2 – 9 from the free throw line and allowed Hartford to shoot 50% from the field.

Hartford had the Devils off balance with their crisp passing and motion offense. Nate Sikma, son of NBA great Jack Sikma, lead the Hawks and ended the game with 26 points.

At half the Devils lead 36 – 35, but the second half was totally different. The Devils held the Hawks to 29% shooting as they figured out the Hawks offense. Add to that one big shoot after another for Jahii Carson and the Devils pulled away to win 71 – 63.

The Devils followed that win with another win Saturday afternoon against Cal State Northridge 87 – 76. The game started out a little shaky for the Devils as they committed some untimely turnovers but they quickly settled down late in the first half when that guy Carrick Felix excited the crowd as usual with a couple of highlight dunks including a one hand windmill dunk that should have been on the 4-letter network.

But the true story of this game was Jordan Bachynski who recorded the first ever triple double in Devil history with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 blocks. After the game Bachynski talked about how coach Sendek gave him a piece of paper a few games earlier that simply said “10 rebounds”. He also stated that being on the bench for large parts of the second half during the Hartford game because freshman Eric Jacobsen was playing so well pushed him.

Coach Sendek, though never happy with turnovers, liked his team’s ability to secure the ball after early turnovers. The Devils committed seven turnovers the first half but only four in the second half.

Coach Sendek was also happy with the ball movement late and pleased that he had balance scoring with all five starters in double figures.

Up next, the DePaul Blue Demons, who are off to a 6 – 3 start and coming off a good win at Auburn. This game will be tough for the Devils as they look to exact revenge to the team that handled them easily during the Old Spice tournament last year.

As Carrick Felix said, it will be nice to hand them “the same loss in Tempe” this year. Come Wednesday, we shall see.

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