ASU looking to get back on track after wild start to conference play

slider-herb-sendekThe Sun Devil men’s basketball team had an eventful weekend in Los Angeles to say the least.

It all started on Thursday at USC. Arizona State had only six scholarship players, after point guard Keala King, forward Kyle Cain and reserve guard Chris Colvin were left behind due to “unacceptable conduct.” 

Despite being extremely shorthanded, the Sun Devils got the 62-53 victory over the Trojans. 

Arizona State took on the Bruins in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, and things started out in similar fashion, as the Sun Devils jumped on UCLA early, leading by double digits at the break. It was a different story in the second as the Bruins took over, winning by 17. 

All in all, head coach Herb Sendek was pleased with his team’s performance, considering all that went on from a personnel standpoint. 

“Our guys really came together,” Sendek said. “I thought we played some good basketball, and gave terrific effort.” 

Trent Lockett is no stranger to playing point guard, but to be thrust into that position the way he was wasn’t an easy situation, but Sendek was proud of the way Lockett handled himself. 

“I thought Trent did amazingly well,” Sendek said. “That’s never an easy position to transition to, let alone doing it on the fly in a couple days.” 

Sendek said Lockett will play “a significant amount of minutes” at the point guard spot moving forward. 

As far as King goes, Sendek said it was beneficial for both parties to make a clean split. 

“It made great sense for our program and for Keala, that he have a new beginning,” Sendek said. 

Sendek said there were no issues with King, and the amount of minutes he was receiving. Under King at the point, the Sun Devils were very susceptible to turn the ball over. 

“I don’t think any of us ideally had him penciled in for that position on the depth chart initially,” Sendek said. 

Sendek was very frank and open regarding the decision he make on Monday to dismiss King, saying the leadership has been far from “batting a high enough percentage” concerning the choices they’ve been making. 

Arizona State is looking forward to some good home cooking. They host the Oregon Ducks on Thursday, which will be their first home game in almost three weeks. 

“We’re looking forward to playing at home,” Sendek said. “Despite the fact that five of our seven are on the road to start the season, it’s all gonna come out in the wash.” 

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