#44 Arizona State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Arizona State Sun Devils

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #6 Pac-12

Arizona State Team Page#44 Arizona State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Arizona State Basketball Tickets

Coach Herb Sendek has not had great success at Arizona State. There has been just one NCAA Tournament over the last seven years. Now it could be two in eight years. The Sun Devils have talent and quite a bit of experience. However, there are eight newcomers on the roster and it will take some time for everything to come together. The new players will build around super sophomore Jahii Carson. The point guard averaged 18.5 points and 5.1 assist and that was just as a freshman. It may not be possible for Carson to get any quicker, but he is more experienced. Coach Sendek is also speeding up the offense to get the most out of Carson’s skill set.  

2012-13 Record: 22-13, 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Herb Sendek
Coach Record: 120-109 at Arizona State, 374-267 overall

Who’s Out:
Outside of Carson, Arizona State’s backcourt needs to be completely replaced. Small forward Carrick Felix did it all. He scored inside and out with ease, hit the glass effectively and even blocked a few shots. Shooting guard Evan Gordon spent a lot of time shooting three-pointers, but he did do that quite well and averaged 10.1 points per game. Even Chris Colvin, who was usually the first guard off of the bench, is gone. Colvin struggled with his shot at times, yet he was a decent secondary ball handler who was once the ASU starting point guard. The only loss in the frontcourt is Ruslan Pateev. The seven-footer only averaged 9.4 minutes per game, but that was enough for him to be the top frontcourt reserve.

Who’s In:
The eight newcomers are not all freshmen. In fact, only three of them are freshmen. While Chance Murray, Egor Koulechov and Calaen Robinson can certainly provide quality depth on the wings, the Sun Devils will rely more on their transfers to replace Felix and Colvin. The biggest name is Jermaine Marshall. The 6-4 senior transfer averaged 15.3 points per game for Penn State last year. He should be the secondary scoring threat and take plenty of the pressure off of Carson. Brandan Kearney is a tough former Big Ten player as well. He is not going to score like Marshall, but the Michigan State transfer can add some size and defensive prowess to the wing. The final Division I transfer is Richie Edwards from Valparaiso. Sal Tummala and Shaquielle McKissic are expected to battle for major minutes at small forward. Tummala was a junior college All-American and he can knock down the long ball with consistency. McKissic is a dynamic scorer who averaged 22.5 points per game at Edmonds Community College in Washington a year ago. Getting to the basket will not be quite as easy in the Pac-12, but McKissic will still be a quality scorer at this level.

Who to Watch:
With all of the new talent on the wings, Arizona State will look to their frontcourt to help Carson provide leadership. Jordan Bachynski stepped up his game during his junior campaign and averaged 9.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks. The 7-2 center is going to block a ton of shots, but this team will look to him for more scoring during his senior season. If Bachynski can take that next offensive step, he and Carson can take this team a long, long way. Bachynski will get help from Jonathan Gilling on the glass. However, Gilling is not your typical forward; he can stretch out the defense with his three-point shooting ability and pass the ball extremely effectively. He actually was second on the team in assists and averaged 2.8 assists per game. That is not bad for a 6-7 forward who also totaled 6.1 rebounds per contest. Eric Jacobsen, a 6-10 sophomore, will need to play more minutes this time around. Jacobsen will not be asked to score much and as long as he can fill in a dozen minutes or so and play solid defense, the ASU frontcourt will be in great shape.

Final Projection:
If all the newcomers live up to their potential, Coach Sendek could play small at times and move Edwards or Tummala to the four spot. That would help the Sun Devils get up and down the floor even faster. And there would be more than enough depth on the perimeter to pull it off. Bo Barnes struggled terribly with his shot last season, but he was a proven shooter while he was at Hawaii. Even if Barnes fails to find his shot, Arizona State is full of talent. As long as the newcomers can mix with the returnees and Carson avoids a huge sophomore slump, this is a team that should be reaching for the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Jahii Carson, Sophomore, Guard, 18.5 points per game
Jermaine Marshall, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Sai Tummala, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Jonathan Gilling, Junior, Forward, 9.7 points per game
Jordan Bachynski, Senior, Center, 9.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (66th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.5 (194, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (49, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (90, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (74, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (132, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.9 (297, 12)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (163, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (80, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (129, 5)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#42 Jahii Carson


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