We’re counting down the end of the Pac-12 season with a daily look at each of the postseason awards. Today: Defensive Player of the Year DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Jordan Bachynski, Sr. Arizona State: No single player impacts the game on the defensive end like the 7-2 center who has blocked three shots near the…More
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We’re counting down the end of the Pac-12 season with a daily look at each of the postseason awards. Today: All-Defensive team ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Jordan Bachynski, Sr. Arizona State: The 7-2 center has turned shot blocking into an art form. He leads the nation with 123 blocks (4.2 pg). In the first three seasons of his…More
Arizona State coach Herb Sendek
(Opening statement) “In the first half I thought our inability to convert some of the good shots we had, coupled with the fact that we had arguably our worst shot selection of the year, really made it difficult for us to score. On the other end, the poor shots resulted in us being on our heels with our transition defense. In other cases, we were just burned in transition. The shot selection and the transition defense, to me, is what stood out in this basketball game. I thought we also had a tough time containing them off the dribble, especially early on.”
(On the team’s shot selection heading into tonight) “It has been arguably our greatest strength and something that we have praised the guys for throughout the early season, but tonight was just terrible. I wish I had an explanation and wish I could tell you why it happened. It seemed like it got contagious, perhaps once we found ourselves down, some guys tried to have 10 point possessions and maybe did some things out of character, but it’s still not a great way to play. When you take bad shots, you don’t get 10 points per possession, you usually miss them and dig the hole deeper. Poor shot selection was a big part of the story here this evening and, quite frankly, we had a difficult time defending Washington. Off the dribble, certainly stands out, transition stands out, and (C.J) Wilcox makes you pay almost every time, and obviously we just didn’t play very well.”More
Arizona State has enough balance to contend for a Pac-12 title.
The Sun Devils feature a dynamic point guard in Jahii Carson, who is fifth in the conference in scoring (19.6 points per game) and sixth in assists (5.8). They have a 7-2 shot blocker and rim protector in Jordan Bachynski. They can also spread the floor with shooters (Jermaine Marshall and Jonathan Gilling). And they have an athletic lockdown wing defender in Shaquielle McKissic who can guard several positions.
Depth could be an issue, although ASU’s bench received some help when Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney became eligible this week.
The Sun Devils (10-2) have played just one bad game this season, an 88-60 loss to then-No. Creighton in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim, Calif. They also lost 60-57 to Miami in a consolation game.
It remains to be seen if ASU is simply benefiting from a weak schedule ranked 321st by basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy.
At any rate, the Sun Devils are 7-0 at home and they’ve turned historically stale and dormant Wells Fargo Arena into a place that’s drawing 6,000 fans. It should be a stiff test for Washington, which opens the Pac-12 season at ASU on Jan. 2.More