So here is how our team looks after 10 games and a record of 7-3. As a unit, we are still developing, but I give a lot of credit to our freshmen (Lockett, Rudd, Walker) for playing well in the early going.
Most pleasant surprise: Trent Lockett. The young man plays the game well, going hard after every opportunity. He was proclaimed to be the best player on the court in the first half against Duke by the ESPN announcers before foul trouble took its toll.
Lockett needs to continue to play well in the OOC schedule to help him prepare for the increased level of competition found in Pac-10 play.
Biggest disappointment: Ty Abbott. After a resurgence in the Pac-10 Tournament last season, I thought Abbott was ready to become a significant piece of the Arizona State offense. Unfortunately, he has disappeared once again, with his latest effort against Delaware State (1-4 from the field, 5 points) providing little to inspire confidence.
What has happened, Ty? This could have been your team. In the end, it is clear that Derek Glasser is the leader and the galvanizer on this team.
What we are good at: Our team excels when the pace is moderate, giving us an opportunity to get back into our zone defense. Our clear lack of height has been exposed by taller teams this season. On the other side of the floor, Glasser can find his teammates off the dribble and if we can score 75 points and keep Lockett out of foul trouble, I am going to bet we will have won the game.
What we need to work on: Ball control from the big men. Eric Boateng, while better than advertised, has looked awfully sloppy with the ball. He is not someone I want taking a big shot late in the game (Baylor, anyone?) and he needs to work on passing the ball out of the post-up. He's not doing his team any favors by taking an off-kilter hook shot.
Last words: Herb Sendek is doing a good job of motivating his team. We haven't pulled any upsets yet, but the comeback victory against TCU and the solid victory over LSU lead me to believe that this is a middle-of-the-pack finisher in the Pac-10 (ranked between 4 and 7 by year's end).