At the end of the 2011 Sun Devil Basketball season, it seemed like Ty Abbott passed the torch to Trent Lockett to take over the team. When the 2012 season kicked off, it seemed like there was no clear leader on the team aside from Coach Herb Sendek.
Keala King and Chris Colvin, a community college transfer, shared minutes at the point guard position. As the season progressed King got more and more minutes and seemed to assume the role of team leader. The tide quickly changed from the team being Lockett's to King's.
On January 8th, King was dismissed for the team. Sendek told the media King was dismissed for "unacceptable conduct." King averaged 13.7 PPG as the teams leading scorer.
As an ASU Basketball fan watching during the 2012 season, it seemed as if Lockett relinquished his leadership to King. The team didn't seem the same. With King at the helm there was more of driving to the basket than passing the ball. When I watched King at the point, he reminded me of Kobe on the floor as a volume scorer that needed the ball. However, in a system where points don't come easy, King's style of play didn't fit.
Since King's dismissal, the Devils have only played visiting Oregon and the style of play seems to be different. Lockett is now playing point and the offense runs through him. It looks as if the team has rallied around Lockett even after losing a key player like King.
This is not an article bashing Keala King in the slightest. He is a great talent that will fit into some system that isn't ASU's. I'm just saying that this could be a pivotal point in the Devils season and future with this quick turn around in leadership.
Only time will tell how the Sun Devils will adapt to Lockett reassuming the leader role. Time will also tell what happens to Keala King, but one thing is certain, everyone at ASU wished him the best.