2012 Arizona State Basketball Preview: Coaching

Stephen Dunn

The ASU basketball season is set to tip-off, and House of Sparky raps up its preseason breakdowns with a look at Herb Sendek.

Coach Herb Sendek heads into 2012-2013 sitting on a luke warm seat. Over his tenure at ASU, the Devils are 98-96, barely above 500. Fans throughout Tempe wont accept mediocrity and either will athletic director Steve Patterson.

Down in Tucson, the Wildcats have legitimate national title hopes while ASU is a long shot to earn an entry into the NCAA tournament. The success U of A has displayed adds unnecessary pressure under the bright light at Wells Fargo Arena.

Whether it's recruiting, Xs and Os, or players transferring, problems under the Sendek era have been consistent. Some wonder, is the damage unsolvable, or can Sendek sew together numerous wounds? The answer is, everything can be resolved with wins, plain and simple.

Throughout Sendek's long and prosperous career, he has run the famous match-up zone on defense. Now, for the first time, Sendek will be moving to a typical/standard man-man D. The transition seems long overdue, yet his willingness to make adjustments is evident.

Regarding recruiting, ASU has not landed anybody significant on a national scale since James Harden. Although, Jahii Carson may posses the ability to join that small list. Regardless, talent for the Devils is minimal, and unfortunately Sendek deserves the blame.

In addition, players continue to bolt from sunny Arizona due to academic, conduct and other reasons. All Division I players are grown men, and should take accountability for their own actions. However, good coaches don't allow such issues to occur. I never hear anything about Coach K, Tom Izzo and John Calipari battling similar problems. Conversely, they actually probably do, yet handle it internally.

Despite the disappointments, people need to check Sendek's resume and cut him some slack. Excluding his tenure at ASU, Sendek sports an all-time record of 254-158. The man's knowledge of basketball should not be questioned.

Hate on Sendek all YOU want, but his coaching tree depicts contrary opinions, Nine of Sendek's disciplines/assistants now coach at the division one level, including U of A's Sean Miller and Ohio State's Thad Matta.

The respect level for Sendek is higher beyond the confines of ASU campus, leading to new proven assistant coaches joining his staff this off-season. Eric Musselman and Larry Grear come in with NBA experience, and both assets will be extremely beneficial for Sendek. Maybe, the additional quality eyes and ears help prolong the Sendek era.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see how tight Sendek's leash is. Does he get the Mike Brown treatment? Definitely not. Senndek and the Devils should jump out to a deceivingly good early season record because of incompetent opponents. Overall, Sendek is presently the man in charge, and best suited to lead ASU because of his familiarity with the current personnel.

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