Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Sure there is Jahii Carson, and Jordan Bachynski. But the true leader of the Sun Devils is the senior from Goodyear, Arizona, Carrick Felix. He does it all for the Sun Devils on the court and is the team leader off of it.
He is not the team's leading scorer, as that distinction belongs to Jahii Carson. He is probably not the first name you think of when Arizona State basketball comes up.
But maybe he should be.
If you ask any person involved with Sun Devil basketball, from Herb Sendek to a first-year student manager, who the heart and soul of the Arizona State basketball team is, they will tell you the same name: Carrick Felix.
The Sun Devils are off to their best start since 2008-2009. They sit undefeated in conference play after two games for the first time since 2007-2008. A big reason for that is the play of the senior forward from Goodyear, Arizona.
Felix does it all for the 13-2 Sun Devils. He is second on the team in points, averaging 15.1 per game. He leads the team in rebounding with 7.9 boards per game. He shoots 55% from the field and has blocked 23 shots.
But more than that, Felix does the little things that don't show up in the box score. He hustles for every lose ball, he runs back on defense, and he brings energy on both ends of the ball.
"He doesn't take enough credit for the energy he brings not only in games but also in practices," said junior Jordan Bachynski about Felix. "The guy is always on, he is the reason we have energy."
Felix has four double-doubes this season, including two in his last five games. Last season, Felix averaged 4.5 rebounds per game, this season he is averaging almost eight. He has posted five games with double digit rebounds this season, after not recording any last season.
Felix has shown up big for the Sun Devils in their biggest games. He scored a season-high 24 points against Arkansas in the Las Vegas Invitational. He posted 17 points and 13 rebounds in an overtime victory over Utah, and he led all Sun Devils with 20 points against Colorado.
However, Felix does more than just fill up the box score every game. He plays with something that no coach can teach, but every coach loves. Heart.
"I don't think I've coached a guy who plays with more heart," Herb Sendek said. "The guy doesn't take one second off, his effort, his energy and his heart have been remarkable."
Others outside of Tempe are beginning to take notice, as Felix was named the Pac-12 player of the Week. Felix averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds last week in two Sun Devil victories. It was the second time this season Felix has been awarded the honor.
NBA scouts are also taking notice of Felix's game. According to ASU's radio color analyst Kyle Dodd, Felix may be the next Sun Devil to make the jump to the NBA.
Carrick Felix getting better and better ...spoke with NBA scout at the half who says he has entered a lot of people's radar— Kyle Dodd (@K_Dodd3) January 7, 2013
For now Felix will focus on the rest of the Pac-12 schedule. The Oregon schools this week followed by a showdown with No. 4 Arizona on January 19th.
If you happen to see a member Arizona State basketball team, ask him who the leader on the team is. Who the heart and soul of their club is. I suspect you will find a familier answer.