Arizona State men's basketball coach Herb Sendek met with the media on Tuesday morning to give an update on the Sun Devils as they prepare for the 2013/2014 campaign.
Sendek opened up about his projected player rotation, newcomers that have stood out to him and what his team has to improve before the season starts.
Here is what stood out.
Carson emerging as a leader
We all know what Jahii Carson can do on the court. On the hardwood he is one of the most electric players in the nation, averaging more than 18 points per game as a freshman.
However, with the loss of Carrick Felix, the Sun Devils are looking for leadership both on and off the court. They may have found it in their sophomore point guard.
"He's really making an effort and we need him to exude the charisma that he has," said Sendek. "Guys listen to him, our younger players respect him so much because of his abilities. It's really good to see him say something to Calean (Robinson) or Chance (Murry) because those guys tune in when he tells them something"
Carson was hindered by a stress reaction during the early part of the month but is back to full strength now according to his head coach.
"He's doing fine," said Sendek.
McKissic named starter
The departure of Felix left one starting spot up for grabs during preseason camp. On Tuesday Sendek announced the JC transfer Shaquille McKissic has won that job and will start in the front court for the Sun Devils in their season opener on November 8.
"I think that Shaquille has been our biggest, positive and most consistent surprise," said Sendek. "The one thing that elevates him right now on our basketball team is his elite athleticism. As he continues to get more comfortable with what we are doing I believe he will even better able to take advantage of that athleticism."
McKissic is a transfer from Edmonds Junior College in Washington, where he averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game. He was out of the sport for two seasons and comes to Arizona State with just one season of eligibility.
"Right now he is in the starting lineup and we are going to depend on him to be a really good player for us," said Sendek.
Sendek still finalizing rotation
With a little over a week until the Sun Devils tipoff against UMBC, coach Sendek is still looking to finalize his player rotations. The coach is still looking for more consistency out of most of his players.
"We have had these two guys (Carson and Bachynski) who have been our most consistent players and (besides them) we haven't had much separation," said Sendek. "I don't go into any season with a predetermined, arbitrary number of guys we are going to play. If we started today it would almost be by trial and error."
Besides the starting five, Calean Robinson, Eric Jacobson, Richie Edwards, Egor Koulechov and Brandon Kearney may all see playing time this season.