It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't what anyone expected, but now the 2014-15 ASU basketball roster is set.
Herb Sendek and his coaching staff had to be swift in rebuilding the roster after the departures of Brandan Kearney, Calaen Robinson and Egor Koulechov because their aren't enough highly-sought-after transfers to go around. The atmosphere surrounding college basketball today has made the month of April one of the most important on the college basketball calendar as teams must reload quickly with quality talent.
Sendek has proved over the past two seasons that he has identified talent and is adapting well to the changing landscape. Kenny Martin and Evan Gordon transferred out last season, and he brought in Shaquielle McKissic and Jermaine Marshall, who helped make last season's NCAA tournament run possible. After Kearney, Robinson and Koulechov left for different reasons, Sendek had to work his magic again over the past month and may have struck gold in Savon Goodman and Willie Atwood. Here's a look at the newest Sun Devils who will experience time on the court at Wells Fargo Arena for the first time next season.
G Kodi Justice, 6-4 Fr.
A local product out of Dobson High School in Mesa, Justice is lanky and definitely needs to add some muscle before becoming a real contributor for the Sun Devils. He's a shooter, so with Bo Barnes and Jonathan Gilling coming back for Arizona State his services most likely won't be needed this season. It should be noted that Sendek does like to play with his lineups early in the season. Chance Murray got meaningful minutes early on last season as Sendek tried to figure out his rotation so Justice could see a few minutes here and there.
G Gerry Blakes, 6-4 Jr.
Blakes transferred in from San Bernadino Valley Community College and was the player of the year in the California Community College Athletic Association last year averaging 16.5 points per game last season. Not much is known about Blakes, as he was originally set to play at Hawaii but was then ruled academically ineligible and eventually ended up at SBVC. He has an interesting body type that reminds me of someone between Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall. He'll be in competition with Tra Holder and potentially Chance Murray for the starting spot at point guard.
G Tra Holder, 6-2 Fr.
Holder was a three-star recruit and the No. 132 player in the country according to Rivals and chose Arizona State over Florida State, Oklahoma State and San Diego State. Holder was the assumed heir to Carson until Blakes committed last September. As a junior he averaged 22.9 points per game and was a First Team All-CIF Southern Section Division 4A selection.
F Connor MacDougall, 6-9 Fr.
MacDougall is another local player out of Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe. He was a three-star recruit ranked No. 107 in the nation by Rivals. He led Corona Del Sol to a 71-70 win in the state title game over Pinnacle as well. He's strong and plays with a lot of energy in a very tough and gritty manner similar to Eric Jacobsen. He is certainly a viable option next year depending on how he develops this offseason. MacDougall's playing time may suffer due to inexperience at higher levels of basketball. He will certainly have his hands full competing with potentially four other players for minutes. He's athletic but also probably the closest thing to a five the Sun Devils have after Jacobsen.
F Roosevelt Scott, 6-7 Jr.
Scott has had his suitcases consistently packed for the last three years but played this past season under new Arizona State assistant coach Barret Peery at Indian Hills Community College. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season. Scott is part of the tremendous back-log at the three and four spots that includes McKissic, Atwood, GIlling and Jacobsen. "Roosevelt is very active, high energy, great athlete and has a really good speed to his game. He shot the ball pretty well from three, but really an energy-giving player at both ends of the floor," Peery said.
F Willie Atwood 6-8, Jr.
Atwood chose Arizona State on Thursday afternoon instead of Iowa or Florida State. He averaged 20.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season at Connors State College in Warner, Okla. on his way to becoming a third-team NJCAA All-American. Atwood was the No. 7 junior college prospect in the country. He's another athletic type who reached double figure points in every game he played in last season with 12 double-doubles. "Willie is athletic, can score and his motor never stops," head coach Herb Sendek said. "In looking at this statistics his numbers are incredible. We can't wait to get him on campus with our other newcomers and our returners. We really like what we accomplished this season in recruiting."
F Savon Goodman 6-6, So.
Goodman played briefly at UNLV and is the only newcomer with NCAA Division I experience which could help his chances to start tremendously. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game for the Runnin' Rebels in his brief stint in Las Vegas before he was charged with felony burglary in October 2013 and left the program. A better gauge of his talent might be the 25.8 points and 14.2 rebounds he averaged in the Philadelphia Public League leading his high school to state, league and district titles on his way to being selected as a Parade All-American. Goodman won't be eligible until after the fall semester is over.
This roster has an incredible amount of versatility. Sendek will have the ability to put any combination of lineups on the floor at any given time. He never really set a true rotation this past season and next year could bring even more players off the bench. Sendek will have the ability to go athletic, big, small, bring out a tough defense or skilled shooting squad. He has already stated that he wants, and thinks this team can, play faster than any team that Carson played on. One thing is for certain, next year's group will have an entirely different look and feel than the team from last season.