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ASU Basketball Year in Review: Best Moment

Wearing the maroon and gold carries great responsibility. Against UCLA, Carrick Felix showed the world the pride he takes in representing Arizona State, and what it's like to do so for a full 40 minutes.

Coach Herb Sendek always praised Felix for his work ethic and leadership.
Coach Herb Sendek always praised Felix for his work ethic and leadership.

Attitude, work ethic, character, integrity and pride.

If a checklist of personality traits was created to determine the ideal Sun Devil athlete, the list would likely include those five qualities.

The truly personable Sun Devil athletes are the ones that the fans fall in love with. These players take to the field and the court with infectious energy that make Arizona State fans proud and excited to cheer them on.

That's why it's no surprise that Sun Devil fans developed an affinity for Carrick Felix this season.

The do-everything senior was the captain and unquestioned leader of the Arizona State basketball squad, and the example he set restored faith and hope in the Sun Devil program.

Felix played with determination and heart rarely seen at any level of sports, and he drew the praise of coaches and teammates for his every move.

For Felix, wearing the maroon and gold carried great responsibility. A native of Arizona, the 6-foot-6 wing was never handed anything. Felix earned his keep, and he ensured that his teammates would work hard enough to earn theirs.

Though he was not blessed with the greatest basketball skills set, the senior more than made up for this through his athleticism and will power.

Felix refused to believe that any opponent was superior, and this season, his play proved his point.

After an up and down junior season, Felix burst out of his shell and racked up a Pac-12 high with 13 double-doubles this season.

But despite his offensive prowess, the senior often made his greatest impacts on the defensive end of the floor.

His highlight reel may be chalk full of long 3-pointers and high-flying dunks, but the best play on his tape features Felix on defense.

On Jan. 26th, the UCLA Bruins came to Tempe looking to continue their ascension through the Pac-12 ranks. Instead, Felix and company had different ideas.

Jordan Bachysnki scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Jahii Carson dropped in 12 points and dished out eight assists, and Carrick Felix was simply Carrick Felix.

His 23 points were a game-high, his 11 rebounds helped the Sun Devils to a +15 margin on the glass, and his three steals added to his all-around game.

However, no one will remember Felix's stat line from that game because of what he did on the game's final play.

With the clock ticking down, Sun Devil guard Evan Gordon dribbled the ball and prepared to celebrate a 78-60 victory.

Wells Fargo Arena erupted in the jubilation of victory and the realization that Sun Devil basketball was officially back.

But with less than five seconds to play, UCLA guard Jordan Adams attempted to steal some of the Sun Devils' thunder.

The standout freshman decided to postpone the victory party by stealing the ball from Gordon and rushing down the floor for a meaningless basket.

An Adams' layup would not have affected the game's outcome or the Sun Devils' excitement. However, Adams was trying to score and Felix hadn't heard the final buzzer sound.

Felix decided to match Adams' effort level and compete until the full 40 minutes was up. As Adams drove toward the hoop, Felix sprinted after him in desperation mode.

The veteran shot-blocker soared in from behind Adams' attempt and swatted the ball straight off of the backboard.

Felix's block exemplified every quality of the ideal Sun Devil and then some. The block endeared Felix to Sun Devil fans everywhere and put the rest of the Pac-12 on notice.

Not only had the Sun Devils held off the UCLA Bruins, but they made them earn every basket.

Though the season may not have ended the way Arizona State wanted it to, the block reminded Arizona State fans what it means to be a Sun Devil.

Furthermore, in one fleeting moment, Carrick Felix showed UCLA what it means to have Sun Devil pride.