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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils ranked for first time since 2009

It’s just the beginning.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Arizona State David Kadlubowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-0) landed the No. 20 spot in the nation after the Associated Press Top-25 poll was released Monday morning.

At No. 20, ASU is a spot ahead of the Xavier Musketeers who fell to the Sun Devils, 102-86, on Friday. In the Pac-12, USC is the only other conference team ranked at No. 14. Arizona and UCLA slipped out of the rankings, while Washington State received votes.

The Sun Devils slid into the rankings for the first time since the 2008-09 season when James Harden sported maroon and gold. Under the direction of Herb Sendek, the Sun Devils ranked as high as No. 14 and finished 25-10, losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 2007-08, ASU’s highest rank was No. 24. Prior to that season, the Sun Devils hadn’t been ranked since 1995.

The rise of the program can highly be attributed to head coach Bobby Hurley, who has reeled in five four star recruits since the start of his tenure in 2015.

A talented frontcourt of Romello White and De’Quon Lake with senior guards Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice have helped the Sun Devils to the tune of six wins, scoring 90 or more points in all of them, which has never happened in program history.

Next season, the Sun Devils lose all three senior guards, but retain White, Lake and freshmen Remy Martin and Kimani Lawrence along with three big time transfers and a five-star recruit who may put the Sun Devils in the top-25 regularly.

Transfers Carlton Bragg and Zylan Cheatham will add depth to ASU’s frontcourt, while five-star Luguentz Dort and transfer Rob Edwards will lead the new-look ASU backcourt.

The Sun Devils next play the San Francisco Dons (3-1) on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in Tempe.