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Arizona State Sun Devils

Updated Jan 15, 2013 - 4:07 pm

Sendek: Sun Devils to face 'extremely talented' Wildcats squad

Arizona State's head coach Herb Sendek watches as his team leads against Oregon State close to the end of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Corvallis, Ore., Thursday Jan. 10, 2013. Arizona State beat Oregon State 72-62. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Herb Sendek's Arizona State team is 14-3 with a 3-1 mark in the Pac-12.

It is coming off a good road split in Oregon, and is quickly gaining "surprise team" status.

A win in its next game would go a long way towards making people true believers in what's happening in Tempe, because it would mean taking down the seventh-ranked Arizona Wildcats.

"They're extremely talented," Sendek told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo about the Wildcats. "They have some guys that just make plays."

Sendek pointed to Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Nick Johnson as guys who make plays, and added that the Wildcats are tough up front and solid in the half-court game.

"They're among the top five or 10 teams in the country ranking-wise, very well-deserved, and for good reason."

Yet, the Sun Devils likely enter this game with some confidence, especially with the team's recent success against the rivals from Tucson.

The Sun Devils are 7-4 against the Wildcats over the last five years, though are just 2-4 against current Arizona coach Sean Miller.

One of those two wins came in the regular season finale last season, when the Devils significantly hurt the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament hopes with an 87-80 upset win in Tempe.

When asked if his teams may play with a bit more of an edge when the Wildcats are the opponent, Sendek said he hopes that's not really the case.

"We hope we take every game and give it our best," he said. "If we're doing that, theoretically, it's hard to do better than that."


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