The ASU men’s basketball program has suffered its share of setbacks the past few seasons and the increased number of players transferring can certainly be attributed to the team’s downward slide in the standings.
Trent Lockett was the latest and one of the more high profile exits from the Sun Devils program, but unlike his former teammates, Lockett left for personal reasons.
Arizona State’s leading scorer last season will transfer to Marquette for his senior year to be closer to his ailing mother who is battling cancer.
ASU head coach Herb Sendek told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Thursday the team will continue to support the Lockett family throughout these difficult times.
“From the beginning, our position has been we have to do whatever we can to support Trent and his family,” Sendek said. “I think it’s all going to work out for him the best it can under these circumstances.
“He’s going to be closer to home, he’s going to be very accessible to his mom and so from that standpoint I think our mission has to be let’s support him in any way we can and we’ve tried to do that from the beginning and we’re going to do that all the way through the finish line.”
Lockett is the 12th scholarship player to leave ASU over the last four years. Since January, Lockett joins guard Chan Creekmur, forward Kyle Cain and guard Keala King as the most recent departures from the program. While Lockett may be the exception, Sendek is all too familiar with players departing due to lack of minutes on the court.
“If you look at the guys who have transferred from our program almost 100% have been because of playing time,” Sendek stated. “It’s a national epidemic.”
Sendek is astounded by the staggering number of transfers in men’s collegiate basketball these days and said this problem affects almost every program, not just the Sun Devils.
“Over 40% of all Division 1 men’s college basketball players transfer by their sophomore year,” Sendek explained. “If you take out the guys who go early to the pro’s, if add the sprinkling of guys who transfer as upper classmen, if you add the fact now that guys are graduating without penalty being able to transfer to play a fifth year, who does it leave?”
Sendek believes this problem is a sign of the times and relates to the culture of Generation Y and the examples superstars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard have set in the NBA.
“By in large, the guys who have left our programs with a couple notable exceptions have left because they weren’t playing enough and you know what it reflects our society,” Sendek said.
While ASU basketball is in a state of transition, Sendek wants to clear up some fallacies surrounding the university’s program.
“I think the supposition that a lot of people make is guys are transferring something must be wrong with the institution,” Sendek explained. “There must be a relationship problem with the coach and that’s not the case.”