The Arizona State Sun Devils basketball program is on the rise, and if they continue their inspired play it may result in a tournament berth.
Former ASU point guard and current Devils color analyst Kyle Dodd told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Monday he thinks the Sun Devils have a real shot at making it to the Big Dance this year.
“I was almost along with a lot of the fans, I was almost kind of taking the wait and see approach just because the preseason schedule was a little bit soft, but just the fact that I think this team learned how to win again,” Dodd said. “They struggled so bad last year. I think just winning basketball games, there’s a lot to be said for that. I think they’ve really developed a mentality and they believe they are a good basketball team.”
So far this season, ASU has proved that on the court. They have amassed an impressive 16-4 record overall and are tied for third in the Pac-12 with a 5-2 mark.
The Sun Devils will have to continue to perform well the remainder of the season if they hope to be in the tournament discussion but Dodd believes it’s an achievable goal for Herb Sendek’s team.
“Now that we’re in league play I really believe this is a team that’s going to continue to win games,” Dodd stated. “There’s obviously a lot of basketball left and I think they probably got to do a little bit more work than another team might just because of the schedule and the RPI and that kind of stuff, but I think they are going to win a lot more games and if they get to that 22-23 win mark, I mean they’re in.”
The Devils have seen a resurgence this season behind forward Carrick Felix, three-time Pac-12 Player of the Week winner, and freshman phenom Jahii Carson.
Dodd said he thinks Carson has really thrived playing in ASU’s new uptempo system and that he is wise beyond his years on the court.
“It’s hard for me to really believe that he’s a freshman because he just gets better and better every game. It seems the bigger the game, the more ready he is to play,” Dodd said. “He’s so quick and lightning fast but he also has the ability to play with a lot of pace and when he slows things down and then speeds things up, he’s almost been impossible to guard.
“He’s just been as impressive to me as any guard in the country.”