The Arizona State men’s basketball team is off to one of the hottest starts in its history with an overall record of 16-4 and 5-2 in the conference.
The Sun Devils currently stand tied with No. 8 Arizona for third place in the Pac-12, which is a drastic turnaround to last year’s 10-win season put up by Herb Sendek’s squad.
After Saturday’s victory over UCLA at home, Sendek has noticed a major improvement in the team’s play.
He told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday that the difference lies in the team’s character.
“I think it was a real challenge for us last year; we obviously had to step in and take some action because we are historically known for a program with great character,” Sendek said. “If nothing else we have been blessed with some super young men in our program and that’s something we take a lot of pride in. We want to be a program that everybody could be proud of and is easy to cheer for.”
After last season, ASU parted with sophomore guards Keala King and Chanse Creekmur as well as sophomre forward Kyle Cain. Junior guard Trent Lockett left for personal reasons before ending up at Marquette.
Sendek told the show recruiting was a big factor in last season’s disappointing play.
“There were some recruiting misjudgments and because typically you don’t change people that much,” he said. “Maybe once in a while the light goes on but by the time guys are in college a lot of their character and a lot of their personality is formed.”
The comparison between this year’s and last year’s team is night and day.
“This year I think it’s just the opposite. We’ve returned to a place where we have an extremely high character quotient and our locker room is a place you love to be.”