In 2006-07, the Arizona State basketball team finished a dismal 8-22 with only two conference wins.
The commitment from highly-recruited James Harden from California provided hope for ASU’s following season.
During Harden’s freshman season with the Sun Devils, he led head coach Herb Sendek’s team to a 21-12 record, just missing the NCAA Tournament. Harden shot 52% from the field, averaging 17.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman.
Harden’s departure for the NBA following his sophomore year left a considerable void, but history found a way to repeat itself four seasons later.
The arrival and performance of Jahii Carson, another highly-recruited talent, has turned heads throughout college basketball.
Just a year ago, the Sun Devils finished 10-21 under Sendek, his worst season since the year prior to Harden’s arrival.
With Carson now at the helm, Sendek’s 2012 season could potentially be one of the best during his 19-year coaching career. The Sun Devils’ 16-4 start to the 2012-2013 campaign with a 5-2 Pac-12 conference record places them just outside of the top 25 and third in the conference.
People credit much of the Sun Devils’ recent success to the 5-foot-10 point guard out of Mesa High School.
Through 20 games, Carson is averaging a Harden-like 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, while shooting 44% from the field.
While both players led their respective teams to 16-4 starts, Carson intends to do something that Harden didn’t do his freshman season — go to the NCAA Tournament. With 11 games left in the regular season before the Pac-12 Tournament, Carson’s chances of doing so are looking pretty good.