To put it simply, the ASU men’s basketball team has had better weeks.
After falling to Washington at home last Saturday, the Sun Devils desperately needed two wins against the Los Angeles schools. Instead, following a 79-74 overtime loss to UCLA on Wednesday and a painful one-point defeat at USC Saturday, Herb Sendek’s squad has gone cold at the wrong time of year.
Sloppy play and lack of secondary scoring have really plagued the Sun Devils of late and NCAA tournament hopes are likely but mere dreams at this point unless the team runs the table in the Pac-12 tournament.
While ASU has struggled to find consistency during its three-game losing streak, one area that has not been a concern is the point guard position.
Freshman Jahii Carson (17.8 points and 5.0 assists per game) has almost single-handedly willed the Sun Devils to wins recently and has four games of at least 18 points over his last five. In that same span, the super frosh has also dished out at least four assists in every game.
Although ASU doesn’t deserve much love nationally these days, Carson’s play is worthy of any and all attention it gets.
Even if that praise comes from former UA standout Miles Simon.
Simon, who is now an analyst for ESPN, ranked his top 10 point guards in the nation, and rivalry or not, the Wildcat couldn’t exclude Carson from the list.
8. Jahii Carson, Arizona State Sun Devils
This young man is so good that coach Herb Sendek changed everything he’d done in the past and designed his whole offense around the skill set of Carson. He is a great athlete, an elite ball handler and is doing things in the Pac-12 that not many players have done. He’s averaging 18 points and 5 assists per game. Only Jason Terry, Luke Ridnour and Jerome Randle have done that in the past 15 seasons — and none was a freshman at the time they did it. Carson has taken a team that was picked 11th in the conference in the preseason to the upper half of the league.
Carson was one of only two freshman (Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart was the other) to make Simon’s esteemed ranking.