There was a time not long ago that the Arizona State Sun Devils looked like an NCAA Tournament team.
ASU’s record was 14-2 following a Jan. 10 win over Oregon State, and there was plenty of optimism surrounding the program and its future.
The Devils have gone 6-9 since, and barring a Pac-12 Tournament championship, are likely to miss the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in the last nine years.
Yet, when it’s all said and done, ASU head coach Herb Sendek believes his team’s season should be viewed in a positive light.
“Obviously there’s different levels of success,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “Obviously the ultimate is to win the championship. Obviously you want to go to the NCAA Tournament.
“But I think if you look at the totality of the season, if you look our start point and the progress we’ve made on a lot of different levels — and some of the further reaching future ramifications of those — absolutely it’s been a great success.”
Be it the development of Jahii Carson, Carrick Felix and Jordan Bachynski or the fact that the Sun Devils knocked off the likes of California, UCLA and Colorado (twice), there are positives to be gleaned from this season. However, Sendek admitted there are some goals the team didn’t reach, and the team has no one to blame but itself.
“Let’s be honest,” he said. “We’ve lost seven games in our conference that came down to the last possession or two, and in those games we have shot roughly 50 percent from the foul line.
“You can’t help being a human being and look at and say, ‘Yeah, it’s been successful, but you’ve got to be kidding me.’ Just by the law of averages that should play out to your favor a little bit better.”