Exactly a year ago, there weren’t many NBA people thinking about Arizona State forward Carrick Felix as a prospect to play in the league.
The 6-foot-6 forward had just got done with a junior season in which he averaged 10 points and four rebounds per game and shooting 42 percent from the field for a team that went 10-21.
A year later, after a solid senior season in which he averaged 14.6 points and eight rebounds per game, Felix is very much on the NBA radar as a possible second round pick.
“It’s truly one of the best stories that I’ve personally witnessed and been associated with in my many years of coaching,” ASU head coach Herb Sendek told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 Tuesday. “It didn’t come overnight, it didn’t come easy, there were detours, there were moments when you wondered when it would all end.
“A year ago, if you would have walked into 30 NBA front offices, probably 30 out of 30, they don’t know his name. And he gave us not only brilliant play, but the best leadership we’ve ever had.”
Felix led the Pac-12 with 13 double-doubles in 2012-13 and was a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team and First Team All-Pac-12 Academic Team selection — two honors, according to Sendek, Felix almost didn’t get the chance to work toward.
“Nobody really recruited him in Division-I, he went to junior college at the College of Southern Idaho. He was going to go to Duke, but it didn’t work out and he ended up coming to Arizona State,” Sendek recalled.
“By Halloween of his first year at Arizona State, I was calling he and his mom in and saying ‘you know, Carrick, if you don’t change some of your habits and your approach here, this isn’t going to work out and you’re going to be off the team. It doesn’t get much closer to the curb than that.”
But Sendek says Felix did change his ways and the light bulb really went on for the Goodyear Millennium High School product.
“He just said ‘enough’ and he started working and his leadership changed. One of the things I loved about it the most is, he didn’t have a bad day,” he said. “Smiled every day, always upbeat, an energy giver. You know, not a moody guy.
“And now, we’re all cheering for him Thursday night, hopefully his name is going to be called.”