Ray Anderson has seen the Arizona State basketball program come up with big wins as well as be on the wrong side of some brutal defeats.
The athletic director, who started in February, was as crushed as anyone with the team’s NCAA Tournament loss to Texas, but is optimistic about the program’s future.
“It was disappointing yet there were signs there that we’ve got some skills, we’ve got both at the coaching and player level, and we’re going to have to figure a way to just get better from start to finish in 2014,” he told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “And Herb and I will be meeting and working jointly to see how we take the program forward.”
Arizona State, by all accounts, had a pretty successful season in 2013-14. The Devils won 21 games — finishing an excellent 16-1 at Wells Fargo Arena — and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009.
But the goals for the program are higher than that, and both Anderson and head coach Herb Sendek are now looking for ways to take the program to the next level.
It starts with recruiting, which Anderson said is not something he’s planning on helping to direct.
“I can certainly try to help the coaches with regard to the philosophy and the aggressiveness and the fullness of the process, getting as much input as we can from relevant folks to just put us in a better position to be more successful at the recruiting,” he said.
Anderson said it is a conversation that will be had shortly, with more specifics being ironed out.
“The bottom line is how do we become more efficient? Efficiency, in my book, leads to, very frankly, better results overall.”
That’s the ultimate goal.
Anderson, who is still fairly new to the collegiate landscape, said he plans on attending the Final Four next weekend with the idea of talking with fellow athletic directors to get some thoughts and advice.
“I need to go and get some input from folks who have been in situations where they’re really striving to help all of their programs, but specifically their basketball programs, take that next step,” he said. “I don’t use the excuse that I’m the new guy in the seat, but the fact is I’m the new guy in the seat. I’ve got a lot to learn, so I’ve got to reach out to folks who hopefully have that knowledge and will share it with me.
“And we can get better.”