ASU gaining confidence heading into Pac-10 home opener

Jan 5, 2011, 6:00 AM | Updated: 2:13 pm

TEMPE – ASU has looked dreadful at times this season as they have dealt with injuries to key players and struggled to integrate a number of new players into their system.

However, the Sun Devils continue to gain confidence as their season progresses.

“As they taste a little success and continue to work hard, they start to find their place a little bit. You can just sense their confidence,” said coach Herb Sendek on the Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show on Tuesday.

The Sun Devils rebounded from a tough loss against Oregon St. to defeat Oregon and head home to play Stanford in their conference home opener.

ASU swept Stanford in the regular season last year but lost to the Cardinal in the conference tournament.

Sendek is still cautioning fans that the Devils remain a “work in progress.”

“I wish I could tell you that it’s a linear progression that we’re on a rocket ship to the moon, but this season has already shown us at times we think we’re ready to blast off and somebody forgot to put gas in it. We’ve taken some detours,” said Sendek.

ASU has had to endure a couple of injuries to some of their key guys.

Leading scorer Trent Lockett missed both the Oregon State and Oregon games due to a sprained left big toe.

Sendek said Tuesday that Lockett is making “good progress” but they’ll wait to see how he is come Thursday.

When asked if Lockett had a better chance of playing this week versus last week Sendek responded, “Absolutely, but still no guarantee.”

In addition, Jamelle McMillan continues to be bothered by a groin injury that Sendek said is a “lingering problem”.

McMillan, who got into foul trouble and was held scoreless at Oregon, said Tuesday that “nothing but rest is the cure”. He then added the injury is “nothing I’m too worried about”.

Sendek said the team can’t use the injuries as an excuse and has to band together to pull out wins.

“Some years it seems like you’re very fortunate and you have very little to contend with and other years it doesn’t break your way. I don’t see us going in huffing and puffing and blowing anybody’s house down. Our team really has to hitting on all cylinders,” said Sendek.

ASU welcomes Stanford to Wells Fargo Arena on Thursday at 6:30p.m.

Sports 620 KTAR’s Craig Grialou contributed to this report.

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