Entering the 2012-13 season, pressure and talk surrounding the job security of Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek was growing at an alarming rate.
Roughly three months into the season, the Sun Devils’ head man has his squad on pace for a berth into the NCAA Tournament. This much is true, whether you want to believe it or not, Arizona State got their biggest win to date over the weekend, and the potential of dancing come March is certainly at the forefront.
On Saturday afternoon, Arizona State knocked off UCLA by a final score of 78-60. The victory moved the Sun Devils to 16-4 overall and 5-2 within the Pac-12 Conference. Yes there is hype, but most importantly, it’s the demeanor and mentality that Sendek has instilled in his squad.
The boost and production of freshman guard Jahii Carson has been crucial, but so too has been the all-around play of Carrick Felix. In fact, it was Felix who made the final play of the game, fighting to the final buzzer despite the Sun Devils boasting an 18-point lead.
On the final segment, Arizona State was running out the clock when Bruins’ freshman Jordan Adams stole the ball and proceeded to dunk it home although the game was well out of reach. Well, Felix would have none of that, sprinting back on defense as the final seconds ticked away and blocking Adams’ dunk attempt.
Check out the video clip below:
A simple and outright meaningless play at the end of the game meant something to Felix. That’s credit to Sendek and the focus of this year’s batch of Sun Devils. “Even though we were up, I’ve always been taught to never stop playing, just wait to the buzzer goes off,” Felix told the Arizona Republic. “I saw him going down there, trying to get a dunk, so I just hustled. Just like I always do. That’s it.”
Arizona State will try to keep things rolling this week with back-to-back road games against the conference’s Washington-based schools.
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