Friday, January 19, 2007
So Close, Yet So Far
It has been hard to watch ASU basketball this season, much like in years passed. After beginning 0-7 in conference play, I now fear the worst. Everyone, probably even the players, knew that ths season was going to be filled with growing pains but if the Devils can't get off the schnide soon it may have lingering effects when next season rolls around. A lot of faith hs been bestowed in Herb Sendek as he has been annointed a savior that could take nothing and turn it into something, despite his personal protest. He told all of us that this season would be difficult, but being 0-fer approaching the midway mark of conference play was off of most radars.
This season has been filled with many close calls, including near upsets of highly ranked Oregon and, as of last night, UCLA. The competitive spirit of an elite athlete (a stretch for ASU hoops, but still) can only withstand so much losing and will eventually begin to point fingers and place blame. My biggest concern for the longterm welfare of ASU basketball is that Sendek may lose this year's team, creating a cancerous locker room that could only get worse with the arrival of uber-recruits Eric Boateng, James Harden, and Jamelle McMillan.
This program needs a win in the worst way. It won't matter if it's Oregon State or Arizona, it is of the utmost importance. The Pac-10 is shaping up to be the best conference in the land this season, making things all the more difficult. These kids need to know that, given time, Sendek's system will work and ASU will become a force in the Pac-10, but patience and a diligent work ethic will be required on everyone's part.
Keep your heads up young Devils. You're close, even if it isn't as close as you want it to be.