Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
The Arizona State Sun Devils only return three rotation players from a year ago. However, Herb Sendek brings in a few key transfers that should help ASU contend for a NCAA Tournament berth.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
Last Season: T-6th, 9-9 in Pac-10, 22-13 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 6th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Jordan Bachynski (Sr)/Eric Jacobsen (So)
F: Richie Edwards (Sr)/Sai Tummala (So)
SF: Jonathan Gilling (Jr)/Brandon Kearney (Jr)/Shaquielle McKissic (Jr)/Egor Koulechov (Fr)
SG: Jermaine Marshall (Sr)/Bo Barnes (Jr)/Chance Murray (Fr)
PG: Jahii Carson (So)/Calaen Robinson (Fr)
Gone: G/F-Carrick Felix, G-Chris Colvin, C-Ruslan Pateev, SG-Evan Gordon (transfer-Indiana), F-Kenny Martin (transfer-Arkansas-Fort Smith)
Jahii Carson will undoubtedly lead the charge this season. After sitting out a year, he posted monster numbers during his freshman campaign earning All-Pac 12 honors and sharing the conference Freshman of the Year award. Despite standing just 5-10, he is an explosive guard though he has been dealing with a stress reaction in his tibia that has slowed him down some at the start of practice. Calaen Robinson redshirted last season while dealing with some off-the-court matters and will back-up Carson.
Carson loses his second and third bananas in Carrick Felix and Evan Gordon but Penn State Jermaine Marshall should step into the complementary scoring role without the Sun Devils missing much of a beat as he averaged more than 15 points per game last season for the Nittany Lions. Michigan State transfer Brandon Kearney becomes eligible after the first semester and will provide some offensive firepower off the bench while Bo Barnes, JUCO transfer Shaquielle McKissic, and freshmen Chance Murray and Egor Koulechov compete for playing as well.
Stretch four Jonathan Gilling also returns to provide a perimeter threat. He played a lot power forward last year but should slide to his more natural position at the three due to the presence of Valparaiso transfer Richie Edwards who is also capable of stepping out and knocking down jumpers. Junior college transfer Sai Tummala is a former Michigan commit who will add some depth and athleticism in the frontcourt.
Inside, 7-2 Jordan Bachynski returns to provide ASU with a true shot blocking presence. He also made strides with his offensive game during his junior season to give the Sun Devils some sort of low post presence. Seldom used Eric Jacobsen is the only other player on the roster taller than 6-7 so will be used to give Bachynski a rest when needed.
With seven newcomers on the roster, the chemistry of this Arizona State Sun Devils team will be something worth keeping an eye on during non-conference play. Carson will be the catalyst but with guys like Marshall, Bachynski, and Gilling surrounding him, Sendek has the talent in his starting five to finish in the upper half of the Pac-12.
Player to Watch: Jahii Carson
Carson made off-season noise by pretty much already declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft. He is lone point guard on the roster with college experience and if his off-season injury lingers into the season, it could be crippling for any hopes ASU has of making a move up in the conference.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/19 at UNLV
11/25 vs. Marquette
11/28 vs. Creighton (Wooden Legacy)
11/29 vs. San Diego State/Charleston (Wooden Legacy)
12/1 vs. Marquette/CS-Fullerton/Miami FL/George Washington (Wooden Legacy)
12/6 at DePaul
12/21 vs. Texas Tech
OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#44 Iowa State
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#56 Saint Mary’s
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)