It has been a rocky past week and a half for the Sun Devils' basketball program. With the suspension of three key players (Keala King, Kyle Cain, and Chris Colvin) for "unacceptable conduct" that lead to the eventual dismissal of leading scorer King, many were curious what Sendek had to say about the subject Tuesday afternoon. And overall, it was quite clear that there was a sense of confidence behind his actions.
"I just think it's important that regardless of circumstances we maintain certain standards and expectations," Sendek said. "In the final analysis it just seemed to me it made great sense for our program and for Keala that we have a new beginning."
While Sendek obviously wouldn't get into the specifics of the situation, he hinted that it had to do with King being upset with his role on the team and specifically the fact that he was forced to play the point guard position following the whole Jahii Carson debacle.
"Sometimes when you're part of a team you have to make sacrifices and play positions that maybe aren't ideal," Sendek said. "...the intimation is if players are leaving your program that you're doing something wrong. That would be a clear misrepresentation of what's actually happening."
For the rest of his twenty minute press conference, Sendek spent his time raving about the adversity his roster showed on the Los Angeles roadtrip with only six scholarship players at his disposal. And after stealing a victory against USC and playing hard against a very talented UCLA team, Sendek was proud what Trent Lockett showed in taking his leadership "to another level."
"I thought Trent did amazingly well," Sendek said. "That's never an easy position to transition to, let alone doing it on the fly in a couple days...it really shows his basketball IQ."
And although Lockett, who has now played everything for the Sun Devils besides center, averaged 5.5 turnovers a game at his new position the past two games, Sendek is expecting that he "will play a majority of his minutes" at the point.
This on-the-job training will continue for Lockett Thursday against Oregon and will be aided by the return of Cain and Colvin. And even with the difficulties Sendek is encountering practicing for the Duck's full-court press using a scout team with his current personnel limitations, the positive-thinking head coach is refusing to let his team dwell on what has happened the past 10 days.
"We move forward," Sendek said. "We took action and now we are on to the next chapter."