Just when the Arizona State Sun Devils were feeling good about themselves and actually going into the Pac-12 Tournament a bit rejuvenated, they actually had to go out and play a game to go and ruin it. After beating Arizona 87-80 in the regular season finale, the Devils had the right attitude going into the tournament -- this is our chance to get into March Madness. Now, anyone that had watched ASU play during the season knew that that was never going to happen.
Still, the idea was there and the attitude was in the right spot.
That is, until they hit the hardwood.
The Devils apparently thought that the first game in the conference tournament would be a little easier than it was. Instead, Stanford came out and punched them in the mouth. The Sun Devils came out flat and they fell behind early and never recovered. At the half, they were down 20 points and already had turned the ball over as many times as they did the entire game against the Arizona Wildcats.
Said Trent Lockett after the game, "we didn't come out ready to play. They're a very physical and aggressive team and they put us on our heels."
That is the sad part. According to comments just the day before, they sounded like they were ready for the challenge.
It was fitting for the season to end the way it did. With the academic ineligibility of prized recruit Jahii Carson to the untimely injuries to Carrick Felix and Trent Lockett during the season, 2011-2012 Sun Devils basketball was pretty embarrassing.They had a small amount of hope coming into the season, but their play quickly put everyone in their place.
That's exactly what happened Wednesday.
I suppose that we should not have expected anything less.
In the coming offseason, the Devils have a lot to do.
Said coach Herb Sendek, "It will be an opportunity for us to evaluate everything, to learn as much as we can, and hopefully our players will have a great work ethic throughout the offseason. During the offseason it's really up to them to be self-motivated because of all the great limitations we have and what we can do with them, then just putting together a great plan for next season, which we always try to do between seasons."
Trent Lockett also added, "We've had a lot of ups and downs and situations that we've had to deal with. But overall going into the offseason we have obviously plenty of motivation. I don't think anybody should have a reason not to work hard this offseason."
Here's to hoping that happens and that 2012-2013 will be much better.