Carrick Felix has, by all accounts, been the most consistent player for the Arizona State Sun Devils this season. In fact, he may be the biggest reason as to why the Devils find themselves with a 9-2 record at this juncture. His energy, versatility, great attitude and willingness to do as he is asked make him the type of player any college coach would covet.
On Saturday afternoon against the Dartmouth Big Green, we saw a transformation from the senior Sun Devil. The energy was there as usual, but Felix did not have the best of days shooting from the field. He went 6-15, including 0-3 from beyond the arc. But it seemed to have no effect on him. He continued to do all of the little things on the floor: collecting rebounds both offensively and defensively, blocking shots, ripping away steals for turnovers and creating plays for his teammates.
Felix set a career high in rebounds with 14, including 4 offensively. He also recorded 5 blocks, good for another career high.
"I always come through in the clutch time," Felix said after the game. "I just think it's about me putting in the work during the summer and my teammates giving me the confidence and encouraging me to just play my game."
Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek lauded his senior leader's performance as well.
"Once again, I thought Carrick's performance was tremendous because of the energy and the effort. He comes down with a double-double, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 steals. I mean, he's a stat sheet stuffer, right? I was just really pleased with the way he played today.
"I think he just has matured so much. He has already demonstrated this season that he can, maybe not shoot his best, but still greatly impact the game. He's already demonstrated that he can weather foul trouble, stay connected and still come back and greatly impact the game. He's already demonstrated that even on a night where he's not getting many shots or scoring, he still can have a significant impact on the game.
"He's just playing both ends of the floor. There's certain things that stand out, because you can look at his stat sheet, and then there's all the other things that you've got to watch the game or listen to conversations to know. He's doing so much for our team beyond the stat sheet. His leadership is exemplary, his defense has been outstanding. Night in, night out he's guarding the other team's best player... His defensive versatility has been tremendous.
"His attitude and his approach and his caring of his teammates; I mean he's just so easy to cheer for... He's just so easy to want to do well."
For the Sun Devils to reach the goals they have in mind, it will take a concerted effort from Carrick Felix every night. None of the other players on the team have the nose for the ball or the grinding style of play that Felix does. That may be something that comes with the maturity of being a senior, but it's also something that coaches simply cannot teach.
Mark my words, this basketball team would not be half as good as they are without Carrick Felix on the floor.
ASU heads to what be their most difficult game of the season next week as they get on the road to take on Texas Tech. If they are to win, you can bet that senior Carrick Felix will have a big hand in their victory.