Pitchfork Sports: Featuring fandom

Sun Devil basketball looks to fill the stands with fans at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. Photo by Evan Triantafilidis.

While the ASU football team continues to play out the rest of their season, the men’s basketball team has begun practice and exhibition play.

Saturday, Nov. 10, the team will begin the season at home against Central Arkansas.

While the focus of the student body may still be in football season, the basketball team has their own reasons to why the spotlight should be on them this season.

“We have a group of guys who are easy to cheer for and easy to be proud of,” says Herb Sendek, the head coach of the team. “I think the students know our players, have classes with them, talk with them around the MU, and these are the kind of guys that are so easy to get behind.”

Sendek, who has been the coach since 2006, is looking to bounce back from a 10-21 season and an early exit from the Pac-12 Tournament.

“Part of the basketball program being in the spotlight really falls on the shoulders of our students,” Sendek says. “They have a real stake in what happens here at Arizona State.”

Carrick Felix, a 6-foot, 6-inch guard/forward, says it’s important for the fans and students to be a part of the upcoming season.

“It’s gonna be an exciting year,” Felix says. “We have a chance to do something that’s never been done, and that is to win the Pac-12 Championship.”

For ASU students, the last home football game is scheduled for Nov. 17, against Washington State University. Conveniently, the second home basketball game is scheduled the day after, as Florida A&M travels to Tempe to tip-off at 1:00 p.m..

Wells Fargo Arena, the home of the Sun Devils, will host 18 games this season and the team is looking for a strong fan base to join them on their way to the Pac-12 Tournament in March.

“Come along and be part of the ride,” Carrick says. “We’re going to need the student body as much as we’re going to need ourselves as a team.”

If you’re looking to get back some of that Sun Devil spirit that might have been lost by the loss against Oregon State and the heartbreaker when UCLA came to town, the basketball team will be playing six consecutive home games between Thanksgiving break and Winter break.

 

You can reach me at etrianta@asu.edu