Felix looks to bounce back vs. USC

Senior wing Carrick Felix had his first bad game this season last Saturday.

Don’t think for a second his confidence has dropped this week as the ASU Sun Devils prepare for USC Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena.

“I’m still back,” Felix reiterated Tuesday. “I’m not gone.”

Felix had five points on 1-of-8 shooting, five rebounds and seven turnovers in the 71-54 loss to UA on Saturday.

“I know all great players have bad days,” Felix said. “Saturday just wasn’t my day, so I just had to just keep playing and live with it. I’ll just capitalize on it this weekend and say Thursday’s game is going to be a good game.

“I know I have my teammates Jahii (Carson), Jordan (Bachynski), Chris (Colvin) and Evan (Gordon) to back me up and make sure my confidence stays there. Coaches are always in my ear, which is good. I’m just at a better spot.”

The Sun Devils (14-4, 3-2 Pac-12) missed Felix’s impact on Saturday’s contest. Seven of his eight shots were three-pointers. He said he played defense on himself by settling for three-point shots.

“I’m going to go back to my old self, start from the inside and work my way out,” Felix said. “They were open, but as a player you want to get yourself warm from the inside. Little tips or little layups to heat up a little bit and then step outside. They were good shots, but it wasn’t my day.”

Perhaps just as important for ASU is the status of senior guard Chris Colvin, who was suspended for violating team rules.

He missed Saturday’s game against UA, but he has practiced with the team this week. His status for Thursday’s contest is still unknown.

“I really don’t know much about it, but he’s practicing,” redshirt freshman Jahii Carson said. “He brings his voice, his leadership. He’s out there definitely with us. When he steps out on the court, it definitely helps us and gives us that extra push.”

The Trojans (8-11, 3-3 Pac-12) will be without coach Kevin O’Neill, who was fired a week ago. Bob Cantu has been bumped from assistant to interim head coach for the rest of the season.

USC nearly pulled off an upset against Oregon in Cantu’s first game as interim. The Trojans rallied after being down 10 but lost 76-74. Junior guard J.T. Terrell had a game-high 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

Cantu chalked up his first win Saturday over Oregon State 69-68. Sophomore guard Byron Wesley led the team with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

“We definitely need to make sure we defend the drive,” Felix said. “They’re kind of like Arizona. They can really penetrate, and one thing they do well is penetrate and kick out for the three.”

While they’re 11th in the conference in scoring offense, the Trojans like the push the ball and play an up-tempo style. Terrell averages 10.1 points a game while Wesley scores 9.8 points a contest.

“The faster they go, the faster I go,” Carson said. “I think I’m a fast guy, so they’re definitely going to be ready for me to push the basketball as well. Both teams are going to have to play great transition defense. It’s going to be a high-pace game and a high-scoring game.”

Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network and 620 AM.

 

Reach the reporter at mtesfats@asu.edu