Two ASU men’s basketball coaches announced their departures from the program Thursday. Assistant coach Scott Pera has accepted a coaching position at University of Pennsylvania, and Lamont Smith has accepted a position at University of Washington.
“We most certainly appreciate all the efforts both Scott and Lamont gave us over the last few years and understand the opportunities they now pursue," coach Herb Sendek said. "At the same time, we are tremendously excited about the opportunity it brings for us.”
Pera was on Sendek’s staff when Sendek was hired in 2006. He most notably coached Derek Glasser and James Harden in high school and brought both to ASU.
Pera and his family have Pennsylvania ties. He’s from Hershey, Pa., attended Penn State and his wife went to Penn.
“I thought Scott really embraced the scouting component in our program,” Sendek said. “He was a high energy recruiter.”
Smith was brought on to Sendek’s staff in 2008 where he worked with post players, assisting with the strength and conditioning program, recruiting and scouting.
He’ll be reunited with Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar in Seattle. Smith was a graduate assistant under Romar at Saint Louis in 1999.
“He’s very upbeat, energetic guy,” Sendek said. “Very positive influence every day, but he also really did a good job with game preparation.”
Sendek is now faced with the task of replacing two coaches with the season two months away. He said he started the process last night with a list of candidates. He said he’d like to get it done as soon as possible.
“The timing isn’t ideal, but it’s not the end of the world,” Sendek said. “It’s something we can adjust to. It may result in some of us having to carry a few more bricks for a few more days.
“It really is humbling when you see start to look at the number of really talented, hard working, good coaches that are out there. When you go through a process like this, it’s hard to tell people no.”
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