Herb Sendek not fazed by ASU men's basketball's transfer rate

With three more players transferring from ASU men’s basketball, some Sun Devil fans have been concerned about the team’s high turnover rate of transfers following every season.

In a meeting with reporters Wednesday, coach Herb Sendek seemed unfazed when asked if the team’s constant revolving door of players bothered him.

Rather, he seemed to have learned to embrace and prepare for it.

“Why would we be frustrated?” Sendek said. “It’s just part of college basketball.”

He understands that players, coaches and even athletic directors are always looking out for the best situations possible, so much so that Sendek believes it’s more rare for players to stay on one team than leaving for another school or to the NBA.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman compiles a list every offseason tracking every player that transferred in college basketball. Sendek joked Goodman’s list should instead list players who aren’t transferring.

“Over the course of a four-or five-year period, what percentage of players start and finish at the same school?” Sendek said.

Throughout his career, Sendek said he has seen the overall perception of transfers grow in three phases: when outside critics question a player’s fit with the previous team, when people question the program’s transfer rate and when a coach and a player mutually agree that the player should transfer.

Sendek confirmed the last stage was the case with freshman forward Egor Koulechov, who wanted more playing time last season. Koulechov committed to Rice University on Wednesday to rejoin former ASU assistant coach Scott Pera.

Sendek used guard Jermaine Marshall’s case as an example of the revolving door in college basketball. When Evan Gordon transferred out of the program after the 2012-13 season, the team filled that spot by taking in Marshall from Penn State, which received a transfer from Miami (Ohio) which likely filled its spot by recruiting another transfer.

Sendek, who frequently watches Disney’s “The Lion King,” described it as the "Circle of Life."

With the way players come and go in college basketball, Sendek said there are virtually two recruiting periods: one for high school prospects in the fall and the other following the end of March Madness for transfers.

As transfers are already beginning to choose their next schools, Sendek said he’s looking to add more post players and should sign incoming transfers in the near future.

“We just never stop recruiting,” Sendek said.

Jahii Carson headed to the NBA

Point guard Jahii Carson’s intentions to leave for the NBA Draft following his redshirt sophomore year have been known since October and were reiterated toward the end of the season.

As a formality, Carson released a statement Wednesday to thank ASU fans and officially declare for the NBA Draft.

“After discussing all my options with my family, teammates and coaches, I have decided to enter the 2014 NBA Draft,” Carson said. “My time at ASU has helped me mature as a student, athlete and person and has prepared me to take this next step in my career.”

Sendek also added his thoughts in the statement.

“Jahii and I discussed his decision to enter the NBA Draft, and while our program will miss him, I know he is ready to start his professional career,” Sendek said. “Jahii made an incredible impact on our program over the past two seasons and was a huge part of the success we achieved as a team. I know I speak for the entire Sun Devils community when I say we are wishing Jahii and his family all the best in the future.”

Looking ahead to 2014-15

As of Wednesday, ASU has five players who are confirmed to return for next season: junior forward Jonathan Gilling, redshirt junior guard Bo Barnes, sophomore center Eric Jacobsen, freshman guard Chance Murray and sophomore forward Sai Tummala.

With Gilling, Barnes and Jacobsen being the three who played the most last year, Sendek said he would look to them as the team’s leaders for the 2014-15 season. He added Jacobsen will most likely play his natural center position after playing most of last season at power forward.

ASU is still waiting on its waiver request for the NCAA to grant senior forward Shaquielle McKissic another year of eligibility due to hardships in previous years. Sendek said he hopes to hear the NCAA’s response soon.

“You have five years to play four (seasons), but because of some personal, extenuating circumstances, he’s only been able to play three years in five,” Sendek said. “Because of those circumstances, we’ve asked the NCAA to look at their guidelines and consider to allow him to play his fourth season.”

Regardless of who the team signs in time for next season, Sendek said the team will change its tempo from last season. The team didn’t play quick enough for him in 2013-14.

“We’re not going to play the same way,” Sendek said. “We’re going to play even faster.”

ASU completes 2014 nonconference schedule

Sendek announced the team had just agreed to a road game at Detroit, finalizing ASU’s 2014 nonconference slate.

The team is also confirmed to play at Texas A&M; and at Marquette, with home contests against UNLV, Loyola Marymount, Harvard, Pepperdine, Colgate, Bethune-Cookman and Lehigh next season.

ASU will also play in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 24 and 25, joining Alabama, Maryland and Iowa State.

Official dates should be announced later in the offseason.

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion

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