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A Dynamic Duo: two team managers play crucial roles for ASU men's basketball

A hard-working duo grinds behind the scenes for the Sun Devils

ASU men's basketball manager Scott Geerling carries water for players at a game against WSU at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Washington on Feb. 18, 2017.

ASU men's basketball manager Scott Geerling carries water for players at a game against WSU at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Washington on Feb. 18, 2017.

Willingness to spend long hours in the gym, strong work ethic and adaptability — these are the traits that define a great college basketball player.

They're also the traits of a great team manager.

Juniors Scott Geerling and Corey Littman are team managers for ASU men's basketball. In the long hours they spend putting in work behind the scenes, Geerling and Littman's work ethic and adaptability holds the Sun Devils together.

"When we’re not in class we’re usually here," Littman said. "We get in as early as possible, and after practice we stay for a couple hours."

Littman said when they coaches leave, that's when they leave as well.

Geerling and Littman's duties vary depending on the day. Geerling is the head manager on the equipment side, while Littman is ASU's video guru — spending hours cutting up footage for players and coaches to study during film sessions.

With the help of his fellow Sun Devil managers, Geerling directs the equipment-related operations, which includes the uniforms, basketballs, Powerade and more. During games, Littman is in the upper level of Wells Fargo Arena filming while Geerling and others are in constant motion down on the floor.

Meet the men's basketball managers from The State Press on Vimeo. Video by Kendall Valenzuela.

Everything is scheduled to the second, demands are high and consistency is crucial. The ASU managers operate as a cohesive unit, which extends to their own basketball games where they play against other teams' managers — a great source of pride for Geerling and Littman.

“Luckily we’ve had a lot of success and been one of the better manager teams," Geerling said, cracking a confident smile. "We put ourselves up there against anyone in the country."

And the country has taken notice. ESPN analyst Jay Bilas often tweets about manager games and has spotlighted ASU on multiple occasions before. Geerling said he and Littman even got a chance to meet Bilas when the team visited New York earlier this season.

"(Bilas is) just a guy that’s real familiar with college basketball," Geerling said. "He knows all the work that managers do — all the hours that people really don’t know about.”

In addition to the love they get from Bilas, Twitter is a valuable tool for the managers to scout their competition for upcoming games. They're always on the lookout for size, if guys played in high school, or material for potential trash talk.

That strategy, along with team chemistry, might be why the Sun Devil managers were 5-1 last year and started this season 3-0 before a loss to Stanford. They believe they're among the best manager teams in the country and boast the size and experience to succeed.

With the Final Four coming to Phoenix, the manager championship games will be hosted in Arizona too. Geerling and Littman have their sights set on a title come late March and early April.

"We’ve got some size on our team, and three or four of us played four years in high school," Geerling said. "That comes in handy when you’re facing the teams that are better suited with the Powerade."

The ASU managers have plenty to boast with their on-court skills, but they're not too shabby with the Powerade, either. Whether they're mixing up a batch in the training room or filling up a cup for second-year head coach Bobby Hurley, proper hydration is at the core of their duties.

Geerling said Hurley likes Powerade in the first half and Diet Coke in the second half. This is just one of many superstitions that the Sun Devils stick to on gameday, including a specific manager picking up coffee for Kodi Justice or rebounding for Tra Holder in warmups.

Hurley's superstition is altered slightly from his own preferences, but he doesn't have much of a choice.

"My wife doesn’t really allow me to have Diet Coke in the first half and in the second half,” Hurley said with a grin. “It’s a health thing — too much caffeine.”

Above all else, Geerling and Littman value the friendships they've developed with players, coaches and fellow managers over the years. The job is a day-to-day grind, but at the end of the day they've further developed bonds with those they call brothers.

Hurley said he always has what he needs from Geerling, Littman and the other managers and that they've done a great job.

"I always have a great appreciation for what the managers do," Hurley said. "At Buffalo I connected a lot with those guys, and so I’m hoping we build those relationships with our managers here.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @RyanTClarke on Twitter.

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