This morning, Arizona State fired men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek.
This is considered as a very interesting decision after there were reports per Doug Haller of AZ Central that suggested all was fine on the university side of things, but opening up the PAC-12 tournament with a loss to the University of Southern California, the worst team in the conference this season, must have changed the minds of many board members.
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During his nine year tenure as head coach, Sendek went 159-137, with two trips to the NCAA tournament and four trips to the NITs. The Sun Devils missed the playoffs three times.
Personally, I’m not surprised with this move. I think it is the right idea.
While his record was above .500 and Sendek did make the post season six out of his nine years, one of the biggest problems was Sendek’s ability to recruit top high school players to his program and develop them into superstars.
Now there are a few outliers in this set of data. Players like Jahii Carson, and that one James Harden dude who just happens to be leading the MVP race in the NBA, were two of Sendek’s better finds, but the list of players Herb Sendek has put into the NBA is smaller than you may think.
Sendek arrived to Tempe in 2006 and since then the only players who have played in the NBA according to basketball-reference.com are: James Harden, Ike Diogu, Carrick Felix, and Jeff Ayers. Compare that to the University of Arizona, who has put four players into the NBA in the past two seasons.
For the Sun Devils to compete in the PAC-12, getting top recruits to Tempe is crucial. This was inconsistent during Sendek’s time at ASU and ultimately, in my own personal opinion, was why he was released of his coaching duties.