Players transfer with alarming regularity these days, but Herb Sendek’s dismissal of his leading scorer, Keala King, this week put a spotlight on the Arizona State program.
By our unofficial count, King will be the 13th player to transfer from ASU to another school since Sendek was hired prior to the 2006-2007 season. It could be 15 with Kyle Cain (a starter) and Chris Colvin (who has started five games) suspended for last weekend’s game and candidates to transfer.
When ASU won 25 games in 2008 and 22 in 2009, not much attention was paid. But the Sun Devils are 5-10 overall this season after going 4-14 in the conference a year ago.
Here are the 13 players who – by our unofficial count — have left ASU under Sendek (and the school to which they transferred):
— Keala King (?)
— Corey Hawkins (UC Davis)
— Brandon Dunson (Azusa Pacific)
— Demetrius Walker (New Mexico)
— Victor Rudd (South Florida)
— Sylvester Seay (Fresno State)
— Johnny Coy (Wichita State)
— Taylor Rhode (Alaska-Anchorage)
— Brandon Thompson (Long Island)
— George Odufuwa (North Texas)
— Christian Polk (UTEP)
— Marcus Jackson (Alaska-Anchorage)
— Kraidon Woods (Drake)
—— C.J. Aiken, a 6-9, 192-pound sliver of a center at St. Joseph’s, is the perfect representative for the school, whose never-quit mascot, the Hawk, has flapped his wings every moment of every game (including timeouts and halftime) since 1956, flapping roughly 3,500 times a game. (That’s why the student who wears the Hawk costume is on a full scholarship.).
Aiken had cancer when he was 7 (Burkitt lymphoma specifically), underwent two surgeries within a month on his abdomen, and had radiation and chemotherapy for years before he was declared cancer-free at age 12.
Now he is second in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 4.4 a game, and he blocked nine in last week’s victory over Duquesne.
—–The six-player play that provided Louisiana-Lafayette with a 72-70 overtime victory over Western Kentucky last week was strange for a variety of reasons:
— Coming out of a timeout with the score tied 70-70 and 21 seconds left, the Ragin’ Caguns put six players on the floor, but no one – not the official scorers who allowed the sixth player in the game, not the three officials, and none of the coaches or players – noticed for those final 21 seconds that Lafayette had six players on the court.
— Western Kentucky was playing a man-to-man defense, but still did not realize Lafayette had six players on the court.
— Lafayette guard Elfrid Payton failed to take advantage of the power play, simply dribbling the ball around near halfcourt before driving toward the basket and scoring the winning points with three seconds left.
—By rule, it is not a correctable error, so once the game was over and it was discovered Lafayette had used six players, the officials could not view the play on replay and change the call.
—If the officials had noticed the sixth man on the court, Lafayette would have been called for a technical foul with less than 21 seconds left in a tie game, and the Hilltoppers might have won the game with technical free throws, which might have prevented Western Kentucky coach Ken McDonald from being fired the next day.
—–Three is the magic number
3 – Number of Indiana players with more than 30 three-point attempts who have made better than 50 percent of their three-point shots.
3 – Number of Creighton players with more than 25 three-point attempts who have made at least 50 percent of their three-point shots.
0 – Number of Murray State players among the team’s top seven scorers who have not made at least 42 percent of their three-point shots.
3 – Combined number of losses by Indiana, Creighton and Murray State through Monday (against 44 wins).