Kodi Justice has been committed to the Arizona State Basketball program since he was a sophomore in high school. Coming out of Dobson in Mesa, he was one of the top recruits locally for the 2014 class. Since he has had his pledge made to the Sun Devils for so long, he and Herb Sendek know each other a little bit better than your average freshman just arriving on campus.
A good way to get to know a player in the eyes of their coach, could be the nickname the coach gives them. Many coaches do this and Sendek in particular has been know do this for quite some time. Justice, in his short time officially being a student athlete at Arizona State, has already been given the nickname “pistol.” Justice has embraced the nickname and has relevance to the number he selected for his ASU uniform.
“Pistol Pete (Maravich),” Justice stated. “That’s all it is! Representing Pistol Pete! That’s what Coach Sendek calls me so I had to wear 44 for Pistol.”
Now it is not fair to compare Justice’s game overall to that of Pete Maravich before he plays a game at the collegiate level. That is an expectation few basketball players at any level could ever live up to. But when you watch his game, you could draw comparisons to the style and the skills he puts forth on the court.
“I started calling him ‘Pistol’ because he has a Pistol Pete Maravich mentality,” explained Sendek. “He has a little bit of flash to him,. I love giving guys nicknames so I thought that was a pretty good one. So I went with it and it has stuck.”
If you have not seen Justice on the floor yet, you could be wondering where the similarities lie. Like Maravich, Justice is a very good ball handler and has great court vision. He is a fan of the no look pass, drawing defenders and dishing, getting to the basket, pump fakes and has a very good looking jump shot. Watching the two side-by-side on film, they even look similar in the way the run. So Sendek is definitely on to something.
For Justice, his role is not yet defined in how he will see time on the floor for his freshman season. He has the ability to play point guard but also the height and shooting ability to play off the ball as well. When asking him, it doesn’t matter what role he is thrown into.
“Right now I am just trying to get onto the floor wherever the coach needs me,” he mentioned. “If he needs me to play the one, if he needs me to play the two or the three, even the four or five, I’m there. Whatever he needs, that’s what I am going to do for him and the team.”