Sendek says the Sun Devils are focused on each other

slider-herb-sendekThe Sun Devils continued their Pac-12 road struggles this past Thursday and Saturday, losing to Stanford and California by a combined 45 points. 

Arizona State shot a paltry 31-of-85 from the field in the losses. 

One shining light from the weekend was forward Kyle Cain, who nearly had a double-double against the Golden Bears. Cain ended up with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Head coach Herb Sendek talked about Cain’s performance on Tuesday. 

“He had good energy, and gave us a lift,” Sendek said. 

There’s a darkside to that effort though, and that darkside is the five offensive rebounds against Stanford (compared to 16 for the Cardinal), 20 turnovers on Saturday and the combined 6-for-34 shooting from three-point range in both games. 

These are things that stand to be corrected (among others), and Sendek made note of it. 

“What we need is everybody playing at or near their highest level of capability,” Sendek said. “That’s what we have to have on a consistent basis.” 

The biggest chatter surrounding the team continues to be the health of point guard Trent Lockett, and when he’ll be able to suit up and take the court again. 

“Trent continues to make progress,” Sendek said. 

Sendek said Lockett took part in some “non-contact stuff” on Monday, for the first time since he suffered his ankle injury against Oregon State on Jan. 14. 

“We’re gonna have to take it one step at a time and just see how he feels,” Sendek said. 

Sendek didn’t rule out a return by Lockett on Thursday against Utah either. 

He did say that Lockett “is gonna have to play some point guard” before the season is over. 

“He’s gonna have to do some lifting at point guard,” Sendek said. “That’s obviously been an issue for us.” 

Arizona State has lost 11 of its last 14 games, including the last five on the road.

When you have a losing streak that spans that many games, especially this late in the season, most teams would lose their focus and lose each other. 

Sendek said this team is nowhere near that edge.

“We’re really focused on ourselves as much as anything, and what we need to do to continue to get better,” Sendek said.

Colorado and Utah punished the Sun Devils during a recent two-game trip to Boulder, Colo. and Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Sendek knows those two teams will come to Tempe, Ariz. hungry for more. 

“Obviously both [of] these teams had their way with us earlier in the season,” Sendek said. “We’re gonna be challenged to compete with them on Thursday and Saturday.”  

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