Finally, the Arizona State men’s basketball team gets to guard somebody — anybody — other than itself.
It won’t be remembered for long after the final buzzer, but if this afternoon’s exhibition game against Division II Grand Canyon counts for anything, it would be the chance to practice against new and unfamiliar faces.
Today will be the first of two exhibition games, with the other slated for Wednesday against Western New Mexico.
In two weeks, it’ll be Illinois in Hawaii.
“We need to play someone else,” Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek said Thursday. “We’re ready to find out what we’ve learned and how much further we have to go.”
Encouraged by what he’s seen in practice, the detail-oriented Sendek wants to see what his group of youngsters can do.
Sendek wouldn’t reveal his starting lineup, but regardless of who’s on the floor, the Sun Devils know today begins the counterattack to their expected ninth-place finish in the Pac-10.
“If we can be consistent, we can break that glass ceiling above us,” forward Jeff Pendergraph said.
Declaring Final Four Intentions
This week the NCAA notified prospective schools that intentions to bid on the 2012 through 2016 men’s and women’s Final Fours must be received by Nov. 21.
Neither ASU nor Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority administrators could be reached for comment Friday, but ASU is expected to make a bid for a future men’s and women’s Final Four.
A men’s Final Four would be held at either University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale or Chase Field in Phoenix. ASU will host a 2008 regional at US Airways Center and a 2009 regional in Glendale.
The minimum seating capacities are 40,000 for the men’s Final Four and 18,000 for the women’s Final Four, which makes US Airways Center an option on the women’s side. ASU will host the 2010 first- and second- rounds at Wells Fargo Arena.
After declarations of intent to bid are made later this month, completed bid proposals will be due in June 2008, and the NCAA championship committees will submit recommendations to the NCAA governing body for approval in November.
Three cities in the West have hosted a men’s Final Four in the past 30 years: Salt Lake City in 1979, Albuquerque, N.M., in 1983 and Denver in 1990.
Atlanta will host the 2008 Final Four, followed by San Antonio, Detroit, Indianapolis and Houston.
Grand Canyon at Arizona State
What: The first of two exhibition games for ASU
When: Noon today
Where: Wells Fargo Arena
Radio: KTAR (620 AM)
Notable: Jeff Pendergraph and Eric Boateng will be available for autographs after the game.