Herb Sendek

Herb Sendek’s time in Tempe could be coming to an end

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For the second time in less than a week, Lorenzo Romar has made an addition to his staff at Washington.

On Thursday afternoon, the head Husky added Lamont Smith to his staff. Smith was hired by Romar at St. Louis in 1999.

“We are excited to welcome Lamont Smith on our staff,” Romar said following the Huskies ninth of 10 practices for their upcoming foreign tour. “Lamont is very energetic and a dynamic recruiter.

“I know Lamont really well. I was able to give him his first job and I coached against him when he was a player at the University of San Diego. He has a great basketball mind and will have a big impact on our program.”

Since Romar hired Brad Jackson last week, room was made for Smith when Paul Fortier was taken off the bench and moved to the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development position.

The bigger issue, however, is where Smith came from. For the second time in two days, Herb Sendek has lost an assistant coach at Arizona State; on Wednesday, Scott Pera took a position at Penn.

This is bad, bad news for Sendek. For starters, losing an assistant coach just days before the school year is about to begin is a massive setback for any program. Sendek lost two. In two days. And, unfortunately for the Sun Devil faithful, Arizona State isn’t just “any program” right now. They are one of the worst high-major programs — in the present tense — in the country. Sendek, who is 98-96 in his tenure in Tempe, won just 10 games last season and only 12 the season before that, managing all of 10 Pac-12 wins during that stretch despite the Pac-12 being fairly atrocious during that time. That doesn’t include the fact that three of Arizona State’s top four scorers — and four total from last year’s rotation — transferred out of the program.

Making matter worse is the fact that Pera was the program’s recruiting coordinator, meaning he was the guy that knew Arizona State’s targets the best. That will be an important vacancy to fill quickly, something that may not happen. You see, there is little doubt that Sendek is currently sitting on the hottest seat in the conference. Yes, he still has hometown hero Jahii Carson at his disposal, but will Carson be enough to turn Arizona State’s season around?And if he’s not, will the number of defections finally convince the Sun Devil brass that it’s time to go in a different direction with their head coach?

Or did Pera and Smith simply see the writing on the wall? When a head coach is fired, more often than not his staff ends up out of a job as well. Knowing that, how many assistants with jobs that they are currently comfortable in would be willing to take the risk?

Should I even mention that Arizona State recently hired a new athletic director?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 23 Xavier roll

Ryan Spangler
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This will be updated throughout the evening.


No. 7 Oklahoma 65, Wisconsin 48: One team returned most of its rotation from a season ago and has its roles (for the most part) defined, while the other is still figuring out how its pieces fit together. That was one of the big differences between the Sooners and Badgers in Norman, as Oklahoma got out to a quick start and won comfortably. Ryan Spangler led four Sooners in double figures with 20 points while also grabbing 14 rebounds. Nigel Hayes scored 20 for Wisconsin but did so on 5-for-17 shooting, and as a team the Badgers shot 23.5 percent.

No. 23 Xavier 90, Dayton 61: The rivals’ first meeting since 2013 lacked drama in the second half, as the Musketeers went on a 21-0 run and led by as many as 29 points. Edmond Sumner led the balanced attack with 14 points, with eight Musketeers scoring eight points or more. More can be read about this game here.

Monmouth 83, USC 73: The Hawks avenged their first loss of the season, beating the Trojans in the third place game at the AdvoCare Invitational. Justin Robinson scored 26 points, setting a record for points in the event (passing Michael Beasley), and Monmouth now has three wins over power conference teams (UCLA, Notre Dame and USC). Given their talent and résumé to this point, Monmouth will be a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses.


Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma: 20 points and 14 rebounds in the Sooners’ 65-48 home win over Wisconsin.

Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville: Mockevicius scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Purple Aces’ 75-56 win over UC Irvine.

Miles Wright, Dartmouth: Wright scored 39 points (13-for-22 FG) and grabbed six rebounds in Dartmouth’s 79-56 win over LIU Brooklyn.


Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin: Everyone struggled for the Badgers including Koenig, who shot 3-for-18 from the field in their loss at No. 7 Oklahoma.

Anthony Drmic, Boise State: In the Broncos’ loss to No. 11 Arizona, Drmic scored eight points but shot 1-for-12 from the field and committed six turnovers.


  • Grayson Allen scored 22 points and Luke Kennard added 22 off the bench as No. 6 Duke handed Utah State its first loss, 82-52.
  • No. 20 Wichita State completed its trip to the AdvoCare Invitational with an 84-61 loss to Iowa. The Shockers are shorthanded with Fred VanVleet, Landry Shamet and Anton Grady all sitting out, but the losses make upcoming opportunities for quality wins even more important.
  • Keith Frazier scored 23 points and freshman Jarrey Foster tallied 15 off the bench as No. 25 SMU took care of Brown, 77-69.
  • No. 11 Arizona beat Boise State for the second time in ten days, winning third place at the DirecTV Wooden Legacy by the final score of 68-59. Kadeem Allen and Allonzo Trier scored 13 points apiece, with Allen also grabbing seven rebounds.
  • Retin Obasohan’s basket in the final seconds gave Alabama a 74-73 win over No. 17 Notre Dame, meaning that the Fighting Irish went 1-2 at the AdvoCare Invitational. Obasohan scored a game-high 19 for the Crimson Tide, while Steve Vasturia led Notre Dame with 18 points.


  • Haanif Cheatham scored 24 points and Duane Wilson added 16 as Marquette beat Jackson State 80-61 in Milwaukee.
  • Four McGlynn scored a career-high 27 points in Rhode Island’s 82-57 win over Rider. He and freshman Christion Thompson, key players with E.C. Matthews out for the season, combined to shoot 9-for-15 from three.
  • Yale played without star forward Justin Sears due to illness and Albany took advantage, blowing out the Bulldogs 88-54. Evan Singletary scored 21 for the winners.
  • Josh Scott led the way with 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks as Colorado moved to 5-1 on the season with an 82-52 win over Northern Colorado.
  • An Eric Jacobson basket with two seconds remaining gave Arizona State a 70-68 win over UCSB. Jacobson finished with ten points and eight rebounds, and UCSB’s Michael Bryson led all scorers with 23 points to go along with five rebounds and six assists.
  • Justin Edwards finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Kansas State hung on for a two-point win over South Carolina State.
  • Kai Healy (14 points, seven rebounds) and Nate Kratch (12 points, ten rebounds) led the way as previously winless Santa Clara beat Boston College 62-45. The Broncos limited the Eagles to 28 percent shooting.