It’s been a rough few weeks for the Arizona State Sun Devils as the Pac-12 squad lost on the NCAA Tournament’s only true buzzer-beater, lost Jahii Carson to the pros, and senior starters Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall graduated.
The Sun Devils finally got some good news on Friday as the school announced the hiring of successful junior college head coach Barret Peery to an assistant coaching position.
Peery spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Indian Hills Community College, compiling a 93-11 overall record while sending 15 players from the program onto Division I scholarships. Peery also led Indian Hills to the 2013-14 national title game and has previous experience as an assistant coach at Utah under Jim Boylen, while also leading junior college power College of Southern Idaho to an 85-19 mark in three seasons before his stint at Utah.
“Barret has proven to be a great recruiter and coach with a solid background,” said Sendek in the release. “We wanted to move quickly to hire a person who could make a difference in all facets of our program and continue our success and Coach Peery can do just that. We have had great success with our assistant coaches here, and Coach Peery fits the mold of what we have had in the past. He is committed, focused and understands the pace that we want to continue to play.”
The hiring of Peery for Arizona State is interesting for two reasons.
For one, Peery is used to significant roster turnover as a veteran junior college head coach and he’ll be asked to assist an Arizona State program that will need to re-stock on talent after the previously mentioned roster losses sustained this offseason. Peery coached 15 DI players at Indian Hills and 23 more DI players in three years at CSI, so he’s used to recruiting high-level players in a short amount of time while building rosters of players with minimal time together.
Peery’s style of play preference is another interesting tidbit in his hiring under Sendek. While Sendek was noted for his slow style of play before having a jet at point guard like Carson, the veteran head coach sped up the Sun Devils’ offense with Carson at the helm. It’ll be interesting to see which style of play Sendek goes with now that Jahii is moving on to the pros.
This comes into play with Peery because both of his teams at CSI and Indian Hills were among the highest-scoring teams in the country. CSI was the highest-scoring junior college team in the country two of three seasons with Peery at the helm while more of the same occurred at Indian Hills, including a school-record 97.9 points per game in 2012-13.
Can Peery make a difference on the recruiting trail and as a coach for the Sun Devils? Time will tell, but given his track record of recruiting junior college kids and playing in an uptempo system, he should be helpful in the immediate future for Arizona State on the recruiting trail.