Jeff Pendergraph shooting 3-pointers? Serge Angounou at the point? With Herb Sendek now at the helm of the Arizona State men's basketball program, anything is possible.
While many players struggled with the dismissal of coach Rob Evans after last season — Pendergraph at one point contemplated transferring — they were all smiles on Wednesday, as talk of new coach Sendek's motion offense brought a twinkle to the eye of the big men.
The 6-foot-7 Angounou said he will be counted on to play anywhere from point guard to center. Pendergraph, a 6-foot-9 power forward, has been sharpening up his jump shot in preparation for more chances outside.
"It's an interesting change," Pendergraph said. "I welcome it. Instead of posting up all the time, I can have people screen for me instead of me having to set the screens all the time."
And like most big men seem to think, Pendergraph's confidence in his outside shot is sky high.
"I'll be draining 3s," Pendergraph said. "If I'm open, I'll just be shooting and walking back. I already know it's going in. Leave the hand up, turn around and just go."
After spending most of the summer on recruiting visits, Sendek is now starting to get a feel for his team. The Sun Devils have practiced just five times and begin the year with an exhibition game against the Basketball Travelers on Nov. 7 at Wells Fargo Arena.
However, Sendek said there will be plenty of time to put a successful product on the floor.
"I don't want our team peaking on Nov. 18," Sendek said. "It's a long season. We want to build gradually."
Sendek's offense stresses a lot of movement without the ball and uses many interchangeable parts. Screens are constant, and one-on-one play is virtually nonexistent. And for a team without an established star, it seems the players are buying into the concept.
"It's going to be really hard for teams to defend us," sophomore swingman Sylvester Seay said. "From the one (point guard) to the four (power forward), the positions are the same. It's hard to say who's going to be defending me. If we want to go big, it's going to be scary."
Angounou will be out for about a week after spraining his right knee in a collision with Pendergraph and Duke transfer Eric Boateng at practice.
Angounou had major surgery on the knee during his freshman season but said that injury did not affect the latest one. "It's nothing," he said. "I'll be fine."