Arizona State Week: Players Not ReturningPosted by AMurawa on June 11th, 2012
While ASU will return five different players from its 2011-12 rotation, there are four players who saw significant time last year that will not return to the program, none of whom had exhausted their eligibility. This continues a disturbing trend in Tempe, with now 12 different players having transferred out of the program in the last four years. Below, we’ll take a look at the four players who have moved on from the program and how big of an impact their loss will have.
- Trent Lockett – The loss of Lockett does by far the most damage to ASU’s 2012-13 outlook. Lockett, who graduated in just three years by knocking out 20+ credits in recent semesters, wound up transferring to Marquette in order to be closer to Minnesota where his mom, who is fighting cancer, lives. Lockett was not only the Sun Devils’ leading scorer last season, but he also led the team in steals, rebounds per game, and three-point percentage, in addition to chipping in at point guard and being the unquestioned emotional leader for the young team. If Lockett had returned, he would have fit in perfectly on the wing across from Jahii Carson, as well as giving the team a solid secondary ballhandler on the floor at the same time. Instead, he’ll be tasked with making guys like Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue better under Buzz Williams. While his loss certainly puts a dent in the Herb Sendek’s 2012-13 plans, our thoughts are with him and his family as the go through a difficult time.
- Keala King – King left the ASU program in January after being suspended prior to the team’s trip to face the Los Angeles schools, winding up at Long Beach State, where he will be eligible after the fall semester next season. A natural wing, King was asked to fill in at the point guard position in the absence of Carson and the ineffectiveness of Chris Colvin, but he struggled with turnovers and never struck a comfortable balance between creating for himself and distributing to his teammates. While he struggled with some immaturity problems that led to his departure from the program, he was the type of athlete that could have been an impact player as an upperclassman. Instead he just goes down as another coulda-been in Tempe.
- Kyle Cain – In Cain’s third game as a Sun Devil, he grabbed 17 boards and popped in 13 points in a win over Houston Baptist. He added three other double-figure rebounding games as a freshman (including one other double-double), but his lightweight frame really caught up to him once conference play rolled around and he failed to either score or rebound in double figures during conference play. He was more involved offensively as a sophomore, but once again his lack of strength exposed him somewhat during conference play as he was unable to grab double-figure boards in any Pac-12 action. Furthermore, he was caught up in the wrath of Sendek, when he was suspended along with King and Colvin in early January. After the season ended, he announced his intention to transfer, winding up at UNC Greensboro. While Cain showed promise at times at ASU, his downshift to a mid-major program should do him good, although he still needs to spend more time at the training table and in the weight room.
- Chanse Creekmur – The highlight of Creekmur’s career in the desert came last January 14, when he hit six of his seven three-point attempts on the way to a career-high 24 points in a win over Oregon State. It was one of just five times in his two-year Sun Devil career that he scored in double figures. After the season, Creekmur decided that not only was ASU no longer in his long-term plans, but neither was basketball, as he wound up transferring to Iowa State to pursue a chance at a walk-on football career. Creekmur’s got a history of success on the gridiron where, playing quarterback, he led his high school team to the state title game as a senior and set records for completions, passing yardage and passing touchdowns along the way. While any team could use a guy that can stroke it from deep like Creekmur (35.1% from three in his ASU career), his loss certainly doesn’t kill the team.