By Jeff Goodman
As if things weren't already difficult enough for Herb Sendek at Arizona State, now comes word from the NCAA that the Sun Devils heralded point guard Jahii Carson won't be eligible to play this season.
The NCAA finally rendered its decision on Carson - considered one of the top floor leaders in the freshman class and a Top 50 recruit nationally.
The news was confirmed by Arizona State spokesman Doug Tammaro.
According to sources, Carson fell just short on a necessary ACT score related to the NCAA's sliding academic scale. He'll be allowed to practice with the team this season, but Sendek and the struggling Sun Devils could sorely use Carson now.
Arizona State is 3-5 overall with losses coming against Pepperdine, New Mexico, Fairfield, DePaul and Nevada.
Carson was expected to take the reigns of the team from the get-go, but instead it's been Iowa State transfer Chris Colvin and Keala King who have shared the ball-handling duties thus far.
It seems like an eternity ago that Sendek appeared to have things in order out in Tempe, when James Harden led the Sun Devils to the second round of the NCAA tournament. However, Arizona State finished 12-19 last season and appear to be headed for a similar record this year.
That's the bad news.
The good is that Arizona State could have a potent backcourt a year from now, once Carson, Liberty transfer Evan Gordon (Eric's little brother) and Hawaii transfer Bo Barnes all become eligible. Leading scorer Trent Lockett is a junior and King, who has played well thus far, is just a sophomore.