Amid coaching staff crisis at Arizona State, Herb Sendek comes through in the clutch

Sendek has to win big this season at ASU, and his two assistant hires could help provide immediate results. (US Presswire)

Hand it to Herb Sendek: He did more than all right when faced with a really tough situation.

This is a small note of sorts, but I wanted to follow up this story that came to light about two weeks ago. It was was one of the more peculiar things we've seen in this college hoops offseason.

If you missed it, Sendek lost two of his assistants in two days to different college jobs. It's very unusual for a coach to lose one of his guys, let alone two, this late into the offseason. Hell, we're practically headed into the preseason by this point. Nevertheless, they bolted Tempe and went to Washington and Penn. Tough squeeze, yeah.

So Sendek had to bring in assistants who were respected, but also knew they would be entering a tenuous situation. By no means is Sendek's seat cool right now. Anyone taking on this job could very well be out of it by the end of March.

Who did he get? Former college/NBA coach Eric Musselman, as well as Larry Greer, who's an NBA veteran assistant. Sendek clearly knows some people, as this is a nice coup for him.

"So when you put this group together you could see why we’re so excited to be sitting here today," Sendek said at his news conference this week. "And for me personally, it’s like a kid at Christmas time. We spent Labor Day weekend over at the Weatherup Center talking basketball. And it was invigorating, it was fun, it was kind of like being a kid again at basketball camp. Today we introduced these guys to our players. They’re excited to be working with them and it’s really a great moment for Sun Devil basketball."

Big gets. How will they do with recruiting? That remains to be seen. But the biggest issue for Sendek is to win immediately. He's entering his seventh year at ASU (has it really been that long since N.C. State fans forced him out?) and only has one NCAA Tournament to his name with this program. There's a new AD at ASU, and so as these things go with new ADs, big statements/actions are part of mission statements.

At the very least, Sendek bought himself some coaching insurance with the hires.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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