Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 1/6/12
Because of suspensions, Arizona State played just seven players in Thursday night's 62-53 win over USC. Three -- Carrick Felix, Trent Lockett and Chanse Creekmur -- played 37 minutes or more. "We have to get rest," said coach Herb Sendek, looking ahead to Saturday's game at UCLA. "I just mentioned on the radio, one of (former football coach) Don Shula's famous quotes when he was with the Dolphins was, 'Better fresh than ready at this point.'" The Sun Devils (5-9, 1-1 Pac-12) are without two starters and a key reserve. Leading scorer Keala King, forward Kyle Cain and backup point guard Chris Colvin have been suspended for "unacceptable conduct" and did not make the trip to Los Angeles. Their status will be reviewed on an individual basis next week. Their absences meant the Sun Devils were without 43 percent of their scoring, 37.2 percent of their rebounding and 57.2 percent of their assists against the defensive-minded Trojans. It didn't matter. The Sun Devils shot 61.1 percent -- their best marksmanship in a road contest in nearly eight years -- and earned their first conference road victory in a year. The key will be sustaining the effort against the Bruins, who have won six of eight, including Thursday's 65-58 win over Arizona. With the suspensions, the Sun Devils have just six available scholarship players. Walk-on freshman Max Heller played six minutes in Thursday's win. He'll be needed against the Bruins. With King and Colvin out, junior wing Lockett has taken over ASU's point guard duties. Against USC, Lockett was solid, contributing 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists, but he also had seven turnovers. "He really hasn't (played much point this season,)" Sendek said. "I think there was one game when he played like two possessions. This week is really the first time he has played point guard not only in college, but I would guess ever. I know he didn't play it in high school. I know he didn't play it in summer basketball. I don't think he's ever played point guard, which obviously isn't the easiest position to play." TRENDING: Arizona State continues to struggle with turnovers. The Sun Devils committed 18 against the Trojans. Overall, they average a Pac-12-high 16.8 turnovers per contest. Considering they have lost six games by six points or fewer, the Sun Devils won't reverse this season's direction until they get the issue under control. To date, ASU has scaled back the offense, but it has yet to show consistent, positive results. SATURDAY'S GAME (at UCLA): No team in the conference has brought the Sun Devils more grief than the Bruins, who have dominated the all-time series 59-17. UCLA won both matchups a year ago, and the Bruins had their way in Los Angeles, winning 71-53. ASU must get its share of rebounds from one of the league's biggest teams. PLAYER NOTES --Carrick Felix scored a career-high 22 points against USC. The junior wing shot 8 for 12 from the field, draining 3 of 4 from 3-point range. He also blocked four shots. The effort was much needed for Felix, who had averaged just 6.8 points over his previous four games. Overall, Felix averages 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds. --Freshman Jonathan Gilling started for the first time Thursday. In 33 minutes, the 6-foot-8 forward scored 12 points and dished out four assists. He hit 2 of 5 from 3-point range. Over his past two games, Gilling is averaging five assists. "He continues to get better and better," Sendek said. "He has a promising future for us."
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