Throughout the recruiting process the 7-2 243 Jordan Bachynski consulted ex-NBA player Shawn Bradley and ex-BYU player Austin Ainge who also served on missions and know what to expect when returning to the court after a two-year layoff.
“Keep perspective,” Bachynski mentioned as one of the pieces of advice he got . “To realize that I have taken time off basketball and that it will be tough coming back. To not expect to get everything back right away. It’s like almost learning basketball all over again. I have to break some old habits and form good new habits.
“It’s not going to happen in a day. Coach Sendek keeps reminding me that and said that sometimes he has to remind himself of that. It takes time and I need to keep on chopping wood every day and work hard and not letting up.”
The center claimed that while the hiatus from the hardwood naturally has negative effects, it also can carry some benefits.
“I’m a 21-year old freshman,” Bachynski stated. “My body is more mature, my mind is more mature. I’m able to learn things quicker and I don’t have immaturity to deal with. I don’t have a lot of distractions that kids just moving out of their house have, because I lived on my own the last two years. So that’s not a worry on mind and I can focus on school and basketball.
“As far as being caught up (with his game), I think I’m pretty close. Just talking to my friends who went to BYU (after serving on a mission) they said it takes usually a year to get your legs back. My legs are coming back and my wind is coming back as well. I think I’m going to take a little less (than a year) for that to happen.”
Bachynski proved to be somewhat of a quick learner this year. In Arizona State’s fifth game of the season against St. John’s he scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes of play. However, his progression and confidence took a hit when he injured his ankle and he played sparingly up until the Sun Devils’ last contest when they met Arizona. In that game, an 80-69 loss, he registered six points and four blocks in just 11 minutes of play.
“It was very important in that game that we win because it is the Arizona-Arizona State rivalry,” Bachynski commented.” I’m just glad that I was able to perform a little bit anyway under that pressure that was placed on me. A big lesson for me to learn, for our team to learn, is to rebound. We did lose the game on the glass.”
His performance in ASU’s last contest has naturally increased the calls by fans to have the freshman play well above his seven minutes a game average. Bachynski admitted that logging in 20 plus minutes a contest is probably unrealistic at this juncture, yet he does not put any limitations on himself.
“Whenever coach Sendek he needs me I’ll be there,” Bachynski affirmed. “I think the most important thing for me to remember is that it’s a team. I need to be willing any role coach Sendek needs me to play.”
Bachynski’s fortunes have seemed to be take a positive turn and the center is hopeful that the entire team can collectively experience a 180 degree turn after five conference games.
“It’s all about momentum,” Bachynski said. “Right now we don’t have any great momentum. We are coming off a tough 1-4 in the Pac-10 and I think as a team we have had enough and we are ready to start winning.
“We are ready to put everything behind us and start to really perform and to work harder to win.”