Jordan Bachynski, who also had his third straight double double of the season with ten points and ten rebounds, was humble following a night where he finished with
With 194 career blocked shots.
“Honestly, I knew I was close but I had no idea exactly how many I needed,” Bachynski said of the school record. “It was (assistant) Coach Musselman who in one of the timeouts said congratulations and I said for what? I am honored to have that title.
“Like I said last week I am just really fortunate to play on a team where I can do that and coaches have really developed me to do that.”
Bachynski’s wife, Malia, has relentlessly supported the Arizona State center during his career and as a former Sun Devil volleyball player herself she understands the amount of work that needs to be invested to become a great player.
“She is honestly my biggest support,” Bachynski admitted. “If I need to stay late after practice or if practice goes long she understands…she is a huge reason why I am successful.”
Head coach Herb Sendek said he was proud of Bachynski’s accomplishment and attributes it to his improvement and confidence, and went as far as saying that he is the most improved college basketball player over the past four years.
“I think it’s incredible the way he has continued to develop,” Sendek said. “During the off-season Bachynski participated in the National team and went to China with the team to mature as a player. I think the work he put in this summer really elevated his confidence.”
Bachynski’s night wasn’t just about longtime school breaking records. The center has yet to record single digit scoring or rebounding in this young season, another testament to his skill enhancement.
“(Assistant) Coach Johnson and all the coaches helping me be more aggressive,” Bachynski explained, “to hold drills, play in practice. The guys on our team are really encouraging.”
Despite the appearance of comfortable win, the team struggled with another slow start leading just 29-22 with 3:39 left in the first half. The Bengals used their speed and outside shooting to generate a strong start, but ultimately succumbed to the Sun Devils’ aggressive defense who held them to 37.5 percent shooting in the first half.
“I don’t think we made any adjustments I think we just continued to grind and we were able to string together some additional stops,” Sendek said.
Bachynski added: “We knew early on that was going to be the case so that’s why I needed to work hard and get deep post position and offensive rebound.”
Jahii Carson paced ASU with 19 points tonight, and was 3-3 from beyond the arc. Jermaine Marshall added 17 points and 2 blocks in the win.
Once again, the Sun Devils showcased their improved depth, as the reserves contributed 30 points. True freshman, Egor Koulechov, was persistent with his effort on both sides on the floor as evident in his five rebounds and nine free throw attempts (was 7-9 from the line) in 20 minutes of play.
“Any time I come on the court to play I’m trying to play physical and I’m trying to help my team to a win,” Koulechov said. “It’s a great confidence booster but it’s the beginning of the season yet a long way to go. So far we have been doing well, guys on the team are great and I think we just need to keep working.”
13 players saw action on Friday night, and Sendek said for now his rotation is set but naturally subject to change as the season progresses. He said he could see himself playing ten players, and sometimes more, in games down the road.
“We have been fortunate our first couple of games to substitute liberally and that has been a good thing for our young players,” Sendek commented. “Tonight our young guys really helped us. Egor was all over the court played with a lot of energy and had a good game, Chance (Murray) has given us great minutes, so I’m excited about that core group of young guys.
“I just love the camaraderie and the togetherness of this team.”
The Sun Devils hit the road for the first time this season on Tuesday November 19th as they travel to UNLV. Tip off is set for 8 p.m. MT in Las Vegas.