The spark plug in a small package returns this year with one goal—to lead the Sun Devils back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. The Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year permanently etched his name into the Pac-12 Conference and Arizona State record books alongside former and current NBA stars James Harden, Jason Kidd and Gary Payton.
He notched three 30-point games, which all rank in the top five all-time scoring performances for Sun Devil freshmen. He also tallied 15 20-point games, including four against ranked teams. He led the team in points scored (18.5) and assists per game (5.1) while finishing second in free-throw percentage (.734) and third in total steals (41).
Carson set Sun Devil freshman records for total points (647), field goals attempted (488) and made (231). His 1,033 minutes played and 177 total assists are also freshman Sun Devil records. Look for Carson to leave his mark in several non-freshman categories in the Sun Devil and Pac-12 record books this year.
Friday night's opener saw Carson score a team-high-tying 19 points along with five assists and a steal. The sophomore was named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Carson is one of only 15 players named to the list that is awarded to the College Basketball Player of the Year.
One of only three returning seniors, along with three transfer students, with one year of eligibility remaining, Bachynski is the heart and soul of this team. He has grown and matured under the tutelage of Coach Sendek and is on pace for his best season yet.
That is saying a lot, as his junior season was phenomenal and he was selected to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. He led the team and the conference in blocks and finished in the top five in the nation, averaging 3.5 per game.
He also led the team in field-goal percentage, hitting 134 of 230 shots for 58.3 percent, a number that placed him second in the conference. Bachynski averaged just under 10 points per game while reeling in just under six boards per game.
In 27 minutes on Friday night, Bachynski added three blocks to move his career total to 184, only one shy of the No. 10 spot in the Pac-12 record books. He matched his career high in rebounds, pulling down 15 and notching his fifth career double-double by adding 12 points.