Local prep players bringing good size to ASU basketball

Herb Sendek decided to add some size to his Arizona State basketball program and found out he didn’t have to look far to find the big dogs.

The ASU head coach found plenty of size just down the road from the Tempe campus.  Kenny Martin, at 6’10”, is playing for Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale, and 6’8″ Eric Jacobsen is on the other side of the Valley at Hamilton High School in Chandler.

And both have another year to grow before stepping into Sendek’s system.  They are the early building blocks for the Sun Devil Class of 2012.

Martin’s stock was just beginning to rise, following some impressive play in a round of club tournaments in California.  He reportedly picked up interest from schools like Pac-10 rival, Washington, and Minnesota in the Big Ten.

But he decided Arizona State was a good fit and, since the Sun Devil recruiters have been putting a full-court press on him all summer, he figured the feeling was mutual and gave Sendek’s staff his verbal on Monday.

Playing in Tempe also keeps him close to home, which he said was an important consideration as he weighed his options for college.

At 210 pounds, he has the agility to play in ASU’s running offense and offer a solid defensive effort as well.  His shooting is effective from the outside, as he averaged 13 points a game as a junior to help Kellis to the state semifinals.  His inside game accounted for 11 rebounds and almost five blocks a game.

Jacobsen is a little more of a ‘wide body’ at 230 pounds, using his size at the power forward position for the Huskies and pulling down just over 10 rebounds a game for a middle-of-the-road team that went 15-11 overall last season.  He also averaged 12.4 points and 2.4 rebounds.

Both commits will help Sendek, who is just four seasons into the job, return to the kind of team he had those first couple of years when he went 21-13 and 25-1 with a combination of speed and size.

Martin, however, may be bringing something extra to the party.

It will be interesting to see whether the old-school head coach will let him keep the long, flowing hair and scruffy beard he sports now.

(Photo: ASU Athletics)