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January 13, 2012

Cain, Colvin return to action following suspension

Forward Kyle Cain and guard Chris Colvin were back in action for Arizona State Thursday night against Oregon after serving two game suspensions. Although the game marked the first time the two had taken the court in 2012, not much else would be similar between the two.

Cain finished the night with seven points and six rebounds in 21 minutes, providing hustle and much needed fresh legs for a team playing with only eight scholarship athletes in a 67-58 loss at Wells Fargo Arena.

"We're glad to have him back," coach Herb Sendek said. "I thought he gave us some good minutes tonight and made a couple nice low post moves in the first half down there on the right block."

Colvin, on the other hand, was pulled after less than a minute on the floor in the first half after allowing a 3-pointer on the defensive end and committing a turnover. Sendek believed Colvin didn't seem comfortable or ready to play Thursday, but was quick to mention he hasn't given up on the junior point guard.

"I just want him to play to his full capability," Sendek said.

Junior Trent Lockett handled point guard duties the entire game, aside from the 28 seconds Colvin played. Colvin and freshman walk-on Max Heller are the team's only other options at the position following the dismissal of sophomore Keala King from the team at the beginning of the week.

ASU will need to find an answer to maintain better ball control and limit turnovers. Lockett didn't feel he had a problem handling the ball against Oregon, especially with this week of practice under his belt, but did account for seven of ASU's 16 turnovers.

"I think it would be to our advantage if we could have another guy in the rotation helping us there, but I didn't feel that was the case this evening," Sendek said.

Pateev making strides

A bright spot in Thursday night's loss for the Sun Devils was the performance of Ruslan Pateev. The junior center had nine points, six rebounds and three assists in the contest. Pateev mixed in several different post moves to get his shot off against Oregon's big men and is becoming more aggressive with the basketball.

"His confidence in really coming along," Lockett said. "It's his third year here, he's feeling comfortable on the floor and I think he's doing a great job."

Sendek seemed to agree with Lockett's statement.

"I'm encouraged with Ruslan's improvement," Sendek said. "I think over the course of the last handful of games he has really showed marked improvement."

In Pac-12 play, Pateev has averaged eight points and shot 67 percent from the field.


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