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March 5, 2011

Abbott legacy one of effort, achievement

Ty Abbott arrived at Arizona State as the the first local recruit of an era and he'll leave as one of the most celebrated in-state players in school history.

Asking to be released from his Letter of Intent to New Mexico due to the firing of head coach Ritchie McKay, Abbott went through the recruiting process again, picking Arizona State and becoming the first local commit of head coach Herb Sendek.

"I think when you look back at the totality of his career, it's going to be among the very best here at Arizona State," Sendek said. "He's done so many things for us."

Abbott hit the ground running as a Sun Devil, averaging a career-high 32.7 minutes a game his freshman year.

Exceeding expectations his freshman year, Abbott's fell in a major shooting slump during his sophomore campaign.

"He's put everything he's had in this deal and obviously he's had his ups and downs as well," Jamelle McMillan said. "We can all remember his sophomore year here, yikes, after an outstanding freshman year."

Almost across the board career lows for Abbott including 7.1 points per game and 28.5 percent from three-point range during his sophomore season. He did end his rough season on a high note, scoring 20 points in a loss to Syracuse during the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Shaking off the slump during his junior year, Abbott rose to the top of the conference. His all-around effort helped ASU reach the 20 wins for the third consecutive season and he was awarded with first-team All-Pac-10 honors.

Dealing with adversity is nothing new to Abbott. Even during a season where winning didn't come easy, he relied on two guys who were with Abbott since day one and will be next to him on Senior Day.

"Those guys [McMillan and Rihards Kuksiks] are like brothers to me," Abbott said. "It's just the final three. They've been here through all the ups and downs. I've been here for their ups and downs. It's a lifetime friendship, a brotherhood."

Abbott will put on the ASU jersey one last time at Wells Fargo Arena Saturday against Oregon State. Walking on the court with his mother and sister, he's not expecting the traditional senior ceremony to be an emotional moment. After all, he wasn't teary-eyed during his Senior Day in high school.

He doesn't necessarily expect to have a legacy at Arizona State either, though that unassuming quality is perhaps what will lead to such fond memories for the school's fans.

After all, Abbott is fourth in school history in minutes played and has had 11 20-point games in his career. He's also one of the best defensive guards to to play for the program.

"I hope to think people will remember me for playing hard and being the kid from here that came out and represented Arizona in the right way." Abbott said.


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