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ASU’s Abbott content to lead by (quiet) example

Ty Abbott isn’t a flashy guy.

He doesn’t trash talk or score heaps and heaps of points. He’s your typical, solid college player who happens to be coming off a junior season in which he averaged 12 points a game, made more than 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and snagged first-team All-Pac-10 honors.

Good player, not great. Maybe that’s why people were surprised when he was on the preseason Wooden Award list (me included).

Then again, maybe that’s how Abbott wants it. The next time you hear him bragging, that’ll also be a first. That’s how a guy earns enough goodwill to earn awards. He shuts up and plays.

“Most leaders at other schools are cocky,” freshman forward Kyle Cain told the Arizona Republic. “It’s almost like they don’t want you there. They’re like, ‘This is my school.’ But Ty brings us in. He shows us how to do stuff. He wants us to be good, to play on his level. He wants to show us how to lift in the weight room. He wants to show us things on the court. He wants to make the tournament.”

ASU won 22 games last season, but missed the Big Dance. Would it help if Abbott was more brash or more aggressive on the court? Doubtful. In many ways, he’s perfect for Sendek’s system (provided he’s hitting from outside) because he’s content with playing within a system.

But if he can get the Sun Devils back to the tournament, perhaps we’ll all have a reason to talk about him more.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.