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Arizona State Sun Devils Open Thread

The Huskies try to pull off an incredibly rare road sweep in the desert by beating Arizona State

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 2/9/19

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT



Radio: KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM and TuneIn

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Betting Line: Washington +1

Arizona State 2018-19 Statistics

Record: 15-7 (6-4)

Points For per Game: 79.1 (38th)

Points Against per Game: 73.9 (222nd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 107.6 (94th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 97.6 (71st)

Strength of Schedule: +3.69 (73rd)

Arizona State Key Players

F- Zylan Cheatham, Jr. 6’8, 220: 11.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 54.9% FG, 36.8% 3pt, 60.2% FT

The San Diego State transfer has been a revelation as the only player in the conference averaging a double double. But he has also become an overall playmaker averaging more than 3 assists per game from the center position while also adding a serviceable 3-pt shot albeit on less than one attempt per game.

F- Kimani Lawrence, So. 6’7, 210: 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 39.5% FG, 28.7% 3pt, 76.4% FT

ASU wants Lawrence to be a stretch 4 but he has made just 17% of his 3-pt attempts in conference so the Huskies will be happy if he floats on the perimeter. On defense Lawrence isn’t blocking as many shots but he grades out as the team’s best overall defender on a points per possession basis among everyone playing more than 15 minutes per game.

G- Luguentz Dort, Fr. 6’4, 215: 16.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 39.4% FG, 27.9% 3pt, 65.2% FT

The raw points total is impressive for a freshman in the Pac-12 but the efficiency numbers show that Dort has had plenty of issues. His outside shot has completely disappeared as he’s shooting just 20.8% from 3-pt range in conference play. Dort is at his best using his strong frame and physicality to drive to the hoop and get to the free throw line. However, that sometimes gets him into trouble since he has more turnovers than assists on the season.

G- Rob Edwards, Jr. 6’4, 200: 10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 30.4% FG, 38.6% 3pt, 86% FT

Edwards transferred in from Cleveland State and missed a month of games due to injury in the non-con but now is a key member of the rotation. He’s ASU’s best shooter but is incredibly one-dimensional. Edwards is shooting 28% on shots at the rim and 21% on all shots inside the arc. The Huskies will aggressively close out on him and dare him to drive.

G- Remy Martin, So. 6’0, 170: 13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.1 apg, 39.6% FG, 31.5% 3pt, 75.7% FT

The straw that stirs the drink for ASU is Martin as he leads the team in assists and is just 3rd in turnovers. His scoring efficiency has dropped off from his freshman season but he’s increased his assist rate by 10% without increasing his turnovers. He’s shooting better than 50% on long 2’s this season on almost 3 attempts per game so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him try to get a screen on the perimeter and pull up for a jumper before reaching the UW shot blocker.

Arizona State Shot Chart

The Sun Devils have had a lot of success at the rim this season but otherwise have been a pretty average offensive team. It’s interesting to note that only about 15% of their 3’s come from the corners and they’ve been terrible when they have attempted that shot. They’ve also really struggled with that 10-15 foot jumper; the exact shot the Washington zone is trying to force you to shoot.

Synergy Sports

The Outlook

Man, ASU really f***ed things up for the Pac-12 conference on Thursday night. In one of the most shocking upsets of the season, the Sun Devils fell at home to Washington State by 21(!!!) points. They went into the game with a 95% chance of victory and I’m sure the odds of them losing by 20+ would’ve been 0.0001%. The loss caused them to drop 17 points in the NET rankings and makes this no longer a Q1 opportunity for Washington (for now). It also takes from on the bubble but probably in to not even on the bubble. If Arizona State wants to make the NCAA tournament without winning the Pac-12 conference it 100% needs to win this game.

The Sun Devils are top-50 in the country in points per game but that’s mostly because of the pace they play at rather than a sign that they’re a good offensive team. No one on ASU shoots better than 40% from 3-pt range and 2 of their 5 highest volume shooters are making less than 25% of attempts in Pac-12 play. And yet we’ll still see plenty of outside shots.

Arizona State hasn’t shown a lot of patience trying to get the ball inside when going against a zone. Nearly 60% of their shots against zones this season have been 3-pointers as opposed to 44.5% in all situations. The latter mark is one of the lowest in the country so their offense changes dramatically when not going against man-to-man.

Typically they like to drive the ball and get to the free throw line whenever possible. ASU is 25th in the country in the percentage of their points that come from the free throw line. All of their players are great athletes and any of their big men are capable of thunderous dunks down low leading to and-1’s.

Washington may struggle inside the arc as well when they have the ball. The Sun Devils rank in the 98th percentile nationally in guarding short to midrange jumpers which spells trouble for Jaylen Nowell. ASU has a deep front line and they are willing to give out trips to the free throw line to be aggressive going for blocks. Their opponents rank in the top-40 in percentage of points coming from the FT line and 3-pt line and almost last in 2-pointers. This could be a double digit free throw type night for Noah Dickerson and Husky shooters will have openings if UW is able to drive and kick effectively.

This will probably be the toughest game remaining on the schedule provided a better version of ASU shows up tonight than did against Wazzu on Thursday. KenPom gives the Huskies at least a 65% chance in every other game on the schedule. If they’re going to get tripped up it would make sense for it to be tonight. But despite half the team having the flu and ASU being completely desperate for a win to keep their NCAA dreams alive, I can’t shake the fact that Washington has covered the spread in every game during their 10-0 start to conference play.

The Prediction

Washington Huskies- 77, Arizona State Sun Devils- 72


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