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Arizona State Game Preview & How to Watch

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Washington tries to snap their 4 game losing streak

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 09 Washington at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 2/1/20

Tip-Off Time: 7:30 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington -5

Arizona State 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 12-8 (3-4)

Points For per Game: 72.3 ppg (123rd)

Points Against per Game: 68.6 ppg (143rd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 102.4 (183rd)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 92.4 (32nd)

Strength of Schedule: 31st overall

Arizona State Key Players:

C- Romello White, Jr. 6’8, 235: 10.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 64.5% FG, 62.7% FT

White is one of the most efficient players in the country as he operates almost entirely at the rim; he’s taken just 4 shots outside the paint this season. While he may not be a shooting threat he can protect the rim and rebound the ball at a high level even if he’s slightly undersized for a center at 6’8.

F- Taeshon Cherry, So. 6’8, 210: 4.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 36.0% FG, 23.2% 3pt, 50.0% FT

Cherry was a highly touted recruit but has yet to find his groove in college. He is making almost 2/3rd of his shots in the paint and then is shooting just 27% from anywhere else. The thing that keeps Cherry from being a complete black hole on offense is that he’s not very turnover prone and generally doesn’t force the issue.

G- Rob Edwards, Sr. 6’5, 205: 10.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.6 apg, 37.2% FG, 36.4% 3pt, 75.0% FT

The Cleveland State transfer is a gunner who can knock down 3-point shots but can be goaded into taking midrange shots and has issues finishing in traffic. Against Washington’s zone he’ll likely sit back and hope for open shots which is when he’s at his best.

G- Alonzo Verge Jr. 6’3, 167: 12.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 39.2% FG, 21.7% 3pt, 75.0% FT

One of the top JUCO recruits in the country a year ago, Verge erupted for 43 points on 29 shots earlier this season against Saint Mary’s. He’s clearly capable of getting into a rhythm but in general is yet another inefficient scorer and an abysmal shooter except from the free throw line. He is a decent passer and also an effective defender who could cause UW’s guards trouble on that end of the floor.

G- Remy Martin, Jr. 6’0, 170: 19.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 43.5% FG, 32.7% 3pt, 72.5% FT

Martin has been one of my favorite non-Huskies in the conference his first two seasons and he has had to take his game to another level dragging this offense along. He leads the conference in usage rate during Pac-12 play while also ranking 4th in minutes played. Martin’s an average shooter and passer for a point guard but is great driving to the cup. It’s worth noting he is just 1/16 this season shooting from the free throw line so his runner/floater game is a major weakness.

2019-20 Arizona State Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

The Arizona State offense has been a chore to watch all season and it’s not hard to see why looking at the chart above. When Remy Martin or Romello White get the ball in the paint then they can put up points but there’s no one that truly scares you shooting from the outside and a consistent 3rd scorer has never really emerged like Bobby Hurley would have hoped.

The Outlook

It’s been a wild week of highs and lows for Arizona State as they’re coming off a loss at Wazzu on a near buzzer beater 3 by C.J Elleby on the heels of a 22 point comeback win at home against their rival Arizona. The Sun Devils are 4-6 over their past 10 games after getting off to an 8-2 start in a moderately easy opening slate.

Bobby Hurley teams have generally been known for their high powered offenses but this is a different model. ASU still plays at a quick pace and will do their best to run off misses and beat the Huskies down the court before the zone can get set. If they can’t however then the offense bogs down. After Washington’s performance against Arizona the Sun Devils have now sunk to having the 11th rated offense in conference play while playing at the fastest tempo.

Similar to UW, some of the pieces are there. Remy Martin is a very good point guard and is capable of completely taking over a game if he’s hitting outside shots. But he’s also just not that great of a shooter so teams can usually play the drive and dare him to shoot over them. Romello White is a ferocious finisher when he gets the ball with good position but isn’t necessarily a guy you can throw the ball to and expect a basket from his post moves.

Outside of that 7 of the other 8 rotation players for ASU have a below average offensive rating and Rob Edwards is the only one that has made more than one 3-pointer per game. That’s resulted in just the 245th ranked effective field goal percentage in the country. The saving grace has been that ASU doesn’t turn the ball over very much but they rank just 333rd in assists per field goal made so they play a lot of isolation and 1v1 basketball.

On defense the raw stats aren’t all that great but when you adjust for the tempo they play at and the tough set of offenses they’ve played then the efficiency numbers show they’re closer to elite. ASU’s deep stable of 6’2 to 6’7 wings are all solid perimeter defenders and their ball pressure results in forcing a lot of turnovers. Otherwise it’s a defense that doesn’t have many clear strengths but is also devoid of weaknesses.

This game will likely be decided by who is able to assert their tempo on the other team. Washington will try to slow the game down and Arizona State will run at every opportunity. If this becomes a half court game then the Sun Devils will find it nearly impossible to consistently score points. No offense has been able to succeed against UW’s zone without displaying good ball movement and that is not ASU’s specialty. It’s impossible to feel confident in the Huskies given their losing streak but on paper this really looks like a game Washington should win.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 68, Arizona State Sun Devils- 64

*****

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