How to Watch (and bet)
Date: Sunday, 1/8/23
Tip-Off Time: 2:00 pm PT
Location: Tempe, Arizona
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies +9.5
Arizona State Sun Devils 2022-23 Statistics:
Record: 12-3 (3-1)
Points For per Game: 72.1 (175th)
Points Against per Game: 64.9 (60th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 105.3 (106th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 92.3 (25th)
Strength of Schedule: 80th
Arizona State’s Key Players:
G- Frankie Collins, So. 6’1, 185: 11.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.3 apg, 37.1% FG, 29.7% 3pt, 63.5% FT
After playing sparingly as the backup point guard at Michigan last year Collins has come in and asserted his leadership over the team. He’s 15th nationally in assist rate and has been a tremendous distributor even if his shooting has been substandard. Collins is averaging fewer than 2 attempts per game on 3-pointers during conference play so the Huskies should play the drive and kick against him and let him shoot from deep if he wants.
G- D.J Horne, Sr. 6’1, 175: 12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 36.4% FG, 28.2% 3pt, 76.2% FT
It has been a massive slump all year for Horne who had never shot below 36% from 3 in a season before and is now 1/18 from deep in conference play. Hopefully he takes at least one more game to get back on track. This year Horne has picked up his rebounding and playmaking to help compensate for the poor shooting.
G- Desmond Cambridge, Sr. 6’4, 180: 11.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 40.3% FG, 32.5% 3pt, 76.2% FT
The Nevada Cambridge brother transfer averaged at least 15.7 points per game in each of the last 4 seasons but has taken a step back with less playing time for the Sun Devils. His shooting stats are in line with recent seasons but the reduced minutes are responsible for the drop in counting stats. Cambridge is 1st in steal rate in conference play so far so he can be a menace on the defensive end as well.
G- Devan Cambridge, Sr. 6’6, 215: 10.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.9 apg, 50.5% FG, 41.0% 3pt, 70.2% FT
The Auburn Cambridge brother transfer is off to a career best start shooting the ball and blocking shots playing as a small ball 4. Devan doesn’t take a lot of shots but when he gets the chance the ball usually goes in the basket.
C- Warren Washington, Jr. 7’0, 225: 8.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 66.7% FG, 58.5% FT
Washington started his career at Oregon State before transferring to Nevada where he broke out allowing him to get back to the Pac-12. He’s been an elite rim protector so far ranking in the top-30 nationally in block rate while putting up good rebounding numbers and shooting nearly 70% from the field. The matchup between him and Meah will be potentially the key to the game.
Bobby Hurley started this season on the hot seat after several underwhelming seasons. It looked like things might crater after ASU’s expected best player, Marcus Bagley, was suspended after 2 games and then suspended indefinitely after making the suspension public. Immediately after that the Sun Devils lost a road game at #278 Texas Southern.
Hurley has managed to pull the team out of the nose dive however despite playing a starting lineup with 5 transfers. ASU went on a 9-game winning streak including victories over Michigan, Colorado, and Creighton before a confusing 37(!) point loss at San Francisco.
Despite playing an undersized lineup with a 6’6 wing at the power forward spot, Arizona State has coalesced as a team with a strong defensive identity. Center Warren Washington has been the key as ASU is 4th in opponent 2-point percentage in large part due to him locking down the paint with his 2.0 blocks per game. ASU and UW in their last 2 games are the only 2 teams to hold Arizona center Oumar Ballo to a shooting percentage under 50% thanks to Warren and Braxton Meah respectively.
Washington’s rim protection has helped ASU rank 28th nationally in block rate even though they’re just 184th in average height. The defense on the perimeter has been solid as well with opponents making just 30.5% of their 3-point attempts. The lack of height has been a problem in rebounding however as ASU is 261st in defensive rebounding which could allow Meah and Brooks to get plenty of 2nd chance looks for UW.
It’s necessary for the Sun Devils to be a defensive team because they certainly aren’t all that adept at putting the ball in the basket. As a team they rank 307th in 3-point percentage on offense which is just barely worse than Washington. Whereas the Huskies struggle mainly due to the lack of ball movement, ASU is well above average in the percentage of their made shots that come off an assist. They don’t play hero ball, they just aren’t very good at making open shots.
This actually feels like a pretty decent matchup for the Huskies. Washington’s zone gave Arizona everything they could handle on Thursday night and Arizona State is the vastly inferior offense. It definitely feels like a game that could go into overtime at 58 like the Saint Mary’s contest. If Washington is able to actually build on the close loss to Arizona then a win is doable against a good but not great ASU squad.
I just have a tough time though believing that we’re going to see it. An extra day of rest will help after Hop kept to a very, very tight rotation on Thursday but we could still see some fatigue from the Huskies at the end of their 5-game gauntlet. Washington played their best game of the season despite the loss against Arizona and sadly I don’t trust the Dawgs to play at a high level for 2 games in a row. Washington keeps it close until halftime before going on a patented 7 minute scoreless streak and the Sun Devils pull away.
Max’s Record this Year: 12-4 Straight Up, 9-6-1 Against The Spread
Washington Huskies- 62, Arizona State Sun Devils- 73