ASU begins its conference slate tomorrow night, going on the road to Los Angeles to play the Bruins. At 5-7, UCLA is having a terrible season, losing to foes such as Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, and Portland.
The Sun Devils, on the other hand, are a respectable 10-3 out of the gate. After a close loss to Duke in New York City, ASU has gone 6-2, with good wins against LSU and San Diego State, while losing close battles with Baylor and BYU.
In reality, ASU is a decent team with glaring holes, mainly in the middle. Without a quality big, the zone can be penetrated and dismantled by good teams. With that in mind, will the Sun Devils be able to keep up with the rigor of the Pac-10 schedule, or will they fall back into mediocrity against these athletic squads?
Only time will tell. While UCLA is always tough, the first real test will be against USC on January 2nd. After that, we have home games against the Washington schools, who thus far are a collective 19-4.
In my opinion, we will have a good idea of how the season is going to go after our game against Washington State on January 10th. If we emerge from this 4 game gauntlet with a record of 13-4, we may be on our way to top tier status. A 2-2 Pac-10 mark would also be acceptable. That, to be certain, is the bare minimum if we are to compete for an NCAA berth this season.