For the second straight season, the Arizona State men's basketball team travels on Thanksgiving weekend for a holiday tournament. The Sun Devils head to Las Vegas to participate in the Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitational. Here is a preview of the tournament.
- Florida A&M
- Arizona State
- November 18th: Florida A&M 1 p.m. (Wells Fargo Arena)
- November 20th: Cornell 7 p.m. (Wells Fargo Arena)
- November 23rd: Arkansas 4 p.m.
- November 24th: Either Wisconsin or Creighton depending on results
With their 79-64 victory over Central Arkansas, the Sun Devils are currently 1-0 on the young season. ASU hosts Florida A&M Sunday in the opening round of the tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. ASU was led by Jordan Bachynski in their opener, as the seven-footer scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and broke a school record with nine blocks.
Florida A&M Update
The Rattlers are 0-2 on the season and giving up an average of 84.5 points per game in their two losses. Florida A&M is led by their backcourt, as both Muhammed Abdul-Aleem and Jamie Adams
average 15.5 points-per-game. The Rattlers rank 284th in the country in assists and 243rd in rebounding.
Big Red is 1-3 on the season. After winning the season opener against Western Michigan, Cornell has lost to St. Bonaventure, Saint Peter's and Wisconsin. The Badgers beat them 73-40 and they are a far cry from the Cornell team that made the Sweet 16 in 2010. The Sun Devils host Cornell Tuesday night at 7:00 in Tempe.
The Razorbacks fought off Sam Houston State for a 73-68 victory in their opening game of the season. Arkansas shot just 2-for-13 from three point territory, and mustered only 23 rebounds against Bearkats. Arkansas went 18-14 last year in Mike Anderson's first season in Fayetteville, and did not reach the postseason.
The Badgers are 1-1 on the season, with a 40-point victory over Southeastern Louisiana and an 18-point loss against No. 10 Florida. Wisconsin has been one of the most consistent teams under Bo Ryan, reaching the Sweet 16 in the past two seasons and making the NCAA tournament every year in the this century. The Badgers are led by their senior big man Jared Berggren
, who is averaging 15 points and seven rebounds a game.
The Bluejays are 2-0 on the season, with victories over North Texas and UAB. Creighton is averaging 74 points per game and are only allowing 54.5 points a game. The Bluejay are led by their Wooden Award contender Doug McDermott. The junior is only averaging 13 points a game this season, but last season McDermott put up 22.9 points and 8.2 rebounds a game.
What to watch for
For the Sun Devils, it starts against Florida A&M, and as Ben Haber pointed out earlier this week, there are plenty of things to work on.
The Sun Devils have to take care of business against the Rattlers, it is important that ASU goes to Las Vegas with some confidence. Both Jahii Carson
and Evan Gordon
will be challenged by the Florida A&M backcourt and it will be a test defensively for the ASU backcourt.
The ASU non conference schedule is filled with teams most fans have never heard of from conferences most fans didn't know existed. The Las Vegas Invitational is a chance for ASU to test themselves against NCAA Tournament teams. Fans will get a chance to see how ASU stacks up against major competition.
We will find out if Jahii Carson can score against quality opponents, if Evan Gordon can create his own shot and if Jordan Bachynski's
first game was a fluke.