ASU Basketball: Sun Devils struggle in Wooden Legacy Tournament

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Arizona State started hot this year, but it will need to find rhythm away from the confines of Wells Fargo Arena.

The Arizona State men's basketball team went 1-2 in this weekend's Wooden Legacy Tournament, finishing sixth overall. Here's how it all went down.

Arizona State vs. Creighton

The Sun Devils opened tournament play with an 88-60 loss to No. 20 Creighton. The team had no answer for Creighton forward Doug McDermott, who finished with a game-high 27 points. Arizona State struggled to get into a scoring rhythm and only shot 38 percent from the field. Point guard Jahii Carson led all Sun Devils with 15 points. Center Jordan Bachynski got into foul trouble early and had his worst game of the season, recording only four points and two rebounds.

Arizona State vs. Charleston

On Friday, the Sun Devils bounced back with an 80-58 win over Charleston. The game was close heading into half time as Arizona State only held a 36-30 lead. In the second, however, the team outscored Charleston 44-28 to secure the win. Once again, Carson led the Sun Devils with 21 points, and forward Jonathan Gilling drained five threes.

Arizona State vs. Miami

The Sun Devils squandered a late second half lead to fall to Miami 60-57 in the fifth place game of the tournament. Bachynski was dominant inside for the Sun Devils finishing with 20 points and 15 rebounds. However, the Sun Devils' other dominant scorer, Jahii Carson, had to deal with a sprained right ankle for the second half. Carson finished with just eight points, and missed crucial shots late in the game. The game was tied at 57 with less than a minute to play when James Kelly found Rion Brown for a big dunk. The dunk proved to be the difference, as the Sun Devils were unable to tie things up.

Takeaways

  • The Sun Devils are struggling when it comes to defending quick and athletic forwards. Forward Richie Edwards may be the guy, but he also has to continue prove that he's not a liability on offense.
  • The success of the team hinges on the health of Jahii Carson. When Carson was injured against Miami, the team couldn't hold on to the lead. The team relies heavily on Carson's explosiveness in late-game situations, and without that the team struggles. Point guards Chance Murray and Calaen Robinson are still too inexperienced to guide the offense in crunch time.

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