The Arizona State men's basketball team will look to get back on track after stumbling in the Wooden Legacy Tournament, as they travel to take on DePaul. Here is your game preview:
Game Time: 5 p.m.
TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1/ DePaul Blue Tube (Link)
The Blue Demons (4-3) have been picked by many to finish in last place in the Big East, despite the fact that they return leading scorers Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin. This season Melvin (17.4 ppg) and Young (16.3 ppg) continue to lead the team, but they're not getting much help from everyone else. The team's three losses have come against Southern Mississippi, No. 12 Wichita State, and Texas. However, they are arguably coming off of their biggest win of the season, after beating Oregon State 93-81.
Last season the Blue Demons finished with an 11-21 overall record but one of their wins came against Arizona State. Young finished with 18 points and nine assists, and DePaul dominated the offensive glass to get the 78-61 win. While these are two completely different teams, the Sun Devils need to watch out for another big performance from Young.
Arizona State Update
The Sun Devils are coming off of a disappointing sixth place finish at the Wooden Legacy Tournament. The team lost to No. 20 Creighton and Miami in the tournament, and their only win came against Charleston. Point guard Jahii Carson sprained his ankle against Miami, but he is scheduled to start against DePaul.
Carson continues to be the Sun Devils' best scoring threat as he leads the team with 20 points per game. Shooting guard Jermaine Marshall has also excelled this season, as he is averaging 14 points and is shooting 45 percent from three-point range. Center Jordan Bachynski continues to be a force inside and is averaging a double-double (13.8 ppg, 10 rebs).
Matchup to watch: Jahii Carson vs. Brandon Young
Brandon Young is one of the top guards in DePaul history as he is the only player to have recorded 1,200 points, 400 assists and 100 three-pointers. He is a veteran guard with a big frame that can distribute the ball well. His biggest weakness, however, is shooting the three. Carson on the other hand, is shooting a team-high 51 percent from deep. Carson's quickness continues to be his best asset, but he is coming off of an ankle injury. If Carson is close to 100 percent, it will be a big challenge for Young to be able to defend him.
Arizona State has struggled to hit threes on the road, so I believe that they will have to feed the ball to Bachynski inside in order to win. Bachynski has a size advantage over DePaul center Tommy Hamilton IV. Hamilton IV is a strong and powerful center, so Bachynski will need to be able to rely on his hook shot. If Bachynski goes off (which I think he will), the Sun Devils will win this game. My official prediction is that ASU wins 72-66.