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Arizona @ Arizona State: Q&A With Joe From AZ Desert Swarm

To help with the game preview for Sunday's huge game against the Arizona Wildcats, we have brought in Joe from AZ Desert Swarm, SBN's great new UA blog. Joe helps us figure out how to beat the Wildcats, and some other interesting stuff. To see ASUBoyd's responses to their questions, check it out here.

1. Russ Pennell: Coach of the year? Discuss.

Coach Pennell is definitely the coach of the 2nd half of the season. Although his players have played unbelievable for him, he is running the ship. Our sit back and wait attitude changed after the loss at USC. After that point, we lost to ASU and squeked by Houston, but the intensity was there. Something changed after that game. Honestly, with such a dreary prediction and the season going the way it was, it is an unbelievable turnaround. I would say yes.

2. Jordan Hill has been excellent on this recent surge by the Wildcats, and over the course of the season he has averaged 18 points and 11 boards. What is he doing that is so effective, and how will he be utilized against the Sun Devil zone?

Jordan Hill doesn't believe in the table of elements.

He only believes in the element of surprise.

Are you kidding me? The guy ATTACKS the basket. He also has very soft hands (Purell, I think) and great touch. Jordan doesn't force shots either. The guards do a great job motioning around until he gets his 1 on 1. Why would he force shots? All he has to do is dish to Chase and Nic. He's the total package.

3. Chase Budinger and Nic Wise are both shooting 42% from three. How significant has their long range shooting been to the UA turnaround?

I think this is a testament to our whole team functioning as one. They are shooting so high because of the looks they are getting. It produces a true inside/outside game also. Jordan either has a 1 on 1, or he dishes. I think what has actually happened to our team that has made it stronger is our willingness to move towards the basket, not so much sit and wait for a three. In his last four games, Chase has shot 18 3 pointers, made 10, and has a combined 84 points. He's getting to the hoop.

4. How does Arizona stop James Harden?

A: Tonya Harding.

Nobody can stop James Harden. Nobody has been able to do it all year. The guy is amazing. What we can do is try to shut down his teammates, put the load on his shoulders, and hope he has a mediocre night. With Glasser and Pendergraph, this is a tall order.

5. Here's a big one. What does Arizona State have to do to beat the Wildcats? A short game plan from your perspective would be very interesting.

What does Arizona State have to do to beat the Wildcats?
What does Arizona State have to do to beat the Wildcats?
What does Arizona State have to do to beat the Wildcats?

Damn. Three Times.

I think it's simple, actually. Be aggressive towards the hoop. Get any one of our three starters with 2 fouls in the first half and you are golden. We have no bench. None. Jamelle Horne comes off of it, but doesn't contribute much. I think ASU should attack Jordan Hill, not shy away from him. Get Pendergraph to make some head fakes.

6. Finally, who is going to win the Territorial Cup in 2009?

Arizona clinches its first bowl appearance in ten years (and first in the Mike Stoops era) with its most lopsided win over Arizona State since 1964. We lost some heavy hitters this year to graduation. However, Stoops reloaded with 24 solid recruits, some of whom will contribute immediately in 2009. Our QB situation, though unknown, is not in a state of total mayhem. Two solid guys in Foles and Scott will have a battle inf Spring practice for the job.

Definitely Arizona. Sorry, not a homer pick either.

G/L on Sunday. It's going to be a great game.

I disagree about the Territorial Cup pick, but hey, he has an argument there. Thanks again for the answers, Joe!

In the buildup to Sunday's game, check back here often for more coverage.