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ASU Basketball: 5 things to know about Stanford

Get to know the opponent before tip-off

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-Arizona State vs Stanford Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

In a season that is starting to trend upwards for the Stanford Cardinal (10-8, 4-1 Pac-12) they face their toughest conference matchup to date, hosting No. 16 Arizona State (14-3, 2-3) on Wednesday at 9 p.m. MST.

Here are five quick things to know about ASU’s next opponent:

Slow start

Let’s just say it’s a good thing the calendar switched to 2018 for the Cardinal. What they left behind were non-conference losses to Eastern Washington, Portland State and Long Beach State. In addition to those bad losses, they’ve also came up short against power-five teams such as Florida, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 22 Ohio State and No. 10 Kansas, all while gathering no noteworthy wins.

Riding four-game win streak

After starting 0-1 in conference play in a loss to Cal, Stanford has won four straight against Pac-12 opponents, which is their longest such streak in 10 years. In the first week of the new year, the Cardinal defeated UCLA at home in a game that certainly hit the over, and topped USC by one point on a thrilling half-court shot that sunk at the buzzer. Stanford also showed they can win on the road after taking a trip up to the Evergreen State where the Cardinal beat Washington State and Washington by nine points each.

Own reigning Pac-12 POTW

Daejon Davis, freshman guard from Seattle, earned Pac-12 player of the week honors after going into his home state and dominating the Cougars and Huskies. Over the week, Davis averaged 15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists, as he led Stanford to their first conference road sweep since the 2009-2010 season. Davis is the first Stanford freshman to win player of the week honors since Brook Lopez in 2007.

In addition to Davis, the Cardinal also own a pair of reinforcements. Senior Dorian Pickens (injury) and former four-star recruit and freshman Kezie Okpala have each played in eight or less games. Behind Reid Travis, the two lead the team in points per game.

Play through Travis

Stanford likes to run its offense through 6-8, 245-poud Travis, its leading scorer who averages 20.6 points per game and is second on the team in rebounds (7.3) and steals (0.9) per contest. The junior from Minneapolis had his best game of the season in an exhilarating win over USC where he tied his season high with 29 points while adding 10 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Poor from the charity stripe

The Cardinal do not own a single player who has attempted at least three free throws who shoots over 80 percent from the line. The team leader, Michael Humphrey is 41-for-52 on the year which is good enough for a shade under 79%. The lone exception is sophomore, Rodney Herenton, who made his only two attempts of the season at Florida. The Cardinal shoot a combined 68.5 percent from the line. It’s tied for the worst in the Pac-12 with Washington.

Arizona State is listed as five point favorites, while ESPN’s matchup predictor gives them a 72.3% chance to win out right.