Record: 7-8, (0-3)
VS ASU last year: 2-0
NET ranking: 143
Points scored: 72.3 (226 of 353)
Points allowed: 73.8 (236 of 353)
The Arizona State Sun Devils have never swept a Pac-12 road series under Bobby Hurley. That can change on Saturday with a win at Stanford. It wasn’t the prettiest for ASU, but after beating Cal on Wednesday, Hurley can finally get over the hump of something that has avoided him his first three seasons in Tempe.
Stanford played Arizona close on Wednesday, but they’ve lost four of their last five including getting handled by the Los Angeles schools last week. Things have been tough for the Cardinal this season. To put it in perspective, their best win this season was probably taking Kansas to overtime before losing.
The Cardinal’s best player from last season, Reid Travis, plays at Kentucky now. Junior forward Kezie Okpala has done a good job at replacing Travis’ production from last year. However, Stanford had five players average double figures in scoring last season. This year, it’s only Okpala, Daejon Davis and Cormac Ryan fit into that category.
Despite the struggles from the Cardinal, it’s known that ASU’s toughest opponent is usually themselves. ASU did beat Cal by 14 the other night, but another slow start had the Sun Devils down 14 in the first half. Remy Martin’s spark in the end of the first half helped close the gap.
ASU only trailed by two at halftime against Cal, but it’s another game ASU was down at the break, which is now six of the past seven games ASU finds themselves behind heading into the second half.
It’s most likely Hurley will send out another new lineup because he hinted that Martin will return to the starting lineup. Martin has changed the ball movement for ASU when he’s in, that changes the offense and for the better.
Stanford defends the three ball well, but for ASU that’s probably for the better because they like to attack the rim. Luguentz Dort has seen a better field goal percentage the past two games. As long as ASU doesn’t beat themselves they should return home happy.