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ASU Basketball: Notebook (1/29)

Rivalry week

Arizona State v UCLA Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Head coach Bobby Hurley, redshirt senior forward Zylan Cheatham and sophomore guard Remy Martin addressed the media on Tuesday before the team’s meeting with the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday night in Tempe.

Reflecting on the Los Angeles trip

ASU split the road trip against UCLA and USC, but in their opinion should’ve taken both games. However, it’s on to the future and what lies ahead of them, two of the their next three games are against the better teams in the conference in Washington and Arizona.

“We turned the page on it,” Cheatham mentioned about last week. “We learned from it, we broke down and analyzed where we went wrong — learned from those situations. It doesn’t hurt that we got our rival coming in this week. It’s going to be a really good environment, I’m excited about it.”

Martin coming off one of his best pair as a Sun Devil still believes there is more for himself to accomplish for the team as the point guard:

“A lot things are in your control,” said Martin before he discussed his missed late shot in the USC game. “I just felt being the player I am if I just take accountability because I know I’m capable of just turning the game around. I didn’t hit the shot, obviously, there’s certain things in the game that could’ve went differently. But since I feel like I’m the point guard I have a lot of responsibility, I feel like those shots just got to go in, great players make those shots no matter what.”

Arizona’s defense

Bobby Hurley opened his part of the press conference with how well Sean Miller’s team are generally coached. He focused on the defensive aspect of the team, mentioned how Miller’s teams have well positioned defenders and are technically sound.

ASU over course of conference play has seen a lot of zone defenses, and part of the issue in most Sun Devil losses is when they find the uncovered area or the open look they haven’t always shot the ball well.

Arizona will primarily give ASU a man defense look, with the athletic ability and how well multiple Sun Devils create their own shots, man defense may better suit ASU matchup wise.

“We’ve seen an unbelievable amount of zone, pretty much ever team has zoned us up to this point,” Cheatham said. “To see a team that has that traditional man and they stick to their principals. It’s going to be an adjustment, but we’ve been practicing man-to-man offense because we play so much man. I think we’ve prepared ourselves well and we’re going to continue to do so.”

With having just a single game this week, Hurley talked about the advantage that brings ASU with adjusting toward the man defense:

“It’s an all in type of game,” he said. “Just watching a lot of film, we may finally see a team that plays man defense again. That’ll be something different unless Sean [Miller] decides to do something we don’t expect. We’re actually looking forward to that, we’ve faced a lot of zone lately.”

Remy’s dunk

Against UCLA it wasn’t Zylan Cheatham with the highlight dunk, it wasn’t Luguentz Dort, it was all six feet of Remy Martin throwing down the hammer on the Bruins.

A lot of fans didn’t know he had that kind of hops, and well according to Martin neither did he.

“Even in high school I was very close, I felt really bouncy and with the minor setbacks with my ankles and stuff kind of postponed that a little bit,” Martin said. “Now that I’m feeling healthy, I feel like watching myself you can tell how I’m playing now that you can tell I’m feeling a little more healthier and confident.

“Honestly, that dunk I was just trying to lay it up, but I remembered the play at Stanford when I stole the ball and the guy blocked my shot from behind. And that was constantly in my mind, so now that I do that, I hope that they see that, and know don’t jump and let me make the layup. That was a one time thing — I’m old now so I want to save my legs.”