Record: 5-9, (0-2)
VS ASU last year: 0-2
NET ranking: 203
Points scored: 73 (213 of 353)
Points allowed: 78.2 (305 of 353)
The Sun Devil fanbase can finally rest a little easier. ASU broke out of their two game losing streak by easily beating the Colorado Buffaloes at home last Saturday.
Now on the road for the first time in the conference season, Arizona State is presented a good opportunity to get their season back in the right direction. The Bay Area schools have really struggled in the early part of the season and look poised to go through a lost season in a down year for the conference.
With a very young roster, Golden Bears’ head coach Wyking Jones doesn’t have much to work with this season. They’re among the worst defensive teams in the nation, and their offense is only slightly better. Creating a squad that can be difficult to watch.
It’s unlikely that Cal will be able to get much going offensively if the Sun Devils can find more success with their zone defense. After trotting out a new starting lineup without guards Luguentz Dort and Remy Martin, ASU was able to get a commanding lead early against CU and continue to build.
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley has said the team needed to shake things up. He was pleased with the way that they responded to being challenged, but also expects to continue to tinker with his rotation until he finds the best group of five to get the most production.
The Golden Bears have two players that average at least 14 points per game in junior guard Paris Austin and sophomore forward Justice Sueing. Both players are volume scorers taking the majority of the shots for their team, but have battled inefficiency issues. Neither shoot particularly well from three-point land, which could bode well for the ASU defense.
An under the radar player to watch in Berkley is freshman guard Matt Bradley. In the six man role Bradley is the team’s fourth leading scorer but is a lethal three point shooter. Bradley is shooting 55 percent from deep this year, and could be a problem for Arizona State who have at times struggled to defend good three point scorers.
Boasting far more talent than California, the Sun Devils should feel good about their chances. However, with a team that’s been humbled of late it might be beneficial to play extra hungry and looking to make a statement.