ASU basketball opened its season in unfamiliar territory Friday, losing to the Colorado Buffaloes 81-71 at Baoshan Sports Center in Shanghai, China. Junior point guard Remy Martin led the way for the Sun Devils with 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while redshirt senior guard Rob Edwards added on 20 points including 4-6 from three in the loss.
ASU looked predictably strong in the backcourt, flaunting a deep and talented group that will likely define the team as the season progresses. Martin looked every part the offensive catalyst, displaying a good balance between distributing for others and finding his own shot.
Edwards came out of the gate firing, too, attempting a team-high six threes, but showed off a more diversified offensive game in only his second 20+ scoring effort as a Sun Devil.
Freshman forward Jalen Graham got the start Friday after the presumed starters of redshirt junior forward Romello White, along with sophomore Taeshon Cherry, were suspended for infractions that the team referred to as minor, and happening before the trip overseas.
Graham, a Mountain Pointe high school grad, filled in admirably, finishing with six points, two rebounds and an astounding five blocks. His energy on the defensive end of the floor helped set the tone for an otherwise undersized ASU team.
Graham was not the only newcomer to excite Friday, as freshman guard Jaelen House came off the bench to score seven points and swipe three steals. His presence was felt from his first minutes of action, as the former Shadow Mountain matador played with an infectious energy.
Junior Alonzo Verge also made his Sun Devil debut Friday, scoring four points on a dismal 2-11 shooting. The highly-touted junior college prospect often looked dynamic with the ball in his hand, but failed to convert a number of opportunities in both the half court and in transition.
ASU looks to clean up its deficiencies back in the United States when they host the Central Connecticut Blue Devils on November 14 at Desert Financial Arena.