The Sun Devils offense continued to search for any rhythm. Visible frustrated after every missed open shot, turnover or lack of ball movement, Bobby Hurley was straightforward following his team’s 67-60 loss to Creighton (10-2).
“We didn’t play good offense again,” he said. “A common theme here the last couple of games.”
Hurley and all onlookers of Arizona State’s (8-4) team can attest to is that at times the offense looks as functional as random puzzle pieces thrown together in hopes they fit together.
Outside of a hot streak in the first half from Alonzo Verge and second-chance points from Romello White, it felt like a prayer was needed for a successful possession for Arizona State. The chances were certainly there at times, but shots weren’t dropping.
“There was just a lot of missed shots,” Hurley said. “We weren’t moving it at times. Elias (Valtonen) had a wide open three in the corner. A lot of others that were out there for us to take advantage of and we didn’t.”
Verge started the game 5-for-11 for 12 points, the rest of the night didn’t go as well. He’d made one field goal the rest of the contest on 12 attempts. Hurley mentioned that Verge’s confidence wasn’t fully there especially the way the Bluejays played him.
“I’m a basketball player, I noticed it right away that they were sagging off of me,” Verge said. “I was shooting a lot because of that.”
Verge in the late game situation with his team down three decided to pass on a three-point attempt for a midrange jumper. He missed it but Hurley was more irritated by the decision.
“I don’t think he really read what they were doing well in this game,” said Hurley on Verge. “They were dropping off of him because they...saw all the points in the lane he scored. He didn’t have the confidence to pull the trigger a few times.”
The cold streak from Verge certainly didn’t help the Sun Devils. Especially due to the lack of scoring recently from Remy Martin and Rob Edwards. Neither had a first-half point after being held scoreless in the blowout loss to Saint Mary’s.
To correct the offense or at the very least find life in it, Martin and Edwards have to produce more than nine combined on an inefficient shooting night.
White had another double-double, a feat he accomplished by halftime. Although, only two rebounds and six points showcased the offensive limitations he has. That’s not his fault. White has been productive of late for the Sun Devils, but he’s not the type of player to take over a game on offense.
Junior forward Kimani Lawrence didn’t play at all on Saturday. Hurley attributed the reason being that he’s searching for a rotation that can flow together, and after the loss to the Blue Jays, more tests need to be done.
At some point the wing players will need to step up. Until then Hurley will continue to find a eight, nine-man rotation that offensively can create points consistently, it appears the Sun Devils will have to battle for wins.