VS ASU this year: 0-1
NET Ranking: 278
Points scored: 69.0 (256 of 353)
Points allowed: 79.3 (326 of 353)
It will be Senior Day at The Bank on Sunday afternoon as Arizona State (18-8, 9-5) honors De’Quon Lake and Zylan Cheatham in a matchup against California (5-21, 0-14).
After a win at home on Wednesday against Stanford, the Devils welcome a Golden Bears team into Wells Fargo Arena who is, quite frankly, down in the dumps. The numbers speak for themselves.
Cal is 5-21, they are allowing opponents to score nearly 80 points per game, and they haven’t won a conference game in what hasn’t been a strong season for the Pac-12 as a whole.
There’s not much to analyze. It has just been a rough season in Berkeley. When these two teams last met early in January, ASU sophomore guard Remy Martin dropped 24 points in the win after a slow start in the first half.
Cal hasn’t won a game since just before Christmas when they beat San Jose State 88-80. The Golden Bears have four players who are averaging double-figures, but it has been the other end of the floor where Cal has had problems.
The team’s leading scorer is sophomore forward Justice Sueing, who is averaging just over 15 points a game while shooting 43 percent from the field. Junior guard Austin Paris, sophomore guard Darius McNeill, and freshman guard Matt Bradley are the other three players scoring in double-figures.
Ultimately, ASU has more than enough talent on paper to take down a Cal squad that has been posed with problems all season long. Junior guard Rob Edwards is coming off consecutive big games for ASU, as he has put up 28-point and 16-point performances in his last two outings.
Martin also put together a 16-point showcase against Stanford last time out. It’s Senior Day at Wells Fargo Arena during a must win part of the season. Cal ranks near the bottom of Division I basketball in regards to points allowed. If all goes as planned, ASU should take care of business.
With a 5-21 record and clearly no postseason implications to play for, Cal has no pressure on them. A win against an ASU team who is battling to make the tournament would be all the Golden Bears could ask for at this time of year. It’s their opportunity to play spoiler.
If there has one thing this year’s team has proven, it is that they are consistently inconsistent. The strongest performances of the year have come against top-tier teams, while the lowest of lows have come against teams ASU should beat.
The hope for Sun Devil fans is that ASU shakes off that reputation tomorrow afternoon, and to be frank, there’s really no excuse this time of year. ASU needs wins, and they need to take care of matters on their home floor before ending the season with very tough road games at Oregon, at Oregon State, and at Arizona.
Similar to Wednesday’s game against the Cardinal, this is a must win for the Devils. It doesn't’ matter who the opponent is.
Tip-off for Senior Day is set for 4 p.m. MST.