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ASU Basketball: Washington preview

Can ASU bounce back?

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports


VS ASU last year: 1-0

NET Ranking: 25

Points scored: 72.1 (206 of 353)

Points allowed: 64.0 (22 of 353)

Just two days after one of the most dismal performances of the season, ASU (15-7, 6-4 Pac-12) will have to bounce back quickly as Washington (19-4, 10-0) enters Wells Fargo Arena.

The Huskies are undefeated in conference play and they are coming off a hard-fought 67-60 win down South at Arizona. The Huskies are coached by Mike Hopkins, who was a longtime assistant at Syracuse prior to his arrival in Seattle.

Similar to a zone defense that ASU saw against the Orange men last year in their First Four game in Dayton, Washington runs a similar prototype on defense. ASU has struggled with zones at times this season, and Saturday will be another challenging task against the Huskies.

As for players to look out for, sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell, senior guard David Crisp, and senior forward Noah Dickerson are all averaging double-figures in scoring, and Nowell leads the offense with 16.7 points per game while shooting an absurd 45 percent from three-point land.

Dickerson provides problems inside and he leads the team in rebounding. Crisp can be a lot to handle as well. Additionally, senior forward Matisse Thybulle and sophomore forward Nahziah Carter are averaging nearly 10 points per game.

Another thing to monitor is Dickerson, who sprained his ankle a week back against UCLA. He gutted through and played 26 minutes against Arizona on Thursday and scored 10 points. Nonetheless, the recent sprain is something to be aware of as Saturday’s game progresses.

Hopkins has an upstart Washington program playing with as much passion and fight as any team in recent memory. In a year with no consistency among the conference, Washington has been the one team who has been able to sustain continued success in a topsy turvy league.

Earlier this week, head coach Bobby Hurley said he thought Washington should be ranked in the top-25, but because of the way the conference has shaped out, the Huskies have found the short end of the stick.

As for ASU, they are looking to salvage a home series after a really bad loss to Washington State. This year’s team has made people scratch their heads. They have nights where they look like the top team in the conference and one of the teams who is on its way to March, and then there have been duds like Thursday where the Devils absolutely fall flat in all aspects of their game.

The question is, which team shows up against first place Washington? We’ll find out soon enough.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. local time at Wells Fargo Arena.