Head Coach: Ben Howland vs. Herb Sendek
G - Malcolm Lee vs. Ty Abbott
F - Reeves Nelson vs. Rihards Kuksiks
Lazeric Jones is a strong distributor while Honeycutt and Lee are both big guards who cause matchup problems for just about any backcourt. Tyler Lamb and Jerime Anderson will spell the starters for the Bruins.
Even though this season has been disastrous thus far; Ty Abbott is seemingly taking his game to the next level. He remains a shoot-first, drive-second player but his inside-out skills have blossomed nicely. McMillan needs to start making more of an impact with the ball in his hands. Trent Lockett is a tenacious driver but his game will become lethal with an outside shot. Off the bench will be the usual suspects and don't look now, but Keala King has started looking like he can be a difference maker.
Edge – ASU
Reeves Nelson is a very good player who will likely have a big game against the Devils while Anthony Stover and Josh Smith will really make life difficult for ASU down low. Brendan Lane joins Smith off the pine.
Softer than Gionni Paul's commitment, the Sun Devils interior defense makes every game like Christmas for opposing bigs. I'm not a coach but seeing two big men on the floor at once will probably stop the bleeding a little. Having Cain or Bachynski alongside Pateev would be nice to see. While Kuksiks and Felix playing the flex position can cause defenses problems, the defensive liability is too costly.
Edge – UCLA
Free Throws. The Sun Devils have attempted less free throws than three PAC-10 teams have made. To make matters worse, ASU is converting just 64 percent of their charity stripe shots. That, my friends, is how you lose seven of your first eight conference tilts. Something needs to change.
Who Will Win and Why
It's time for a shift in momentum. This Sun Devil team wasn't likely to win the PAC-10 title but they certainly aren't the worst team. A tough win is in store for ASU as Reeves Nelson will get his but every other Bruin will struggle.
Final Score - ASU 67 UCLA 64