Did you know Utah lost at home to Cal-State Fullerton by 31 points? Did you know Utah beat ASU at home by 21 points? By my terrible logic, that means a decent Big West team would beat ASU by 52 points – in Salt Lake City. That's how this season is going.
Against Colorado and Utah, ASU was walloped by 15 and 21 points respectively while neither of those games was as close as the final scores indicated – a lot of inactivity on both ends were culprits in both routs. Not a lot of highlights to report but the best news is that Trent Lockett, although expected to miss tonight's game, is nearing a return to the lineup after missing the last couple games.
In Seattle, the Huskies hit the road after a solid four game homestand in which they won three of four including a split last weekend against Cal and Stanford. In a tightly-contested loss to Cal, the Huskies proved why they belong in the discussion for championship contenders while stampeding Stanford only validated that claim. One small problem is the lack of depth – after a recent injury to C.J. Wilcox, Washington relies heavily on their starters as their rotation is only about seven deep now.
G/F – Terrance Ross (15.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG) vs. Chanse Creekmur (5.4 PPG, 37% 3PT)
F – Aziz N'Diaye (8.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG) vs. Ruslan Pateev (4.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
Even though CJ Wilcox is out, the Huskies still possess one of the strongest backcourts in the Pac-12. Abdul Gaddy is playing well at the point alongside Terrance Ross and sensational freshman Tony Wroten. Gaddy is a heady floor general that makes smart decisions and gives his teammates great looks while Ross is a fairly accurate shooter from long range while Wroten is just an animal getting to the basket. Not a lot of depth in the backcourt so foul trouble or further injury could decimate the backcourt in this matchup.
Hard to call anything from this past weekend a highlight but Chris Colvin played well against Colorado providing the only real offense with 17 points – that bodes well for the streaky point guard as he returns home and looks to continue his strong play. Next to him in the backcourt are Carrick Felix and Chanse Creekmur. As always, Felix is most dangerous when he is getting to the basket and moving in transition while Creekmur is deadly when he is feeling it.
Edge - Washington
Before the injury, the Huskies played an athletic rotation with four guards and Aziz N'Diaye cleaning up in the post. With Wilcox out, Desmond Simmons and Darnell Gant are getting a lot more minutes in an effort to beef up the rotation and get more physical. Aside from the aforementioned trio, Shawn Kemp Jr. and Martin Breunig are options off the bench as is the football phenom, Austin Seferian-Jenkins who made his debut against Stanford with an interesting stat line of zero points, seven rebounds and five quick fouls in 16 minutes of action.
Like Colvin against Colorado, Jordan Bachynski had a career day against Utah with 10 points and seven rebounds that will hopefully lead to more production out of the 86-inch tall reserve. Starting down low is Ruslan Pateev and another guy who will see a lot of minutes is Kyle Cain – he also had a solid showing against Utah.
Edge - Washington
How ASU Wins
Washington has more talent but they have a very thin rotation and have historically played poorly away from home. It's important that ASU can play well consistently throughout each half. This Sun Devils team goes silent on both ends for stretches at a time in almost every game and that is simply unacceptable. The Devils win if the shooters shoot well, the rebounders rebound well, the defense defends well and Washington looks ahead to their matchup against Arizona.
Final Score – Washington 72 ASU 55