Washington Preview

If you're one of my faithful followers – I apologize for getting your hopes up about a potential upset over Colorado. I drank too much of the Kool-Aid after the Utah win and got a little ambitious. Won't happen again. Next up Arizona State Sun Devils (8-17, 4-9) hits the road this weekend to the lovely Evergreen State to face the Washington Huskies (17-8, 10-3) on Thursday night.

The first time these guys played in late January at Wells Fargo Arena, the Sun Devils were actually leading at the half before Tony Wroten led U-Dub on a second half tear to pull out a tougher than expected 60-54 victory. The notable ASU performance came from the Danish Driller – Jonathan Gilling went off for 20 points, a career-high.

Each of these teams are coming off weekend splits at home. The only difference is that ASU beat Utah and lost to Colorado – two expected results. For Washington, they closed out the weekend beating Oregon State but only after getting walloped by Oregon two nights before in an 82-57 rout. Very puzzling performance from the Pac-12 co-leader.

Projected Starters:

G – Abdul Gaddy (7.9 PPG, 4.5 APG) vs. Chris Colvin (6.2 PPG, 3.5 APG)

G – Tony Wroten (16.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) vs. Carrick Felix (10.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG)

G – Terrence Ross (15.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG) vs. Trent Lockett (13.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG)

F – Desmond Simmons (5.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG) vs. Jonathan Gilling (6.1 PPG, 40% 3PT)

F – Aziz N'Diaye (8.1 PPG, 7.7RPG) vs. Jordan Bachynski (4.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG)

Backcourt

The Huskies are loaded here – Gaddy running the point is a top-tier play maker in the Pac-12, Terrence Ross is a big guard that can really hurt you from anywhere on the offensive end and lastly, the sensational freshman Tony Wroten – a pure scorer that gets to the basket and finishes with the best of them. Oh, and they have the deadly C.J. Wilcox coming off the bench. Must be tough. Only real question mark if you can even call it that is that after those four guys, they don't have any guards in the rotation but a lot of teams would report secondary violations every week if they could have a four-headed backcourt as good as this one.

One of those teams would probably be Arizona State. Chris Colvin is doing a serviceable job running the point after a real tough stretch in December/January while Carrick Felix and Trent Lockett flank him on the wings. It's hard to put your finger on why this backcourt isn't as good as it could be but the one thing this team is missing is that x-factor that can score a bucket or draw a foul during dry stretches and energize a crowd. Colvin, Felix and Lockett are all good players with Lockett especially being very good but you have to wonder if this team would be a completely different squad with Jahii Carson eligible and Keala King being a good soldier. When you're 8-17, you play the ‘what-if' game a lot.

Edge – Washington

Frontcourt

You know who I don't miss? Mathew Bryan-Amaning; that guy killed the Devils. Anyway, with such strong guard play – the Huskies would be good if they even just had a couple stiffs playing inside but Lorenzo Romar wouldn't have any such nonsense. These Huskies have a couple blue-collar bodies down low in N'Diaye and Simmons – both are strong on the offensive glass as well as clogging the middle on defense. There's some depth here as well with Darnell Gant, Shawn Kemp Jr. and Austin Seferian-Jenkins getting a lot of opportunities.

The three-headed trio of big men has been producing more than any other position recently and Jordan Bachynski, Kyle Cain and Ruslan Pateev probably don't get enough credit sometimes but without these three, some of these wins might have been losses and some of the losses may have been even worse. On the other block is Gilling who is constantly improving and finding ways to fill up each category of the box score.

Edge - Washington

How ASU Wins

Not looking good for ASU in this one. This team has a lot of trouble scoring and the defense isn't terribly impressive either – this has been a frustrating campaign that just never seems to end. How the upset will happen is if ASU is unconscious from three-point land and they force a lot of turnovers. Washington has a team in there that can lose by 25 at home to Oregon and the Sun Devils need to force that Husky team to come out to play.

Final Score – Washington 74 Arizona State 61


Sun Devil Source Top Stories