Analysis: Sun Devils look to bounce back

To say Arizona State (19-8 overall, 8-6 Pac-12) fell victim to the proverbial letdown would be a gross understatement. In the wake of their historical victory over No. 2 Arizona, the Sun Devils responded with two of their worst games of the season.

It appeared as if Arizona State forgot to pack their shooting and rebounding on the recent road trip to the Mountain schools. Arizona State shot a combined 31 percent from the field and was out-rebounded 92-63 in their two losses.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the road trip was the apparent lack of urgency from the Sun Devils, who had a golden opportunity to build off the momentum of the Arizona win.

Aside from players like Shaq McKissic and Bo Barnes, Arizona State displayed little to no energy. The team looked flat and never seemed to find a rhythm offensively.

Luckily for the Sun Devils, the two losses did not hurt their standing dramatically. They still have an RPI of 34 and sit firmly on the right side of the bubble in various editions of Bracketology.

And yet, there seems to be an eerily familiar feeling heading into this week. It was a game against Stanford that turned the tide for the Sun Devils a season ago.

Arizona State was rolling last season before they lost to Stanford at home. That loss marked the beginning of a monumental collapse for the Devils, who would go on to lose six of their last eight regular season games. And more importantly, miss an opportunity to go dancing in March.

In order to avoid a similar letdown, Arizona State will need to take care of business this week against Stanford and California.

With their current résumé, the Devils have some breathing room. However, it would be nice to see this year's squad finish the season strong and not leave any doubts in the minds of the NCAA selection committee.

Their task begins Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena, with a 9pm tip-off against the Stanford Cardinal.


Inside the numbers

Dating back to the second half of the Oregon game, the Sun Devils' offense has seemingly vanished. However, when Arizona State is sharing the ball, shooting a high percentage, and hitting from long range, they are virtually unbeatable.

42 – The Sun Devils are 18-1 when they shoot at least 42 percent from the field.

12 – ASU is 16-1 when they record at least 12 assists as a team.

5 – ASU is 13-1 when point guard Jahii Carson records at least five assists.

9 – The Sun Devils are 9-2 when they hit at least nine three-pointers as a team.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories