ASU lost to Utah by a lot. It wasn't enjoyable for anyone. Moving on…
In their first meeting, the Devils stayed close but never truly threatened Stanford and lost 76-70. Dwight Powell erupted for 28 points and Randle added 21 of his own as the Cardinal outrebounded ASU and won the turnover battle in the six-point win. Of ASU's 70 points, 46 were scored in the backcourt by Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall while no one else scored more than eight points in the loss.
Winning at Arizona was great and got everyone buzzing about the Sun Devils. What a difference a week makes. After two uninspired efforts against Colorado and Utah, the mood around the program has soured and everyone is expecting the worst. A win tonight would get the fly wheel spinning in the right direction again and let everyone exhale a bit.
Johnny Dawkins: 6th season at Stanford – 119-80 career
Herb Sendek: 8th season at ASU – 138-115; 392-273 career
G – Chasson Randle (18.8, 2.3 APG) vs. Jahii Carson (18.4 PPG, 4.6 APG)
G – Anthony Brown (13.5 PPG, 47% 3PT) vs. Jermaine Marshall (15.5 PPG, 41% 3PT)
F – Josh Huestis (11.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG) vs. Shaq McKissic (8.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
F – Dwight Powell (14.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG) vs. Eric Jacobsen (2.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG)
Why Stanford Can Win:
Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle are playing great basketball and have had considerable success against this ASU team while Josh Huestis, Anthony Brown and John Gage are all guys ASU will need have a game plan for. Deeper than they look, Stanford is balanced throughout their entire rotation and do all the little things well. For Stanford to pull out the road win, they'll need to get ASU into early foul trouble and hit their inevitable open threes.
Why ASU Can Win:
Despite winning at Arizona, the last three games have been disastrous from an offensive standpoint. They've shot less than 40% over the last three games with the primary trio of Carson, Marshall and Jordan Bachysnki leading the struggle. Carson is a world-class athlete with an average shooting touch when his game is on. When his game is off, which it clearly is right now, he becomes a one-trick pony and teams can hone in on stopping the rest of the offensive unit by clogging the lane and forcing him to shoot from the outside. If Carson can knock down a few jumpers early on and create mismatches with his dribble-drives, ASU will be able to get some easy buckets and force Johnny Dawkins to change his defensive approach.
Key Stat: With 11 points in his the first 13 Pac-12 contests spanning across 66 minutes, Egor Koulechov was a rare bright spot against Utah as he poured in 11 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
X-Factor: Jermaine Marshall; after single-handedly beating Arizona, Marshall took the week off when the team was in the Rockies and his return to top form is paramount to ASU's success. After missing 13 of his 15 treys last week, the worse news was that he didn't shoot any free throws. If Marshall can find his rhythm, the Devils will get back on track.
Final Score: ASU 88 Stanford 79