Most recent game:
The Huskies (14-10, 9-6) are coming off a big upset of Arizona (17-8, 9-7) in Tucson on Thursday night. Arizona played without starting SG Salim Stoudamire, who was suspended for the game, and could not out-duel the Huskies, who are playing great basketball of late. Tre Simmons led the Dawgs with a career high 22 points and playmaker Nate Robinson chipped in with 18. Three other UW players scored in double figures as the Huskies held off a late surge by the Wildcats to win 89-84.
The Sun Devils (10-15, 4-112), on the other hand, were beaten at home by the patience and slow down style of Washington State (12-13, 6-9). The Sun Devils led by four at half behind Ike Diogu's 21 first half points. However, ASU went cold in the second half and the Cougars were able to pull off the comfortable 83-70 lead. Arizona State continued to play putrid defense, allowing the most points scored by a WSU team all year.
Sun Devil shooters vs. UW collapsing defense: ASU's outside shooters are a key to every game the Sun Devils play because Ike Diogu receives so much of the defense's attention down on the block. ASU is also only shooting 33.6% from behind the arc and Jamal Hill is the only player that looks to be hitting his shots consistently right now. The ASU offense can score points when their perimeter players are keeping defenses from completely collapsing on Diogu. The other key to watch in this matchup is whether Serge Angounou can be effective making cuts to the high post when his man his helping to deny the pass into Diogu on the block. The momentum shifted against the Cougars when Angounou went to the bench with his fourth foul fairly early in the second half. Once he was out of the game, the offense really stagnated.
Gene Smith vs. ASU Fan Apathy: It will be a miracle if more than 5,000 fans show up to Wells Fargo Arena for to watch the last home game in what has been a miserable season for Sun Devil fans.
§ This will be Senior Day for ASU and the Sun Devils will honor four seniors: Kenny Crandall, Justin Allen, Jamal Hill, and Brandon Goldman. With nothing left to play for, it would be great to see all four in the starting lineup.
§ Washington is second in the conference behind Arizona in scoring offense, but ninth in scoring defense, ahead of only USC.
§ UW is third in the Pac 10 in steals, averaging just under 7.3 per game. This mark helps them arrive in Tempe with the second best turnover margin in the conference.
§ The Huskies do not crack the top three spots in the conference in any other major statistical category.
§ Brandon Roy is in the conference's top 20 for both scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.4 points and 5.3 boards per game.
Honestly, who knows what Devil team will show up on Ned Wulk Court? It is hard to believe that being eliminated from any post season play will motivate the players to pull off an upset over a Husky team that is playing for sole possession of second place in the conference. Look for the same ol', same ol' with ASU being in the game until they hit an offensive slump. An ugly final home game for ASU's seniors: Washington 78, ASU 65.
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