Washington State Preview

The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-15, 0-10) will face the red hot 18th ranked Washington State Cougars (18-4, 7-3) Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils are coming off a heart fought loss to Washington on Thursday after loosing Coach Sendek in the 2nd half. The Cougars will be coming to Tempe fresh off of a rare victory in Tucson and a season sweep of Arizona.

The Washington State Cougars accomplished something they have not done since 1983 on Thursday. They swept the season series against the University of Arizona. This was also only there fourth victory against Arizona since Lute Olson has been the coach. Wazzu was lead by senior F Ivory Clark with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Not only did Clark contribute, but they also had three other players in double figures. Junior C was the only Cougar starter to not score in double figures due to early foul trouble.

The Sun Devils are coming off a game in which they were down by 23 at half time and managed to close the gap and finish the game losing only 66-61. After junior G Antwi Atuahene made an incredible hustle play and got called for a foul, Coach Sendek tried to get the crowd to show him some love. However, the refs did not agree with these antics and gave coach a technical foul, followed by a second one. Not only did this get the crowd back into the game, but the team rallied around him and played with heart the rest of the game. Freshman G Christian Polk led the team with 18 points. Sophomore C Jeff Pendergraph had another stellar game with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Head Coach Tony Bennett (18-4, 7-3)

Projected Starters

PG- Derrick Low (15.3 PPG, 43% 3PT)
SG- Kyle Weaver (11.4 PPG, 5.0 APG)
F- Ivory Clark (9.6 PPG, 5 RPG)
F- Daven Harmeling (9.4 PPG, 47% FG)
C- Robbie Cowgill (7.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG)

Impact Reserves

Chris Matthews
Taylor Rochestie
Aron Baynes

Overview

Who in the country would have thought that the Washington State Cougars would have 18 wins when they came to Tempe on February 3? With only eight games remaining in the regular season, Cougar fans are thinking of the Big Dance for the first time since 1994. After loosing their coach Dick Bennett and their leading scorer from last season (Josh Akognon, who transferred to CSU Fullerton), Dick's son Tony has brought this team to a new level. Senior G Derrick Low has been the leader for Coach Bennett with his vision of turning around a team that slowed the game down last season, to a team the runs and can score with anyone in the country. After weathering the storm the last couple of years, this team has been able to prove the patience is the key to success. With a mix of older and younger players, this team can be dangerous come tournament time.

Guards

With Low playing great basketball, and a proven team leader at this point in the season, the Devils are in for a tough test. The Cougars guards are talented and lead the team in scoring. Weaver will be a tough test for Polk and Shipp to handle as he is athletic averaging double digit points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game. The Sun Devils quad of guards: Glasser, Polk, Shipp and Atuahene are improving each game and need to continue to improve to take down a team such as Washington State.

Edge – Washington State

Forwards

With the emergence of senior Allen Morill, ASU has found themselves a nice spark on both sides of the court. Morill has been playing with passion and shooting the ball better then we have seen in his 5 years in the Maroon and Gold. Ivory Clark has scored at least 10 points in 5 out of the last 6 games and continues to improve. Harmeling has had an up and down season, but has the potential to score at will when he finds his stroke. Arizona State needs senior Serge Angounou to find his shot again, because he is needed in the game for his defensive presence along with his offense.

Slight Edge – Washington State

Centers

Jeff Pendergraph and Robbie Cowgill are very different basketball players in terms of style but both of them are equally important in terms of their team's success. Pendergraph is the Sun Devils leader and go-to guy. Cowgill is more of a role player for the Cougars and is not relied to score many points such as Pendergraph. If Pendergraph continues to play like he has, he should put up some solid numbers.

Edge – ASU

Final Score – Wazzu 63 ASU 61

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