Washington Preview

The Arizona State Sun Devils (14-3, 4-1) will head back to Tempe to take on the Washington Huskies (11-7, 2-3) on Thursday. After suffering their first Pac-10 loss and seeing their 10-game winning streak come to an end, the maroon and gold will look to rebound and go back to their winning ways.

Washington has not got off to the start that they were looking for this season. After starting the Pac-10 season 0-3, they came back to sweep the Oregon schools at home. They are lead by Pac-10 player of the week Jon Brockman, who averaged 23.5 points and 15 rebounds last weekend along with his league leading 12th double double.

After watching a ten point half time lead disappear, the Sun Devils had a difficult time putting together any offense in the second half at Stanford. This had to do with the fact the Jeff Pendergraph picked up his fourth foul with over 17 minutes left in the second half. Stanford was able to take advantage of the lack of size of the Sun Devils, who were led by James Harden with 16 points.

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar (6th Season)

Projected Starters

PG – Venoy Overton (5.2 PPG, 3.5 APG)
SG – Ryan Appleby (10.2 PPG, 43.5% 3-PT)
G – Tim Morris (8.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG)
F – Artem Wallace (2.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG)
C – Jon Brockman (18.7 PPG, 11.6 RPG)

Impact Reserves

G – Justin Dentmon
G – Joel Smith
F – Quincy Pondexter


Loosing center Spencer Hawes to the NBA was a hard hit to the Huskies. He and Jon Brockman were arguably the best front court in all of college basketball. Yet, this season's Washington team is more balanced then ever. Not only do they have seven guys averaging over 5 PPG, but they 10 players averaging double digits in minutes. This team is deep, with lots of talent throughout the lineup.

Washington has had known issues putting the ball in the hoop, but now are averaging 73.6 PPG, good for fourth in the Pac-10. However, they have had difficulties in making stops on defense, giving up 68.8 PPG. Furthermore, the Huskies are last in the conference in opponents' field goal and three-point percentage. Their scoring margin is ninth in the league ahead of only Oregon State, at +4.8.


Florida transfer Ryan Appleby has the quickest release in the country, and has a lethal shooter with unlimited range. The senior, who has been an ASU nemesis during his Husky career, lives behind the free throw line and rarely will take the ball to the basket, shooting only six free throws all season.

Point guard Venoy Overton is not a scoring threat, but handles the ball very well on the perimeter. When Justin Dentmon comes off the bench, he is more of an explosive point guard that changes the pace for the Huskies. This should be an interesting battle between the three-point shooting of both Appleby and Ty Abbott.

Slight Edge – ASU


This match up will depend on the health and availability of James Harden. As reported, the freshman tweaked his groin muscle in the Stanford game and is a game-time decision for Thursday. Washington does not have scoring forwards, but if ASU's leading scorer does not play, it will naturally be huge blow to the Sun Devils.

Artem Wallace is a defensive presence for the Huskies and would likely draw the assignment of marking Harden. As a highly acclaimed freshman last season, Quincy Pondexter has had a difficult time adjusting to the college game. Now coming off the bench, he still averages 24 minutes per game and has been productive while on the court.

The surprise rise to the starting rotation is well deserved for ASU's Antwi Atuahene due to his incredible defense on bigger opponents. If Harden is unable to play, Atuahene and Jerren Shipp will need to step up and pick up the offensive slack.

Edge – Off (Comes down to Harden's health and availability)


Jon Brockman vs. Jeff Pendergraph is a highly anticipated match-up, and one that could dictate the final score. Jon Brockman is a double-double machine that has developed into a premier player in the conference. Pendergraph will need to stay out of foul trouble in order to keep Brockman from having another game like he did last weekend.

Look for Eric Boateng to come often off the bench and assist in the defensive effort on Brockman. Washington's leading scorer Achilles heal is his free shooting. Brockman is only 63-109 (57.8%) from the charity stripe, and in a close game down the stretch it's likely that ASU would foul the center and take their chances with him on the line.

On offense Pendergraph can certainly give Brockman fits, especially if his outside jumper is clicking. Nonetheless, the ASU junior can ill afford to get into early foul trouble and ride the pine, especially with the uncertain status of Harden.

Edge – Even

X – Factor

Ryan Appleby will have to be the difference for Washington if they want to win this game. The combination of the Sun Devils' zone defense and his prolific shooting behind the arc could make for an interesting night.

Will James Harden play? That is the question surrounding the Sun Devils this week. If he plays, ASU is the superior team, but without him, they can be in for a long night. Final Score Arizona State 65 Washington 58

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