Washington Preview

It's time to get down to business as both the Arizona State Sun Devils and Washington Huskies enter Saturday afternoon's contest coming off an unexpected loss to inferior ballclubs. The Sun Devils and Huskies are both still near the top of the Pac-10 standings but both missed major opportunities to improve their positions.

The Sun Devils played poorly against Washington State and suffered a 65-55 defeat; their first home loss of the season. James Harden led the Devils with 26 points but got no help as ASU was ice-cold all game long. The Cougars were led by the scorching Klay Thompson who finished with 28 points and Aron Baynes who contributed 22 points.

Down in Tucson, Washington scored a season-high 97 points and still lost to Arizona by giving up an astounding 106 points in regulation. The Huskies allowed the Wildcats to shoot 51 free throws and make 41 of them. Nic Wise led Arizona with 29 points to lead four players in double-digits. Jon Brockman had a big day with 27 points and 16 boards for Washington.

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar

Projected Starters

G – Isaiah Thomas – (16.3 PPG, 3.0 APG)
G – Justin Dentmon – (14.8 PPG, 44% 3PT)
G – Venoy Overton – (5.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG)
F – Quincy Pondexter – (9.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
F – Jon Brockman – (15.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG)

Impact Reserves

G – Elston Turner
F – Darnell Gant
F – Matthew Bryan-Amaning

Backcourt

Washington has a lightning quick backcourt that can score points in a hurry. Led by the electrifying freshman, Isaiah Thomas and the veterans, Justin Dentmon and Venoy Overton – they are fast and feisty. If Thomas can get hot and Dentmon can score from inside and out, the Huskies will be in luck.

ASU's entire team aside from James Harden is in a slump but Derek Glasser, Ty Abbott, and Harden will all continue to plug away until the team is back on track. For the Devils to gain the advantage the defense needs to stay active and on the offensive end – simply put, Ty Abbott needs to wake up and start mattering to opposing defenses. Harden is an all-world talent that has shown an incredible ability to take over games in the final stages but he can't do it all himself, all season long.

Edge – Arizona State

Frontcourt

When Jon Brockman is on your side, you can breathe a lot easier. Maybe the second most physical player in the country next to Tyler Hansbrough, Brockman is a man among boys on the court. He has a soft touch on offense and is beast on the boards. Alongside him will be Quincy Pondexter, a talented player that has not yet put his game completely together. If Brockman goes off for his usual double-double, Pondexter will be the key factor because if he can contribute steadily, the Huskies will be more balanced thus more successful.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun Devils minus James Harden are slumping. Rihards Kuksiks, one of the nation's finest three-point shooters is in his first major slump and Jeff Pendergraph was a non-factor against Wazzu. The Sun Devils need both players to find their rhythm quickly to win the ballgame.

Edge – Washington

Bench

The Huskies bench is rock solid. With steady contributors in Elston Turner and Matthew Bryan-Amaning, they are able to rest their key starters throughout the game. The Sun Devils aren't as lucky. With the Jamelle McMillan, Jerren Shipp, and Eric Boateng – the Devils have relied heavily on their starting five all season and need the reserves to really step it up in the final weeks.

Edge – Washington

Final Score – Arizona State 73 Washington 71


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