ASU AT A GLANCE
Head Coach: Rob Evans 101-90 seventh year (187-171 overall)
Leading Scorer: Ike Diogu (22.8 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Diogu (10.3 rpg)
Assist Leader: Jason Braxton (4.2 apg)
FG % Leader: Diogu (.629)
3-PT FG % Leader: Bryson Krueger (.457)
Quality Wins: Vanderbilt, at Temple
Quality Loses: at UTEP
Bad Loses: none
Last Meeting: Arizona beat the Devils 106-81 last March. The Cats lead the series 132-73
Last Time Out: Arizona beat Richmond. ASU downed Valporaiso.
OVERVIEW: Are the Sun Devils for real? That seems to be the real question. They are 11-1, but they have yet to beat a real good team. Vanderbilt and Temple are big names, but the Commodores are not as good as the team that was in the NCAA Tournament a year ago and Temple is just 4-5. Of course the Devils are led by Ike Diogu. The big man should challenge for Pac-10 Player Of The Year honors and could be an All-American. He leads the team in both scoring and rebounding but has not fared well against Arizona in the past. In fact, Channing Frye tends to get up for games against the hometown Devils, so this will be a great challenge for Diogu.
The big key this season has been the addition of Bryson Krueger. The JC transfer has been the athletic scorer that the Devils have lacked. They have always had athletes and guys who can shoot the ball, but they have not had many guys who are both. Krueger only averages 9.0 ppg, but has been on a bit of a tear of late. He had 17 in the Devils' last game against Valparaiso and has averaged 11.5 in his last four games.
Stevie Moore has given the Devils another scoring option. The guard has been efficient inside and out and will make it a little bit tougher for the Cats to concentrate on Diogu.
Like so many teams, the Devils want to control the tempo. They have athletes, but they don't want to run with Arizona. They'd like to keep the Cats in the 70's and make them play halfcourt as much as possible. They also need to get Diogu going early on. The longer the Cats can limit him, the better the chance they have at opening up an early lead.
The Cats have done a great job shutting down their opponent's big players. Chris Paul, Travis Diener and Lawrence Roberts all struggled against the Wildcats. Only Andrew Bogut really played well against the Cats and they forced him to beat them from the outside, which is not his real strength.
OVERVIEW: The Devils want to believe they are for real and can prove it with a win over the Wildcats. There is not much doubt that they are better than they were a year ago, but they need more quality wins. A win over Arizona would prove that they can play with the big boys. That being said, the Cats are starting to hit their stride and will be tough to beat at home. The Devils could win this one, but probably won't.