DePaul Blue Demons (4-3) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (7-2) – Friday, December 6th, 6:00 p.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
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The big question entering this game is will Arizona State sophomore point guard Jahii Carson play or not? Carson struggled with a sprained ankle on Sunday in a 60-57 loss to Miami in the Wooden Legacy tournament. Carson is the heart of the Sun Devils team. ASU coach Herb Sendek has Carson listed as questionable for Friday night's game in Rosemont.
Carson is averaging 20.2 points per game and dishes out 5.1 assists per game. Jahii is shooting a blistering hot 51.5% from beyond the arc.
DePaul managed to contain Carson when the two teams met in Tempe, Arizona last season, holding him to 12 points. Jahii has improved a lot since then though. Many believe that he will be a NBA Draft first round selection in 2014 and is a Pac-12 player of the year candidate. Carson is quick, finishes well inside, and drills three point shots from deep.
While there may be uncertainty over Carson's playing status, scouts from over 18 NBA teams are counting on him playing and plan to attend the game on Friday night.
DePaul coach Oliver Purnell is preparing as though Carson will play in this one.
This is the third year in a row that the Blue Demons will face the Sun Devils. DePaul is 2-0 against Herb Sendek's team over the last two years. The first meeting came in the Old Spice Tournament in Orlando in 2011. DePaul won 68-64. The Demons won last year's game in Tempe, Arizona by a score of 78-61.
Arizona State may want to consider joining the Big East. This is their third game against a Big East opponent in the last 12 days. ASU is 1-1 against Big East teams thus far. The Sun Devils defeated Marquette 78-77 in Tempe. They then dropped a 88-60 loss to Creighton in the Wooden Legacy Tournament.
ASU also owns a big 86-80 win over UNLV on the road in Las Vegas. The Sun Devils are 7-2 overall and check in at number 65 in Ken Pomeroy's College Basketball Ratings as of this writing.
With Carson, 7-2 center Jordan Bachynski (averaging a double-double of 13.8 ppg and 10.1 rebounds per game, plus 4.1 blocks per game), and Penn State transfer Jermaine Marshall (14.2 ppg) in the lineup, ASU has three players who are all capable of putting up over 20 points on any given night. So look for this one to be a high scoring affair.
This is DePaul's second Pac-12 opponent in the last six days. The Blue Demons are coming off a 93-81 victory over Oregon State on Sunday. There are a few similarities between Oregon State and this ASU team.
"They are a little bit similar in terms of defensively they will play some zone and mostly man-to-man," Purnell told WSCR Radio. "The difference is of all the teams we've played, they've got a bonafide, big-time lane clogger in their center. He's 7-2 with a live body. He's a tremendous shot blocker. They look to run some offense around him or get the ball low to him. So we've got to pay attention to him. Yet at the same time the guy who's taking twice as many shots as anybody on the team is the point guard. So clearly the ball is in his hands a lot. He loves to penetrate and they love to set ball screens for him. That in a way is similar to the kid we played against the other night from Oregon State (Roberto Nelson). Although Carson is much quicker and a guy that's more versatile offensively. They have kind of a two man attack with shooters around them. So if you pay too much attention to those guys, if you double them, they've got outstanding three point shooters. So they will be a challenge to defend. No question about it. Also, they will be a challenge for us offensively because they have a big time shot blocker at the basket in Bachynski."
The Last Time
On December 12, 2012, the Blue Demons defeated Arizona State 78-61 in Tempe, Arizona. Brandon Young scored 18 points and dished out nine assists to lead DePaul.
DePaul senior guard Worrel Clahar came off the bench to score 14 points.
Evan Gordon, Jahii Carson and Carrick Felix scored 12 points apiece for Arizona State. Center Jordan Bachynski added 10 points.
Arizona State Roster
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)
13 Bachynski, Jordan C 7-2 248 Sr. Calgary, Alberta (Centennial H.S.)
4 Barnes, Bo WING 6-4 Jr. Scottsdale, Ariz. (Westwind Prep International)
1 Carson, Jahii G 5-10 180 So. Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa)
5 Edwards, Richie F 6-7 220 Gr. Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland)
31 Gilling, Jonathan F 6-7 219 Jr. Rungsted Kyst, Denmark
21 Jacobsen, Eric F 6-10 235 So. Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton)
32 Kearney, Brandan F 6-5 190 Jr. Detroit, Mich. (Southeastern H.S.)
15 Koulechov, Egor G-F 6-5 205 Fr. Volgograd, Russia (Sagemont School (Fla.) H.S.)
34 Marshall, Jermaine G 6-4 215 Sr. Etters, Pa. (Red Land)
40 McKissic, Shaquielle F 6-5 200 Sr. Seattle, Wash. (Edmonds C.C.) (Kentridge H.S. (Seattle))
3 Murray, Chance G 6-2 180 Fr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Price H.S.)
11 Robinson, Calaen G 6-2 190 So. Tempe, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol)
24 Tummala, Sai F 6-7 215 So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Salt Lake City C.C.) (Brophy Prep)
22 Upchurch, Jarett G 6-1 192 Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral)
33 Whitmore, Dave F 6-6 215 Sr. Tempe, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol HS)
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