Hoops Preview - Arizona State

In what is the biggest road trip of the season, the Washington Huskies will first face off against the Sun Devils of Arizona State, Thursday at 5:30 p.m. PST at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The game will not be aired on television, but will be carried on the Husky IMG College Sports Network throughout the Northwest region and also streamed live online at FOXSportsArizona.com.

Click on the link to view the game online - FOXSportsArizona.com.

Although expectations were high for the Sun Devils prior to the season, Arizona State has fallen completely by the wayside, currently finding themselves dead last in the Pac-10 with an 1-11 record to go with their season mark of 9-15. To make matters worse, they have lost eight-straight games, and are looking to this home game to stop the bleeding.

There aren't too many bright spots on this team, as can be expected. However, Trent Lockett has proved to be a future star in the making. A 6-foot-4-sophomore guard, Lockett is averaging 13.9 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the field. The Golden Valley, Minn. native is also contributing 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. In 22 games this season, Lockett has posted double-digits scoring 18 times, including a season-high of 24 against Weber State.

After having already started eight games against the Huskies (17-7, 9-4) in his career, this may be the last time Ty Abbott gets a shot at beating UW. A 6-foot-3 senior guard, Abbott has long been a mainstay in the Sun Devils' starting five, even though his production has never gone through the roof as many predicted due to his streaky shooting. This season Abbott, who hails from Phoenix, is averaging 12.9 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field and from three. He is also averaging 2.6 assists and a steal a game.

Another senior for ASU, Rihards Kuksiks, hasn't been as solid of a contributor as in years' past. A 6-foot-6 forward, Kuksiks is only averaging 9.6 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field. Beyond that, he doesn't exactly fill up the stat sheet, averaging just 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game.

As for a low post presence, Kyle Cain is about as good as it gets for the Sun Devils. A 6-foot-7 freshman forward, Cain is averaging 5.9 points per game on 55 percent shooting. He is also pulling in a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game.

Statistics-wise, you wouldn't think Arizona State brings much to the table based on their league record, and you would be right. Ranked in the hundreds nationally in almost every category, the one thing the Sun Devils have going for them is getting their opponent to commit 16.1 fouls per game, which ranks No. 7 nationally and first in the conference. That could play right into the hands of the home team, as Washington has a tendency to foul while applying their trademark man-to-man defensive pressure. Also look for Herb Sendek and his team to play a 2-3 zone all game against the Huskies in the hopes they can slow down UW's offense, which currently leads the league in scoring at nearly 86 points a game.

If Washington can pull off a win against ASU, their next game in Tucson against the No. 13 Arizona Wildcats (21-4, 10-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. PST could be for the eventual Pac-10 conference crown. The game will be aired nationally on ESPN and ESPN3.com.


Dawgman.com Top Stories