Hoops Preview - ASU

With every game vitally important from here on out, none may be more important for Washington than to secure a win against the lowly Arizona State Sun Devils. The game will be at Alaska Airlines Arena Thursday night at 8 p.m. PT and will be aired on ROOT Sports on the west coast.

Coached by Herb Sendek, Arizona State is just 8-17 this season (4-9 in conference) and has a RPI of 230, the second lowest for a power conference team in the NCAA ahead of just Utah (270). USC is the third lowest in the NCAA at 228. Arizona State does have one quality win over Wake Forest.

In the first meeting between the two squads, UW took care of business on Jan. 26 in Tempe, knocking off the Sun Devils 60-54. Freshman Jonathan Gilling was the spark plug for the Sun Devils, as the 6-foot-7 forward had 20 points and five rebounds.

With Keala King leaving the team, Trent Lockett is the key player for the ASU. Having just come back from injury, Lockett is averaging 13.6 points a game on 54 percent shooting. The 6-foot-4 junior guard is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game. Despite the positive accolades, Lockett is No. 74 in the nation in turnovers per game (3.2).

Despite averaging a little over six points in his last four games, Carrick Felix will be another scorer to watch. The 6-foot-6 junior guard is averaging 10.2 points and one steal per game during the season on 42 percent shooting.

In the paint, 6-foot-7 sophomore Kyle Cain will be the post presence for Sendek. Averaging 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a game, the Chicago native makes good use of his 24.3 minutes on the court. He had a season-high of 15 rebounds against DePaul.

As a team, Sendek's tough 2-3 zone defense will be one to watch, as the Sun Devils only allow 65 points a game and their opponents average only 63 possessions a contest (No. 27 lowest nationally).

On offense, Arizona State can be tough to watch. Attempting the sixth lowest amount of shots this season, Sendek's team averages just 60.3 points a game (No. 316 nationally). To make matters worse, ASU is No. 3 in turnover percentage (26.3) and No. 14 in turnovers per game (16.6).

Historically, Washington now controls the series – which started in 1978 – 37-36. Washington also maintains a 20-14 advantage in Seattle.


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