Preview - Arizona State

After suffering perhaps their most disappointing loss on the season, the University of Washington Huskies (10-3, 1-1) will be traveling south to the Grand Canyon State to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-5, 1-1). Usually scheduled on a Thursday night, the game this week will be held on a Friday night at 7:30 PST due to the football National Championship game.

Although Washington struggled in their defeat to Oregon (79-90) and in their victory over Oregon State (76-70), who subsequently was beaten into submission by Seattle University this week by a score of (99-48), Arizona State fans would contend that the Sun Devils performed worse in their first two Pac-10 games.

In their conference opener they lost to UCLA by a score of 72-70. Rihards Kuksiks led the way in scoring with 15 points. Ty Abbott and Derek Glasser each added 12 of their own.

Next they faced USC on Saturday in what might surely be the lowest scoring game of the season in the Pac-10. The final was 47-37. Only Demetrius Walker and Jamelle McMillian finished in double figures, with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Beyond league play, Arizona State has had a generally successful preseason, finishing 10-3. Their victories came over Western Illinois, Texas State, TCU, San Francisco, LSU, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Delaware State, San Diego State, UC Santa Barbara and USC Upstate.

Their only losses in preseason play came to Duke, Baylor and BYU.

With a roster comprised of mostly freshmen, the Sun Devils are in a rebuilding year after a 21-13 record in 2007-2008 - which included an NIT appearance - and a 25-10 record last year when they made it into the NCAA tournament. They made it to the second round before being upended by Syracuse.

Standing in at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, the Latvian national Kuksiks has developed into a solid player and is still just a junior. He is averaging 11.4 points, three rebounds and one steal per game. He is shooting 41 percent from the field and 82 percent from the charity stripe.

Also contributing to the cause so far has been their senior leader Glasser, a 6-foot-1 point guard, who is averaging 11.1 points on 43 percent shooting from the floor and an impressive 89 percent from the charity stripe. He is also averaging 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

A name that most from the Seattle area will recognize is McMillan. Not only is he the son of Seattle Sonics legend Nate McMillian, but he is also a graduate of O'Dea High School. He is living up to his dad's reputation with solid defensive play (1.3 steals per game), and also making a name for himself on the offensive end, scoring 8.7 points per game on a solid 51 percent from the field and 45 percent from beyond the arc. In the last five games he is averaging 12.2 points.

Perhaps the most interesting story on the team is that of Eric Boateng, who came to ASU by way of Duke, where he felt his playing time would be limited. A native of England, Boateng found his way to Delaware before going to Duke, where he was the No. 3 rated center in the class of 2005. Now a senior he is a physical specimen, standing in at 6-foot-10, 245 pounds, and is proving to be a solid role player. He is averaging eight points per game on an impressive 66 percent from the field and is also pulling in 6.3 rebounds.

As a team they have been solid with the ball in their hands, only averaging 11.3 turnovers per game. They are also averaging 68.1 points and 47 percent shooting from the field. They have limited their opponents to 55.2 points per game, which is the second lowest in the league to date.

Following the ASU game, the Huskies will take on the Arizona Wildcats (7-7, 1-1) Sunday at 2:30 PST. Top Stories