The Sun Devils enter Gill tonight a more complete team than in years past. “Past couple years they were more of a shooting team behind the arc," Joe Burton said Tuesday. "Now they're more all-around. They can drive. They can dunk on you. They can shoot.”
If the Beavers want to walk away with a win tonight, here are a few things they should do:
As evidenced in the Civil War, the Beavers came out hot in the first half. The had the lead. They were out-rebounding the Ducks. Joe Burton was on fire in Sky Hook City.
Second half, consistency waned, the Ducks crashed the boards harder, Burton let a few mistakes get to him, and a 15-2 run turns into an 11 point win for Oregon. Ahmad Starks said "maybe they wanted it more" in the second half. Maybe so, but that "want to" needs to carry on till the last buzzer.
2. Find Leadership on the Court
Coach Robinson said he can be the rah-rah guy on the sidelines, but someone has to be the guy to get shake them out of any negativity on the court. Angus Brandt was that guy. Roberto Nelson told me he wants to be that guy. Will he make good on his word tonight?
3. Better Transition Defense
The Ducks took advantage of the Beavers on many a transition basket. The Sun Devils are fast.
4. Find Success Against the Zone Match-Up
Roberto Nelson, "We need to get the ball to the post. Play more inside out. Get the ball to the big guys like Joe, Eric and Devon. It will open up shots for Ahmad and I.”
5. Ahmad Starks Needs to Keep Up the Good Work
Coming off 22 points Sunday is a good way to enter conference play. The Sun Devils are third in the nation in blocks per game (8.0), led by junior Jordan Bachynski's 69.
69! That's has as many blocks as 299 schools entering this week combined.
Starks seems up for the challenge, "They've been holding teams to a good percentage, but if we do what we need to do we can find ways to up that percentage and win the game.”
6. Out-Rebound Their Opponent
Burton said Tuesday that "Devon, Eric, they can get the rebounds. We've got to take advantage and crash the boards even harder, even Ahmad....mostly we need to get the defensive boards. Then run 'n gun.”
7. Improve the Inside Game
Find ways to score around the basket, find success.
8. Stop Carrick Felix
The senior has taken 34 more shots than anyone else in the top-10, and has taken 51 three-pointers. The seven players ahead of him have taken a total of 10 three-pointers.
In the past 28 games Jordan Bachynski is 106-163 (.650). He has 69 blocks on the year, tied for fourth-best in Sun Devil history . Senior Carrick Felix is averaging 16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, has 20 blocks and is shooting 76-of-133 (.571) from the field and 17-of-42 (.405) from the three-point stripe in past 12 games. Freshman Jahii Carson (who was nearly a Beaver) is averaging a Pac-12 best 35.9 minutes per game, the best mark by a freshman in Sun Devil history.
ASU has had less turnovers than its opponent in six of the past eight games and in the past nine games is averaging 11.3 turnovers per tilt. In the first six games they were at 15.5 turnovers per game.
Freshman Jahii Carson is averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats, no freshman has averaged 17 points and five assists in a season since Shaheen Holloway of Seton Hall in 1996-97 (17.3/6.3)...has led or shared the team lead in scoring in nine games this season..
VS. THE BEAVERS Coach Sendek is 8-3 vs. Oregon State in his six years at Arizona State including a 3-2 in Corvallis...ASU is 23-12 against Oregon State in Tempe since it joined the Pac-10 in 1978-79. It is its most wins in Tempe against any team and is 13-20 in Corvallis...ASU shot .592 from the field (29-of-49), the fourth-best shooting percentage in a Pac-10/12 game under Coach Sendek in the ASU win last season.