Game 23 Preview: Oregon State at Arizona State

Oregon State at Arizona State  /  Thursday, Feb. 11 - 5:30 PM  /  No TV, Radio on KPAM 860

Winners of two of their last three, the Oregon State men's basketball team begins one of two remaining road trips tomorrow night with a game against Arizona State, a team they lost by nine to back on January 16. 

The Beavers have reason to be confident heading into the road trip, as the overall team morale seems to be rising after a big Civil War win and a moderately successful first half to the Pac-10 season. The Beavers are still underachieving by the standards of many, but that only leaves room for improvement for the second half of the Pac-10 slate. 

Once again, to review... here's what OSU accomplished in the Civil War game: 

  • Largest margin of victory (62-42) for the Beavers over the Ducks since a 94-51 victory in 1982
  • First Civil War season sweep since the 1992-1993,
  • The Beavers tallied 20 assists and scored 21 baskets, playing primarily against a zone defense. Who does that?!?!?

In the January 16 game against the Sun Devils, the Beavers found themselves knocking on the door of what would have been an upset, as well as a sweep of the Arizona schools. Trailing by just one at intermission, the Beavers let ASU run away with the lead in the second half. AndyPanda summed up what happened nicely in his postgame recap:

The game got away from the Beavers early in the second half, when the Sun Devils answered Seth Tarver's initial basket with a 9-0 run that started a 22-9 ASU run to the games' biggest margin of 14 points with just under 12 minutes left. Ty Abbott accounted for 13 of 15 points for ASU in the heart of the run, including four three pointers, three of them in a row. Abbott went on to lead all shooters with five three pointers, and was the game's high scorer, with 21 points. 18 of those were in the second half.

OSU rallied behind back to back three pointers by Calvin Haynes, who led the Beavers with four threes, and 17 points. But the Beavers never got within closer than four points with their comeback.

Arizona State is one of the five teams currently sitting in second place in the Pac-10. They're 6-5 in Pac-10 play on the year after a win against WSU and a loss to UW last week. 

More insight on how the Sun Devils fared last week from Pitchfork Nation

As remarkable as it sounds, it's still an actual statistical probability that every team in the Pac-10 could finish 9-9. After last week's split in Washington, it looks more and more like that's where the Sun Devils will end up this season. After a solid win in Pullman, a place where last year's team was stunningly upset on a Taylor Rochestie buzzer-beater, the Devils went out and absolutely blew it in Seattle. Ironically, Saturday's game had first-place ramifications for the second consecutive year, but this time around, ASU didn't even put up a fight and that's disappointing. It's also, sadly, expected - Washington outclassed and stayed cooler than the Devils when they found themselves in an early shooting hole. 

Okay, so Arizona State is right in the mix with a whole bunch of other Pac-10 teams... what sets them apart? 

On paper, ASU's strength lies on defense and scoring from the three-point stripe. They currently have the second-best defense in terms of points and percentage allowed, trailing only USC. They lead the Pac-10 in three-point percentage at 38 percent, and shoot a fairly healthy 46 percent from the field. Ty Abbott and Derek Glasser lead the ASU three-point shooting charge, and Rihards Kuksiks leads the team with 12.7 points per game. The Sun Devils are also are good at taking care of the ball, which help to justify the fact that they're one of the Pac-10's worst when it comes to rebounding. 

Some personnel quick-hits:

  • JR G Ty Abbott has scored in double digits in each of the last nine games, averaging 17.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in that stretch of games. Hhe's connected on 33-of-68(.485) from three-point range in that span.
  • SO G Jamelle McMillan ranks ninth nationally in assist/turnover ratio (2.95).
  • FR G Demetrius Walker scored a career high 14 points in the loss at Washington,hitting 5-of-7 from the field..
  • SR G Derek Glasser snapped a small drought from three-point range. Hitting all four attempts in two games last weekend.He was 0-of-11 in the previous four games.

Let's do this!

--Jake | (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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