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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Arizona State Sun Devils (Game 17)

Can the Beavers bounce back against a cooling Sun Devils group?

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Utah Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils (13-3)

  • Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 2nd Overall
  • Head Coach: Bobby Hurley (3rd Season)
  • Top Performer: Tra Holder (20.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG)
  • Points For: 88.3 PPG (8th)
  • Points Against: 74.2 PPG (228th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 76-72 Loss v. Oregon (1L)

The Skinny

Unfortunately for the Beavers, there are simply no breaks when it comes to the grind of conference play.

After a hard-fought road loss at the hands of Arizona, Oregon State had a day to regroup before traveling to meet up with 11th-ranked Arizona State on Saturday afternoon. For head coach Wayne Tinkle and company, it’s as good of an opportunity as they’ve had this season to pick up a signature win.

Especially as the Beavers currently sit at 2-2 in conference play, with a real chance for their solid start to the campaign to begin to spoil.

The good news for Oregon State is that they’re catching the Sun Devils at the right time, as the group has recently begun to cool off from their torrid start to the season, which was capped by stand-out victories over Kansas and Xavier. Arizona State has dropped three of their first four games to begin conference play and is coming off a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Oregon.

For a coach that was hitting all the right buttons to start the season, Sun Devils’ head coach Bobby Hurley simply hasn’t been able to figure out his group as of late.

There’s no doubt that Arizona State will come out firing as always on Saturday afternoon, led by high-scoring guards Tra Holder (20.9 PPG) and Shannon Evans II (17.1 PPG), but Hurley will simply need more from his squad in order to hold off what should be an excited Beavers group. Swing-man Kodi Justice (14.1 PPG) needs to continue his hot streak, while the freshman combo of forward Romello White (12.5 PPG) and guard Remy Martin (9.8 PPG) have to re-find their roles within in this roster.

If that doesn’t happen for the Sun Devils on Saturday, the door is very much ajar for the Beavers.

Now, it’s a question of if Oregon State will be able to seize the opportunity laid out before them.

Players To Watch

Tra Holder (SR - Guard): The prolific guard has had a tendency to be a high volume scorer, but that’s all part of the way things are done for the Sun Devils. Holder has scored at least 11 points in all but one game this season (St. John’s), while averaging a team-high 13.8 shot attempts per night. For better or worse, Holder always finds a way to have his impact on Arizona State’s chances.

Shannon Evans II (SR - Guard): Evans’ ability to stretch the floor (he’s connected on 9 three-pointers in his last two contests) and get to the free-throw stripe, has blossomed the 6’ 1” guard into a perfect running mate for Holder. The duo account for 38 points per night, meaning the pressure will be heavy on Oregon State’s back-court pieces away from easy opportunities in transition.

Kodi Justice (SR - Guard): A likeable talent who has continued to develop during his time with the program, it’s only fitting that Justice’s breakout senior campaign has come during Arizona State’s best statistical year so far. The 6’ 5” swing-man can open things up for this group and keep the floor spaced, but he’s also improved his ability to make “winning plays” for this team, as well.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, January 13th
  • Time: 3:00 PM PT
  • Location: Wells Fargo Arena (Tempe, AZ)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network