Bobby Hurley and company had an incredibly up and down season last year, but with the help of returning, incoming, and transferring talent, the Sundevils look to claim their spot among the PAC-12 elite. Last season ASU peaked as high as number 4 in the college basketball rankings before struggling in conference play. The Sundevils made the NCAA tournament but had an earlier exit than most had expected, losing among the first four. Tra Holder finished his career with the Sundevils and now plays for the Auxilium Torino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A, however Bobby Hurley looks for his freshman sensation Taeshon Cherry for immediate impact. Cherry is the second most decorated high school recruit in school history, behind the one and only James Harden. Cherry’s stock rose significantly when he played against the one and only Bol Bol and Mater Dei at the 2017 Nike Extravaganza and didn’t back down, solidifying his spot as one of the nation’s elite, scoring 24 points and playing with tremendous confidence. Over the summer going into his senior season, Cherry suited up for the one and only Oakland Soldiers, the AAU team that LeBron James once played for. He took them to the Peach Jam, the Nike EYBL nationals, and led to to the title over the top talent in the United States. Hurley looks to mix Cherry with his more experienced players back into contention into the NCAA tournament.
Players To Watch:
Zylan Cheatam - Arizona native who played his first two years at San Diego State, is a high flying, unbelievable talent who looks to cap his final year of eligibility on a high note. Cheatam was a regular show stopper during his warm up shenanigans at SDSU as he can put together an ensemble of showman dunks that can win any dunk contest. He has been working hard in the off season and looks to suit up one more time and cause a ruckus in Tempe.
Remy Martin - was a blur last season, not because opponents did not know him, but because they could hardly see the lightning quick guard. The sophomore from Sierra Canyon High School was busy making plays in transition, spreading the ball, and making his way to the basket. Elite speed cannot be taught and Remy Martin is a flash in the truest sense of the word.
Taeshon Cherry - Sundevils hauled in a blue chip recruit when the services of Taeshon Cherry were available again after he had decided to recommit from USC. Dripped in controversy, Cherry was linked to Tony Bland, who was arrested in last year’s FBI investigation of the NCAA as Bland has known Taeshon since childhood. Cherry was supposedly named as a name in the investigation as a roster of players that were offered money to commit to certain schools. Also, Cherry was expelled last season from Foothills Christian High School before the San Diego CIF Final. Cherry’s fiery demeanor and tenacious spirit aligns with Bobby Hurley’s resume as a hard, tough nosed competitor
3 Key Non-Conference Games:
- 11/19 vs. Mississippi State - ASU looks to cap off the season in the MGM Main Event in Las Vegas, earning some early season wins to begin the season with a confidence builder and perhaps tournament championship
- 12/7 vs. Nevada - Arizona State is matched up in a Goliath of a match up against Eric Musselman’s dangerous Nevada team. They are ranked in the top ten, as last year they were upsetting teams left and right in the NCAA tournament. They return the Martin brothers, dangerous athletic three-point marksmen along with newcomer Jordan Brown, McDonald’s All American big man from Prolific Prep
- 12/22 vs. Kansas - Arizona State may be in a for Christmas present with a win against the Jayhawks at home, Kansas has scary freshman monster David McCormick, who spent his last two season’s of prep basketball at none other than Oak Hill Academy and scoring freshman machine Quentin Grimes.