Arizona State Sun Devils (19-8)
- Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 3rd Overall (19-6)
- Head Coach: Bobby Hurley (3rd Season)
- Top Performer: Tra Holder (18.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
- Points For: 83.8 PPG (20th)
- Points Against: 74.9 PPG (241st)
- Last Game/Streak: 75-68 Loss at Oregon (2L)
For a team that’s still fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, Arizona State sure didn’t look to have a sense of urgency on Thursday night against Oregon.
While the Ducks are a team trending upwards in the conference picture, the Sun Devils are suddenly finding themselves heading in the wrong direction away from the bubble, with the time left in the regular season slowly ticking away.
It seems lately to be more of a sign of teams across the Pac-12 figuring out Arizona State’s high-octane style than anything else, at the moment. Is there a chance that Oregon State can be the next unit in that equation on Saturday?
The Beavers will need to regroup on the fly from a brutal heart-breaking overtime loss to Arizona, where head coach Wayne Tinkle’s squad stood toe-to-toe with one of the country’s best teams for an excess of forty minutes. However, in a season of both great triumphs and letdowns for Oregon State, Thursday night seemed to be another display of just what shortcomings this program still holds within it’s dynamic. Even when they’re good, the Beavers just don’t seem to be good enough.
As the page turns onto Arizona State, Oregon State will need to focus on slowing down the well-publicized Sun Devils’ offensive attack, which has struggled in the team’s consecutive losses and seems to be the key to tearing apart their fluid style of play. If the Beavers can take a page out of the Ducks’ book and try to take Tra Holder (18.6 PPG) out of the mix, Oregon State may have a chance in this one.
But if they allow the contest to become an end-to-end affair, it’ll be the Beavers that’ll be looking back on their last home game of the regular season with scorn.
Prediction: Arizona State 81, Oregon State 77
Players To Watch
Tra Holder (SR - Guard): A high-scoring play-maker who stirs the pot for Arizona State, Holder was stunningly held scoreless on Thursday night against Oregon, after four-straight outings of at least 20 points. If anything, the Ducks may have lit a fire under the 6’ 1” guard, which could fuel an epic performance on Saturday night in Corvallis.
Shannon Evans II (SR - Guard): Usually dubbed as the more uncontrollable member of Arizona State’s back-court, Evans is always a hot-shooting stretch away from a prolific outing, due to his high volume approach. No one player can be described as a bigger spark-plug for the Sun Devils on the offensive side of things than Evans.
Romello White (FR - Forward): A freshman who has better fit into his role as the season progresses, as White continues to pick-and-choose his moments for Arizona State, he’ll likely keep finding himself in the good graces of head coach Bobby Hurley. The Sun Devils are looking for consistent front-court pieces and White has been that option as of late.
- Date: Saturday, February 24th
- Time: 5:00 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
- Coverage: ESPNU