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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Arizona State Sun Devils (Game 16)

Arizona State slipped up on the road at Stanford. What will they bring into Thursday’s clash against Oregon State?

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils (11-5)

  • Head Coach: Bobby Hurley (4th Season)
  • Top Performer: Luguentz Dort (17.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG)
  • Points For: 79.8 PPG (T-53rd)
  • Points Against: 73.3 PPG (T-224th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 85-71 Loss at Stanford (1L)

The Skinny

Since the Sun Devils December 7th letdown defeat the hands of Nevada - a game in which Arizona State squandered a double-digit halftime lead - head coach Bobby Hurley’s squad has fallen back into their old puzzling ways.

Another epic start to the season has dried up and the boys from Tempe have posted a 4-5 overall mark over their past nine games, headlined by their stunning victory over then-top ranked Kansas and subsequent defeats at the hands of Princeton and Utah. So it’s no surprise at all that the Sun Devils head into Thursday’s meeting with Oregon State coming off a perplexing loss on the road at Stanford.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Arizona State
It’s been a season of extreme highs and lows for the Sun Devils so far.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

What a ride it’s been already for Arizona State.

The main issue for Arizona State as the moment is that they’re already 2-2 in league play, meaning any more slip-ups will be severely detrimental to their March hopes. It’s why Bobby Hurley will need one of his key star guards in Luguentz Dort (17.1 PPG) or Remy Martin (12.6 PPG) to come through with an outing worthy of a team ready to set their season on the right path.

But it can’t simply just come in scoring column. The Sun Devils are allowing 77.0 points per game to opponents in Pac-12 play and in their two league defeats, Arizona State has allowed opponents in Utah and Stanford to score an average of 90.5 points per contest.

No team can reasonably expect to win playing that type of defense.

The Sun Devils have more than enough scoring options between Dort, Martin, Zylan Cheatham (11.9 PPG), Kimani Lawrence (10.6 PPG), Rob Edwards (10.3 PPG) and Romello White (9.1 PPG) but it’ll all come down to their focus defensively against a Beavers team who is playing with confidence and momentum in their sails at the moment.

If nothing else, expect a full forty-minute battle between these two squads on Thursday night in the desert.

Player To Watch

Luguentz Dort (Freshman): With a build reminiscent of former Arizona stand-out Rawle Alkins and a game that ranks among the best guards in the country, Montreal native Luguentz Dort has been a prime-time impact talent for Bobby Hurley in Tempe. Dort leads the team in scoring and steals per contest and is probably the most confounding match-up issue for the Beavers heading into Thursday’s clash.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Arizona State
Luguentz Dort is not only playing his way into the upper echelon of the Pac-12, but also onto NBA Draft boards as well.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

  • Date: Thursday, January 17th
  • Time: 7:00 PM PT
  • Location: Wells Fargo Arena (Tempe, AZ)
  • Coverage: Fox Sports 1