When and where: November 16, 2018, War Memorial Gymnasium, San Francisco, CA, 9:00 PM ET
One team will suffer their first loss of the season on Friday when the Arizona State Sun Devils take on the San Francisco Dons. The Sun Devils have won their last three straight home games, including a recent blowout win over Long Beach State. Meanwhile, the Dons have also strung together a three-game win streak with their last win coming against Sonoma State.
McCarthy’s double-double lifts the Dons
Jordan Ratinho is getting most of the attention after scoring a team-high 20 points in the Dons win over Sonoma State on Monday night, but the real story of the game was Mike McCarthy’s double-double coming off the bench. The senior forward was a monster on the boards throughout the entire game, as well as having the hot hand as a shooter. He finished the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
— USF Basketball (@USFDonsMBB) November 13, 2018
Those that have been quick to chalk McCarthy’s sensational night up as a fluke performance haven’t been paying attention. He has scored double-digit figures and contributed five-plus rebounds in all three games the Dons have played so far this season.
While he may not be the most talented player on the floor, he is a scrappy forward that will fight for every statistic he gets. His mere presence has been a relief for the Dons when they need a spark from the second unit.
Sharing is caring at Arizona State
Don’t expect to find any egos over at Arizona State, especially after the team’s performance on Monday against Long Beach State. Every starter on the roster scored in double figures for a 90-58 rout. It was never a situation where players were simply standing around waiting to have the ball in their hands. The ball movement by the Sun Devils was a thing of beauty as they systematically broke down Long Beach State’s defense.
They let their ball distribution define them more so than their individual talent, which could pay off when they start facing better competition.
🔨 KIMANI 🔨 pic.twitter.com/WkXvJUJTkg
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) November 13, 2018
This could be one of the surprise teams this season to make a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament, if the offense continues to exhibit this sort of unselfish play. Sophomore guard Remy Martin led the team with 15 points and five rebounds
- Dons are 8-18 ATS in their last 26 games after a win
- Dons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Friday
- Dons are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games against teams in the Pacific-12
- Dons are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games played at home
- Sun Devils are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games after a win of more than 20 points
- Sun Devils are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Friday
- Sun Devils are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 non-conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite a near collapse in the second half, the Sun Devils had their way with the Dons a year ago. Most of the faces are different this time around, but I don’t envision the end result going any differently. McCarthy should remember that game very well since he was held scoreless.
The Sun Devils are the more polished team offensively and defensively. Until the Dons prove they can get the job done against strong opposition on a consistent basis, they’ll continue to be a hard sell against a talented team like Arizona State. The ball distribution exhibited by the Sun Devils will present the greatest problem for the Dons. Unless the Sun Devils simply fail to knock down open shots, they should be able to spread the floor and dominate off the pick-and-roll.
Martin scored double figures against the Dons last year when the two teams met. He should have an even bigger impact this year as both a scorer and a facilitator. The Dons are also a team that typically lives by three-point shooting. If the Sun Devils can contest the long-range shots, the Dons could be in serious trouble.
Prediction: Arizona State Sun Devils (-1.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 10-4-1 in the Dons last 15 games played at home and 11-5-2 for the Sun Devils’ last 18 games played on a Friday. Defense will be the factor that keeps the Dons from breaking the game wide open with their fiery three-point shooting. The streaky shooting has to cool at some point or another. Why not against a team that can actually play defense?