The Washington Huskies and Arizona State Sun Devils meet Tuesday night at Desert Financial Arena, in the first game of their two-game series in the Grand Canyon State. Washington looks to make it two wins in a row and leap the Sun Devils in the standings, while Arizona State has lost back-to-back games and three of their last four overall, and aims to stop the bleeding. Both teams come filled with talent but haven’t been able to put together much consistency on the season, and will look to Tuesday’s meeting to trend in the right direction as we move into March.
Huskies Finding MomentumWashington has quietly put together a nice run of games, winning two of their last four, but still are sitting in second-to-last place in the PAC-12 standings. Starting on February 13th, the Huskies were able to play UCLA to a one-possession game, win on the road against in-state rival Washington, and after dropping a home game to Stanford, defeated Cal at home over the weekend.
The Huskies have talent but have taken a step back in Mike Hopkins’ fourth season in charge after back-to-back 20 win seasons in years one and two. The Huskies have a former McDonalds All-American in former Kentucky transfer Quade Green. While leading the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) and assists (3.4 apg), his scoring punch hasn’t been as expected upon his arrival. The Huskies also brought in one of the most highly coveted transfers this past off-season in Erik Stevenson (9.0 ppg), from Wichita State, but have struggled to get him to find the shooting form that made him so dangerous in the AAC the last few years. One pleasant surprise of late though has been Marcus Tsohonis (10.5 ppg), who is averaging nearly 17 points per game over his four games, and has a knack for keeping control of the ball from the point guard position.
Gearing up for a three-game road trip.— Washington Men's Basketball (@UW_MBB) February 22, 2021
First test: Washington faces Arizona State tomorrow, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks. #TougherTogether
A major concern for Washington will be on the defensive side of things, as their 199th ranked defense in terms of efficiency, according to Haslametrics, takes on Arizona State’s 77th ranked most efficient offense. The Huskies also give up 84.99 field goal attempted per 100 possessions, which ranks 318th nationally according to Haslametrics. Arizona State’s efficiency, and their ability to get more shots off, and get to the free-throw line at a higher rate, might put pressure on Washington’s offense. Washington will have the advantage inside, with or without potential Sun Devil injuries though, and will need to capitalize on second-chance opportunities and control the defensive boards to make the most of their opportunity to continue to rise in the conference standings.
Sun Devils Continue To DisappointArizona State has fallen hard off of finding themselves second in the conference’s preseason poll, but they still have the talent and experience to dominate on any given night. While Bobby Hurley’s bunch can kiss away any chance at the NCAA Tournament, this is still a team that has the potential to be a tough out in the PAC-12 tournament and is looking at every game as an opportunity to get the ball rolling. The Sun Devils are still ranked 99th by KenPom and boast a quartet of double-digit scorers to give Washington’s defense fits.
Remy Martin (20.2 ppg, 3.9 apg) is the star of the show every night and has led the Sun Devils in scoring in each of the last seven games. The injury bug though could wreak havoc on the rest of the supporting cast though. Second-leading scorer Josh Christopher (14.3 ppg) will miss Tuesday’s game with a leg injury, while Alonzo Verge Jr. (13 ppg), Marcus Bagley (11.8 ppg), and Jalen Graham (7.9 ppg), are all questionable to play on Tuesday for a variety of reasons. The Sun Devils were missing Bagley and Christopher over the weekend though, and still led a talented UCLA team all the way into the final minute, but additionally being without Verge Jr. and Graham might be too much to overcome.
If healthy, Arizona State should have the offense to stay away from Washington but will need to find ways to battle on the offensive and defensive glass, especially without a few of their top rebounders potentially. The Sun Devils play the 21st fastest pace in the country, according to Haslametrics, and will be at an advantage with how potent their offense is, and how much scoring and shots Washington typically allows. The three-point like could be the difference. The Sun Devils shoot almost the same as the Huskies from deep, and whichever team can convert their chances from deep while defending their opponent on the perimeter, will have the leg up in this one.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are: - Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. - The road team is 22-10 ATS in the last 32 meetings.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are: - Sun Devils are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win. - Sun Devils are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. - Sun Devils are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. - Sun Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. - Sun Devils are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a losing straight-up record.