Tag:Sun Devils
Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:42 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2009 2:20 pm

#6 Arizona State Sun Devils (NCAA)

#6 Arizona State Sun Devils 25-9 (11-7 Pac-10)


Arizona State Starting Lineup:

G Derrick Glasser Jr.

G Ty Abbott Soph.

G James Harden Soph.

G/F Rihards Kuksiks Soph.

F Jeff Pendergraph Sr.


Key Bench Players:

G Jamelle McMillan Soph.

G Jerren Shipp Jr.

C Eric Boateng Jr.


Previous Game:  In the first round of the tournament Arizona State defeated the Temple Owls 66-57.  Veteren Jeff Pendergraph led Arizona State with 22 points and 7 rebounds, point guard Derrick Glasser had a career high 22 points shooting 6 for 8 from the field.  All American James Harden was shut down as he shot just 1-8 from the field and had only 9 points, 11 off his average.


Game Preview:  Friday Syracuse got its first tournament win since 2004.  Now that that's out of the way Syracuse is looking to make a run to the Motor City.  In their way, the Arizona State Sun Devils led by All American guard James Harden.  Harden is averaging 20 points per game on the season along with 5 assists.  Syracuse will need to key on him because he can create, dish and score and if he gets off it will be a long day.  Arizona State, like the Orange, lost in their Conference Tournament Championship.  ASU lost to a hot USC team in the title game, one of the reasons for the loss was foul trouble, a common thread in all of ASU's losses.  In all 9 of ASU's losses James Harden, Jeff Pendergraph or both have had 4 or more fouls.  Having your two best players in foul trouble is never good, but couple that with the fact that ASU really only has Pendergraph in the post and it makes for a rough outing.  If Syracuse can get the ball inside to Onuaku, Jackson and hopefully a healthy Ongenaut, and get Pendergraph in early foul trouble it will force ASU to go small or put in their raw center Eric Boateng, which is a huge advantage to Cuse.  On the offensive end, Syracuse arguably had their worst shooting game of the season against Stephen F. Austin, they shot 45% overall but from 3 point range Cuse was just 2/16 or 12.5%.  It is unlikey Cuse will have two games in a row with shooting like that, especially against a zone defense like ASU's.  Syracuse should go inside out against Arizona States' zone, dump the ball in to Onuaku and Jackson to work Pendergraph then kick it out for the open three.  On defense Cuse, Onuaku and Jackson specifically, needs to guard the middle of the 2-3, as Pendergraph will be stationed at the high post looking for that easy 14-16 foot jumpshot.  If he doesn't get that he'll look to kick it to the many ASU shooters.  Harden has made 57 3's (36%), Kuksiks 85 (44%), Glasser 41 (41%), Abbott 38 (26%), McMillan 31 (36%) and Shipp 14 (32%).  At least 3 of these guys will be on the court at any time and even though Syracuse is top 5 in the nation in FG% defense will they be able to cover all these shooters in the 2-3 zone?  Or will they be forced into man?


My Prediction:  ASU has been good all season.  We all know James Harden is going to be a lottery pick and Flynn is right up there with him.  What this game comes down to is rather or not ASU can stop Onuaku, Jackson and a returning Ongenaut in the post and if Syracuse can hold down the the ASU shooters along with Harden.  ASU may come out a bit slow, as the tip is 10:10 a.m. their time, but it should be a relatively high scoring game as 3's rain down in Miami from both teams.  Onuaku, Jackson and Ongenaut eventually just overpower ASU and Cuse prevails 84-75.


Final Score: 78-67 Syracuse




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