Dawgs Take On ASU In What Could Be Second-To-Last Home Game For Wroten, Ross

The Dawgs return to the friendly confines of Alaska Airlines Arena to face the Arizona schools this week. First up, Arizona State. The Sun Devils are essentially the same team that the Huskies faced two and a half weeks ago, with one exception: Trent Lockett is back. UW is looking to stay tied with California at the top of the standings, as the Bears take on a strong Oregon team tonight.

 

The Basics: 

8:00 p.m. PST. Alaska Airlines Arena. ROOT.

 

Washington Huskies (17-8; 10-3)       Arizona State Sun Devils (8-17; 4-9)

G

Abdul Gaddy

6’3                  

G

Trent Lockett

6’4

G

Tony Wroten

6’5

G

Carrick Felix

6’6

G/F

Terrence Ross

6’6

G/F

Jonathan Gilling

6’7

F

Desmond Simmons

6’7

F

Kyle Cain

6’7

C

Aziz N’Diaye

7’0

C

Jordan Bachynski

7’2

MORE AFTER THE JUMP!

Breaking Down Arizona State

Nothing much has changed for the Sun Devils in the last twenty days since facing the Dawgs besides their starting lineup. After his breakout game in the last matchup, freshman Jonathan Gillings has earned a starting role for the Sun Devils. Since these two last played, ASU looked like a new team in a home win over Washington State, but proceeded to get blown out by 20+ points against Cal and Stanford before splitting against Utah and Colorado.

Arizona State has struggled putting points on the board this season, ranking ninth in the conference with 60.3 points per game. To put this in perspective, the Dawgs have scored under 62 points just three times this entire season (one of them in their 60-54 win at ASU). ASU has been knocking down the three at a better rate recently, going from 29.5% to over 35% since last playing UW.  The Sun Devils have struggled crashing the boards this season, ranking tenth at 34.1 per game.

Lockett leads the team with 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. King had been averaging 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists. ASU brings some serious height to the table that will be able to match up against Aziz N’Diaye down low, starting Jordan Bachynski (7-2) and bringing seven-footer Rusian Pateev off the bench. Bachynski played a huge role off of the bench in the last matchup, scoring nine points and collecting 13 rebounds. Forward Jonathan Gilling stepped up for the Sun Devils in the last matchup and was the reason that UW could never quite pull away, finishing with a season-high 20 points and 5 rebounds.

 

The Starting 5: Keys to the Game

Terrence Ross: I had a nightmare last night where Ross declared for the draft this year. He might still do this, so we should all cherish what could be his last home stand as a Husky. Since playing ASU, Ross has slowly taken over the leader role, with Wroten fading.

Aziz N’Diaye: Aziz was only able to play 22 minutes before fouling out with just 5 points and 8 rebounds in the last matchup. With Aziz off the court, nobody on UW can come close to matching Arizona State’s twin towers down low.

Trent Lockett: UW hasn’t seen Lockett yet this season and many ASU pundits believe they would have won in Tempe if he had been on the floor. Lockett is easily the best player for the Sun Devils, but may struggle with the active and lengthy defenders UW can throw at him. His matchup will be a must watch the whole night.

ASU’s Defense: Arizona State ran a pesky zone last time that forced UW into 41% shooting from the field and just 1-8 from beyond the arc. The Huskies never completely figured out how to adjust to the Sun Devils’ zone in their last time out, hopefully a few weeks of film can do the trick.

Rebounding: ASU ranks tenth in the conference in rebounding. UW ranks first. One would assume that UW would absolutely dominate the glass against the Sun Devils. This was not the case in Tempe, as the Dawgs barely won the rebounding battle 35-34. ASU will really struggle to score if the Huskies can keep them off the boards.

 

Prediction

I advise every Husky fan in the greater-Seattle area to attend at least one of these two games this week. It is Darnell Gant’s last two games in Seattle, finishing one of the most successful careers that Washington basketball has seen.

This could also be the end for superb freshman Tony Wroten and prolific sophomore Terrence Ross. Catch them while you still can, as Wroten and Ross are both projected to be first round picks next year.

I don’t think UW has any trouble tonight, as ASU does not have enough firepower to keep up with the Dawgs offensively. 75-61 win for Romar’s Huskies.

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