Following a disappointing 85-57 home loss against Arizona on Thursday, Stanford men’s basketball (10-6, 3-3 Pac-12) will have a quick turnaround as it welcomes the Wildcats’ in-state counterpart, the Arizona State Sun Devils, (6-9, 2-3 Pac-12) to Palo Alto on Saturday night.
After a disappointing 2020-2021 season and the loss of star guards Remy Martin and Josh Christopher to Kansas and the NBA, a bleak 2021-2022 basketball season seemed to be on the horizon for ASU. That’s exactly what has happened thus far: the Sun Devils have struggled this season, ranking as one of the worst teams in the Pac-12. If ASU continues their poor play, head coach Bobby Hurley will certainly be on the hot seat heading into the offseason. In his seven-year tenure as ASU’s head coach, Hurley has made the postseason only twice.
The Sun Devils have a trio of double-digit scorers: sophomore guard DJ Horne, sophomore forward Marcus Bagley — brother of NBA player Marvin Bagley III — and senior forward Kimani Lawrence. Leading the team with a scoring average of 13.3 points per game and efficient shooting from three, Horne is the player the Cardinal must key in on to stop the ASU offense. Horne is difficult to guard because he can hit shots spotting up, off-the-dribble, and has a mid-range game that complements his three-point shooting. Senior guard Marreon Jackson, a transfer from Toledo, is ASU’s best passer, leading the team in assists. Forward Kimani Lawrence has been the Sun Devils’ best inside scorer this year, averaging 10.9 points per game and 51% shooting from the field.
This Arizona State team has been very poor offensively this year, scoring only 29 points the entire game in a loss against Washington State. Stanford cannot allow a poor offensive team like ASU to get momentum and put up points against them.
On offense, Stanford could use their size to disrupt ASU’s defensive attack. ASU is not a very big team, with only one player above 6-foot-6 in the starting lineup. Players like sophomore forward Brandon Angel, senior forward Lukas Kisunas and freshman center Maxime Raynaud could see increased playing time to create size mismatches against the Sun Devils. In addition, freshman forward Harrison Ingram can use his size to initiate the offense from the post against this undersized Arizona State team. As seen throughout the season, Ingram is adept at using his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame to bully opponents to get easy baskets for himself or his teammates.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m P.T Saturday at Maples Pavilion. This will be the Cardinal’s last home contest without fans.