Arizona State Basketball had a brutal non-conference schedule last season which included two eventual top seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils ended up being the last undefeated team in the country while finishing those games 12-0 with commanding wins over Kansas on the road and Xavier at a neutral site. They were ranked No. 3 in the nation before their first defeat at Arizona and eventual struggle in the Pac-12.

This season, ASU’s schedule prior to their conference opener against Utah should be very difficult once again. Highlights include with a rematch against Kansas in Tempe, Nevada in Los Angeles and Mississippi State in Las Vegas.

The Sun Devils’ schedule starts off very manageable with home games against Cal State Fullerton, McNeese State and Long Beach State and a road matchup at San Francisco, who the Devils beat 75-57 last year.

In all four games ASU should be favored, but there could be a lot of shuffling and trial-and-error. The Devils will have a vastly different look than last year. Their top three scorers, Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice, have graduated, taking their volume outside shooting with them. This year the squad has more size and depth on the bench, but shooting from deep could be a lot less prominent.

Credit @hollywood_XI twitter

Head coach Bobby Hurley’s bunch better have it together by November 19, when they participate in the MGM Resorts Main-Event/Las Vegas Games. They start that mini tournament against Mississippi State and will end it with either Utah State or Saint Mary’s, who finished last season ranked in the AP Top 25. MSU finished 25-12 last season and have returned each of their top five scorers. Sports Illustrated ranked the Bulldogs the 18th best team entering the campaign.

 

After that potential tough stretch in Vegas, the Devils have a couple of easier games before they take on the Wolfpack. Nevada was a surprisingly successful team last season finishing 29-8 with the 18th best scoring offense. Caleb and Cody Martin are back from that group, along with Jordan Caroline. That trio put up 50.6 points per game last year en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Following the Nevada game and a two-game SEC road trip, the Kansas Jayhawks will come to Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe for their rematch. Kansas has a lot of hype surrounding their team once again, as Bill Self’s program has reloaded with a couple of strong transfers and incoming recruits. They also return dynamic big man Udoka Azubuike and regular starter Lagerald Vick.

Credit @Mitchlightfoot Twitter

ASU shot lights out from deep in order to secure a win at Allen Fieldhouse last December, but that will unlikely be the case this year. This year the Devils have a lot of length, with 12 players in the program standing 6-foot-4 or taller, and their emphasis on shooting from the perimeter will most likely be diminished. It will take a different type of effort to beat the Jayhawks again this year.

The Sun Devils retained their bigs Romello White and De’Quon Lake, as well as added 7-footer Uros Plavsic. 6-foot-8 wings Taeshon Cherry (ASU top recruit) and San Diego State transfer Zylan Cheatam (9.1 points per game as a sophomore) highlight the team’s cache of wing players, ending what was known as “Guard U” and turning into something like “small forward U”.

Credit @mellosworld_23 Twitter

Arizona State “lived by the three and died by the three” a lot last year, mostly because of their personnel which strained their defense. This new bunch has a chance to thrive in the areas where last year’s squad failed, which should be an exciting prospect for Hurley.

Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
×
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
Latest Posts

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.