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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

January 22, 2011 at 5:48 AM

Scouting report: Arizona State

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Photo credit: Seattle Times – Cliff DesPeaux

ARIZONA STATE
Game info:
1 p.m. Saturday at Edmundson Pavilion
TV/Radio: FSN/KJR-950 AM
Record: 9-9, 1-5 Pac-10. RPI rank: 135.
Previous game: Lost 78-61 at Washington State.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Prediction: Picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in a media poll.
Coach: Herb Sendek is 85-65 in his fifth season with the Sun Devils and 339-223 in 18 years.
Series: Arizona State leads 36-34 in a series that began in 1977. ASU won six straight from 1979-81 and 14 straight from 1990-96. Washington has won 14 of the past 17 games. Sendek is 3-7 vs. UW and coach Lorenzo Romar is 14-5 against ASU. The Sun Devils split last year’s series. Both teams won at home.
Last meeting: Washington won 79-56 on Feb. 6, 2010 at Edmundson Pavilion. Isaiah Thomas and former UW star Quincy Pondexter each scored 17 points and collected seven rebounds. Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 12 points and nine rebounds. The Huskies led 42-25 at halftime and cruised to a 23-point victory.


PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Washington recruited senior guard Ty Abott (above middle), however, the Phoenix-area standout decided to stay close to home. He had a breakout year last season and was chosen to the 10-player All-Pac-10 team. His scoring average has improved slightly this season, but many believed he’d have a bigger impact. Still Abbott is ASU’s best player. He shoots more three-pointers than anyone else and makes 40 percent. He also averages a team-high 34 minutes per game. Abbott missed a game due to a knee bruise.
— Sophomore guard Trent Lockett has made the biggest improvement statistically among the Sun Devils. Last season he averaged 6.7 points and this season he’s second among ASU players at 13.3. Lockett is the anti-Sun Devil. He doesn’t take a lot of three-pointers and does a great job of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line where he is 70 percent shooter. Lockett can be an explosive player and he’s topped 20 points twice this season.
— Abbott and Lockett may ASU’s best players, but former O’Dea High standout Jamelle McMillan (above right) is arguably the team’s most important player. In the past two seasons when he became a full-time starter, ASU is 28-16 (.636) with McMillan and 3-4 (.429) without. McMillan missed two games this season due to a groin injury and ASU lost to Stanford and California. The former O’Dea High standout and son of former Sonics player and coach Nate McMillan will play his final collegiate game in Seattle today.
OVERVIEW:
— Sophomore forward Carrick Felix and reserve junior guard Brandon Dunson did not make the trip to Pullman because they had the flu. Both players have rejoined the team and will be available today.
— Felix is critical for the Sun Devils. He’s averaging 13.6 points in his past five games, which ties for the team lead. In those five games, he’s averaging 31.2 minutes (second on the team). He’s also the leading free throw shooter 14-of-18 (.778) and rebounder (3.6 boards) while second on team with 12 assists.
— Felix transferred to ASU this season after playing at College of Southern Idaho. He was a teammate of Washington’s Aziz N’Diaye.
— Senior sharpshooter Rihards Kuksiks may have fallen off a bit this season, but the Huskies won’t soon forget what he did against them in their first meeting last season. Kuksiks torched UW for 27 points including five three-pointers in a 68-51 ASU victory. He also had nine rebounds. Kuksiks is one of three Sun Devils who has played in all 18 games this season.
— The Sun Devils play a 3-2 matchup zone, which is unlike any other in the Pac-10. Just because it’s unique doesn’t mean it’s effective. ASU is allowing 68.6 points per game to conference teams, which is sixth in the Pac-10.
— Sendek is using a 10-man rotation and it seems he’s desperately looking for someone to step up among the reserves. Abbott, Kuksiks and McMillan were supposed to carry the team that many expected to contend for another conference title. ASU finished second last year in the Pac-10. Lockett and Felix, however, have been the first-half stars.
— The Sun Devils are the only team in the Pac-10 that has two 7-footers in the rotation. Seven-footer Ruslan Pateev has played in every game and started seven while 7-2 freshman Jordan Bachynski has appeared in 11 games.
— Reserve freshman wing Chanse Creekmur is not wit the team due to the passing of his grandmother.
— In its six Pac-10 games ASU has had its full roster once (80- 69 loss at Arizona on Jan. 15).
— In the past four years, ASU is 17-10 (.627) in games of five points or less. It’s the best mark in the Pac-10.
— Sendek has eight former assistants who are Division I head coaches, which is the most of any coach in the country. His coaching tree includes: Sean Miller (Arizona), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Mark Phelps (Drake), John Groce (Ohio), Jim Christian (TCU), Charlie Cross (Miami (OH)), Larry Hunter (Western Carolina) and Ron Hunter (IUPUI).
STARTING LINEUP:
F – Rihards Kuksiks, 6-6, 210, Sr., 9.4 ppg., 2.6 rpg.
F/C – Ruslan Pateev, 7-0, 231, So., 3.2, 2.3
G – Trent Lockett, 6-4, 211, So., 13.3, 5.6
G – Ty Abbott, 6-3, 207, Sr., 13.5, 3.8
G – Jamelle McMillan, 6-2, 180, Sr., 6.2, 4.2 apg.
KEY MATCHUP:
— Who defends Matthew Bryan-Amaning? Theoretically, the 6-foot-9 Washington forward could have a big day if he’s able to find the seams inside Arizona State’s zone. The Sun Devils seemingly don’t have the size up front to stop him and N’Diaye. Rebounds as always are the key. In conference-only games, Washington is the best Pac-10 team with a plus 9.0 rebounding margin while Arizona State is the worst at minus 10.8. It should also be fun watching McMillan square off against Isaiah Thomas , who has played the best basketball of his collegiate career in recent weeks. And keep an eye on Kuksiks. It will be interesting to see who matches up against him. In the first game against ASU, Romar assigned a big man and Kuksiks ran off screens to get free. In the second game, Justin Holiday (above left) held Kuksiks to eight points.

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