NCAA Preview: Arizona State Sun Devils

Posted by rtmsf on March 16th, 2009

Arizona St. (#6 seed, South, Miami pod)

vs. Temple (#11 seed)

March 20th, at 2:45 P.M

Vegas Line: Arizona St. -5.5


Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Conference: Pac-10, at-large bid

Coach: Herb Sendek, 51-42 at Arizona State

08-09 Record: 24-9, 13-8 PAC-10

Last 12 Games: 8-4

Best Win: 74-67, v. UCLA, February 12th

Worst Loss: 64-74, v. Stanford, March 5th

Off. Efficiency Rating: 116.6/ 12th overall

Def. Efficiency Rating: 91.7/ 30th overall

Nuts n Bolts

Star Player(s): James Harden, 20.8 points/game, 5.4 rebounds/game, 4.1 assists/game, 50.4% FG; Jeff Pendergraph, 14.4 points/game, 8.5 rebounds/game, 66.5% FG

Unsung Hero: ·Derek Glasser, 8.0 points/game, 4.9 assists/game, 2.2/1 assists/turnover, 40.9% 3PT

Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): James Harden, projected 4th overall

Key Injuries: Jamelle McMillan (day-to-day)

Depth: 19.9%/337th overall, and McMillan is included in that statistic.

Achilles Heel: 337th overall as far as bench minutes are concerned is not going to cut it for Herb Sendek;s club. Even scarier is that the players that do come off the bench are not real difference makers, and their best bench player is McMillan. The Sun Devils will only go eight deep if they absolutely have to.

Will Make a Deep Run if…: If James Harden performs like he has all season, if the role players like Glasser and Rihard Kuksiks make their three-pointers, and if Jeff Pendergraph is able to assert himself in the paint, then the Sun Devils could make a deep run. Similar to Duke, Arizona State is thin inside and will need Pendergraph to play huge.

Will Make an Early Exit if…: If they play an athletic team that loves to push the tempo. The Sun Devils aren’t a bad defensive team, but they can be exploited at certain positions (see Glasser and Kuksiks). If a team gets out and runs against them the Sun Devils will eventually get tired, and there won’t be anyone on the bench to bail them out.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2003, Lost in 2nd round to Kansas (76-108)

Streak: 1

Best NCAA Finish: They made the Elite Eight in 1975.

Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): n/a


Six Degrees to Detroit: None

Distance to First Round Site: 2362 miles away from Miami, Florida

School’s Claim to Fame: Arizona State is a staple in the Top 10 of pretty much every “party” school ranking that has ever been conducted. The warm weather, attractive coed population, and large undergrad enrollment make it a good place to enroll if you are looking for fun and sun/

School Wishes It Could Forget: Along the same line, be careful what you wish for. Although there are tons of babes on campus, the Sun Devils ranked 119th out of 139th in Trojan Condom’s 2008 Sexual Health Report Card. Still better than the basketball team’s depth though.

Prediction: Often, teams that rely so heavily on one player are good bets to make an early exit, even if that player is as good as James Harden. The Sun Devils have a lot of moxie, and point guard Derek Glasser is much better at running the team than people give him credit for. Aside from the loss to USC, they are peaking at the right time and should probably be able to escape a Temple team that doesn’t belong in the tournament. But if they meet Syracuse in the second round their lack of depth will shine through, and they will go down,

Preview written by… Mike Lemaire

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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