The Sun Devils from Arizona State travel down I-10 (Yes, not "the" 10. This isn't California) tomorrow to take on the Wildcats at 7:30 local time. The Wildcats are coming off of a 2 game slide losing to UCLA 83-60 on January 15 and losing to USC 65-64 in a heartbreaker on January 17.
Arizona State is coming off of a 1-1 weekend in Southern California getting pounded by USC 61-49 only to come back on Saturday at UCLA and pull out the win 61-58 in overtime. Arizona State dropped in both polls to #17 and #16.
While Arizona State is looking to regain some momentum after losing ground in the polls, Arizona is just looking to get back in the hunt. With a paltry 2-4 conference record and 11-7 overall, the Wildcats need this win at home badly.
The Wildcats are going to have to do a better job of getting open looks for their guards. Only 10 (4 made for 40%) three pointers were attempted against UCLA as opposed to 16 (7 made for 43.8%) against USC. With Jordan Hill playing at such a high level right now, surely ASU is going to force Arizona to beat them from beyond the arch. We are going to need solid looks down low with kick out passes to Budinger and Nic Wise.
Arizona State is going to try and unleash their conference leading scorer, James Harden, who averages 22.1 ppg. He is balanced out nicely with excellent play from Forward Jeff Pendergraph who is averaging 13.8 ppg.
Let's hope the Wildcats get some good looks from the outside, don't try to press, and contain Harden tomorrow night at McKale Center.