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Breaking down the Sun Devils: Q&A with House of Sparky

What to expect from that school up north

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at UCLA Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After a horrible week in which the Arizona Wildcats were swept in Los Angeles, Arizona finishes their road trip by visiting Tempe for the first of this year’s rivalry matchups with the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Both schools are tied for fourth in the Pac-12, and this should be one of the most exciting series in the Pac-12 this season. To get a sense of what Arizona State brings to the game, we talked to Brady Vernon of House of Sparky.

Here’s our Q&A.

Zylan Cheatham has lit the Pac-12 on fire the last few weeks. What’s made him one of the most dangerous players in the conference?

Cheatham’s ability to do just about anything has made him one of the most dangerous players. Obviously, he’s had a triple-double this season that prove that, but if he needs to be the primary ball handler and make plays he can do that. He can soar through the air for highlight dunks and bring down rebounds, he did have 20 the other day against UCLA. He’s not a dangerous scorer by any means, but will give you what you ask of him. Cheatham is also just a great leader and energy guy to be around.

Bobby Hurley seems to be going pretty well for ASU from an outside perspective. How has his tenure improved (or hurt) the program?

It’s helped, yes, the past two seasons have been a roller coaster. However, Sun Devil fans were excited for basketball this season, and with the Wildcats basically owning the sport in the state it’s been interesting to see. The biggest thing to me is just looking at the Wells Fargo crowd, it’s different than before in my eyes. Bobby Hurley has his flaws, as does everyone, but ASU could just be a school that hopes for the best in football and rely, well used to rely on baseball season to come.

What’s ASU’s biggest strength? What about biggest weakness?

ASU’s biggest strength is versatility, plenty of guys can become the guy on any given night. We’ve seen times where Luguentz Dort leads the pack, Remy Martin, Zylan Cheatham. They’re very athletic and can do a lot of different things on the floor at times, but the fact there isn’t an alpha male does hurt as times. That’s the biggest weakness tied in is the team just doesn’t have a great elite scorer and they struggle to shoot outside shots. Rob Edwards is the best pure shooter, the most he’s scored this season is 15. They don’t have the person in crunch time that the team necessarily trusts to come through with a clutch basket. They also see ball movement die at times due to so many players being able to create their own shot.

What makes Arizona-Arizona State such a special rivalry, to you?

Truly, I don’t have an emotional connection with ASU. I just go to the school and was never a fan of the teams growing up. My father did go to Arizona, however, which does make the banter between us fun at times.

What’s your score prediction for the game?

ASU takes it 78-72.