ASU Basketball: Devils Rebound Against the Beavers


Last night, the ASU Men’s basketball team beat Oregon State in Tempe by a score of 73-55.  The win puts the Sun Devils at 11-10 overall and 3-5 in the PAC-12.  The Beavers of Oregon State fall to 14-6 and 5-3.

This victory for ASU is redemption for a loss to Oregon State earlier in the year in Corvalis.  The Beavers began with their aggressive 2-3 zone defense.  Rather than statically occupying gaps in the zone, the Sun Devils looked to be more active with dribble penetration with the aid of some screens set on the two high defenders in the zone.

The result was more open looks from the perimeter on “kickout” passes.  But most likely, it also got the Sun Devil players in an attacking mindset.  It worked.  ASU drilled 8 three pointers in the first half.  Even after the Beavers switched to man-to-man defense, the Sun Devils maintained a 20 point lead throughout the second half.

Senior forward Shaquielle McKissic fell back into his typical role as an attacking offensive player.  After a quiet game at Stanford, McKissic scored 17 points and grabbed three rebounds.  Forward Bo Barnes also came off the bench and provided great offense for ASU.  But the real story for this team is the emergence of freshman guard Tra Holder.  Holder, taking over the majority of the point guard duties with the injury to Kodi Justice, had 10 assists and only 4 turnovers in thirty plus minutes of play.  Holder has been improving his play in ASU’s latest stretch of 3 wins in the last 4 games.

Coach Herb Sendek’s team appears to be embracing the “keep chopping wood” approach to their season and their evolution as a team.  Their offensive production has increased by 30% in the last 4 games.

ASU gets a chance to sweep the Oregon schools tomorrow at 5 pm when they host the Ducks.  A victory on Friday would be another huge step forward for this ASU team trying to assert themselves in the PAC-12 conference.