ASU Basketball: First Pac-12 home stand begins with Oregon

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: Remy Martin
TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: Remy Martin /

After going 1-2 on its road trip to open conference play, ASU basketball returns home where the Sun Devils are 8-0 on the season.

To be a successful college basketball program, defending home court is an expectation. In each of the previous four years, the Pac-12 regular season champion hasn’t lost more than one game at home.

Under Bobby Hurley, Arizona State is 28-13 at Wells Fargo Arena. The team has earned signature home wins over NCAA Tournament teams in USC and Texas A&M, but have yet to put together a complete season.

With a perfect home record on the line, ASU will take on Oregon in its toughest home challenge to date. The Sun Devils’ last win over the Ducks came in February 2014.

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Despite a six-game losing streak to Oregon, the two programs are opposite their regular courses.

The Ducks lost seven players (four starters) from the team that advanced to the Final Four in 2017. Sophomore Payton Pritchard has been tasked with leading one of the more inexperienced teams in Eugene under Dana Altman.

Oregon possesses no shortage of talent between Pritchard, freshmen Troy Brown and Kenneth Wooten as well as transfers Elijah Brown, Paul White and Mikyle McIntosh. However, there is a lack of experience shown in the team’s 11-5 start, including a 1-2 mark in conference games.

On the other hand, ASU is sitting at 13-2 and No. 11 in the AP poll. The Sun Devils are surging behind the play of their senior guards and look like they are on track to play meaningful basketball in March for the first time in four years.

The mismatch to watch on Thursday night is the length on the wing for Oregon. ASU remains one of the smaller teams in Division-I and has allowed 12 offensive rebounds per game in its two losses. If the Ducks are getting second chance opportunities, it could spell trouble for Hurley’s team.

Filling ‘The Bank’

In preparation of the game, a wall in Wells Fargo Arena was removed to opened up 4,000 seats and brought capacity in the building to 14,100 as the demand for tickets in Tempe has increased.

Next: ASU Basketball: 2018 Pac-12 Week 2 Power Rankings

Tip off between Arizona State and Oregon will be at 8 p.m. MT and the game can be seen on FS1.