After notching their first double-digit victory since Dec. 22, ASU basketball prepares to face Washington Thursday night in a pivotal Pac-12 game.
For the first time since non-conference play, ASU basketball looks like the explosive offensive juggernaut that helped them reach a national ranking as high as No. 3 in the AP Top 25.
In their latest Pac-12 matchup the Sun Devils beat the Colorado Buffaloes with a second half barrage of three-pointers and electric play on the offensive end. Shannon Evans II and Tra Holder once again led the Sun Devils with a combined 41 points in the route.
However going up against the Washington Huskies on Thursday will be no small task for the Sun Devils. The Huskies are currently sporting a 15-6 record and sit in third place in the Pac-12 standings.
This season the Huskies have been solid on both ends of the floor. Holding the 139th-ranked offense and the 158th-ranked defense (per Sports Reference) Washington has made each and every game they’ve played a challenge for any opponent.
Their balanced attack features four separate players averaging above 11 points per game, and the team is shooting 47 percent from the field.
The leader of this well-balanced attack is freshman guard Jaylen Nowell. Over the Huskies last five games, Nowell is averaging 18 points per game and has grabbed seven or more rebounds in their past three Pac-12 matchups.
Junior forward Noah Dickerson is second in scoring on the team with 14 points per game and is in the midst of his best season at UW. Four separate players averaging double-digits is no joke, if ASU doesn’t shut down Dickerson and Nowell they could be in for another long Pac-12 matchup.
To combat the 15-6 Huskies, expect the Sun Devils to rely on their prolific one-two punch provided by Holder (19.5 ppg) and Evans(16.5 ppg) . The senior guards have carried the majority of offensive responsibility for Head Coach Bobby Hurley‘s squad for the entirety of the season.
Coming off one of the Sun Devils best victories of the season should provide a boost to a team in transition. A win against UW could propel the Sun Devils into an all-time Pac-12 turnaround should they find that euphoric flow from non-conference play.
With nine games left in conference play, it’s now or never for the Sun Devils. ASU will once again be put to the test against another strong Pac-12 opponent Thursday against UW.