The mark of 5-0 could be listed itself, as ASU is just one of the remaining 25 undefeated teams in the nation. While the mark looks nice, the rebounding, play of a freshman sensation and a late four-game trip in December are those of more importance for the team.
On a roster that includes nine players over 6-foot-7 inches, it comes to no surprise that the team tabbed as “Big Guard U” currently leads the nation at 46.6 rebounds per game.
The team is led by senior transfer Zylan Cheatham who has been an essential post presence for the Sun Devils, averaging 8.4 rebounds per game.
Joining Cheatham as the top rebounder is freshman Luguentz Dort. The 6-foot-4 inch guard averages 7.8 per game and leads the team in offensive rebounds with 14 on the season.
While Cheatham and Dort lead the way at the top, the rest of the rebounds are largely by committee as the team has four players averaging over five rebounds per game.
Dort’s scoring ability
The freshman phenom does more than just rebound the ball – he’s also pretty decent at putting it into the hoop as well. Dort sits at a mark of 23 points per game which was slightly helped by his 33-point mark against Utah State.
With the performance, Dort was vaulted into the top-25 in the nation as he currently sits at No. 23 while coming in as the second-highest scorer in the Pac-12.
Dort has compiled a fair amount of points in the paint but has also strengthened his three-point shot. What was once considered a weakness has become a strength for the freshman who has shot 43 percent from behind the arc on 23 attempts.
December’s four-game stretch
The mark of 18-4 is the combined record of what will be ASU’s toughest test of non-conference play. The Sun Devils will go on a three-game road trip for matchups against No. 5 Nevada (6-0), Georgia (3-3), and Vanderbilt (4-1) before returning home for a matchup against No. 2 Kansas.
ASU will have two matchups before the four-game stretch against Nebraska Omaha and Texas Southern, who are not to be overlooked as Texas Southern defeated No. 18 Oregon last night.
Looking at the record of the four teams, you might wonder why this is listed under the “good” category.
The reason is quite simple – Arizona State and the rest of the country are going to figure out just how good Hurley’s team is after being pushed to the limits in a four-game stretch against two top-5 opponents.