1. No. 20 Arizona State Sun Devils LW: 1
A hard-fought, 72-66 loss at the hands of No. 6 Nevada couldn’t dissuade the voters from keeping ASU in the rankings. The Sun Devils’ latest loss came in rather dramatic fashion, gathering a 22-6 lead to start the game and eventually falling victim to senior guard Caleb Martin’s second-half heroics.
Standout performances from freshman Luguentz Dort and redshirt senior Zylan Cheatham were what kept the Devils competitive, but foul trouble (25 total) and a lack of offensive rhythm (40 percent shooting) eventually did them in.
With the emergence of Dort as a legitimate star and the hellacious defensive effort on display from the entire team, ASU is primed to keep climbing.
The Sun Devils have their first true road test on Dec. 15 when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Commodores are without Darius Garland however, who suffered a left knee injury and is out indefinitely.
Following that, ASU is set for their toughest game of the season, when the current No. 1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks march into Tempe with trouble, and revenge, on its mind.
As it has been all year, the Devils must rely on two things: Dort, and a stout defensive effort.
The Sun Devils are still waiting for three key components to return 100 percent health. Sophomore Gaurd Remy Martin (ankle) redshirt junior guard Rob Edwards (back) and junior forward Mickey Mitchell (toe) are still on working their way back into the lineup. With a fully healthy roster, this Sun Devil squad should be top tier on both ends of the floor.