Running Sedrick Barefield Off the 3-Point Line
In ASU’s first meeting with the Utes on Jan. 3, Utah’s senior guard torched the Sun Devils with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Over the last two seasons, he had been the headache ASU couldn’t contain, finding free reign on the perimeter and making plays for his teammates.
But on Saturday, the Sun Devils made an aggressive effort to limit Barefield’s production. He finished with 17 points, but he had to work to earn each.
When put in ball-screen action, ASU consistently had its big men show a hard hedge. This forced Barefield to back up toward midcourt, where he couldn’t release a perimeter jumper or create a safe pass for his screeners rolling to the basket.
These situations are uncomfortable for any point guard, but especially for Barefield. This season, he shouldered a new responsibility as the true point, making his previous living playing off Justin Bibbins and others.
As a result, ASU forced him to make plays with his dribble. In the last slide, Martin did an excellent job of attacking Barefield’s stance, getting a steal and finding Edwards in transition. Last night, Barefield finished with five turnovers, his most since ASU and Utah first faced this season.
If Barefield did attempt to drive, the Sun Devils made a concerted effort to shut him off. Dort is called for a foul on this possession below, but it sent Barefield a message: No easy buckets.