Pac-10 men's basketball supposedly is in a down cycle this season, what with UCLA and other squads losing a bunch of underclassmen to the professional ranks.
One of those schools is ASU, which saw Jeff Pendergraf and the great James Harden split to the land of the big bucks (especially in high first-round draft choice Harden's case) and big-time players.
The Sun Devils looked terrible in Los Angeles last weekend, losing to USC and UCLA, the latter in what was the worst offensive performance (if you can call it a "performance") since the Korean War was going strong, i.e. 1950.
Even Derek Glasser, the gritty senior point guard in the photo, couldn't do anything that he'll want to remember.
Losing your first two conference games on the road to start the league season isn't the end of the world--but only if you hold your own court and pick up two wins at Wells Fargo Arena this weekend.
That, unfortunately for the struggling Devils, may prove a very tall order.
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At 8:30 tonight (just a few hours away), ASU will host a very strong Washington Huskies team that should contend for the conference title when all is said and done. The Huskies were upset at home by Oregon last weekend, and is likely to be primed to put a big hurt on the locals.
But the Devils' head coach Herb Sendek has a way of keeping games like this--in which his guys seem a bit outmanned on paper--close and low-scoring. Expect an extremely physical game in which the outcome will be decided in the last five minutes.
FYI, the game will be televised on FSAZ (Channel 34) and broadcast on KMVP 860 AM radio, with the excellent Tim Healey doing the play-by-play on the latter.