Arizona State got up big and early on Saint Johns, building a 13 point halftime lead but the Johnnies twice would pull to within seven points in the second half.
But every time they pressed ASU had an answer and so it is that Nate Oats will have to take on his former Boss, Bobby Hurley.
Lat year the Bulls faced an Arizona team that had one of the nations best bigs down low, Arizona State does not have that size on the inside but they do have bunch of guards who are slightly on the big side for their position.
The offense that the Sun Devils run is going to look very familiar, not only because it’s the one Hurley implemented in Buffalo, but also because Nate Oats has for the most part continued the uptempo transition game
Like the Bulls they rely on athleticism to get off a fast shot and then crash the glass looking for a rebound.
They can set an offense up but that’s not their game.
Their main weakness on offense is that they don’t typically shoot very well from distance (though they did mange a respectable 5-12 during the play in game).. If forced to take three point shots and if their opponents rebound well ASU can be frustrated.
Players of Note
NBA prospect Luguentz Dort is a key to their transition game.
Remy Martin is one of their threats from deep but he also is very good at slashing in.
Rob Edwards (#2), a 6’4” guard who transferred from Cleveland State, adds three-point shooting from the perimeter.
Zylan Cheatham is the team’s best defensive rebounder. He managed a double double in the game against Saint Johns.
The big man is De`Quon Lake, a 6’10” senior, who blocks shots and crashes the boards hard.
Bobby Hurley and Nate Oats know each other really well. Not only did they start the build in Buffalo together but they have kept in contact, leaning on each other from time to time for advice and strategy tips.
The other challenge is that Arizona State has got a game under their belt. They’ve dealt with the nerves, they warmed up and made sure they got the rust off. Where as the Bulls have not played in almost a week.