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Cal Basketball

Arizona State Preview: Inconsistent Sun Devils Host Bears on Sunday

February 23, 2019
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Arizona State, which hosts Cal on Sunday afternoon, is the least predictable team in the least predictable conference.

The Sun Devils (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12) are tied for second place in the league standings and have wins over Kansas (ranked No. 1 in the country at the time) and conference leader Washington. They also have lost to Vanderbilt, currently winless in the SEC, and lowly Washington State. Predicting which ASU team will show up is difficult.

Those bad losses have put ASU on the “bubble” as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. It probably has to win the remaining four conference regular season games and one or two in the Pac-12 Tournament to get an at-large bid. It is 66th in the current NET rankings.

The Sun Devils have won two straight, including an 80-62 throttling of Stanford in the rematch on Wednesday. Guards Remy Martin and Rob Edwards (1 and 2 above) were the primary tormentors of the Cardinal as they each scored 16 points.

Edwards has scored in double figures four times in his last five games. ASU won all four. In fact the last six times he has hit double figures the Sun Devils came out on top.

“It feels good,” he told the ASU media after the Stanford game.. “(I’m] just trying to get confidence for March and tournament time. I’m trying to pick it up and help everybody else so we can get ready and win games.”

As for Martin, who scored 24 points and dished out eight assists in ASU’s 80-66 victory over the Bears at Haas Pavilion Jan. 9, has hit exactly 16 points in each of the last two ASU games.

Senior forward Zylan Cheatham, the transfer from San Diego State, leads the conference with 279 total rebounds and in rebounds per game, 10.7. He has grabbed more than 20 rebounds in a game twice this season. The only other player to do that since 1978 was Cal’s own Mark McNamara .Cheatham is the main reason ASU leads the conference in rebounding margin at plus 6.4 per game.

On Dec. 1, he recorded the second triple-double in program history. Today, he’s one of two players nationally to average a double-double and three assists.

Notes

The all-time series is tied at 41-41. ... ASU has won three straight against the Bears….ASU leads the conference in scoring at 79.5 points per game. … The Sun Devils are 12-3 at home. … Freshman Luquentz Dort leads the team in scoring at 16.4 points per game…. Cal (5-21, 0-14) has lost an ongoing school record 15 straight games; … The Bears, whose last conference win was Feb. 3, 2018, have sunk to 278 in the NET ratings. The second lowest conference team is WSU, which is 166.

 

 

 

 
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