Devil’s Country – ASU Sports Report

February 22, 2008

Shots Still Aren’t Falling

Filed under: Basketball — Matt Sawyer @ 8:12 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Once again, the shots just won’t fall.  You have to give credit to Washington St.  They put on a great defensive show.  Holding any team to 47 points will usually equate into a win. 

Did anyone else notice Pendergraph stepping further, and further away from the basket?  I know he has a little range, but do we really need him shooting 20 footers?  I don’t know how a man of his size still hasn’t picked up on any low post moves. 

We were in it most of the way, but not having a low post presence and turnovers kept us from ever really having a shot at winning. 

Now our season might rest on Saturday night’s game against Washington, who is coming off of an upset win over Arizona.  And once again, in order to win, we have to find an outside side and have an low post presence.   



  1. Pendergraph suffered from Baynes fatigue, like a lot of skinnier (or smaller) big men do against WSU. If they can’t shoot outside (a la Ryan Anderson or Ivan Radinovic last year) they really, really struggle. It just puts so much fatigue on your body and legs to have to fight against those tree trunks for 30 seconds EVERY possession. Even Jon Brockman has subpar games against the Cougs for that reason. Plus, Pendergraph wasn’t able to get those garbage points on putbacks like he usually does because Baynes is an excellent rebounder — too wide to get around. Did you see some of those box outs?

    ASU’s defense was pretty good, if for no other reason than that zone just seems to give teams fits. Reminds me when OSU football used to run the option. It was the only team in the conference where you had to prepare for that, and sometimes it made life difficult for that reason alone. As those players get more experienced — and the tired legs recover faster in subsequent years — that thing is going to be tough. (Although I suspect teams will learn how to attack it better, too. I couldn’t believe how little WSU utilized the high post yesterday. They were slicing and dicing with that thing early in the game.)

    Oh, and I’d hardly call Washington’s win over Arizona an upset. They’ve got home wins over UCLA and Oregon and have now won 3 of 4 as the Wildcats have lost 4 of 5. Those are two teams going in opposite directions.

    Comment by Nuss — February 22, 2008 @ 9:53 am

  2. Good point on Washington. Arizona is tanking quick. Bayless will be gone after this year and the cupboard will be empty.

    Baynes played a solid game down low and is a serious load. It doesn’t help that Pendergraph can’t figure out some post moves. Also, we couldn’t knock down any big outside shots.

    I was impressed with the Cougars defense, but any good shooting team shouldn’t have any trouble with them.

    Comment by Matt — February 22, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  3. And that has been the case against the Bennett defense for 30 years. They pack the lane and dare you to shoot outside. That’s how Oregon beat us like 13 times in a row, that’s how Vandy beat us in the tournament last year, and that’s how Arizona beat us earlier this year. There is definitely no secret there.

    I will say this. In the first game against ASU, we were a bit lucky that you missed so many shots. I think last night, we did a much, much better job getting out on shooters. Most all of the shots were contested last night, which is a huge key for us going forward.

    Comment by Nuss — February 22, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

  4. Great game Thursday night. Both teams left everything they had out on the court and thankfully the game wasn’t decided by questionable referee calls. Because of the physical play, neither team seemed to have their legs under them for making shots in the final ten minutes. For the Cougs to be successful, they need a solid 25+ minutes from Baynes. They got that Thursday. When he’s in foul trouble, the Cougs are in trouble.

    No need to put pressure on the Sun Devils with the “must win” label today. They can and will get the job done. Harden will go off for at least 30 against the Huskies and quiet the BofA crowd. As you can probably guess, there are two teams I’ll always root for. The Cougs and anyone playing the Huskies.

    See you in the PAC-10 tournament before you head off to the NCAA.

    Comment by Cougar Lew — February 23, 2008 @ 10:34 am

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