Devil’s Country – ASU Sports Report

March 3, 2008

Tournament Bound?

The Sun Devils made their case a little bit stronger with last weekends convincing win over USC.  OJ Mayo looked like the superstar he is, but James Harden and company for the Devils played another solid defensive game.  Not to mention the offense had some shining moments for the Devils.  They got a few shots to fall in a row that helped pull out a 20 point lead at one point.  Give credit to the Trojans (aka OJ Mayo) for the comeback attempt, but ASU put them in too deep of a hole. 

Harden continues to amaze me with the nonchalant approach that somehow turns into around 20 each game.  How many other freshmen out there are shooting above 50%? 

Two games are all that remain in the regular season.  Oregon and Oregon State on the road is all that stands in the way for the Devils and a trip to the big dance.  If they win both, they will be tournament bound for the first time since Ike Diogu donned the maroon and gold.  If they stumble at all in the next two, they are going to have to make a loud splash in the Pac-10 Tournament, perhaps having to win it all. 

It seems like forever since I have felt confident about getting to the big show.  A duck and a beaver are all that stands in our way.  Two wins this weekend gives us a nice little win streak going into the post-season.  Anything can happen once you get there.

February 25, 2008

Devils Get the “Must Win” Game Saturday

I felt going into Saturday’s game, that the Devils had to win in order to stay alive with the NCAA Tournament committee.  Not only did they win, but they looked good doing it.  It has been a while since the Devils have had a nice convincing win. 

As I have said all year, when the outside shots fall, we are one tough team to beat.  Glasser, Abbott, Kuk, and Shipp got it going against the Huskies.  We can always count on Harden putting up some numbers.  Pendergraph has been hit and miss this year, so the focus going into the last four games has to be the outside shot. 

Next on the list of big time upsets for the Devils, UCLA.  Thursday at home is a game that can put us into an elite category in terms of big time wins against top tier opponents.  It might be a long shot in wishing for a win like that.  Then Saturday the Devils will host USC before finishing up the Pac-10 with the Oregon schools. 

Just two out of the next four should stamp our resume into the NCAA tournament.  Regardless of what happens, Herb has done a masterful job with this team and has put Sun Devil basketball back on the map.

February 21, 2008

Round 2 vs. Washington St.

The Cougars might have given the Devils a shot to the mouth in the final seconds at Wells Fargo Arena the last time these two met, but this time (hopefully) they won’t have the worst referee crew in the nation working the game.  I hate to use the ref excuse, but how do you not call a foul on the last second drive, at home, to win the game, when Harden goes flying to the ground after getting mugged?

 Lets just hope this one is decided by the players and not the officials. 

A few things to watch for: 

  • Ty Abbott – How will he follow up his 30 point game?  Can he stay hot?
  • Jeff Pendergraph – Can he stay out of foul trouble and be a contributor in this one?
  • James Harden – Can he get back on track as a player of the year candid

This is one of those games that could really spring board the Devils into the Tournament spot light.  They already have good wins of the likes of Xavier, Stanford, and Arizona (twice).  Adding Washington St. and USC or UCLA, would put us in a great position to get to the big dance.

Blog at WordPress.com.