(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils play their first road game in Kansas City, Missouri, in the CBE Classic versus the Maryland Terrapins. With both teams coming in with perfect 3-0 records so far, the legitimacy of the losing team could be exposed.
For ASU, they come in after a victory over the Loyola-Marymount Lions by a score of 68-44. Leading the way in the scoring column for the Sun Devils was sophomore guard Chance Murray with 12 points, eight of them coming from the free throw line. Not far behind Murray were seniors Bo Barnes and Jonathan Gilling, contributing 11 points each, as well as three three-pointers apiece.
On the other side, the Terrapins beat Fordham 66-50 to collect their third win of the season. Freshman guard Jared Nickens came off the bench to lead the Terps in scoring with 13, while their typical leading scorer, senior guard Dez Wells, only scored eight points.
Keys to the game
– Keep up the defensive effort
ASU may be having issues scoring the ball at this point, but their defense has been exceeding expectations thus far. Through their first three games, they have the second-best scoring defense in the nation, only allowing 44.3 points per game, and held LMU to 28 percent from the field. That being said, they have yet to face a power conference team like Maryland, so the Sun Devils can’t let off the defensive intensity.
– Take care off the basketball
The Sun Devils are averaging 67.7 points per game, which puts them at 203rd in the country, yet they have the 49th best team field goal percentage at 49.6 percent. This could mean one of two things: Either they get a lot of second chances, or they turn the ball over a lot. In this case, the Sun Devils do indeed turn the ball over quite a bit, averaging close to 16 per game. If they want a chance versus their first power-conference opponent of the year, they have to protect the ball.
– Contain Dez Wells
Wells averaged 15.5 points per game last season for Maryland, including a 33 point game against Boston College. In the first three games, the Sun Devils haven’t faced a scoring threat quite like Wells. With a 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame, he can score inside as well as beyond the three-point arc. ASU head coach Herb Sendek has used a committee of players to defend the best opposing guard this season, and he will have to keep throwing fresh guys at Wells all game in order to slow him down.
ASU is facing a big challenge for their first road game of the year taking on an Big-10 team with eight seniors . Unless Sendek and the Sun Devils can solve their issues in regards to turning the ball over and a lack of scoring, it will be very difficult for ASU to win this game.