(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State looks to extend their two-game winning streak as they take on the Stanford Cardinal. The Sun Devils haven’t won three-straight games since their first three games of the season, and to do it against a strong Stanford team could rejuvenate ASU’s season.
ASU had what was probably its most impressive performance of the season against a Cal team that has struggled after its first 11 games. Winning the game 79-44, the Sun Devils easily had their best defensive game of the year, and it seemed that all of their shots were falling as well. Senior guard Bo Barnes was the high-scorer in the game with 17 points in 17 minutes.
Stanford is coming off of a hard-fought battle with Arizona, losing 89-82. Stanford’s leading scorer, Chasson Randle, put in a strong 26 points against the Wildcats, and ASU now gets a shot at bottling up the 6-foot-2 guard.
Keys to the game
Slow down Chasson Randle
Randle is leading the Pac-12 in scoring with 20.2 points per game, which also puts him at 15th in the country. He gets his points in a variety of ways, so forcing him to shoot threes is just as effective as letting him drive the lane. The only real way to make Randle a non-factor in this game is to make him earn every basket, which the Sun Devils’ athletic backcourt did so well in the Cal game with their talented backcourt.
Get going from three
ASU has its best chance in games when the team is shooting well from downtown. With plenty of weapons that are capable of hitting from deep, teams are going to have to start playing tight on the perimeter, opening things up on the interior, but whenever this team is clicking from beyond the arc, it seems like the Sun Devils are at their best.
Keep up the defensive intensity from the last game
In the win over Cal, the Bears shot 33 percent overall, and 18 percent from three. Their two leading scorers, who both average over 15 points per game, combined for 18 total points. Cal’s leading scorer Tyrone Wallace collected all seven of his points from the foul line, shooting 0-for-6 from the field. It’s hard to tell whether ASU’s hot shooting inspired its defense, or the relentless defense translated to efficient offense. Either way, it worked extremely well and will have to execute a similar game plan to have a chance against a tough Stanford team.
If ASU can play the way they have over the past two games, the Sun Devils will certainly have a chance, but in the end, Stanford has too many threats on the offensive end, including the biggest threat in the conference. ASU definitely has a chance to hang in there, but a win would take its best performance of the season.