The Sun Devils allowed the game to remain close for a good portion of the first half, but a late run before halftime extended the score to a sizable Arizona State lead that carried over to another good shooting second half, and an 88-60 win.
On the surface this was just another blowout win for ASU with a few hiccups along the way. However, it turned into a record setting day when Jordan Bachynski recorded his fourth block of the game and his 192nd block in school history to break the all-time school record held by Mario Bennett.
Bachynski said he was not aware he had broken the record until Coach Eric Musselman informed him in the huddle. “Congratulations, you beat the ASU record. This is no small school great players have played here,” Bachynski quoted of Musselman’s compliments.
Early on ASU was committed to the often challenging task of entering the ball into the post when the opposing team is defending with a zone. Idaho State’s zone seemed as if it was wavering back-and-forth between a 2-3 and 3-2 for the majority of the game’s duration. Partially because the ASU wingmen were playing far up on the wing, which meant the Bengals’ defenders were sagging up from their position on each of the blocks to compensate.
The commitment to post entry is encouraging because yes, that specific pass can be a trial but that is what these early season games are for, working on areas a team can improve on.
Aside from his record setting day with his defensive hands Bachynski benefited from the offensive game plan in the first half with eight points and nine rebounds in the first half.
Four of those boards came on offense midway through the first half which was a huge catalyst to the Sun Devils’ half ending run.
Bachynski attributed his aggression to the coaching staff’s direction saying, “It’s a mentality.”
The score opened up in Arizona State’s favor for good with about three and a half minutes left until halftime. The half was capped off by a Shaquielle McKissic and-one with 39.7 seconds remaining.
Then a thunderous dunk that cannot properly be describe in word form after the Sun Devils passed the ball around the perimeter until it reached McKissic in the right corner, the shooting guard jab stepped his defender and beat him to the basket the way a big school player should against a smaller Idaho State opponent.
That half ending dunk put the Devils up 41-25, and they did not look back.
Another ASU basketball big picture theme was well embodied in one play Friday night.
Jahii Carson’s presence is mistaken by no one, but it is quite apparent how much support he has had around him on the court to this season’s point.
Carson had five points in the first half of play, then shifted gears after halftime and scored another 14. “He’s doing what great players do he’s helping guys be better,” Sendek said.
The big picture theme came with a little over 12 minutes to go in the second half when Carson threw a turnover into the Idaho State zone. Moments later the defender who caught the ball had it poked out of his hands by Egor Koulechov, who also received praise from Sendek after the game.
“He’s around the ball that’s a great way to say it,” Sendek said of Koulechov’s hustle. “He has a knack for it.”
After freeing the ball loose Koulechov then dove onto the hardwood to secure the steal. After which, the transfer player passed the pall to Carson on the wing, who then sunk in a three-pointer.
These games against mid-major schools should always be taken with a grain of salt but the aid Carson is receiving and as a result allowing him to pick and choose the spots where he shines should not be cast to the curb either.