Scouting Report: Carson, Bachynski lead ASU

Jahii Carson will be a tough matchup tonight for Derrick Wilson. (USA Today)

Jahii Carson will be a tough matchup tonight for Derrick Wilson. (USA Today)

After an uninspiring start to the 2013-14 season, the Marquette Golden Eagles hit the road for the first time when they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Perhaps getting away from the Bradley Center is exactly what Buzz Williams’ team needs, seeing as their offensive struggles on the road can’t be any worse than they have been at home.

Excluding the Golden Eagles’ 114-point outing over NCAA-worst Grambling State, Marquette has averaged 52 points in its other three games. In a loss to Ohio State and win over New Hampshire, they shot 25.7 percent from the field, including an unimaginable 10 percent (4-of-40) from beyond the arc.

And they’ll need to fix their offensive woes in a hurry, because point guard Jahii Carson doesn’t seem to be slowing down for anyone. The sophomore standout has averaged 23 points and 5.4 assists for the 5-0 Sun Devils, and he’s shooting better than 55 percent from the field. At 5-foot-10, he’s as complete a point guard as there is in college basketball, meaning Derrick Wilson has his work cut out for him.

At the other end of the height spectrum, 7-foot-2 center Jordan Bachynski has been a force inside for Herb Sendek’s group. The senior has double-doubled and recorded at least three blocks in all five of the Sun Devils’ contests, and he’s also connecting on better than 67 percent of his shots. Look for him to get early touches against Chris Otule, who must be strong on the boards to help slow down the game on Marquette’s end.

Fellow senior shooting guard Jermaine Marshall has been a model of efficiency in the backcourt, too. After shooting 39 percent from the field as a junior last season, Marshall is averaging 15.8 points on 49 percent shooting thus far.

A pair of international wings — senior Jonathan Gilling (Denmark) and Egor Koulechov (Russia) — round out the starting five, and both have been solid contributors on the glass.


— Offense: It’s pretty simple, but the Sun Devils have been one of the best offensive groups in the country. Behind Carson and Bachynski, there’s a great balance of up-tempo offense and half-court work — in five wins, they have played games of 60, 70, 71, 77 and 81 possessions. The Sun Devils have scored at least 86 points in four of five games, and only allowed 58 points to Bradley in the only game they failed to reach that mark.

— Sharing the basketball: Within their efficient offense, the Sun Devils have assisted on 66.4 percent of made baskets, the seventh-best mark in the NCAA. They are averaging 20 assists per game, led by Carson (5.4), Gilling (4.0) and reserve wing Shaquielle McKissic (2.8).

— 3-pointers: Like New Hampshire, the Sun Devils are a bit reliant on their 3-pointers. That’s fine, because they’re making them at a 40-percent clip through five games. Furthermore, teams are making just 24.4 percent of their 3-pointers against Arizona State, the 16th best defensive mark in the country. Simply put, ASU is going to win the battle of threes most nights.


— Defensive turnovers: For having a pretty athletic team, the Sun Devils don’t turn teams over much. Their 16.2 percent turnover rate is 265th best in the country, and only two players have recorded five or more steals.


1. Slow down Jahii Carson

Marquette won’t be shutting down Carson, but the best way to slow him down is to literally slow him down. From the little I’ve seen of him, he’s a terror in the open court and has great vision when he can’t get to the rim. If Derrick Wilson can at the very least act as a speed bump, he’ll have to work in half-court settings.

2. Chris Otule “assists”

Buzz Williams refers to Otule’s “seals” as assists, where the 7-footer essentially boxes out his man while drivers get to the bucket for layups. And playing against Bachynski, Otule taking the 7-foot-2 center out of the picture will be key. We know Marquette isn’t going to win from beyond the arc; the Golden Eagles can win if they get to the bucket and Bachynski isn’t there.

3. Get Jamil Wilson going

It’s tough to get any simpler than this. We wrote last week on how Jamil Wilson must step up and carry Marquette through tough times. An ugly 3-1 start, playing on the road against a hot ASU team qualifies as tough times. If he no-shows for a third straight game (1-of-18 in the last two), the Golden Eagles are in trouble.

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