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Preseason Preview: Arizona State

Opponent: Arizona State
Mascot: Sun Devils
Conference: Big East
14-15 Record: 18-16 (9-9) (Lost in second round of the NIT)
14-15 RPI: 102
14-15 KenPom: 63
Coach: Bobby Hurley (1st Season)
Date: 11/24/15
Location: Barclays Center

Departures from 14-15:
Shaquille McKissic: Starting SF: 31.2 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.2 bpg, 1.4 tpg, .339 3P%
Jonathan Gilling: 1st off Bench: 20.7 mpg, 5.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .430 3P%
Bo Barnes: 2nd off Bench: 19.2 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.6 tpg, .374 3P%
Roosevelt Scott: 4th off Bench: 12.2 mpg, 3.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.0 bpg, 1.2 tpg, .188 3P%
Chance Murray: 6th off Bench: 8.6 mpg, 2.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.7 tpg, .273 3P%
Sai Tummala: Benchwarmer: 4.2 mpg, 1.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.3 tpg, .250 3P% (only appeared in 14 games)
Connor MacDougall: Benchwarmer: 3.8 mpg, 2.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 0.0 tpg, .000 3P% (only appeared in 6 games)
Corban Murphy: Benchwarmer: 1.0 mpg, 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.0 tpg, .500 3P% (only appeared in 3 games)
Cameron Gilbert: Benchwarmer: Never appeared in a game
43% of Scoring, 33% of Rebounding, 38% of Assists, 53% of Steals, 28% of Blocks, 64% of 3PM

Arrivals:
Torian Graham: Midseason Transfer SG from Houston (won’t be eligible vs. MU)
Andre Spight: JUCO Transfer SG, ranked #12 by 247sports
Maurice O’Field: JUCO Transfer SG, ranked #15 by 247sports
Obinna Oleka: 2014 JUCO Transfer PF, ranked #30 by 247sports (coming off redshirt)
Andre Adams: 3 star PF, ranked #187 by 247sports
Tyler Harris: 2 star SG, unranked
Shazier Lawson: 2 star SG, unranked

Probable Starters:
PG: Tra Holder: 6-1 180 SO: 27.0 mpg, 7.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.0 bpg, 2.5 tpg, .240 3P%
SG: Andre Spight: 6-3 168 JR: 33.7 mpg, 16.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.7 tpg, .373 3P% (for South Plains College)
SF: Gerry Blakes: 6-4 195 SR: 25.5 mpg, 11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 2.4 tpg, .302 3P%
PF: Savon Goodman: 6-6 220 RSJR: 26.2 mpg, 11.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.0 tpg, .000 3P%
C: Eric Jacobsen: 6-10 240 SR: 28.6 mpg, 8.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.2 bpg, 1.8 tpg, .000 3P%

Probable Bench:
Kodi Justice: 6-5 190 SO PG
Willie Atwood: 6-7 215 SR SF
Maurice O’Field: 6-5 210 RSSO SG
Obinna Oleka: 6-7 225 RSJR PF
Andre Adams: 6-9 216 FR PF

Probable Benchwarmers:
Austin Witherall: 6-0 160 SO SG
Tyler Harris: 6-5 200 FR SG
Shazier Lawson: 6-4 195 FR SG

Quick and Dirty Analysis: Marquette is probably more familiar Arizona State than other non-Big East team not named the Badgers. Marquette split a home and with the Sun Devils over the past two years with the home team winning each contest. Last season was Marquette’s turn to win in a game that was also Luke Fischer’s coming out party. This year’s Sun Devil squad has a lot of the same players but a new coach with his own approach to the game. Shaquille McKissic, ASU’s lead scorer last season, is the only starter missing from the 13-14 squad. Coach Bobby Hurley looked to the JUCO ranks to replenish his bench. Four elite JUCO players will suit up in Tempe this season. The biggest prize is Torian Graham. The former JUCO All American originally committed to Houston but ended up in a Jameel McKay type situation and transferred to Arizona State with the restriction of having to sit a semester. Fortunately for Marquette, this means Graham will not be suiting up against the Golden Eagles. Andre Spight and Maurice O’Field were both high scoring wings for their junior colleges before transferring to Tempe. Spight is more of a three point shooter, something the Sun Devils will desperately need after a majority of their three point shooting either graduated or transferred. O’Field, a former Wojo target, is a slasher and aggressive defender and rebounder. The Sun Devils best players can be found in their frontcourt. Savon Goodman is a former top 100 player who committed to UNLV, never played a game, went to a JUCO, never played a game, and finally found his way onto the court in the second semester of last year with Arizona State. He is an undersized for a power forward but has tenacity and strength. Reminds me of a Jae Crowder with no jumpshot. Eric Jacobson is a very good defensive center who is average on the offensive end. Neither of their frontcourt has range beyond 15 feet which is great news for the Golden Eagles.

Last season, Marquette rode an outstanding debut performance by Luke Fischer to take the victory. Jajuan Johnson also loves himself some Sun Devils, averaging 20 points in the matchups over the past two seasons. Fischer was able to take advantage of a lack of tape and scouting whereas JJJ feasted on fast breaks caused by turnovers due to a true freshman point guard in Tra Holder. Fischer no longer has the element of surprise but having Ellenson in the paint with him should tax a mostly short Sun Devil squad. Starting wing Gerry Blakes gave the best ASU performance in last season’s tilt, scoring 20 points with 4-8 3PT shooting. Blakes returns this season and figures to be one of the top scoring options for Coach Hurley. ASU doesn’t return much in the way of three point shooting. Blakes is their only true three point threat who was on last year’s squad, and he was more of a volume shooter than a sniper. Blakes led the team in 3PAs but was fourth in 3PM, not a combination you usually want to see. Even though Wojo is on record saying he wants to run an uptempo man to man, a healthy dose of zone can and should be expected.

Early Prediction: It’s a tight fought match with many lead changes. Marquette pulls out a four point victory to leave New York with two wins and a banner

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Categories: Home, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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