From Tempe — Washington State's 60-25 loss at Arizona on Thursday certainly wasn't ideal. But in a conference like the Pac-12, a road split is always a success, no matter how bad the loss was. With a win tomorrow at Arizona State, the Cougars will still come out of the weekend ahead.
ASU has a lot of talent in the likes of Jahii Carson, Shaq McKissic, Jordan Bachynski and others. But the Sun Devils have some weaknesses, too. They're No. 11 in rebounding differential and averaged just 0.1 more rebounds per game through the non conference schedule and their loss to Washington on Thursday.
Conversely, ASU has had a lot of success from behind the arc this season, and leads the Pac-12 with over eight made 3-pointers per game.
Our advance, in it's unedited glory, is after the jump.
TEMPE, Ariz.—The Washington State men's basketball has a tall task ahead of it, and it has nothing to do with its opponent today, Arizona State. For the Cougars (7-6, 0-1 Pac-12) to have a shot at a road win over the Sun Devils (11-3, 0-1 Pac-12) they must first recover from a historically bad offensive performance at Arizona on Thursday.
WSU had its lowest scoring output since 1938 in the team's 60-25 loss to the Wildcats. The Cougars scored just seven points in the first half, and became the first Pac-12 team in 15 years to score 25 points or fewer in a basketball game.
The Cougars played without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew, who are each sidelined with injuries. It is unlikely Lacy will be available against the Sun Devils, and unknown if Kernich-Drew will have recovered from his concussion.
With a Thursday-Sunday split, the loss has had an extra day to linger on the minds of the Cougars. But the team has also had additional time to figure out what went wrong, and correct it.
“I think under the circumstances where we got beat so bad, hopefully it's given us time to regroup and talk about our offense and try to get things right for tomorrow,” coach Ken Bone said on Saturday.
Scoring could still be a challenge for the Cougars on Sunday, as they take on the team that leads the conference with 7.29 blocked shots per game. No other team averages as many as six blocks per game.
Bone said that Jordan Bachynski, who leads the Sun Devils with 4.93 blocks per game, could go down as one of the best rim protectors in the history of the conference. His presence will make it difficult for the Cougars to score inside the paint.
Still, the Cougars say they're ready for the challenge.
“He's good and everything but I also think that I'm up to the challenge,” center Jordan Railey said of the 7-foot-2 Bachynski. “It will be fun playing against him, it's always fun playing against a bigger guy. Physically I'm usually the biggest guy on the floor so I always enjoy playing against guys who have a very noticeable difference between the two of us.”