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#9 Creighton v Arizona State - Game Guide

Jays fly south for warm weather looking to moisten the nets in the dry heat of the desert.

NCAA Basketball: Oral Roberts at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch, Stream, Listen, Follow

Game Time: 8:00pm CT

Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, AZ

TV: ESPN2 / WatchESPN

Radio: 1620AM the Zone in Omaha / 98.7FM in Tempe

Other Blogs: White & Blue Review - Creighton / House of Sparky - Arizona State

Tweeters: Rob Anderson / Creighton MBB / Tom Nemitz / “Patrick Marshall” / Matt DeMarinis / Jon Nyatawa

Odds & Ends

Creighton opens as a 7.5 point favorite according to OddShark.

The over/under opened at 167.5.

Series History

Creighton and ASU have played 9 times in their series history, with their last match-up coming last year where the Sun Devils won 79-77 on a last second shot, mostly due to poor free throw shooting from the Jays. This means that this game not only gives an opportunity for

REEEEEVVVVVEEEENNNNGGGEEEE

for the Jays, it also holds an opportunity to

GET TO .500!!!!

in the series.

Verba de Ludis

Arizona State comes into this game with a 6-5 record, with losses to Northern Iowa (82-63), Davidson (68-60), Kentucky (115-69), Purdue (97-64), and New Mexico State (81-70).

Their six wins come against Portland State (88-70), Cal Poly (96-74), Tulane (80-71), The Citadel (127-110), UNLV (97-73), and San Diego State (74-63).

Their relative indifference to playing defense has been a boon to teams who enjoy shooting the orange orb, most notably the Citadel whose average possession length is the second shortest in the country coming in at a whopping 13.3 seconds per possession. With that pace they were able to post 110 points against the Sun Devils, which should give you a hint of how this game should play out - Creighton’s average possession length is 5th at 13.7 seconds per possession.

Yet, ASU still has players to look out for in this affair:

Impact Players

Torian Graham - 6’5 195lbs - G - 16.5PPG, 4 RPG, 45%FG

Shannon Evans II - 6’1 160lbs - PG - 16.1PPG, 4.5 APG, 12 STLS, 40% 3FG

Tra Holder - 6’1 180lbs - SG - 15.6PPG, 2.7 APG, 42% FG

Match-up wise the Sun Devils don’t offer a whole lot of size, their center Obinna Oleka will nab rebounds and man the paint. He’s 6’9 and 225lbs but comes with senior leadership. This will offer Justin Patton a great lesson in how to defend big men who can move deftly.

ASU once had a promising young freshman in Sam Cunliffe that started 10 games for the Sun Devils this year, but decided to depart from the Bobby Hurley-led basketball squadron in search of greener pastures. He was the second best rebounder on the team, averaging 4.8 per game, and his absence was certainly felt in their game against New Mexico State. Perhaps his transfer left the Sun Devil Hoopsquad in a state of disrepair, but with the rebounding woes the Jays have suffered it’ll be boon to their rebounding abilities.

In Suncliffe’s place will be Ramon Vila, a 6’8 230lb freshman from Barcelona. He looks like a 40 year old man and his European style of basketball will offer Cole Huff a relatively light night physically on defense.

Torian Graham offers his size and athleticism as a good wing player, but his defense has been subpar when matched up against a superior opponent. The other two guards that will accompany him offer little to no size so expect to see Khyri Thomas front him on defense.

The remaining two guards are the 6’1 duo in Tra Holder and Shannon Evans II. The two work well in tandem, penetrating the paint and kicking out to one another. They both shoot pretty well, but they’ll be thrown in with the dogs as Khyri Thomas and Maurice Watson Jr., will attack them on defense.

Overall, the Sun Devils have a lot of weapons on offense but can’t play a lick of defense. They allow opponents to score 54.4% eFG and cannot slow down tempo as they allow 15 seconds per possession. They’ve been on a run of W-L-W-L since their win to Cal Poly and subsequent loss to Northern Iowa in early November.

Song of the Day - ‘A Christmas Fucking Miracle’ - Run the Jewels