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Desperate (and Dangerous) Sun Devils

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Bruins simply cannot afford to look past this Thursday night’s game. They are taking on an ASU team, which still hasn’t won a game in the Pac-10 (0-13). However, they will be foolish to look past this Sun Devils team, which has been in one close game after another, and will probably give the Bruins everything they have to notch their first win of the season.

Sun Devils is a dangerous team. If you can remember they led the Bruins at half time at Pauley when they came into Westwood. They have been in one close game after another. They lost their last 4 games by an average of 3.5 points. In fact as Sportsline notes, 12 of ASU’s 24 games have been decided by 5 points or fewer, and they won only 2 of those games. Sportsline also has the following notes on Sun Devils roster:

--A strange weekend for sophomore Jeff Pendergraph. ASU's best player equaled a career-high with 19 rebounds in the loss to Oregon, then grabbed 12 more against Oregon State. But he scored a season-low four points vs. the Ducks and shot 0 for 3 from the field while logging eight points at Oregon State.

--Freshman G Derek Glasser scored a career-high 17 points against Oregon, all in the second half. He was 5 for 9 from 3-point range and had three steals.

--Freshman G Christian Polk scored 10 points on 4 for 18 shooting at Oregon, then scored 12 on 4-for-11 accuracy vs. OSU. Polk is shooting just 33.0 percent (39 for 118) over the past 10 games
Again on paper this is a mismatch. Per Pomeroy’s latest ratings ASU offense is ranked 178th in the country, while their defense is ranked 108th (Bruins in comparison has the 13th best offense and the 5th best defense in the country). However, that mismatch hasn’t really materialized during the last 3 games between UCLA and ASU. Bruins had to scratch and claw for a win (following a big win against Zona) at Tempe last year. Moreover, Pomeroy’s stats notwithstanding, Sun Devils are giving up just 62.7 points a game (their lowest since 49-50). So we can be sure they are not going to go down without a fight this Thursday.

So to sum it up the Devils are going to be on desperation mode. And the Bruins better be alert on Thursday night, otherwise they will find themselves in the midst of another floor rush.