Arizona State Sun Devils at San Francisco Dons
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 3, 2019, 11:00 PM (EST)|
War Memorial Gymnasium
San Francisco, Calif.
Arizona State -1; Total 154
The San Francisco Dons (7-1) will host the Arizona State Sun Devils (4-2) at War Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday in a battle that will features a contrast of styles. San Francisco is the third highest scoring offense in NCAA Division I scoring 87.1 points per game while Arizona State features the 42nd best scoring defense (out of 350 Division I teams) allowing just 60.8 points per game.
San Francisco has opened this season just as it opened last year just as it did last season -- with a 7-0 record. The Dons will hope that the rest of the season goes better as they went 4-7 over their final 11 games one season ago, including a loss in the first round of the West Coast Conference tournament to Pepperdine, and failed to reach the postseason despite a 21-10 overall record. The level of competition this year on paper appears to be better with the teams that San Francisco has played holding a combined 24-29 record, but it looks worse when seeing only 11 of those wins were against Division I competition.
Nevertheless, the Dons are getting the job done, winning by an average of just under 20 points per game including an impressive overtime win against Yale. San Francisco lost the last time out on Friday, dropping a 10-point decision at Hawaii, probably the best team that the Dons have faced. San Francisco made just 7-of-21 3-point attempts, well under its average of 11.1 made per game -- a total that is good enough for fifth in NCAA Division I. It also shot below its season average of 37.1 percent from long range. Hawaii, on the other hand, shot 52.9 percent from long range.
In the Hawaii loss, 7-foot senior Jimbo Lull led the Dons with 24 points and 10 rebounds on 3-of-4 shooting from long range, while junior Jamaree Bouyea scored 18 points. Junior Charles Minlend added 14 points and seven rebounds while senior Jordan Ratinho added 10 points in the loss. Minlend and Bouyea lead the Dons on the season with 15.1 points per game, while Lull scores 12.8 points while grabbing 7.6 rebounds per game. Ratinho and Khalil Shabazz score 10.9 and 10.0 points per game respectively.
Arizona State’s defensive prowess has really shown after a season-opening loss to Colorado, a team that is currently ranked No. 20 in the national rankings. While the Sun Devils are impressive allowing just 60.8 points per game, their numbers get even more impressive when omitting the season opener. Arizona State has allowed just 56.8 points per game in that stretch in games that include wins over Rider and St. John’s and a four-point loss to No. 7 Virginia.
Most recently, Arizona State was challenged by Princeton and needed a 3-pointer in the final seconds from junior Khalid Thomas to secure the 67-65 win after trailing 31-26 at the half. In fact, this is the fourth time in six games that the Sun Devils trailed at the break this season. Junior Remy Martin led all scorers with a massive 33-point effort playing 40 minutes and scoring 23 of his points in the second half to lead the comeback. Thomas added 14 points off the bench and junior Romello White scored 11 points with nine rebounds.
However, only three other players scored to combine for nine points, which marks Arizona State’s struggles offensively. Overall, Martin averages 21.7 points per game, good enough for the 21st-best mark in Division I. But after that, senior Rob Edwards averages 12.3 points, and White scores 9.8 points with 7.8 rebounds. The Sun Devils ranks just 142nd in Division I scoring 74.2 points per game.
This appears to be another matchup issue for Arizona State. San Francisco, like Princeton, will have a huge size advantage on the Sun Devils and there’s little doubt that the Dons’ coaching staff will employ the same strategy on Tuesday. Arizona State has no players that play meaningful minutes over 6-foot-8, so Princeton pounded the ball inside to 6-foot-9 Richmond Aririguzoh who scored 16 points with 18 rebounds, and 6-foot-7 Drew Friberg added 11 points to almost pull out the massive upset.
The difference between that game and this one is that Princeton was 1-5 after that loss that San Francisco is 7-1 with a legit big man in Lull. Look for a massive game out of the man from Manhattan Beach, Calif. and look for the Dons to go 8-1 for the second straight season.