Arizona State vs San Diego State: San Diego State increased the nation’s longest road winning streak to 13 games when they defeated Arizona State 80-68 Thursday evening. San Diego State held Arizona State to their lowest point total of the season and the favorite to win the Mountain West has now knocked off two top 25 teams this season in UCLA and Arizona State, the favorites to finish first and second in the Pac-12.

1) Arizona State’s interior struggles

Arizona State was completely dominated inside the paint by San Diego State Thursday evening. San Diego State outscored Arizona State 36-8 in the pain, out rebounded them 44-37 including 11 offensive rebounds that led to 17 points for San Diego State. This isn’t new or an outlier for Arizona State. Arizona State has now been out rebounded in four of their five games and has allowed at least nine offensive rebounds in every contest. The focus is much on the interior but Arizona State lacks the basic fundamentals at every position to clear the ball off the glass and move into transition where Arizona State excells.

2) San Diego State’s defense is elite

Entering the game, San Diego State ranked ninth nationally in scoring defense allowing only 54.2 points per game. Arizona State finished the game with 68 points and is the first team this season who has scored more than 60 points on San Diego State. Arizona State entered the night averaging 84.5 points per game as the nation’s 46th best scoring offense and San Diego State completely stifled the for much of the second half. San Diego State can play man-to-man or zone. They can switch ball screens at every position and their big men have the foot speed and discipline to stay with and solidly defend smaller guards.

3) Arizona State forgets there is no “I” in team

34 of Arizona State’s field goal attempts were from 3-point range against San Diego State. Which means that 58.6% of Arizona State’s field goal attempts cam from behind the arc. In their four previous games, Arizona State’s 3-point field goal attempts had never been more than 50% of their overall field goal attempts. Arizona State has the guards and the personnel to win games shooting this much from behind the arc, but they need to do it in the right way. Against San Diego State, Arizona State made 13 3-point baskets, 11 of which were assisted. Many of Arizona State’s misses came from the guards looking to do it all and forgetting the importance of getting the ball into the paint to kick it out to the shooter. Arizona State has the potential and should correct this moving forward, but in challenging match ups moving forward the Sun Devils can easily fall into this bad habit again.

Feature Image Credit: Photo by Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images



By Matt Karner

Big East hoops writer for NCAAM Review Bracketologist for Busted Bracketology ( Twitter: @karner44 Instagram: @karner44