The return of Marcus Bagley plus big-time transfer portal pickups puts Arizona State in a position to finally succeed.
CBB Review is once again ranking the top 100 teams heading into the 2022-23 season. Each day we will reveal the next team until we reach the team slotted at number one. Coming in ranked number 80 is the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The last two seasons have been more than forgettable for the Sun Devils, finishing three games under .500 both seasons and well out of reach of the NCAA Tournament. With Bobby Hurley’s seat getting hotter every game, this season means a lot for his head coaching future.
As for the team, they caught a big break when potential Pac 12 player of the year Marcus Bagley announced he will be returning for his junior season. Pair that with the return of leading scorer D.J Horne, and several highly touted transfer portal pickups, and this Sun Devil team might make some noise once again.
To those who have not, click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams heading into the 2022-23 college basketball season.
Head Coach: Bobby Hurley (7th Year)
2021-2022 Record: 14-17 (10-10)
2022 Postseason Finish: Pac 12 Tournament First Round Exit
Notable Departures: Marreon Jackson (Graduated), Kimani Lawrence (Graduated), Jay Heath (Transfer), Jalen Graham (Transfer)
PG: DJ Horne (6’1, 175, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 89.7 FT%
SG: Desmond Cambridge (6’4, 180, Gr-Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, 43.5 FG%, 37 3P% (Nevada)
SF: Marcus Bagley (6’8, 215, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals (3 games played)
PF: Alonzo Gaffney (6’9, 198, Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 4.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.3 blocks
C: Warren Washington (7’0, 215, Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 blocks, 58.9 FG% (Nevada)
6: Frankie Collins (6’1, 185, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 42.7 FG% (Michigan)
7: Enoch Boakye (6’10, 240, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 2.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.9 blocks, 52.8 FG%
8: Devan Cambridge (6’6, 215, Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 5.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 40.2 FG% (Auburn)
9: Luther Muhammad (6’3, 185, Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 5.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 82.8 FT%
10: Austin Nunez (6’2, 170, Fr.)
247Sports Composite #97 overall rated recruit
11: Jamiya Neal (6’6, 185, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.8 steals
Team MVP: Desmond Cambridge
The Arizona State Sun Devils got a game changer when Cambridge announced he would be transferring to ASU for this upcoming season. The pure scorer has averaged between 15-17 points all four seasons, and can really make a shot when needed. Arizona State didn’t have that go-to scorer last year that a lot of the successful teams and teams that went far in the NCAA Tournament had, so getting a high-profile player like Cambridge automatically boosts the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Make-or-Break Player: Marcus Bagley
Being a former high 4-star recruit and the brother of the 2nd overall pick in the NBA Draft Marvin Bagley led to high expectations the last two seasons, but major injuries have really harmed not only himself but his team. He has played just 15 games over the last two seasons, but when he’s in the team sees an immediate impact. If the Arizona State Sun Devils want to go dancing this year, Marcus Bagley will be a huge reason why, but if he can stay healthy will be a big concern.
Analytic to Know: 27th in AdjD
Despite the poor record, the Arizona State Sun Devils actually had the 27th best defense in the country according to KenPom. Losing Marreon Jackson, who averaged 1.7 steals a game and was arguably their best defender will hurt, but with the roster they are bringing in, they are more than capable of finishing around that mark again. The reason for their struggles was the 207th best offense, but with the entrance of Cambridge, they have already addressed that need.
— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) July 6, 2022
After falling to 6-13 and 2-7 in conference play, Arizona State knocked off then #3 UCLA and finished the season winning 8 of their last 11. If things click earlier this season, then Arizona State can 100% be a tournament team and even creep into that Top 4 in the Pac 12. The biggest factor to this of course will be Marcus Bagley’s availability. They need him to stay healthy if they want any shot of making a run.
The center position will be interesting. Warren Washington is slated to be the starter, but Enoch Boakye was a top 35 recruit last year, and there’s no doubt Hurley will want to showcase that. Expect both of them to split minutes pretty evenly until one shows they are the clear outlier.
This is a pretty important year for Hurley. Arizona State does not enjoy losing culture, and three years of sub .500 seasons might be enough to send Hurley onto the job boards. He has the talent too for a productive team, so this will be another true test of how good of a coach Hurley can be.
The Arizona State Sun Devils will play in the Legends Classic and take on two of Michigan, Pittsburgh, and VCU. Michigan and Pitt are both on the CBB Rank Top 100, so those will be great nonconference tests.
As for conference play, it looks like the Pac 12 won’t be any different than the last four or five years, meaning that there will be a clear top two or three, then a big middle tier, then a few bottom tier teams. Right now, Arizona State falls into that middle tier, but with good coaching and a healthy roster, they can certainly find themselves competing in the Pac 12 late into the season and vying for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Conference Finish: 8th in the Pac 12
Projected Postseason Finish: NIT Tournament
Ceiling: NCAA Tournament Round of 32 Exit