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ASU Basketball in the Pac-12 Tourney: Key Factors to Watch Before Heading to the Dance
By Ben Wong, DieHardDevil.com
March 12, 2014 2:55 PM

Photo credit, ASU

Saturday’s disappointing defeat in Corvallis marked the end of one of the more fruitful Sun Devil regular seasons in recent years. The 2013-2014 iteration of Sun Devil basketball finished with a 21-10 record, good for 4th in the Pac-12. 

The Sun Devils, while successful, were remarkably inconsistent. 

At home in front of the raucous 942 Crew, the Devils were a solid 16-1. They beat (then #25) Marquette on a last second block by Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Jordan Bachynski, clapped Colorado by 21 points, and upset (then #2) the University of Arizona in double overtime thanks to a 29 point performance from swingman Jermaine Marshall. 

ASU did not come close to matching their home excellence on the road with a disappointing 5-9 record. The (then #20, now #13) Creighton Bluejays outscored the Devils by 28 points in the second round of the Wooden Legacy Tournament. ASU finished the season with two  road losses to the Oregon schools.

This is not a good trend for ASU’s tournament hopes. The Sun Devils often do not get a complete effort on the road. All-Pac-12 First Teamer Jahii Carson is often the only guy who consistently shows up while getting sub-par efforts from fellow starters Jordan Bachynski had 4 rebounds at Oregon State on 3/8, 5 points and 6 rebounds at Utah on 2/23, and an abysmal 4 points and 3 rebounds at Colorado on 1/25. Jermaine Marshall had 4 points and 2 rebounds at Washington on 1/2, and 5 points (1-12 shooting) and 2 rebounds at Oregon State on 3/8. 

For the Devils to have any shot at a deep tournament run, Marshall and Bachynski will have to be consistent. We know they are capable. Marshall and Bachynski must deliver some big-time performances. 

With the Pac-12 Tournament kicking off today, will the Sun Devils play like Las Vegas is home or away? Every team is in the same boat, and most games should be contentious.

Will Jahii, Jordan and Jermaine show that they can have some success in the NCAA Tournament? Well tomorrow night at 8:30pm in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, they can prove it by taking down Stanford.

 

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