Bombs Away: Sun Devil Hoops Faces a Favored 7-1 USF Squad Tuesday Night
By Peter Bouloukos,
December 3, 2019 3:07 PM

The Basketball World can be fierce.  Every day is a battle. Every team is competitive and upsets can and will happen. Ask the Duke Blue Devils. It’s a never-ending cycle of trial and error.  

Learning to put the right pieces on the floor on a given night is a mental, physical and emotional puzzle in the college game. You gain an inch, you lose an inch. You gain some ground and lose some ground. Each league has a top dog and underdogs…and it’s certainly a dog eat dog world.

University of San Francisco Dons

USF Senior 7’0″ Center Jimbo Lull can score inside and out.  One crux of the matter Tuesday Night will be stopping Jimbo from dominating in the paint as well as stretching the floor for San Francisco guards to exploit.   

San Francisco (7-1) is the computer favorite over Arizona State (4-2). The Dons are given a 61-percent win probability in tonight’s game. 6’8” Junior ASU Center Romello “The Big Fundamental” White needs to get the ball early and often in War Memorial Gymnasium.

The Sun Devils need to get The Dons into foul-trouble while also slowing down the pace of the game.  USF averages 87.1-points per contest and is shooting 37-percent from beyond the arc and doing so in volume. Against similar opponents, the Dons scored 82 to Arizona State’s 67-points against the hapless Princeton Tiger’s (1-5).



6’8″ Freshman Josh Kunen is getting 23 minutes per game as a starter and can create a mismatch if Bobby Hurley plays a four-guard lineup.  6’9” Senior Remu Raitanen (Helsinki, Finland) can swallow up minutes and dropped 19-points on Cal State Bakersfield. Sophomore Dzmitry Riyuny at 6’9″ also plays inside-out and again presents certain mismatches for “Guard U.”  

The Dons will run 10 players into the mix on Tuesday. Let’s hope Remy Martin doesn’t have to score 30 or more points late in order to carry his Sun Devils to victory.  

Arizona State will need efficient minutes from their longer Guards and Forwards. Elias Valtonen, Taeshon Cherry, Jalen Graham, and Khalid Thomas need to be aggressive Tuesday night, not only defending the paint but utilizing their length to extend the defense to 23-feet. The idea here is to challenge the ball at or slightly beyond the three-point line. San Francisco has already launched 240 3-point attempts this season.  

6’4” Junior Guard Charles Minlend and 6’2” Junior Guard Jamaree Bouyea are opportunistic and score from all over the floor. The Sun Devils’ Guards are going to have to rebound as well as defend backdoor screens.  

Only a Sun Devil knows the feeling

The 3-point miss creates long rebounds for aggressive shooting guards and forwards to capitalize on. This brings in 6’5” Senior Guard Jordan Ratinho who has been hit or miss this year but can get hot and torch opposing defenses. Ratinho has 49 attempts from beyond the arc and will fire away despite a 32.7-percent success rate. “Guard U” is shooting 32.3-percent from downtown to put that into perspective.  

The true challenge in this game?  USF has guys who play loose yet do so in a system. Arizona State can shut the USF perimeter game down with man-to-man, but Romello has to show up and stay out of foul trouble. Jalen Graham and Andre Allen will need to be prepared to help. 

Keys to a Sun Devil Hoops Victory

Bobby Hurley will have to dig into his bench, create the right match-ups on the floor, and be prepared to run some structured offensive sets to manufacture points in tough spots. Run some plays for Rob Edwards. He is lethal when he has breathing room and should not have to play one-on-one to generate shot attempts. Perhaps Hurley releases Edwards early on Defense to get him the ball in transition for a few wide-open three’s. 

Sun Devil Hoops is depending on improved performances from Jaelen House and Alonzo Verge Jr. Both have to finish stronger at the rim and demonstrate the ability to shoot mid to long-range. Remy Martin can’t do it alone. The Devils could lose if Verge and House combine 15+ total shots. But they have to take smart shots but not go “Dort” by volume. 

Finally, Arizona State must swallow up Defensive rebounds. If the Dons reach their average of 13.25 Offensive Rebounds per game, Arizona State loses. Let’s set that number at 7 or less for an ASU win. Simply stated, they can’t give San Francisco’s team extra 3-point attempts because all five players on the court will let it fly. 


War Memorial Arena in San Francisco


Stats & Figures

  1. 👉 According to the Power-Index last week, USF had a 59.4 percent chance to defeat Sun Devil Hoops.    
  2. 👉 According to the Power-Index today, USF has a 61- percent chance to defeat Sun Devil Hoops and The Dons lost to the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Friday 85-75.  
  3. 👉 USF has the 3rd most efficient offense in the nation (120.0 ORtg.).  
  4. 👉 USF is AVERAGING thirty 3-point shot attempts while connecting on 11.1-per game.  
  5. 👉 POWER RANKINGS:  USF 48th ASU 54th
  7. 👉 Arizona State is 4-1 ATS in its last five games.
  8. 👉 The Sun Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last six games played on a Tuesday.


ASU Sun Devils 🆚 USF Dons 

Date/Time: Dec. 3, 2019 – 8:00 p.m. PT
Site: War Memorial Stadium at the Sobrato Center  
TV:  CBS Sports Network
Talent: Rich Waltz (play-by-play) Steve Lappas (analyst), and John Schriffen (sideline)
Radio:  KNBR 1050-AM
TalentPat Olson (play-by-play) and Jim Brovelli (analyst)
Live Stats:

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