ASU-UCLA: Showdown in the Desert

Rob SlaterContributor IFebruary 27, 2008

With their season on the brink, ASU will have some good home cooking tonight as they square off with the UCLA Bruins. 

This home-cooking, however, might not taste as good as they would like it to.

After suffering a 33 point defeat on January 5th when these two teams hooked up at Pauley, the Devils were left reeling and slipped into a five-game losing streak.

Herb Sendeck has these young Devils back on track and riding high after a win on the road at Washington, and there's nothing better than a late season home game against a top ranked team.

With the possibility of UCLA being No. 1 in the rankings this means the opportunity is there for Arizona State to solidify their tournament resume and basically cement themselves in the postseason. 

How will this be done?  Let's take a look.

The matchup to watch is obviously Jeff Pendergraph trying to defend the versatile Kevin Love. Pendergraph will have to guard Love all over the court, as he loves to move around to find his shot.  Also Pendergraph will have to force Kevin Love to guard him in the post because Pendergraph has the size and the experience advantage in the post game.

On the white board before the game, Herb Sendeck should write three names: Collison, Westbrook, Shipp.  This three pronged attack that the Bruins have combined with Love as a 4th guard poses a threat for the young Sun Devil guards Harden, Abbott and Glasser. For ASU to have a chance these guards will have to handle their slashing ability as well as accuracy from downtown.

The bottom line is that UCLA is a very explosive team. They can slash from every angle and can go 10 deep  which gives them an advantage.

What they do not have on their side however will be 10,000 people packed into Wells Fargo Arena. The fans will need to warm up those vocal cords as ASU boasts one of the most hostile college basketball environments.


ASU plays a tough 35 minutes, but the depth of UCLA takes over in the final minutes to prevail 63-59