Sports

Wildcats’ offense will be enough

Arizona State has been one of college basketball’s biggest disappointments this season, having last won on Dec. 13, and the Sun Devils will look to snap their four game losing steak on Thursday against intrastate rival Arizona. 

Whether for personal reasons, injury, or COVID-19 contract tracing, Arizona State has had seven of its top 10 players in terms of points per game miss at least two games this season. As a result, what was expected to be an explosive offense to rank 135th on a points per possession basis. 

Arizona has been significantly better on offense, ranking 26th in points scored on a per possession basis with five different players averaging more than 10 points per game. More importantly, Arizona’s main form of offense is getting to the free-throw line, ranking ninth in the country in free-throw attempts per offensive play. Arizona State has allowed opponents to average 24.2 free-throw attempts per game, which rates 320th and the 347 D-I teams that have played this season. 

Couple this with Arizona State getting decimated on the glass, ranking 331st in rebound rate while Arizona is eight in this category, and it leads to a mismatch that is heavily in favor of the Wildcats. 

The play: Arizona -2.5.

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