For power conference schools, games at the beginning of the basketball season are most often reserved for weaker opponents. These opponents are specifically scheduled for early year play to help jump start a team as they gather their bearings. Although a hitch in the get-along is expected here and there, blowout wins are also often expected. For Arizona State the final scores thus far have looked nice. However, for those looking at the actual play, the Sun Devils have yet to play a full 40 minutes of quality basketball.
Arizona State has a great chance on Tuesday night to put together those 40 minutes of dominance when they play the Cornell Big Red. This Big Red squad brings a 1-3 record and a three game losing streak into Wells Fargo Arena. Cornell’s most recent loss was a 33-point shellacking at the hands of Wisconsin, and the 7:00 p.m. game Tuesday will be their second road game in three days. The Big Red face adversity and these are the games where good teams pounce on the walking wounded.
How wounded is Cornell? Well, they currently shoot 28% from three-point range and their tallest man in the current rotation is 6’9”. Additionally, Cornell’s starting point guard and the second on the team in minutes, Galal Cancer (25.0 mpg), had an abysmal performance against Wisconsin with two points on 0-5 shooting from the field and five turnovers. The one bright spot for the Big Red this season has been sophomore guard Devin Cherry, who, despite coming off the bench, is registering 10.3 points per game as Cornell’s leading scorer. Cherry provided the majority of Cornell’s offense with 13 points Sunday night; however, his contributions were partially negated by his four turnovers.
All these Big Red flaws are defects that the Sun Devils should look to exploit on Tuesday night. Solid play across the board consisting of defending inside penetration, closing out in defensive rotations, continuation of offensive virtue, and cutting down on sloppy play will ensure the Cornell Big Red keep on bleeding.
Keys to Success
1. Keep Cornell out of the paint.
The Big Red shoot 28% from the perimeter and forcing them into this uncomfortable zone is a must. This should not be too lofty of a task with the nation’s leading shot blocker on ASU’s side in Jordan Bachynski with 7.5 bpg, a huge reason for Arizona State’s improvement in post defense so far this season
2. Make it Groundhog Day for Cornell’s guard play.
Evan Gordon has displayed his tremendous on-ball defending already this year, and has a chance to really put the locks on Cancer and Cherry, who combined for nine turnovers against Wisconsin.
3. Foot on the gas for the full 40 minutes.
The Sun Devil’s overall outcomes have been impressive in the first two games. However, the efforts in the beginning and middle of games have often been horrific. With a struggling Cornell team on the docket, Arizona State has a real chance of putting together a complete game as long as the team doesn’t get complacent as the game moves along.
Matchup to Watch: ASU’s Evan Gordon (Guard) vs. Cornell’s Galal Cancer (Guard) and Devin Cherry (Guard).
For the second straight game, Gordon is featured in our matchup of the game, as he did not disappoint in his last outing. Gordon forced his opposition into a more-than-uncomfortable night from the field yet again against Florida A&M.
Gordon held his man to 2-10 shooting in 22 minutes of play Sunday afternoon, and will be going at it again against Cornell. Cancer and Cherry have struggled with turning the ball over thus far, and more of the same should be expected from the pair in this game. Gordon will likely collect steals, force bad passes, and be a defensive nuisance to Cornell’s guards for the duration of the night.
Quote of the Week: On Jonathan Gilling’s play against Florida A&M, Herb Sendek said, “He’s no shrinking violet.”
Mauricio Casillas: ASU 75, Cornell 69 Player of the Game-Jordan Bachynski
Kerry Crowley: ASU 84, Cornell 70 Player of the Game-Carrick Felix
Alex Gallant: ASU 67, Cornell 63 Player of the Game- Jahii Carson
Nick Krueger: ASU 75, Cornell 58 Player of the Game-Evan Gordon
Trey Lanthier: ASU 71, Cornell 73 Player of the Game-Carrick Felix
Cammeron Neely: ASU 82, Cornell 57 Player of the Game- Jordan Bachynski
Evan Webeck: ASU 80, Cornell 72 Player of the Game-Jahii Carson
Cuyler Meade: ASU 83, Cornell 58 Player of the Game- Jordan Bachynski
Predictions Update: The WCSN Staff has a prediction record of 16-0 this season.
Clubhouse Leader: All 8 participants are tied with 2 correct win/loss prediction.
Nick Krueger currently leads the scoring prediction, missing the correct totals by a total of 15 points against Florida A&M. He currently leads by 2 games.
Cuyler Meade, Alex Gallant, and Trey Lanthier all have one correct MVP prediction and are tied for the lead.