Miami-Florida (4-3) vs. Arizona State (7-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Honda Center (17,608) -- Anaheim, California. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Miami 2-2, ASU 5-0. Away Record: Miami 2-0, ASU 1-0. Neutral Record: Miami 0-1, ASU 1-1. Conference Record: Miami 0-0, ASU 0-0. Series Record: Arizona State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: Arizona State tries to get off to an 8-1 start for just the sixth time in the last 36 seasons, as the Sun Devils take on the Miami-Florida Hurricanes in the fifth-place game of the Wooden Legacy, which is now taking place at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Sun Devils were a perfect 6-0 before heading to Titan Gym in Fullerton, California to begin this event on Thanksgiving, but the squad took a heavy blow from 20th-ranked Creighton that day, 88-60. On Friday, ASU managed to bounce back with a commanding 80-58 triumph over the College of Charleston in order to return to the win column.
As for the Hurricanes, a squad that tipped off the 2013-14 campaign rather auspiciously with a 66-62 overtime loss to St. Francis of Brooklyn, they suffered a 71-63 overtime setback to George Washington on Thursday before slipping by host Fullerton a day later in a 48-46 final.
ASU is 2-0 all-time against the Hurricanes, although the teams have not played each other in more than two decades. The last battle took place two days before Christmas in 1991, with ASU posting a 62-57 win at home in Tempe.
The Miami defense stepped up and held the Titans to just 29.2 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, a mere 17 points, as the Hurricanes took a six-point advantage into the break. Eventually the game drew closer down the stretch, but Miami still had enough left in the tank to capture the two-point win. James Kelly was the only double-digit scorer for Miami with 10 points, although fellow starters Davon Reed and Rion Brown contributed nine points apiece as the squad overcame just 3-of-10 shooting at the free-throw line and 3-of-19 beyond the arc.
Through seven games, Brown is the leading scorer for the 'Canes with his 12.9 ppg, accounting for a team-best 7.6 rpg and 20 assists as well. However, even with Brown tackling many aspects of the game, what cannot be overlooked is his mere 36.6 percent shooting from the floor and 6-of-30 (.200) on the perimeter. Garrius Adams (12.1 ppg) falls into the same category as an outside shooter, connecting on only 6-of-32 (.188) and that has brought the entire squad down to only 29.6 percent.
In a game that featured six ties and three lead changes, the meeting between Arizona State and Charleston was taken over by the Sun Devils in the second half as the team led by as many as 27 points while shooting 53.7 percent from the floor and turning the ball over just five times. Except for Jermaine Marshall who was held to only two points in 25 minutes of action, every starter scored in double figures for ASU, beginning with Jahii Carson with 21 points, to go along with seven of the unit's nine assists. Jordan Bachynski pitched in with 16 points, Jonathan Gilling 15 and Egor Koulechov 12 points in the romp.
Carson paces the program with 21.8 ppg as he not only shoots 54.5 percent from the field, but also 15-of-29 (.517) beyond the arc. Perhaps just as impressive is the fact that Carson is also first on the squad in assists with 43, almost twice as many as his closest teammate. Marshall (14.3 ppg) and Bachynski (13.0 ppg) add some offensive punch, the latter also responsible for both 9.5 rpg and 33 blocked shots.
The interior defense for the Sun Devils, specifically Bachynski, will be more than ready to challenge any and all shots in the paint by Miami, and that should be more than enough for ASU to come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 77, Miami-Florida 68
12/01 10:41:52 ET