Jordan Bachynski could be an NBA first-round pick if UCLA were the only team he ever faced. A big reason for Arizona State’s 41-33 lead, the 7-foot-2 center worked the Bruins early with a game-high 14 points, adding four rebounds and a block. He got caught twice goaltending — including one on Larry Drew II that opened scoring for the Bruins — but logged one official block and is two away from breaking the Pac-12 season record. Continue reading
The Pac-12 tournament opened with Arizona State’s 89-88 overtime win over Stanford, one that sets up the Sun Devils as perhaps the toughest second-round matchup UCLA could have had.
The Bruins tip off against ASU at 12 p.m. Thursday after splitting the season series, and will have to contend with Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. The 5-foot-10 point guard dropped a career-high 34 points on the Cardinal, just one shy of the program record for freshmen. Senior forward Carrick Felix, an all-conference defender, is also a concern.
Some quotes from the Sun Devils after that win, touching a bit on the rubber match with UCLA. Continue reading
UCLA (20-7, 10-4) vs. ASU (20-8, 9-6)
Tipoff: 8:30 p.m., Pauley Pavilion
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/AM 570
At a glance: UCLA had one of its worst games of the season against Arizona State, a 78-60 laugher in Tempe
Tucson that sucked all the goodwill from the Bruins’ upset of Arizona. Many players said they’re still using that game as motivation, similar to the way they did Sunday in avenging their home loss to USC.
ASU has been inconsistent, but needs a win to keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive. Ben Howland said this week he expects the Sun Devils — projected as one of the last teams out of the field of 68 — to play with that sort of desperate attitude. Continue reading