Sun Devils Continue Improvement During Month of February


It’s been a strange year for Herb Sendek’s ASU Sun Devils. For the first couple months of the season, it looked like they were going to be one of the worst teams in the Pac-12, but their outlook on the season has changed in recent weeks.

Thanks to their good play in late January and their 4-2 record during February, the Sun Devils have suddenly changed their season around. It’s still highly unlikely that they make the NCAA Tournament, even if they close out the regular season with victories, but their play as of late has at least people paying attention.

More from Arizona State Sun Devils

February got off to a perfect start for ASU. Avenging their blowout loss earlier in the season in Tucson, the Sun Devils took down the No. 6 ranked Arizona Wildcats, 81-78.

To date, it was probably ASU’s best offensive performance of the season. The Devils shot 50 percent from the field against a very good defensive team. Four Sun Devils finished in double figures with senior Bo Barnes leading the way with 18 points.

In what has been a common occurrence this season though, ASU followed up that victory with a 74-71 loss in Pullman to Washington State. The road team had a good first half, but was unable to close things out in the second half away from Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sun Devils were able to bounce back by closing out the road trip with a win over Washington. Unlike in Pullman, ASU was able to have a very good final 20 minutes to get their record back over the .500 mark at the time.

Fresh off their win over U-Dub, the Devils grabbed a pair of victories on their home floor against both Southern California schools during the middle of the month. Savon Goodman led the way in the game against UCLA while ASU’s defense helped them steal a game late against USC.

Their final game of February turned out to be their worst game of the entire season. The Sun Devils lost 83-41 to Utah on the road, one of the worst losses in school history. ASU had only nine first half points and shot a poor 28 percent from the field for the game.

The Sun Devils will look to move past that game and to begin the month of March on a winning note when they close out their road schedule in Boulder against Colorado. The Buffaloes have struggled on the season, having lost six of their past seven games, which includes a blowout loss to Arizona on Thursday night.

Following that road contest, the Devils will close out their regular season slate with Stanford and California at Wells Fargo Arena before playing in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas the following week.

If ASU wants to have any dreams of dancing in March, they’ll likely have to go on a long winning streak to close out the year.