No. 25 Arizona State enters its game at San Francisco on Wednesday night ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in two seasons and the fourth season in coach Bobby Hurley’s eight years as the Sun Devils’ coach.
Arizona State (11-1) is on a nine-game winning streak after defeating San Diego 91-67 in Tempe, Ariz., on Sunday.
This is the best start in 12 games for Hurley’s program since the 2017-18 season.
Hurley mentioned recently that this is his most complete team at Arizona State because of its performance defensively.
“I think that’s where we’ve grown as a program — we’ve valued the defensive end of the floor more, and it’s paying off,” Hurley said. “It’s given us a chance to win these games late because we have the length and the size and the ability to get stops. I think we have a chance to consistently win basketball games this year.”
San Francisco (9-4) is coming off a 68-63 upset loss against visiting UT-Arlington on Monday.
The Dons began Monday with an NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) ranking of 85. UT-Arlington (5-7) was at 296, and of its four wins before Monday, only one was over a Division I opponent (Northern Kentucky).
San Francisco entered that game following a 75-73 win at UNLV on Saturday in which it scored the last 11 points and handed the Running Rebels their first loss.
“You can’t look past anybody,” San Francisco coach Chris Gerlufsen said, “and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. But we need to respect the game and play the game the right way, approach the game the right way. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, where you’re playing. Our effort and our approach need to be the same.”
Arizona State is balanced offensively, exemplified by five players scoring in double figures in the win over San Diego — the first game in three seasons the Sun Devils have produced that many in one game.
Desmond Cambridge Jr. had a game-high 23 points. The other double-figure scorers were Warren Washington (18 points), Devan Cambridge (13), Frankie Collins (12) and DJ Horne (10).
Desmond Cambridge, Collins and Horne have scored at least 20 points twice this season.
Arizona State is one of only two schools in the Pac-12 to have three players score at least 20 points in a game this season. The other is No. 5 Arizona.
San Francisco’s Tyrell Roberts, a graduate transfer guard from Washington State, scored at least 20 points for the second time this season against UT-Arlington, finishing with 24 points, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
Zane Meeks added 13 points and Khalil Shabazz finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Meeks was a teammate of Desmond Cambridge at Nevada in the 2020-21 season. Meeks transferred to San Francisco before the 2021-22 season, and Cambridge transferred to Arizona State ahead of this season.
–Field Level Media