ASU offense scorching hot through four games in route to four wins
By TJ Mathewson // Men’s Basketball Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, Ariz. — There has been no stopping the Sun Devil offense early in the 2017-18 season.
ASU wrapped up another impressive win Sunday afternoon with a 99-78 win over UC Irvine to improve to 4-0 on the season, the first time the Devils have started 4-0 since the 2013-14 season.
This is also the first time since 1975 that ASU has scored 90+ points in four straight games, with point outputs of 90, 94, 97 and 99 to start the season.
“I just think it’s the buy-in to share the ball and move the ball,” coach Bobby Hurley said about his team’s hot offensive start. “When we rebound and we can push, we have guys that can get lost in transition and score.”
When you look at the team stats, it’s not hard to see why ASU is having so much success scoring the basketball.
The Sun Devils are shooting almost 54% from the field, 40% from three. These aren’t just isolation jumpers, the ball is moving very well for ASU, averaging over 20 assists per game.
The offense is also getting out in transition well, forcing 18 turnovers per game and are scoring 20.3 points off of those turnovers.The presence of Vitaliy Shibel, De’Quon Lake and Romello White inside the paint has been huge for ASU, providing more open shots for senior guards Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice.
“They just make it easier, we can play harder (knowing that they are there),” senior guard Shannon Evans said on the presence of Lake, White, and Shibel.
The improved play of both Holder and Evans has them averaging over 20 points and six assists on the season, both numbers better than their 2016-17 season totals.
For the guys inside, White is averaging a double-double through his first three games played with 18.3 points and 10.7 rebounds, while Lake is averaging 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
All of this and ASU isn’t even at full strength with the frontcourt, with Ramon Vila transferring before the season started, Kimani Lawrence being sidelined with an injury until late December and Mickey Mitchell sitting out the first half of the season due to transfer rules.
ASU will put the white-hot offense to the test Thursday in the Continental Tire Invitational versus Kansas State, who has not allowed an opponent to score more than 51 points in their first three games.
TJ Mathewson is a beat writer for Blaze Sports covering ASU Men’s Basketball. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow TJ on Twitter @TJM5518