February 27, 2007
ASU game could be a challenge
There are some games in which you need to ignore the record and pay more attention to the way that the team is actually playing. One of those games is on Thursday when Stanford takes on a surging Arizona State squad.
It sounds silly to describe the Sun Devils as surging, but ASU has truly improved from where they were earlier in the season. The Sun Devils have seemingly been competitive in each game, and the last six games are likely the best indication of where the team is now.
The Sun Devils lost to Oregon and Oregon State by four points, UCLA by six, Arizona by three, and came out with a win against USC. The key thing for Stanford is that Arizona State does not have anybody to match up with the Lopez twins.
Of course, nobody really has anybody to match up with both of them, but Jeff Pendergraph will not be enough to shut them both down.
It is quite likely that either Brook or Robin will have a big game, because it is too much of a match up problem for Arizona State. In terms of guards, it will be interesting to see if Anthony Goods will be back.
If so, it certainly improves Stanford. The Cardinal has not been playing well without Goods at the point guard position, and it is undeniable that the team is much better with him in the back court.
Derek Glasser, Arizona State's point guard, is a solid player but he is not likely to do anything spectacular. He does not make a lot of mistakes, but some defensive pressure would be wise, especially since he is not going to hurt Stanford too much offensively.
The real guard to watch on Thursday will be Christian Polk. It is difficult to describe what type of player he is, but Polk is more of a shooting guard than anything.
He will take most open shots, whether they are in his range or not. If Polk is not hitting his shots early, it would not be surprising to see Stanford back off a little, as Polk's shot selection is poor.
Either way, Stanford should be favored in this game. However, Arizona State is going to make it as difficult of a win as Stanford has had all season.
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