When: 8:00 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Network
Audio Stream: Cal All-Access ($$$)
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Unfortunately, you all get an abbreviated preview of the Sun Devils - I've been busy writing up previews for baseball and softball season! Cal sports 24/7 baby! It's been a weird kind of transition year for ASU. They have long time coach Charli Turner Thorne back from a year's sabbatical, but they lost five key contributors from last year's team, including leading scorer and rebounder Kimberly Brandon. As a result this year has been a bit of a rebuild, and the Devils are just 3-7 in the Pac-12 - and that's before the Bay Area road trip. Harsh.
Senior forward Janae Fulcher has been ASU's top scorer, but as is often the case with Turner Thorne on the bench, she only averages 20 minutes/game. In fact, 9 different ASU players average between 16 minutes and 26 minutes a game. It's a system I've never really understood but I guess it has worked in the past. As a result nobody on the team has particularly impressive counting stats.
ASU strengths: The Devils have a decent defense, highlighted by a solid ability to force turnovers on 25% of their opponents' possessions.
ASU weaknesses: Conversely, the Devils turn the ball over themselves 25% of the time, which could make things especially ugly if Cal decides to press.
While ASU has given the Bears some tough, tough games over the years, this just isn't the same team that competed at the top with Cal and Stanford just a few years ago. Playing at home, the Bears are strong favorites.