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ASU Basketball Preview: Last Place Game versus Vanderbilt

Arizona State just got utterly embarrassed by BYU last night. This 28-point loss sent them into the third-place game instead of the championship. They will face Vanderbilt, a team consistently near the bottom of the SEC. Vanderbilt lost yesterday to NC State by 6 in a game that was never close. Vanderbilt is 3-2 coming into this game, with their other loss being an opening-night loss to Presbyterian. Who will finish last in the Vegas Showdown?

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The story with Vanderbilt early is they are already missing two of their best players. Ezra Manjon, a guard, has averaged almost 19 points per game for the Commodores this season. Meanwhile, Colin Smith, a forward, has led the team in rebounds this season and has started every game. Both of these leaders are out for Vanderbilt. Tyrin Lawrence, who led the Commodores with 21 in his season debut last night, is one of the players taking their place in the lineup. Ven-Allen Lubin also made his debut and had 16 points and eight rebounds.

The one constant for Vanderbilt has been Evan Taylor. He’s the only player to start all five games this season and be playing in the one tonight. He averages 10 points per game.

Now, the issue for Vanderbilt this season has been that offense. They have been one of the worst teams in college basketball at getting the ball in the hoop. However, they are a very good three-point shooting team, which we saw last night, which gives ASU a lot of trouble. Vanderbilt is currently ranked in the top 80 in three-point percentage in all of D1. However, they are ranked 230th in points per game.

However, the issue for Arizona State is that they are worse in every category. There are 351 schools in D1. Of those, Arizona State is ranked 337th in PPG and 350th in three-point percentage. What saves them is that they are a top-60 defense in college basketball.


Whether Vandy can score on a top-60 defense remains to be seen, but Arizona State might need to take advantage of that and score points. However, ASU has shown an inability to do so, which makes me think this will be a very low-scoring game.

My prediction is that Vanderbilt wins 69-65. I think this game remains close throughout, but I think Vandy’s ability to hit threes will prove crucial in the last few minutes.

Arizona State’s Terrible Shoooting Night Leads to 77-49 Loss to Undefeated BYU



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