Arizona State men’s basketball is heating up in Tempe. The Sun Devils became ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2009 last week after beating basketball powerhouse Xavier, who is currently ranked No. 13, 102-86.

After an impressive undefeated 7-0 run, ASU men’s basketball is ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Coach Bobby Hurley and his Sun Devils are the only unbeaten team left in the PAC-12 conference and only one of ten unbeaten teams left in Division I basketball.

Coming into the season, Arizona men’s basketball and USC men’s basketball were PAC-12 favorites in nearly all preseason rankings, but after three losses for the Arizona Wildcats and two losses for the USC Trojans, Arizona fell out of the Top 25 and USC is barely hanging on, ranked at No. 25.

The Sun Devil roster returns senior guards Shannon Evans and Tra Holder. Evans and Holder lead the team with 155 and 131 points, respectively.

So what is going on in Tempe that has pushed the Devils to a 7-0 start? Forward Romello White credits the Sun Devil’s work in practice (don’t tell Allen Iverson).

The Sun Devils are currently playing without 4-star recruit Kimani Lawrence, who underwent surgery in November, and Ohio State transfer Mickey Mitchell, who has to sit out until the middle of December due to transfer rules. Even without them, the Sun Devils have won seven straight. Both are expected to suit up before conference play starts.

The Arizona State Sun Devils are set to take on the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday.

The last time ASU was ranked in the Top 25 was during the James Harden era.

The Sun Devils aren’t the only team that have had a surprising start to their season. How is the rest of the conference looking?

The LiAngelo Ball-less UCLA Bruins trail the Sun Devils in current standings. They’ve gone 7-1, with one loss against Creighton. Colorado and Washington State are both currently 6-1, Utah and Washington are 6-2, and preseason favorite Arizona is 6-3. The Wildcats have losses against 2 unranked teams: NC State and Southern Methodist University. Next in the conference, the 4-2 USC Trojans, have two losses from games against Vanderbilt and SMU.

Perhaps the most surprising start to the season? The Oregon Ducks. The Ducks were the 2016 Pac-12 conference champions and appeared in the Final Four in the March Madness tournament last season. Oregon is 5-3 with losses to UConn, Oklahoma and Boise State.



Leave a Reply