The ranks of the unbeaten continue to dwindle, but No. 6 Arizona State hopes to remain among the select few when it hosts Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Sun Devils are one of four remaining undefeated teams and can claim the first 10-0 start in program history with a win over the struggling Commodores.
Arizona State is off to its best start since 1974-75 and has climbed to its highest ranking since 1981 following a 95-85 win at then-No. 2 Kansas last Sunday. The Sun Devils have scored at least 90 points in seven of their nine games. Arizona State will be the fourth top-25 opponent this season for Vanderbilt, marking the most ranked foes the Commodores have faced in non-conference play since 1988. Vanderbilt is 0-3 in its previous matchups with ranked teams, although it did push then-No. 10 USC to overtime.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT VANDERBILT (3-6): The Commodores have had a tough time at both ends of the floor thus far - especially on offense, shooting just 40.2 percent as a team and 30.8 percent from 3-point range. Undersized power forward Jeff Roberson is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.2 points and 8.8 boards, and leads the SEC with five double-doubles, but Vanderbilt isn’t getting enough from its backcourt. Riley LaChance averages 12.2 points and Matthew Fisher-Davis adds 12, but the latter is shooting just 31.5 percent from 3-point range after hitting 40.3 percent over the previous three seasons.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (9-0): The Sun Devils are one of the top offensive teams in the nation, ranking fifth in scoring (91.8 points), sixth in field-goal percentage (52) and eighth in 3-point field-goal percentage (42.7). A trio of senior guards lead the way in Tra Holder (21.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists), Shannon Evans II (19 points, 5.2 assists), and Kodi Justice (14.1 points), all of whom shoot better than 42 percent from 3-point range. Freshman forward Romello White (16.1 points, nine rebounds) has been the Sun Devils’ most productive big man.
1. The Sun Devils have scored 56 or more points in a half four times this campaign, including a season-high 58 twice.
2. The Commodores have made a 3-pointer in all 1,007 games they have played since the addition of the shot in 1986-87.
3. Vanderbilt is 0-6 on the road against current Pac-12 teams and hasn’t beaten an opponent from the conference since posting a home win over Oregon in November 2011.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 88, Vanderbilt 73