Oregon State Beavers vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Preview and Pick

Oregon State Beavers +21 (6-6) 4-4 ATS, 3-5 O/U at No. 20 ASU Sun Devils
-21 (12-2) 6-4 ATS, 7-3 O/U Thursday, January 8, 2009 Wells Fargo Arena
10:30 p.m. ESTTempe, Arizona

by Wilson of Predictem.com

The Beavers of Oregon State are coming off of their first Pac-10 conference in over a year as they knocked off the USC Trojans over the weekend 62-58. It was a major step and huge confidence booster both for the Beaver’s players and the fans. The Beavers will travel to the desert this tonight to take on a solid Sun Devil club.

Arizona State will need to address some defensive issues as California exploited their matchup zone and walked away with an 81-71 win. California’s Jerome Randle was credited by ASU head coach Herb Sendek for his leadership and role in breaking down the Sun Devil’s defense. But certainly the game film served its purpose for ASU in order for them to see where the lack of communication and rotation occurred. Before the California game ASU had won 12 of their first thirteen games, which is their best start since 1974-75 when they began 15-1. The fall to the Golden Bears may be the best thing for the Sun Devils as the season is just breaking into conference play, and now is the time to make critical adjustments.


The Sun Devils are lead by guard James Harden, a 6’4 sophomore out of Los Angeles who is averaging 23.4 points per game. ASU’s senior leader, Jeff Pendergraph is putting up 14 ppg and dropped 31 on Stanford. But against California he hurt his knee and fouled out of the game after scoring 16. The Sun Devils hope he will be ready for tonight’s contest.

Oregon State is thrilled to get the monkey off their back by beating USC, and now they can take a deep breath and focus on something other than snapping a conference losing streak. The Beavers may just surprise some teams this season- it’s amazing what happens to a team when they buy-in to themselves and win a couple games.

Beaver’s sophomore guard Calvin Haynes leads his team in scoring with 17.8 points per game. Haynes gets help from Omari Johnson, a 6’7 forward who is also in double digits with 10.9 ppg.

Beaver’s head coach Craig Robinson is excited about his team’s progress. I was excited too as I predicted that they would upset UCLA but I was a game early. The overtime upset win over USC in Corvallis could not have come at a better time for the Beavers.

Both teams are allowing around 60 points per game to their opponents, but ASU is the best shooting team in the conference at 51 percent. The Sun Devils average 76 ppg to OSU’s 62.

I love the underdog, but OSU has a tall order heading into Tempe tonight. ASU is 7-0 at home this season and you can count on the Sun Devil staff to prepare accordingly for this game especially after breaking down against Cal.

As the dog, OSU has no pressure and with a conference win already under their belt they should come onto the floor with confidence and a bit of a swagger albeit a tiny bit, but better than none!

The only real issue I see in this game is if ASU senior leader Pendergraph will be able to play or not as he is a key ingredient for the Sun Devils. If Pendergraph doesn’t see the floor then ASU will have to plug in the hole with less experienced players, junior, Eric Boateng and freshman Taylor Rohde.

Wilson’s Pick: ASU cleans up their defense and gets it done with or without Pendergraph. ASU 70, OSU 55; OSU covers the 21. Luck to ya.