September 26, 2013 by Seth Rubinroit
Galen Central’s new weekly series will preview the basketball team of USC’s football opponent. With the USC football squad playing at Arizona State on Saturday, here is a preview of the Sun Devils’ basketball team with the help of former ASU center Ruslan Pateev. Pateev, who ASU coach Herb Sendek called the “ultimate team player,” will play for BC Khimki in Russia next season. Read an earlier previews of Washington State, Boston College and Utah State.
By Seth Rubinroit
Last season Arizona State likely had the best backcourt in the Pac-12 with Jahii Carson (18.5 ppg), Carrick Felix (14.6) and Evan Gordon (10.1).
Of those three, the Sun Devils only return Carson, last year’s Pac-12 co-Freshman of the Year and the nation’s top scoring freshman. ASU, therefore, will need to establish another scoring threat.
“The team has a whole bunch of newcomers who will be able to help the team,” former ASU center Ruslan Pateev said. “The question is which one of them will put up numbers besides Jahii.”
The answer will likely be senior transfer Jermaine Marshall, who averaged 15.3 points per game last season at Penn State. Jonathan Gilling, who made a league-best 84 three-pointers last season, can also score from the outside.
The Sun Devils return 7-foot-2, 248-pound center Jordan Bachynski. He is the rare player who makes Omar Oraby (7-foot-2, 270-pounds) pick on someone (nearly) his own size.
“JB can be good if he decides to play well,” Pateev said. “If he decides to take some days off, then it will be big trouble for the team. I want to see him make first-team All Pac-12.”
Last season the Sun Devils entered Pac-12 competition (11-2), only to go (9-9) in conference games.
“ASU has a lot of potential this season, and a great coaching staff to make it happen,” Pateev said. “I think they will even be better than last year and have a better chance of making the NCAA tournament.”
USC hosts Arizona State on January 9.
“USC is always a tough place to play,” Pateev said.
Special thanks to former ASU water polo player Searra Silverberg (who happens to be my cousin) for arranging the interview with Pateev.
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