TEMPE, Ariz. Arizona State used to try to confound opponents with its matchup 1-3-1 zone defense. Now, ASU is using a more direct approach. Mano-a-mano.
The arrival of point guard Jahii Carson has had the most to do with the Sun Devils' turnaround this season, but coach Herb Sendeks shift to a man-to-man defense also has played an integral part in ASU's 14-3 record as it prepares to face rival Arizona, ranked seventh, on Saturday afternoon.
ASU has limited opponents to a 38.4 shooting percentage, the 16th-lowest percentage in Division I, and that number is even better (36.9) in four conference games. Both numbers are lower than any the Sun Devils posted in Sendeks previous six seasons, when Derek Glassers last team finished at 40.2 percent in 2009-10.
Our defense, for the most part, has been pretty solid, Sendek said. "Obviously not perfect. Obviously still has a lot of room to get better. But, arguably, it has been the most consistent thing weve done. Thats been th...