Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Arizona State, Oregon State meet in search of normalcy

Field Level Media
16 Jan 2021, 12:19 GMT+10

Arizona State and Oregon State, two teams recently affected by postponed games related to COVID-19 protocol, appear on schedule to meet Saturday at Corvallis, Ore.

The Beavers (5-5, 1-3 Pac-12) are coming off a 98-64 loss at home against Arizona on Thursday, their first game since Jan. 4 because the previous weekend's games at Colorado and Utah were postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests within the program.

Arizona State (4-5, 1-2) had its game at Oregon postponed Thursday because of COVID-19 affecting the Ducks' program. The Sun Devils have endured postponements of four out of their last six scheduled conference games because of COVID-19 and last played Jan. 9.

On top of that, the Sun Devils were without four regulars last week. Remy Martin (death in the family), Jalen Graham (mononucleosis) and Taeshon Cherry and Jaelen House (COVID-19 contact-tracing protocol) did not play when the Sun Devils were swept at home last week by UCLA and Southern California.

Martin and House are expected to return against Oregon State. Graham and Cherry (personal reasons) will not play.

"We try and develop chemistry and rhythm on offense and have guys playing together on a continual basis, but having the disruptions has made it more challenging to build that," ASU coach Bobby Hurley said.

Oregon State missed seven days of practice time, returning for preparations on Tuesday, two days before facing Arizona.

After talking to his team for almost half an hour following the Beavers' 34-point loss to Arizona, an irritated Tinkle told the media he was disappointed in the squad's "lack of fight and focus."

"We have to be more selfless and less selfish, offensively and defensively," he added.

When asked if the lack of practice made his team sluggish, Tinkle said, "Maybe. Maybe. But I would love to run my tank empty by going full bore."

Despite the absence of Martin (second on the team with 16.9 points per game) and his three teammates last week, the depleted Sun Devils took UCLA and USC to the final minutes before succumbing. The loss against UCLA, the only undefeated team in the Pac-12, went into overtime.

Four Arizona State players are averaging double figures in scoring led by Alonzo Verge Jr. (17.0). The others are Martin (16.9), Josh Christopher (16.8) and Marcus Bagley (12.3).

The Beavers are led by Ethan Thompson's 16.0 points per game.

--Field Level Media

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