The Arizona State Sun Devils have a 7-foot-2 center and they know how to use him.
Canadian big man Jordan Bachynski averages 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds for a Devils team that is juust one game out of first place in the Pac-12 Conference standings.
ASU has a great chance of making the NCAA Tournament – how far the Sun Devils go is entirely up to Bachynski. The junior center doesn’t lead the team in scoring but his 4.2 blocks per-game is good for fourth in the entire country.
In fact, Bachynski’s scoring mark is good for fourth on the team and if your squad has four players averaging double figures, it’s ok to focus on the defense a little more.
The only thing about 7-footers is the fact that, somehow, not all of them consistently dominate the boards as much as one would think, as is the case with young Jordan.
Part of the problem is the fact that the paint can get a little crowded with Bachynski, Jonathan Gillick and Carrick Felix all under the basket, each averaging at least seven rebounds per-game.
Felix has more 3-point attempts than free-throw attempts and with leading-scorer Jahii Carson averaging over three turnovers per contest, it would be in Felix’s best interests to add a little more to his game.
Getting to the foul line hasn’t helped the Sun Devils, as ASU shoots just 62-percent on 22 attempts per-game. What benefits Arizona State is a 46-percent shooting-percentage, above-average ball-movement and a talented big man to hold down the paint in Bachynski.
On the subject of his rebounding; I’m not saying he can’t do it, but he has had elite games this season, including a 13-point, 12-block, 12-rebound performance against Cal State Northridge.
If the big guy could crash the boards more (and Felix stayed the hell out of the paint) the Sun Devils could have a very strong post-season run in March.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter:@mgillmei. Like his Facebook page here for updates on Big 12/A-1o men’s basketball.