We all know the ridiculousness that is Jahii Carson; an athletic point guard that has a score-first mentality. He alone can keep the Arizona State Sun Devils in games; however, it’s his running mate, Jermaine Marshall, who has struggled down the stretch jacking up bad shots and trying to take over Carson’s game as the facilitator.
Marshall, who was 4-of-14 from the floor and scoring just 11 points, has struggled of late. Against a porous Oregon Ducks defense, he was terrible. He is a slashing-wing type of player who has an inconsistent jumper, which he showed off. Since he is a hard-cutting slasher, Marshall has a high percentage from the floor usually and gets to the rim often. On the night, he got to the line nine times, making just six. He’s usually a good free throw shooter at 73 percent on the season.
Marshall took shots away from guys like the hot-handed Carson and improving big man Jordan Bachynski (who finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds and blocked five shots). The Sun Devils are in sole possession of third place in the Pac-12 thanks to Carson, Bachynski and a usually solid Marshall.
It is hard to single out Marshall as the sole reason for the loss as the Sun Devils shot 35 percent from the floor. However, Marshall took three shots less than Carson and yet scored 10 points less. Of the 60 shots that ASU took, Marshall took a quarter of them, something you’d hope you would get efficiency out of. Adding to their bad shooting night, the Sun Devils failed to keep the ball in their hands, coughing it up 10 different times.
Arizona State is looking in when it comes to the tournament. A road loss like the Sun Devils had tonight against the Ducks won’t necessarily kill their hopes to getting in, but if they struggle at the Oregon State Beavers, things could get ugly in Tempe, AZ. Don’t sweat right now, ASU fans, but if they go into Corvallis and lay an egg, then you can push the panic button a little.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII