Commentary

Insider Intel: Harden The Key Vs. 'Cuse

Arizona State needs Harden on his game to topple 'Cuse.

Originally Published: March 20, 2009
By Elena Bergeron | ESPN The Magazine

It's never too deep into March before a set of fans start targeting refs. Supporters of Temple's physical defense have a case, seeing as the Sun Devils got ushered to the line 15 times in the last 6:45 of regulation during their 66-57 round one win over the Owls in Miami.

By shooting freebies (and then sinking his only his second FG of the game) ASU star James Harden got the bailout of the week, squeaking out a win during a nine-point performance. But if Arizona State struggles against Syracuse in the second round, Sun Devil fans will be the ones finding a place to lay the blame.

Getty ImagesJames Harden wants one final run before he goes pro.

Herb Sendek's matchup zone should stall Jonny Flynn in setting up the 'Cuse offense, with bulkier Sun Devils point guard Derek Glasser and Harden swapping off on him. Given that Flynn has said he's still looking for his legs since the Orange's Big East run, that should mean another grind-it-out slugfest. Only, Harden and Co. don't always do so well in those matchups.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider