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Arizona State Preview

Looking ahead, briefly, to tonight's game against Arizona State:

Daniel Hackett isn't expected to play. If that is the case, freshman Angelo Johnson will start at guard, and will be backed up by sophomore walk-on Ryan Wetherall. Coach Floyd is taking that as it comes:

"We don't have real options in terms of creating new people," Floyd said. "Ryan is our guy off the bench right now on the perimeter.

"I'm sure there's going to be some unconventional looks as this thing proceeds until Daniel's return."

In the meantime, Marcus Simmons looks like he's going to be sidelined for the season with a return of the injury to his left ankle... there's some thought that he didn't let it heal properly when he injured it in October, and Coach Floyd gave him a choice:

[Recovery time will] depend on his willingness to stay in the boot. He wasn't happy about the boot. He likes trying to walk. He got caught without the boot, so then it's `OK, we'll cast you,' so now the boot's on."

In the meantime, Arizona State is coming in to play USC after getting lambasted 84 - 51 by UCLA, which was the first game in 14 games that ASU guard James Harden didn't score in double digits, and the fourth game in a row that the Sun Devils lost. ASU has every incentive to provide a beat-down, and they're getting SC at a point where they are going to be less likely to hold them off. Despite that, the line on the game is USC favored by anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5 points, which seems generous. Time will tell whether ASU is really in a skid, or if they will stop the rot with a win over a thinned USC squad.

Arizona State at USC, 10.30 EST / 7.30 PST, FSN.