Skip to main content

ASU Basketball: Alonzo Verge JR is the Sun Devils X-Factor

Arizona State senior Alonzo Verge, the difference maker.

Looking up and down the Sun Devils roster, it’s easy to see they are not devoid of talent. With the return of Remy Martin, the Sun Devils boast six former four-star recruits or better.

So basically… Arizona State is LOADED.

But in the midst of all that talent is one of the biggest x-factors, who played a crucial role for this team in 2019. Some compare him to sweet Lou Williams for his feel for the game and his knack to get a bucket when needed.

That player is Alonzo Verge Jr.

It was a tale of two seasons for Verge, who struggled mightily in his first five games. He averaged a paltry 6.2 points while shooting a horrendous 24.4% from the floor. He looked out of sync trying to adjust to Division I basketball after transferring from Moberly Area Community College.

But in those final 13 games, something clicked for Verge. He turned his scoring up to 17.3 points on an impressive 49.4% shooting from the floor—a drastic improvement from where he was to start the season.

It wasn’t a change in Verge’s style of play as to why his numbers across the board improved, but rather a change in his mentality.

Verge was fluctuating between the starting lineup and the bench for most of the early part of the 2019 season. After an atrocious 2-of-13 shooting night against Colorado on Jan. 16, Verge was permanently moved to the bench.

A role he wasn’t used to after being the main guy with the ball in his hands for most of his life. But with a win-first mentality, Verge saw this as a new opportunity to help his team succeed.

And that they did, finishing with a 10-4 record down the stretch. Verge was an integral part of making a lot of the magic happen.

From Feb. 1 - Feb. 22, the Sun Devils had a 7-game winning streak with Verge leading the way. He averaged an insane 20.6 points while shooting a bonkers 53% from the floor.

Verge was absolutely unconscious once he was moved to the bench. In the games Verge came off the bench, he averaged 16.8 points (19 games). That was good enough to lead all college basketball scorers in bench points.

His amazing play did not go unnoticed as he was awarded Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year.

Now entering his senior season at ASU, the Sun Devils will look to Verge’s fearless scoring once again. The only question now is - with the graduation of Rob Edwards, could Verge be making his way back into the starting lineup?

Coach Bobby Hurley has briefly mentioned how Verge could be in line for a larger role. But whether that means starting or more minutes off the bench, Verge will be relied upon in close games down the stretch.