The Arizona State Sun Devils haven't gotten off to the start everybody in Tempe desired.
After beginning the season 2-2, the Sun Devils departed for a stay in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend in the 10th annual Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Facing legitimate tournament teams such as Baylor, Syracuse and Loyola Chicago, Arizona State hoped to use the trio of games as a measuring stick for its own chances to go dancing into March.
Although the team was without forward Marcus Bagley due to nagging knee problems, Arizona State lost all three games over the course of the tournament, leaving with an overall record of 2-5.
The Sun Devils have struggled in the early stages of the season, although ASU hasn't been at full strength with players coming and going out of the lineup.
However, the hope is Arizona State's tough slate to begin the 2021-2022 season ultimately pays off down the stretch of tight games.
Those games, conference meetings within the Pac-12, are set to begin on Wednesday evening for Arizona State when Washington State visits Tempe.
The Sun Devils will still be without Bagley, however, as ASU looks to preserve the health of the team's best player in an attempt to be cautious.
Per ASU athletics, Arizona State is in a nine-game stretch where it is playing seven 2021 NCAA Tournament teams, with the outliers being Washington State (5-1) and San Francisco (8-0) on Dec. 19.
The Cougars initially won their fist five games of the season prior to dropping their first game to Eastern Washington over the weekend.
Washington State currently shoots 46.9% from the field, with three starters (guards Tyrell Roberts, Noah Williams and Michael Flowers) averaging at least 13 points per game.
Tipoff at Desert Financial Arena is at 5:30 pm Arizona time.