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Breaking Down Sun Devils Roster After Graham Departure

The Sun Devils still have plenty of depth to work with despite Jalen Graham's departure.

Although Arizona State saw forward Jalen Graham enter the transfer portal in March, it wasn't until Thursday when arguably their most crucial player down the stretch of last season officially found a new home in Arkansas. 

Although Graham got off to a slow start (much like the rest of ASU's squad), he began to play his best basketball at the right time, scoring 12 or more points 13 times in Arizona State's final 17 regular-season games. 

Now, the reality of Graham leaving is real. However, the Sun Devils still have plenty of ammunition for next season. 

Breaking Down the Roster After Graham Departure

DJ Horne


Notable Players: DJ Horne, Luther Muhammad, Jay Heath

Departures: Marreon Jackson

Arrivals: Austin Nunez, Desmond Cambridge

Despite his team-leading four assists per game, Jackson never truly showcased his scoring abilities that led him to be the MAC's Player of the Year before transferring to Arizona State. 

Now, a Sun Devils squad that averaged a mere 65.4 points per game (second lowest in the Pac-12) looks to fill Jackson's 28.6 minutes per contest that is now vacant. 

Horne, Muhammad and Heath all were starters down the stretch in head coach Bobby Hurley's three-guard system, with each offering their own way of getting the ball in the basket.

Horne emerged as Arizona State's electric shooter with the ball in his hands, often times taking over games. Heath led all Sun Devils guards in shooting percentage (42.3%) and paced ASU's entire roster in three-point success (43%). Muhammad's advanced dribbling allows him to slash into defenses and create separation at a high rate, leading to open jumpers or easy layups at the rim. 

Arizona State also welcomes the scoring prowess of Nevada's Desmond Cambridge. He averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season, which earned All-Mountain West honors.

Incoming freshman Austin Nunez also figures to be a treat to watch. Here's what 247 Sports' Brandon Jenkins said about Nunez:

"Nunez is a dangerous shooter from long range and beyond. The lefty is one of the best in the country at heating up from behind the arc. Each year he has become more of an explosive player in space. Defensively, he has the foot speed and quickness to be a valuable asset in man-to-man play. In terms of leading a talented high major-college team, he has solid feel as a passer but will need to improve some with his decisions on when to score and when to defer to teammates. His ability to knock down shots from long distance at the point-guard spot will provide programs to take advantage of his ability to excel on and off the ball at the next level."

Enoch Boakye


Notable Players: Marcus Bagley, Alonzo Gaffney, Jamiya Neal, Enoch Boakye

Departures: Kimani Lawrence, Jalen Graham

Arrivals: Devan Cambridge, Duke Brennan

Defensively, Arizona State allowed only 67.2 points per game last season, thanks largely to their presence around the rim. The Sun Devils averaged 4.2 blocks and 26 defensive rebounds per night, both good enough to rank in the Pac-12's top five in those categories. 

The potential of Boakye is exciting on both sides of the court. Boakye, at the moment, is the only true center on the roster but should see an increase in minutes after averaging only 12.4 minutes in a team-high 31 games last season. All eyes will be on Boakye to see what progress is made heading into his sophomore season. 

Even more eyes will be fixated on Bagley, who last played on Nov. 15 thanks to a knee injury. Bagley, in the two full games he did participate, scored 12 and 18 points with an average of five rebounds. Can he return healthy and lead the Sun Devils back to the NCAA Tournament? We know how talented he is; it's all about whether Bagley can remain on the court. 

Gaffney often saw time in Arizona State's lineup as a result of Bagley's absence, as he averaged 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks despite posting low scoring totals. Should he be able to upgrade his offensive arsenal, Gaffney could be a strong two-way player for the Sun Devils. 

The development of Neal will also be counted on, as he again projects to be a strong role player for ASU. The team hopes he benefits from consistent playing time as a freshman last season. 

The arrival of Devan Cambridge is exciting in a few facets. Cambridge can be found as a regular on highlight reels thanks to his authoritative dunks and willingness to hustle up and down the floor. Cambridge's energy should bode well for Arizona State on the court and in the locker room. 

With a strong amount of the nucleus coming back (and hopes of no more COVID impacting games), Arizona State has to like what they have to work with heading into the 2022-23 season. 

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