The Arizona State Sun Devils pack their bags and fly to San Diego to take on the SDSU Aztecs Thursday, hitting the road for the first time this season.
Arizona State didn't get off to the start they hoped for despite emerging from a three-game home stand 2-1, with the sole loss coming via a lengthy buzzer beater by UC Riverside.
However, the two wins also haven't been impressive. Opening night saw the Sun Devils defeat Portland by 16 points (although head coach Bobby) Hurley and seemingly all of Tempe wasn't satisfied), while Arizona State struggled in defeating North Florida.
Even in the eyes of oddsmakers, Arizona State hasn't lived up to expectations in the early part of the season. The Sun Devils have failed to cover the spread in all three of their home games at Desert Financial Arena.
Now, a tough stretch of games approaches.
Sun Devils Prepare for Battle with San Diego State
A tough Aztecs team awaits Arizona State on Thursday night. San Diego State defeated common opponent UC Riverside by 13 points to open the season before losing a tough road game to BYU by two possessions.
A loss would drop San Diego State to 1-2, which would give them a losing record for the first time in 10 years, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Aztecs will look to challenge Arizona State's interior, providing perhaps the most physical challenge for the Sun Devils to date with two big post players in forwards Josh Tomaic (6-9) and Nathan Mensah (6-10).
San Diego State has struggled mightily in terms of three-point shooting, converting just 15.2% from behind the arc.
Can Arizona State take advantage of mismatches on the perimeter? That will be the ultimate question as the Sun Devils try to gain their third win of the season.
SDSU will act as a measuring stick for the Sun Devils prior to their participation in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament over Thanksgiving weekend, with their first matchup coming against the No. 9-ranked Baylor Bears Wednesday, Nov. 24.