Hours before tipoff between ASU men's basketball and Stanford, coach Bobby Hurley had a premonition. He knew the importance of the upcoming matchup against the Cardinal and wanted to drive home the point to his team. His 92 full court sprints before ASU’s matchup with Arizona certainly got the message across then, and he racked his brain trying to find something equally effective for Wednesday’s contest. That’s when he donned his "gangster shirt."
“This is my gangster shirt,” Hurley said. “And the guys played like gangsters out there.”
Gangster or not, Wednesday was one of ASU’s (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12) strongest start to finish performances of the season in the team's 80-62 win. They were unusually effective from the field (52 percent) and from behind the arc (43 percent).
“It was a very balanced game tonight,” Hurley said. “We didn’t have a real standout on offense, Rob was really good and Remy made some big plays, but everyone kind of did their part.”
Wednesday marked the second straight game Edwards has led the team in scoring, giving him 44 points in his last two contests, after his 28-point barrage last Saturday against the Utah Utes. The redshirt junior has played well since become entrenched in the starting lineup earlier this season.
Edwards' electricity with the ball in his hands and consistency from outside have added new layers to the sometimes-stagnant Sun Devil offense. Not to mention, Edwards' ability to bail ASU out in the end of shot clock situations has come in handy more than once.
“He looks to be in a great space right now,” Hurley said. “He showed great patience on offense, was very efficient, had a number of good passes, got five rebounds and played good defense. He’s rounding into form.”
Martin was equally dominant against the Cardinal defense, as time and again he produced easy buckets for him and his teammates. Two assists in particular got the crowd particularly fired up.
One came late in the first half, as Martin found sophomore forward Kimani Lawrence for an easy and-one layup. His second highlight-reel pass came toward the middle of the second half, when Martin set up redshirt senior forward De’Quon Lake for an emphatic and-one slam.
“It was just instinct,” Martin said. "I got the ball on the fastbreak, and I saw ‘Quon running the floor, and I just tried to figure out the quickest way to get it to him. Obviously, there was a little bit of flair. That’s just my style, and I’m lucky to have a coach that lets me do that.”
Up next for the Sun Devils is a matchup with the Cal Bears, who have proved to be rather lackluster in conference play.