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Men's basketball boasts strong transfer class heading into the 2022-23 season

The Sun Devils gain new additions to the team that bring a strong defense and a powerful backcourt

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ASU Sophomore forward Marcus Bagley (23) walking onto the court during MoonLIT Madness at the Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. 

ASU's men's basketball season tips off on Nov. 7, when Tarleton State travels to Tempe to face the Sun Devils for the first time ever. 

The Sun Devils have reason to believe this year will have a different outcome than last year's 14-17 (10-10 in conference) season. 

What's new?

This summer, ASU added sophomore point guard Frankie Collins, fifth-year guard Desmond Cambridge Jr., his brother senior guard Devan Cambridge and senior center Warren Washington, among others. 

Cambridge Jr. is a crucial acquisition to add more scoring depth to the Sun Devils. He averaged 16.2 points and five rebounds on 43.5% shooting for the University of Nevada last season.

Collins, made a monumental impact for Michigan last season when it mattered most in the NCAA Tournament and his addition adds pesky defensive qualities and speed to an already fast, long, athletic team that's returning sophomore small forward Marcus Bagley and junior point guard DJ Horne.

Last season Horne averaged the most minutes on the team with 30, hit the most 3-pointers with 73, and led the team in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game. 

Collins broke out in the March Madness tournament against Colorado State, starting in place of his injured teammate. He said he recognizes how critical that experience can be for the Sun Devils' March Madness goals this season. 

"It's going to help a lot," Collins said. "Not to toot my own horn, but I've been there, and I've played there."

Collins is expecting a much more significant role this season, and with a backcourt consisting of him and Horne, the Devils are looking to play with a sense of urgency and push the pace. 

"We're going to be guarding the other backcourts and locking down defensively," Collins said. "It's going to be a show. We've got a lot of depth." 

That depth starts with Bagley, who said he had an "unlucky" two years but is feeling 100%. Bagley is entering 2022 with a "blank start," having only played 15 games since arriving in Tempe.

But he's determined to be an effective two-way player this season and create a defensive identity with 6-foot-10 sophomore center Enoch Boakye and the addition of 7-foot transfer Washington.

How will coach Hurley manage the loaded guard rotation? 

It may even be too early for head coach Bobby Hurley to know exactly how to find proper balance in the Sun Devil backcourt.

"Distribution of playing time will be something that I'm going to have to handle very well," Hurley said. "We're extremely deep, especially on the perimeter. I'd be comfortable playing a number of guys at those spots."

ASU's first open practice featured redshirt senior Luther Muhammad as the two-guard alongside Collins in the first unit. With the lineup looking fluid throughout non-conference, Muhammad and Horne will most likely spend the early season vying for a starting role in the Sun Devil backcourt alongside Collins. 

Key matchups

UA, Dec. 31 in Tempe, Feb. 25 in Tucson

ASU is looking to avoid another .500 win percentage in the Pac-12 conference. Last season the Sun Devils struggled in their meetings with UA, Washington and USC.

USC and UA swept ASU in their 2021 regular season meetings. With the UA game being the one Bagley is most looking forward to.

"I haven't got one yet (against UA), but I think we have the team to do it this year," Bagley said. 

UA beat ASU by double digits in both of last year's meetings. Those meetings saw the Wildcats spread their wealth and produce multiple double digits scorers in both meetings, while Horne was one of the Sun Devils' consistent double-digit scoring options. 

The Sun Devils are hoping it'll be multiple of their players scoring double-digit points this time when they meet UA in the first of their two meetings of the 2022 season on Dec. 31 in Tempe. 

Creighton, Dec. 12

Last season's win over a strong Creighton team in Omaha was a diamond in an otherwise rough season. That Creighton team made the Big East title game and won a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament.

Creighton returns Big East Freshman of the Year Ryan Nembhard and Big East Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner and is ranked ninth in the preseason Associated Press poll. This will likely be ASU's toughest non-conference test and will provide a good measuring stick heading into Pac-12 play as to whether the Sun Devils can compete at the conference's highest levels. 

The Sun Devils will face Creighton in Las Vegas on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. MST.

UCLA, Jan. 19 in Tempe, March 2 in Los Angeles

The Bruins are ranked eighth in the preseason AP poll and are projected by most major outlets to win the Pac-12. The Sun Devils gave their fans what was perhaps the most exciting show of the season last year in a triple overtime upset of third-ranked UCLA in Tempe that ended with students storming the court.

If ASU wants to compete at the highest levels of the Pac-12, it will need to win some games over teams with more on-paper talent. 

This series starts in Tempe on Jan. 19 at 8:30 p.m. MST, and heads to Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on March 2.

Edited by Kathryn Field, David Rodish and Luke Chatham.

Reach the reporters at and and follow them @_alexwakefield and @AlfredS_III on Twitter. 

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