The slide continues for Arizona State.
The 11th-ranked Sun Devils suffered their third defeat in their last four games with a 76-72 loss at home Thursday night to unranked Oregon.
After a red-hot start to the season, things are not going well in Tempe.
The first two losses of this stretch could be explained away some as both came on the road, and the first was an emotional rivalry game that led to the hangover that produced the second.
There are no such excuses for this loss to the Ducks.
Oregon came into the night ranked outside the top-60 on KenPom and mired in its own struggles as well having lost two of its last three games with setbacks to Utah at home and at Oregon State. The Ducks really haven’t won a game of consequence all season.
Until Thursday night when Arizona State found a way to lose despite shooting better than Oregon overall (43.5 to 43.1), from deep (10 of 23 vs. 8 of 32) and going to the free-throw line 31 times. Oregon won because it took nearly 20 more shots than Arizona State after grabbing 15 offensive rebounds turning the Sun Devils over 11 times.
That win in Allen Fieldhouse over Kansas suddenly seems very long ago for the Sun Devils. Those that were claiming their 12-0 start to the season was more fluke than anything else are starting to get supporting evidence piling up around them.
Arizona State’s offense has ranked among the most efficient in the country, but there has been reason to believe that it’s somewhat unsustainable given their shot selection. Tra Holder going 4 of 13 against the Ducks would bolster that argument.
The Sun Devils had dreams of a top NCAA tournament seed after that start to the season, but that’s certainly slipping away. The weakness of the Pac 12 was always going to make that difficult, but when you lose multiple games to teams not even at the top of a poor league, you’re really not doing yourself any favors.
The good news for Arizona State is they should be able to get well real quick here with games lined up against Oregon State, Stanford and Cal on the docket. If that can’t get them right, then their problems run even deeper than this losing stretch suggests.