Arizona State isn’t particularly known for basketball prowess. In fact, they aren’t exactly known for any sort of success in the sport. The Sun Devils haven’t EVER had 4 really successful seasons strung together. For such a large public university, this seems embarrassing.
But not for much longer, or so it seems.
Following the hiring of former legendary Duke PG Bobby Hurley, ASU basketball has looked a lot different. After 2 abysmal seasons where he was still getting adjusted, Hurley has led the Sun Devils to 3 straight 20 win seasons, a feat not common in Tempe, Arizona.
Josh Christopher, also known as “Jaygup,” was one of the most polarizing figures in the 2020 recruiting class. His online antics and exuberant personality made for top news stories and headlines.
His recruitment was no different. All the signs pointed to him joining Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines. Everybody and I mean EVERYBODY, though he would be suiting up in the maize and blue at the start of the season.
But Christopher thrives on the unexpected and committed to ASU.
His older brother plays for ASU and had possibly only been signed to make an easier path to Josh. If so, incredible foresight from their recruiting staff there.
Being from SoCal, ASU was close enough to home so that his family could still see him play, but not too close where it seems he never even left home. ASU will also give Jaygup the chance to be the star of the show, something seemingly essential to a character such as himself.
What will ASU’s team end up looking like?
Well, Pac-12 star guard Remy Martin, as well as F Romello White have both declared for the NBA Draft but kept their eligibility. Martin was one of the best scores in the conference, and White was the 2nd leading rebounder in the conference.
The Sun Devils also have current Pac-12 6th man of the year Alonzo Verge, who will more than likely make his way into the starting lineup (he scored 43 off the bench against St. Mary’s). In an ideal world, Martin and White both decide to return following Josh’s decision.
This would set up a situation where they would need to start 3 guards like the ‘Guard U’ team a few years ago led by Tra Holder, which ended up reaching as far as #3 in the polls before going 8-10 in conference play and barely making the tournament.
ASU also has Marvin Bagley’s younger brother, Marcus, in this recruiting class. Another elite prospect, he will be of massive importance.
The best-case scenario for ASU would leave them with a lineup looking something like this:
G: Remy Martin
G: Alonzo Verge
G: Josh Christopher
F: Romello White
C: Marcus Bagley
This lineup is rather small but extremely versatile nonetheless.
Even if Martin and White both decide to go pro, the Christopher signing was astronomical in terms of importance to this program. After all, he’s the highest-ranked recruit they’ve ever gotten, even ahead of Houston Rockets’ star James Harden.
Josh presents some madness, but that might be just what it will take to turn this team into a contender.
Photo: 247 Sports