The season of higher expectations isn’t off to an ideal start for the ASU basketball programs.
Ranked No. 15 and No. 17 in The Associated Press preseason polls, respectively, the men and women each lost games this past weekend.
While they weren’t major roadblocks in the teams’ quests for deep NCAA Tourney runs, the losses did serve as speed bumps.
The early-season hiccups caused both teams to fall down a few spots in their respective top 25 polls.
The men (5-1) now find themselves in the No. 19 slot, after dropping a 87-78 contest to Baylor on Friday.
Despite losing to No. 15 Wake Forest on Sunday, No. 24 Baylor entered the polls for the first time this season.
The rest of the men’s top 25 features a lot of Big East Conference flavor.
The Big East set a new record with eight conference teams in the poll.
Meanwhile, ASU’s women’s team (3-2) fell from No. 21 to No. 25 as a result of Saturday’s 65-60 loss to Florida.
Not all news was bad, however.
Sophomore guard James Harden garnered his second straight Pac-10 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Award.
Though ASU finished third in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. this past weekend, Harden was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
He averaged 29 points, seven rebounds and three points in ASU’s three contests. Harden scored a career-high 40 points during Sunday’s 88-58 victory over University of Texas-El Paso.
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