Arizona State guard Ty Abbott scored 28 points in Tucson last season, the kind of performance that Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller knew all too well.
When Abbott was a freshman during the 2007-08 season, he poured in 19 points — hitting 5 of 8 3-point shots — as the Sun Devils blasted Miller’s Xavier team, 77-55, in Tempe.
“I can remember him having a big night from 3 and saying to myself, ‘Man, That’s a really great shooter.’ And that was four years ago,” Miller said.
“He’s a fourth-year player who has been through a lot. He has had a great career. That late in the game, you don’t fear a whole lot. The away crowd doesn’t bother you. He’s pretty much seen it all, and that’s the strength of him — he’s just really confident in what he does.”
Abbott is averaging 13.3 points this season and, along with forward Rihards Kuksiks, is one of the team’s shooting aces, hitting 41 of 105 attempts from behind the arc.
“It’s not easy to keep him from taking shots,” Miller said.
“He uses screens well. He’s cleaver. He has a great feel for, ‘If you take this away, I’m going this way’. He has a quick release and just an accurate shot.”
Abbott is 3-0 in his career against Arizona in Tucson — which makes the Wildcats’ lone senior, Jamelle Horne, 0-3 — and, as noted in this story from the Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller, Abbott is eager for more.
“I’m excited to do it again,” Abbott said. “It’s always a fun game. It’s always exciting. There’s not really words to describe it. It’s crazy. It’s a crazy atmosphere. It’s where guys need to step up.”
More from TucsonCitizen.com: Javier Morales breaks down the UA-ASU matchups.