Arizona State vs Colorado : The Arizona State Sun Devils will hit the road and take on Pac-12 rival, the Colorado Buffaloes, at the CU Events Center in Boulder Wednesday night. The Sun Devils are 7-4 in Pac-12 play this season after defeating the Washington Huskies, 75-63, this past Saturday night. Leading the way for Arizona State has been freshman guard Luguentz Dort, with 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists per game.
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Trying to figure out the direction of Arizona State basketball is an impossible task at this point. ASU was blown out at home by one of the worst team’s in the country, and then followed up two days later by easily besting a team that has been receiving top 25 votes.
In the win over Washington, the Sun Devils played a very aggressive style on offense where they turned the ball over a lot but also shot very efficiently. Arizona State did a really good job of getting the ball inside to their bigs, especially sophomore forward Romello White who scored 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting.
Now, ASU heads back on the road for their first rematch of the season, as they travel to Boulder for a meeting with the Buffaloes. Colorado began their conference season by getting swept by both Arizona schools, which in both games CU’s offense struggled to get going.
In their Jan. 5 matchup in Tempe, the Buffaloes shot a disappointing 33 percent from the field, and were only 5-of-26 beyond the arch, good for only a 19 percent clip from distance.
ASU’s defense is very capable of creating tough shots for opponents, but it’s unlikely to expect a good shooting CU team to have the same struggles. Especially when they’re playing on their home floor and are seeking redemption.
The key outside shooter for Colorado is junior forward Lucas Seiwert, who has done a nice job in the stretch-four role this season. Seiwert couldn’t get going offensively during the first meeting in Tempe, as he scored only three points on 1-of-9 shooting.
He will likely be looking to redeem himself by knocking down shots at the Buffaloes are thinking upset.
Colorado’s front court features another productive player in sophomore wing Tyler Bey, who’s done a tremendous job on the glass. He too was limited in the first meeting but has had a good season averaging 12 points per game as well as 8.9 rebounds per contest.
Arizona State does a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball, so they match up well against a Colorado team that employs a more team-oriented style of offense. Where they have had trouble is containing one individual player like Washington State’s Robert Franks Jr.
The Sun Devils also received good news that freshman forward Taeshon Cherry has been cleared to return to action. Cherry has missed extended time due to a concussion suffered against UCLA on Jan. 24. He played limited minutes against Arizona before re-aggrevating the injury keeping him out against the Washington schools.
It’s well-known that ASU has yet to complete a road sweep with Bobby Hurley as head coach. There is many factors that make the trip to the mountain schools daunting, but the Sun Devils should matchup well with both opponents as they seek to keep climbing the conference standings. McKinley Wright IV scored 24 points with six rebounds and eight assists, Tyler Bey had 22 points and 17 rebounds and Colorado got past Arizona State 77-73 on Wednesday night.
The duo dominated inside as Colorado (15-9, 6-6 in Pac-12) scored 38 points in the paint.
The Sun Devils (16-8, 7-5) were led by Luguentz Dort’s 21 points on 13 shots. Taeshon Cherry, who returned from a concussion, was limited to eight points due to foul trouble.The game featured nine ties and seven lead changes. An extended Colorado run of 29-16 in the second half finally created separation. The run was capped by a 3-pointer by Wright with a little less than three minutes left.
Wright also had eight assists while shooting effectively from the field at 9 of 13. Bey set his career high in rebounds.
The Buffaloes have won four straight in conference play for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Last weekend Colorado earned just its second road sweep since joining the Pac-12. They are looking to work their way up from the bottom of the conference with a home-heavy slate ahead.
Arizona State continues to struggle at Colorado. The Buffaloes have won five straight against the Sun Devils and eight of nine all-time. Arizona State’s one win came in overtime six years ago.
Colorado and Arizona came into Wednesday in a four-way tie for seventh place in the Pac-12. The two will play in Boulder on Sunday evening.
Arizona State and Utah entered in a three-way tie for second place in the conference. They will play one another on Saturday in Salt Lake City.