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ASU Basketball: Sun Devils looking to bounce back against Colorado

Will ASU be able to find their way again

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Tip-off: 6:30 p.m. MT

Television: ESPNU

Most players for the Sun Devils range anywhere from 18 to their mid 20's. What they need Sunday night in Boulder is a disease usually only procured by those of a much older generation; short term memory loss. It's tough to forget a 40-point thrashing by Utah, but ASU will need to find a way to move on. They have to wipe the slate clean, and build some momentum over the last three games before heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament.

ASU update 15-13 (7-8):

Gerry Blakes currently leads ASU with 11.3 points per game, but it has been the rebounding that has been steadier as of late. If the Sun Devils were solid in one area Thursday night it was on the boards where they only lost the battle by four rebounds. They will need to find more of the same success that led the team to a 35-point win over Cal  on the road against Colorado, which starts with finding a shooter again.

Colorado update 12-15 (5-10):

While ASU moved past the Buffaloes in Tempe on Jan. 17, that wasn't a full strength team. Colorado has since returned two of its best players in 6-foot-7 junior forward Xavier Johnson and 6-foot-10 junior forward Josh Scott. They bring a versatility and rebounding presence they didn't have in Tempe where Askia Booker was forced to do all the heavy lifting and it wasn't enough.Scott is currently averaging 12.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The Buffaloes are losers of six of their last seven games.

Keys to victory

1. Improvement

It won't be hard to do, but ASU must respond with a better performance than Thursday night against Utah, if for nothing else than to prove to themselves they still have the talent in them to compete at a high level. It's also important for this team to gain some steam going into the Pac-12 Tournament. They will be an underdog, but if they play well over this back stretch, they may not be a team other programs want to play.

2. Regain confidence early

ASU had to be shaken at least a little bit by the loss to Utah. They'll need to find some high percentage shots and handle the ball carefully in the first few minutes to show they'll at least be competitive in the game. If nothing else, find a couple points with hard drives to the basket because they can't go the first five minutes without scoring a basket again.

3. Keep Booker in check

It's another tough matchup for Gerry Blakes in a conference full of good guard play. At 6-foot-2, the senior is currently averaging 16.9 points per game and shooting 38.9 percent from the field. While Colorado has some other quality weapons around him, if ASU is going to pick its poison it should be Booker.

Prediction: Colorado- 80 ASU-72