Record: 9-4, (0-1)
VS ASU last year: 1-1
NET ranking: 81
Points scored: 79.7 (T-69 of 353)
Points allowed: 68.4 (108 of 353)
Following two embarrassing losses that leaves far more questions than answers, the Arizona State Sun Devils are left scratching their heads. Upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation doesn’t hold much stock when you drop back-to-back games to teams that had struggled prior to matchups with ASU.
The Sun Devils looked like they had put the Princeton loss in the rearview mirror early against the Utes, then they were outscored by 14 in the second half en route to a 10-point loss. Even more difficult to swallow was the 10 points they left at the charity stripe, as they shot 15-for-25 from the free throw line.
Even when ASU was winning early in the year, they had their fair share of issues at the line. As the season grows older, and the pressure of the games mount, the fate of their season might come down to whether or not they can knock down free throws.
Notably missing was the offensive production from forwards Taeshon Cherry and Kimani Lawrence. The duo combined for seven points on 2-for-13 shooting against the Utes. In a perfect world, both would be knock down corner shooters, but they have yet to show the consistency to perform in that role.
As the Sun Devils look ahead, they won’t have as much time to dwell on the most recent loss, as they welcome the Colorado Buffaloes to Tempe for a Saturday afternoon contest.
CU enters the matchup fresh off a loss to Arizona where they shot an underwhelming 36 percent from the field and were forced into 17 turnovers.
The Buffaloes feature three scorers that shoot better than 50 precent from the field in sophomore guards McKinley Wright IV and Tyler Bey, as well as junior forward Lucas Siewert.
Wright IV is Colorado’s undisputed leader and primary ball hander. The Wildcats made life difficult for Wright IV, forcing him into six turnovers through ball pressure and tough man-to-man defense.
Siewert posses the biggest issue for ASU as a prototypical stretch-four and CU’s best long distance shooter. After allowing the Utes to shoot 53 percent from deep, expect Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle to make the three-point shot a focal point of their offense.
As far as whether or not these two games will be the trend for Arizona State the rest of the way remains to be seen. On paper, there seems to be too much talent on the roster to not finish among the Pac-12’s best, but as the old cliché goes, games are won on the floor and not in print.