(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State will look to get back on track Thursday as they take on the Colorado Buffaloes at home in Tempe in their Pac-12 home opener.
The Sun Devils (8-7) started their Pac-12 campaign off with two tough road games against Stanford and Cal, splitting the two with a win and a loss respectively. ASU now faces another difficult challenge in squaring up against a balanced and experienced Colorado squad.
Colorado (10-4) is led by two senior guards with plenty of experience in Derrick White and Xavier Johnson. White is pivotal in spearheading the Buffaloes offense, leading the team in minutes per game, points per game, assists per game and field goal percentage (30.2, 15, 4.1 and 51 percent). He was pivotal in Colorado’s surprise 68-66 victory over number 13 Xavier, scoring a season-high 23 points earlier this season.
Johnson is an athletic companion to White, with the ability to guard players out on the perimeter and hit the occasional outside shot. Johnson is second on the team with 14 points per game and he also pulls down 5.93 rebounds per contest.
The Buffalos sport a solid defense that consistently keeps them in tight games. They are very efficient on the defensive end and only allow opponents to shoot the ball with an effective field goal percentage of 44.6 percent and allow only 67.4 points per game. However, while Colorado may have the edge on defense, ASU is clearly the better offensive team.
The Sun Devils beat Colorado on scoring average (82.3 to 74.1) and boast two impressive scorers in senior guard Torian Graham (18.3ppg) and junior guard Tra Holder (17.1ppg), who have been electrifying thus far in the season.
History is on their side as well, as ASU is also 5-2 at home this season, and have won the past three matchups against Colorado in Tempe.
Tip off for the game is 7 p.m. on January 5 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, and can be viewed on the Pac-12 Network.