For a Colorado men's basketball team that has been thin on depth and production out of the frontcourt, it will be an interesting personnel matchup against "Guard U."

That moniker has been commandeered this season by Arizona State, which visits the Coors Events Center Thursday night as the nation's No. 4-ranked team. It is a fitting nickname, as four of the five players averaging at least 10 points for the Sun Devils are guards.

Tra Holder enters Thursday game as the Pac-12 Conference's leader in scoring at 22 points per game. Shannon Evans is averaging 17 points per game. Kodi Justice has progressed in every season and is averaging a career-best 13 points per game. All three of those players are seniors, and the Sun Devils are deep enough to bring freshman guard Remy Martin (10.2 ppg) off the bench.

"It will be interesting to see how they play against us. They went two bigs against Arizona probably to match up with Arizona," Boyle said. "You can tell in crunch time...they were down 10 or 12 to Arizona with eight (minutes) to go, they went with a four-guard lineup. When things got tough at Kansas, they went with a four-guard lineup.

"They've got more than just their guards. They're a well-balanced team and present a lot of challenges for you defensively."



In terms of fewest turnovers per game in NCAA Division I basketball, the Buffs enter Thursday night in a tie for 288th out of 351 Division I teams at 15.1 turnovers per game. That means in terms of turnovers per game, CU ranks in a tie for 63rd...With Creighton scoring only 78 points in a Wednesday win against St. John's, ASU was able to slide past the Bluejays from fifth to fourth in the nation in points per game (90.7)...Entering a game Friday at home against Chaparral, CU signee Daylen Kountz is averaging 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game for Denver East, according to stats posted on Kountz has shot 47 percent overall (75-for-158) but has struggled from 3-point range (8-for-38). In the most recent state rankings published by prior to the holidays, Denver East (9-1) is ranked fourth in Class 5A and Chaparral is third.

Pat Rooney: or