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Game day notes: CU Buffs seek first road win of season at Arizona State

BOULDER, CO - March 4, 2021: ...
Evan Battey and the Colorado Buffaloes will seek their first win of the season in a true road game Saturday night at Arizona State. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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PHOENIX — A must win? If the Colorado men’s basketball team hopes to make a run at NCAA Tournament consideration, that probably will be the case on Saturday night.

For the first time in two years, the Buffaloes will visit Arizona State (8 p.m. MT, ESPN2). Three of CU’s four losses so far this season have occurred against top-15 teams in Tennessee (13th when they played the Buffs, but No. 22 now), UCLA, and Arizona, which thumped the Buffs on Thursday night.

The losses against UCLA and Arizona were CU’s only true road games so far this season, but ASU presents a more manageable opportunity for the Buffs to pick up their first road win of the year. The game also presents an opportunity for CU to get its long-range shooting touch on track. CU has shot just .217 (18-for-83) on 3-pointers in its five games away from the CU Events Center, where the Buffs have shot a decent .358 from the arc.

ASU enters Saturday ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in defensive 3-point percentage, allowing teams to shoot .329.

“You just have to have confidence and get more reps up,” CU forward Evan Battey said. “That’s all you can do, honestly. There’s no magical pixie dust to shoot threes better or make threes better. It’s just reps and confidence.”

Tale of the tape

How the Buffs and ASU measure up in the Pac-12 in several key categories:

CU                          ASU

Points per game               71.2 (7th)              63.1 (12th)

Field goal percentage       .447 (7th)              .389 (12th)

Defensive FG%                 .416 (6th)              .407 (5th)

3-point percentage         .313 (10th)            .282 (12th)

Defensive 3pt %              .326 (8th)              .329 (10th)

Rebound margin              plus-6.6 (5th)      minus-1.8 (10th)

Turnovers per game       13.4 (10th)            12.3 (7th)

Quotable

“The way we competed in the first half, I was proud. The way we competed in the second half, I was ashamed. I went from being a proud coach to an ashamed coach after a 15-minute halftime. I’ve got to do a better job.”

–Tad Boyle, assessing his team’s performance at Arizona on Thursday.

Notable

Tonight, ASU is set to retire the No. 5 jersey of Ike Diogu, who starred for the Sun Devils in the early 2000s. In 2004-05, Diogu became the first Pac-12 player to lead the league in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots in the same season…Colorado began Saturday at No. 95 in the NET rankings and No. 88 at KenPom.com. ASU is No. 148 in the NET and No. 115 at KenPom.

 

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