On Saturday night, the Arizona State Sun Devils will face a resurgent Colorado team that’s been on a roll in recent weeks. The Buffaloes trampled ASU’s in-state rival, No. 9 University of Arizona, on Thursday at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. The 71-58 win likely put the Buffs (17-7, 7-5) back into NCAA tournament contention.
With its victory over Arizona, Colorado now stands two games behind first-place Oregon in the Pac-12 conference. Four of its final six games will be played at home, including hosting Oregon the final week of the season. CU is 3-2 against ranked teams after defeating the Wildcats.
The challenge for the Buffaloes: maintaining their edge when ASU comes to town this weekend.
Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been spectacular of late. Against Oregon State last Sunday, he scored 24 points — never missing a shot — and made six-for-six from the field, including four three-pointers, and eight-of-eight free throws. Those 24 points were the most ever scored by a CU player without missing.
Against Arizona, Dinwiddie posted a game-high 21 points; 19 of his total came in the second half. Two of his teammates also scored in double figures: freshman forward Xavier Johnson with 19 and sophomore point guard Askia Booker with 10.
Colorado coach Tad Boyle praised Dinwiddie’s development as a player over the course of the season.
“Spencer’s growing up before our eyes, and he’s becoming one of the premier guards in this league,” Boyle said. “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I wouldn’t trade Spencer Dinwiddie for anybody.”
According to Boyle, Dinwiddie’s value to CU hoops goes beyond just executing on the offense.
“What he brings…is the ability to affect the game at so many different levels,” Boyle said. “Defense, shooting the ball, making plays for each other, controlling the tempo.”
In Colorado’s first meeting with ASU, a 65-56 loss on Jan. 6, Dinwiddie led the team in scoring with 19 points. He and the rest of the Buffs will present a stiff challenge for a slumping Sun Devil squad on Saturday.