ASU Basketball: Sun Devils look for a win against Utah

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Romello White
TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Romello White /

After starting 0-2 in the conference, ASU basketball has to pull out a much-needed win against the Utah Utes on Sunday. The Sun Devils, who went undefeated to start the season and was, at one point, ranked at #3 in the AP Poll, have come up short starting Pac-12 play.

Following their losses against rival Arizona and a poor performance against Colorado, the Sun Devils’ undefeated non-conference slate has proved irrelevant in the Conference of Champions.

Still on the road, the Sun Devils will travel to the Huntsman Center to try to put a win on their conference record. The Utes, 2-1 in conference and 10-4 overall, will not be an easy win for the Sun Devils and with a 6-1 record at home, it will be even harder at the Huntsman Center.

The Utes, with senior guard Justin Bibbins and forward David Collette will be a tough match up for the Sun Devils.

ASU will have need to set the pace early on if they want to pull out their first conference win before returning to Tempe.

After getting outscored and out-defended by the Buffs, the Sun Devils need to adjust their play as they get ready to face this Utah team, a team that is tenacious on defense and frequently shoots from the perimeter.

Senior guards Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice will need to regain their momentum and bring back the hot shooting that has carried the Sun Devils in the past two seasons. If the Sun Devils expect to live by the three and die by the three, then they need to make the three.

The Sun Devils also need freshman big man Romello White to step up big in the frontcourt. Alongside White, freshman forward Kimani Lawrence, who’s debut return was cut short after getting into foul trouble against Colorado, needs to be explosive in order to prevent getting pounded on the inside.

After moving into the top 10 on Arizona State’s all-time leading scorer list, the Sun Devils will look to senior guard Tra Holder to bring back and maintain the explosive energy that rocked the college basketball scene at the start of the season.

Despite the previous two losses and Utah’s fairly decent start in the Pac-12, a Sun Devil win isn’t lost against the Utes.

Next: ASU Basketball: Sun Devils force overtime, but Colorado pulls off upset

Along with their key players gaining back lost momentum, ASU will be just fine so long as they distribute the ball and play unselfish basketball. Tip-off against the Utes will be at 6 p.m. MST and the game can be seen on ESPNU.