ASU looks to get back on track in round two against mountain schools

Jan 24, 2018, 4:27 PM | Updated: 8:36 pm
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley yells out instructions as his team plays Stanford during the ...

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley yells out instructions as his team plays Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LISTEN: Bobby Hurley, ASU Men's Basketball Coach

In conference play, the week spent against the Arizona schools appeared to be the toughest draw on the schedule for Pac-12 teams.

Colorado responded to that in the first week of 2018 with two close wins against then-No. 4 ranked Arizona State and then-No. 14 Arizona, the most shocking result in the conference thus far.

It marks what could be a defining point in the season for the Sun Devils.

The Sun Devils have been collapsing, splitting each of the last three weeks after falling to Arizona on Dec. 30.

In order to stop the slide and restore momentum for the team to remain a top-25 program this season, they could use their first 2-0 week against Utah on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday in Tempe.

“We’re at a juncture where we’re sitting at 3-4 in the league and nationally, people still think we’re pretty good and I know we’re good, but we kinda gotta break out of the middle of the pack right now and try to win a set of games which we haven’t done this year in league play,” head coach Bobby Hurley said on Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Wednesday.

One thing head coach Bobby Hurley can bank on is another great crowd. The team is recently coming off a game against Oregon on Jan. 11 that had a crowd of 13,693, the most for a game at Wells Fargo Arena since 2010.

“It’s been electric playing there and we need that this week,” Hurley said.

For the team that won 12 straight to start the year, ASU is looking for its first winning streak since its first loss, and the Sun Devils will need Tra Holder to get that Thursday.

Hurley feels Holder will get back to the level of play that has put him in the discussion for the conference’s player of the year. Since that loss to the Wildcats, Holder is 23-of-77 from the field, a 29.8 field goal percentage.

“I think he’s in a way better frame of mind after the Cal game,” he said. “I think he’s put those couple of games behind him.”

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ASU looks to get back on track in round two against mountain schools