ASU optimistic Warren Washington will return to action vs. Colorado

Feb 14, 2023, 10:55 AM
Arizona State forward Warren Washington, center, dunks during the first half of an NCAA college bas...

Arizona State forward Warren Washington, center, dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

After a pair of road wins over Stanford and Cal, the Arizona State Sun Devils return home for a two-game slate as the regular season starts winding down.

With just five games left on the 2022-23 docket and currently sitting fifth in the Pac-12 standings, every game counts that much more for the Sun Devils as they look to better position themselves for the conference tournament.

Luckily for Bobby Hurley’s squad, a reinforcement could be on the way in center Warren Washington when Colorado comes to town on Thursday night. After missing the past two games with COVID-19, Washington was able to return to practice Monday.

“He’s still gradually building himself up but we’re optimistic he’ll be able to play on Thursday,” ASU head coach Bobby Hurley told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday.

This season (26 games), Washington is averaging 8.6 points, seven rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26.4 minutes per contest. He’s shooting 57.4% from the field and 63.4% from the charity stripe.

With Washington on the right track, the Sun Devils are hoping to turn the page from their recent home struggles. After posting an 8-1 record through their first nine homes games, ASU’s success in Tempe has taken a bit of a hit of late with a trio of losses in its past four matchups at Desert Financial Arena.

“This time of year, you want to be finding another gear and figuring out how to win,” Hurley said. “I think Saturday’s game was a great survive-and-advance game. We showed desperation and urgency. … You got to be able to find ways to win.

“We haven’t proven that we can win at the rate that we should at home just based on neutral sites and on the road. We got to prove to ourselves this week that we can step up against two very good opponents.”

Leaving Tempe with a pair of wins over Colorado and Utah would be a huge boost for a Sun Devils team that finishes the year with a road trip against three squads higher up in the Pac-12 standings in Arizona, UCLA and USC.

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