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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Runnin’ Utes Focused On ASU, And Nothing More

Senior guard Brandon Taylor (11) looking for the open man in an NCAA men’s basketball game against IPFW at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, Saturday, Dec 5, 2015. Chris Ayers, The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Back at home for the remaining three games on the regular-season schedule, the Runnin’ Utes will take on the Sun Devils on Thursday night in the Huntsman Center.

Utah is riding a four-game winning streak and is looking to continue its hot shooting against Arizona State. Last week against UCLA and USC, the team shot 50 percent and 53.6 percent from the floor, respectively. Part of what has contributed to the high shooting percentages has been how the team works the ball around the court. The Utes are making extra passes whenever possible so they can find better looks, and they will need to continue doing just that come game time.

Although the Utes are on a high right now, senior guard Brandon Taylor knows how important it is that the team remains focused and hungry. There are so many ups and downs within a season, and Utah has been on both ends of that spectrum during the year.

Just as they have dropped games and felt down on themselves, the Utes cannot get complacent with the success they saw in their last two games, both wins. It’s a new week and anything can happen with just three games left on the conference schedule.

“It was a productive week and it was a very good week for us, but that wasn’t the end our season,” Taylor said. “That was kind of like those times where we had bad times. Let’s take it back to the Oregon trip, we came back, we we’re feeling all down. That wasn’t the end of our season. This, it was a good trip, but it wasn’t the end of our season.”

With this being the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Utes are focusing a lot of their efforts on what ASU is going to bring to the floor. Like last week, they’ll be watching a lot of film of the Sun Devils in preparation. Even though ASU is second to last in the Pac-12 standings with a conference record of 4-10, head coach Larry Krystkowiak thinks the Sun Devils are a threat once they’re on the court opposed to what they look like on paper.

“I think they’re significantly better than their record,” Krystkowiak said. “They’ve lost some close games and have a bunch of talent at all kinds of positions.”

Krystkowiak is hoping to find out what makes them tick and knows ASU is surely trying to figure out what makes Utah tick, as well. While the Utes are looking for ways on how to attack the ASU defense, they will need to strengthen their own defense, like they have been doing all season long.

“One of the big things is not giving up easy shots or easy baskets,” Krystkowiak said. “The two ways from a defensive standpoint that kill you are transition basket and turnovers that you can’t defend, which we’ve done a good job of.”

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.

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