Colorado Preview

Colorado Preview

News, notes and quotes on No. 6 Kansas' first true road game this season against Colorado on Saturday at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.

News, notes and quotes on No. 6 Kansas' first true road game this season against Colorado on Saturday at the Coors Events Center in Boulder at 2:15 (CT) on ESPN2, while believing freshman guard Andrew Wiggins will have a breakout game. Wiggins, who's averaging 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, was held to a season-low six points against UTEP in KU's last game on Nov. 30 at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

The Jayhawks are 6-1 with its only loss coming to Villanova (63-59) in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 29.

SCOUTING COLORADO

After losing its first game of the season to Baylor (72-60), CU (8-1) has won eight straight and is receiving votes in both national polls. The Buffs are coming off two road wins versus Colorado State (67-62 on Dec. 3, CU's first win at Moby Arena since 2007) and Air Force (81-57 on Nov. 30).

Colorado averages 77.2 points per game and allows 64.9 while shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from three-point range. The Buffaloes outrebound foes 39.8 to 30.1 while holding opponents to 40.4 percent shooting and 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. Colorado also averages 7.2 steals and 13.9 assists per game.

CU is led by junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie at 15.3 points per game. Dinwiddie, who exploded for 28 points in the last game against Colorado State, also paces the Buffs with 13 three-pointers, 30 assists and 15 steals.

Sophomore forward Josh Scott is next in scoring (12.2 ppg) while leading the team in rebounding (8.7 rpg). He's followed by junior guard Askia Booker (11.4 ppg, 89.5 percent from the free throw line), sophomore forward Xavier Johnson (9.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg), and redshirt freshman forward Wesley Gordon (7.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg and team-high 12 blocks).

Tad Boyle, the former KU player (1982-85) under Ted Owens and Larry Brown, is 77-39 in his fifth season as CU head coach and 133-105 in his ninth season overall.

KU coach Bill Self has great respect for the Buffaloes.

"Inside they have a low-post presence (Scott) that's getting better all the time and he was really good against us last year," Self said. "They may have as fast and as good of guards in transition as we'll go against all year. Coach (Kurtis) Townsend said it would be the best transition offensive team we play all year as far as getting the ball up the floor quickly.

"We're familiar with them, and I'm sure they are with us. But they've got a nice team. They've won eight in a row. They should be confident. They've won away from home, and it'll be a tough game, very tough. But fun."

Self also loves the job Boyle has done in Colorado. The two go way back; they used to battle when Self played at Oklahoma State and Boyle at KU.

"I've said this many times. Tad and I were recruited the same year, and I knew I had no chance to go to Kansas when I was coming out of high school because they had already recruited one real slow white guard," Self said. "So Tad looked forward to playing Oklahoma State because he could guard me and I looked forward to playing Kansas because I could guard him.

"I think Tad has a calming presence (as head coach). I think he's done a great job; he doesn't get rattled and I think his players respond to that."

THE SERIES

The series between KU and CU dates back to 1931 with KU leading 123-39, including a 40-26 record in Boulder (25-7 at Coors Events Center). KU has won 19 straight and 46 of the last 47 meeting with CU dating back to 1991.

LET'S HEAT UP

KU hopes to heat up the nets after shooting just 41.9 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from three-point range at the Battle 4 Atlantis' three-game tourney.

"You can say we need to play more shooters (like Conner Frankamp, Andrew White III or Brannen Greene) and that is true, but I guarantee you, you can get the ball to the third side quickly and force a bad close-out with the guys we've got in the game," Self said. "That's the kind of stuff that we need to really understand and address."

Wiggins said the team has struggled with its outside shooting, "but I think in the next couple of games and next couple of months, we'll pull it together."

"WE'RE FOCUSED"

Self didn't like the team's play and energy level in the Bahamas.

"The reason I was disappointed was because I thought that during the weekend we didn't play with the same energy or passion level that I think we played at earlier times this year," Self said.

"We don't consistently play with the sense of urgency that teams here in the past have played," Self added. "I think a lot of that is our veterans need to do a better job of educating our younger guys on exactly what level you have to play at all the time and your focus and your attention.

"... It's one thing to say you want to play harder, but also a lot of it isn't so much just playing harder but our focus and our concentration is so short right now."

Self said the team has rebounded from the tournament with a "good week" of practice. Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor believes the Jayhawks will play with more energy and passion against Colorado than they did in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

"We're focused," Traylor said. "We had a couple of bad games, sloppy games of finishing. We're just going to play hard start to finish and focus the whole time."

After the Colorado game, KU will play another true road game at No. 15 Florida on Dec. 10.

"It's definitely going to be a test and challenge for us," Traylor said about both games.

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