Colorado Basketball – November, 2020

November 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright named Pac-12 Player of the Week

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior guard McKinley Wright IV was named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after his season-opening performance at the Little Apple Classic, the league office announced on Monday.

The Pac-12 Player of the Week honor is Wright’s third; earned once as a freshman (Jan. 8, 2018) and once as a junior (Jan. 6, 2020). He is one of only three Buffaloes – joining Chauncey Billups and Askia Booker – to earn three conference Player of the Week honors in his career.

Wright, a native of North Robbinsdale, Minn., averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in wins over South Dakota and Kansas State last week in Manhattan, Kan. He shot a blistering 64.3 percent from the field (18 of 28), including 43 percent from 3-point range (3 of 7).

Against South Dakota, Wright scored 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting with 5 assists, 3 rebounds and two steals.

In the win over Kansas State, Wright had a game-high 24 points with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal in 39 minutes. He tied his career high with 10 made field goals – on just 16 attempts – becoming the 13th Buffalo to reach 1,400 career points.

Wright is the first Buffalo to score 20-plus points in back-to-back games to open a season since Alec Burks scored 20-plus in the first five contests of 2010-11. Colorado started a season 2-0 – with both games away from Boulder – for the first time in 60 years (1960-61).

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November 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs to be down three players for Arizona game due to positive tests

From the Daily Camera … Head coach Tad Boyle confirmed that senior wing D’Shawn Schwartz indeed has tested positive for COVID-19, as CU’s third-leading scorer the past two seasons and the team’s top 3-point shooter was sent home Wednesday prior to the opening night win against South Dakota. CU’s depth took a bigger hit on Thanksgiving, as redshirt freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy and true freshman wing Tristan da Silva were relegated to quarantine via contact tracing from Schwartz’s positive test.

Per Pac-12 Conference protocols, all three players will be quarantined for at least 14 days, leaving all three on the sidelines for next week’s Pac-12 Conference games at Arizona and at home against Washington State, as well as the Dec. 8 home date against Colorado State. As of Friday, Barthelemy and da Silva have tested negative.

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November 27th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs dominate the second half to take out Kansas State, 76-58

From CUBuffs.com … McKinley Wright IV scored 24 points and the Colorado Buffaloes overcame a slow start Friday night to collect a 76-58 win over host Kansas State in the Little Apple Classic.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 2-0 with the win while the Wildcats dropped to 0-2.

Wright, who had 20 points in CU’s season-opening 84-61 win over South Dakota, added five rebounds and five assists against the Wildcats and just two turnovers. Wright was the only Buff in double figures, but CU did get nine points apiece from Eli ParquetJeriah Horne and Jabari Walker.

Nijel Pack led Kansas State with 12 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado trailed by one at the half, 31-30, but quickly seized control after the break with a 7-0 run on the back of an Eli Parquet 3-pointer and baskets from Maddox Daniels and Wright.

K-State then managed to pull back into a tie, but the Buffs slowly rebuilt their lead as Wright took charge. The CU senior scored six points and added an assist in a four-minute span and Parquet added another 3-pointer as CU pulled out to a 51-44 lead with 11:50 to play.

The Buffs then slowly built their cushion into double digits. A Wright 3-pointer gave Colorado a 59-48 lead and Parquet bumped the margin to 14 with a 3-point lay with 7:28 to go, 62-48.

CU then kept the Wildcats at bay down the stretch to collect the win.

Colorado started slowly on offense and the Wildcats took advantage, using a 12-0 run to take a 22-9 lead midway through the first half. The Buffs endured a nearly six-minute scoring drought to help the Wildcats, a stretch that also included three CU turnovers.

But a flagrant foul on KSU’s Davion Bradford seemed to ignite Colorado, opening the door for a 13-0 Colorado surge. Jabari Walker and Wright each hit two free throws and a basket at the beginning of the run before Wright drained a long 3-pointer to pull the Buffs to within 22-20. Dallas Walton then added three free throws, and with 4:52 to go in the half, Colorado had its first lead of the game, 23-22.

CU’s defense played a big role in the surge, forcing five straight KSU turnovers at one point.

The Wildcats regained the lead before Colorado went ahead one more time, getting a Jeriah Horne 3-pointer followed by a Walton dunk to give CU a 30-27 edge with 1:11 left in the half.

The Wildcats, though, scored the last four points of the half to take a 31-30 lead into the locker room at intermission.

Buffs looking to go 2-0 with a win over Big Eight/12 rival Kansas State (6:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs and Wildcats renew their old league rivalry on Friday night, as CU hopes to make it two-for-two at Kansas State’s Little Apple Classic following Wednesday night’s opening win against South Dakota.

“I wish we had Levi Knutson in uniform like the last time we were in this building,” Boyle said. “K-State had a tough loss (Wednesday) to a good Drake team. They’re well-coached. K-State was in the Elite 8 two years ago. This is a storied program. They’ve got a lot of pride. They’ve got a coach who I think is one of the most underrated coaches in America in Bruce Weber. They’ve got a bunch of new guys and they played like it (Wednesday). They’ll be better on Friday than they were (against Drake). We’ve got to be ready for whatever they throw at us.

“They’re going to have bigger, longer athletic guys than South Dakota did. So it’s going to be a challenge.”

Knutson obviously won’t be there to save the Buffs, and there is a chance senior wing D’Shawn Schwartz won’t be there either. Schwartz returned to Boulder on Wednesday after a daily COVID-19 test revealed what Boyle termed “a possible exposure” to the coronavirus. Schwartz was expected to go through another round of testing on Thursday, but his status is unlikely to be clarified until Friday. Following Wednesday’s 84-61 win against South Dakota, Boyle didn’t rule out having Schwartz back in uniform Friday night.

The Buffs didn’t miss a beat without one of their senior leaders. Maddox Daniels replaced Schwartz in the starting lineup and turned in a solid all-around performance, going 2-for-4 on 3-pointers while matching career-highs in rebounds (six) and assists (three) in 28 minutes.

Continue reading story here

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November 25th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Led by McKinley Wright’s 20 points, CU pulls away from South Dakota, 84-61, in season opener

From CU Buffs.com … Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes started their 2020-21 season Wednesday with an 84-61 win over South Dakota in their first game of the Little Apple Classic.

The Buffs had a 14-point lead at the break, 45-31, and then used an 11-0 run early in the second half to bump their margin to 24 points, 60-36. From that point, the Buffs held the Coyotes at bay the rest of the game. The runs were due in large part to strong guard play from McKinley Wright IV and Eli Parquet.

“Our guards made some really good plays defensively,” Boyle said. “McKinley got going in transition and hit a three and Eli had a blocked shot and then went down and hit a three. We got the momentum in our favor.”

Wright led the Buffs in scoring with 20 points. Dallas Walton and Keeshawn Barthelemy led CU in rebounding with seven each.

Colorado also had solid production from its bench, which finished with 32 points. Barthelemy and Jeriah Horne each had 11 points and Jabari Walker finished with 10.

Senior Stanley Umude led the Coyotes with 24 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffaloes built a 20-point lead late in the first half, only to see the margin quickly shrink to 14 thanks to a 6-0 Coyote run to end the half. After exchanging baskets in the opening moments of the second half, the Buff’s broke open and went on an 11-0 run to get out to a 24 point lead.

Colorado had balanced production, with four players in double figures, and CU had just eight turnovers and 20 assists.

“The most important thing in those numbers are the turnovers.” Boyle said. “That starts with making good decisions and taking care of the ball, and I thought that was very good.”

Continue reading story here

 

CU v. South Dakota – Manhattan, Kansas … 6:00 p.m., MT, ESPN+

From CUBuffs.com

THE SEASON: Colorado officially opens the 118th season of varsity men’s basketball by facing South Dakota at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kansas …

FOR OPENERS: Colorado is 82-35 (.701) in all-time season openers and has won its last four. The Buffaloes are 8-2 under head coach Tad Boyle and 35-5 in overall season openers since 1980-81. The Buffaloes begin with a neutral site game for the second-straight season and third time in five years. Colorado defeated Arizona State, 81-71, in last year’s Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai. In 2015-16, the eventual NCAA Tournament bound Buffaloes dropped a 68-62 decision to Iowa State in Sioux Falls, S.D.

NONCONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 96-31 (.756) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 49-14 mark (.778) since the beginning of the 2014-15 season. Colorado was 11-2 in the nonconference schedule in 2019-20, the team’s third 11-2 start in the last 10 years, joining the 2013-14 and 2015-16 squads. It’s the fourth 11-win nonconference for the Buffs in the Boyle era. Colorado was 11-4 in 2010-11, its final year in the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT THE COYOTES: South Dakota opens its season against Colorado, coming off a 20-12 record in 2019-20 and a third place showing in the Summit League. The Coyotes lost four of five starters from last year and have only one returning player that averaged more than four points or 13 minutes per game. USD was picked to finish fifth in the annual Summit League Preseason Poll.

South Dakota’s lone returning starter is senior forward Stanley Umude who averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last year en route to All-Summit League Second Team Honors.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the second meeting between Colorado and South Dakota. The Buffaloes won the prior meeting, an 82-58 decision at the CU Events Center on Dec. 4, 2018.

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November 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

D’Shawn Schwartz: “We’re ready to go. We can’t wait to get out on the floor”

From the Daily Camera … On Wednesday those summer and fall sacrifices finally will come to fruition, as CU at long last gets a chance to start making amends for last year’s late swoon in a much-anticipated season opener against South Dakota at a multi-team event hosted by Kansas State.

“We’re ready to go. We can’t wait to get out on the floor,” senior wing D’Shawn Schwartz said. “It’s been a long time coming. It felt extra long just because we haven’t had any internal sources of fun. Now it’s just like when you get on that court, that’s the getaway. That’s the getaway from Zoom, from the room, all that. We’re so ready to play. It’s going to be a fun time.”

The Buffs were on track to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 last March, but when the onset of the pandemic forced the cancellation of the tournament, the Buffs were left to stew on the five-game losing streak that turned a possible run at the Pac-12 title into a tumble down the tournament seed projections.

As was the case for just about everybody, the offseason turned into being less about putting a finger on what went wrong to turning the page and remaining healthy and safe enough to compete again in 2020-21. Though league rivals like Arizona and Arizona State have suffered hiccups with their season openers, and regional peers like Colorado State and Denver have momentarily been shut down, the Buffs are ready to roll.

“These kids have worked too hard. They’ve come too far,” said head coach Tad Boyle, who begins his 11th season at CU. “Again, most of our scholarship players have been on campus since June 7. They went home a little bit in August and had to do some quarantine when they came back. But think about it — from June 7th until now, they’ve handled their business. They’ve worked hard. They have sacrificed socially. They’ve sacrificed with their families, not being around them and not going home and seeing them when they’d like to. Before we start practice in the fall we usually give our guys the weekend off to go home and see them one more time because this season is going to be a long one. We couldn’t even do that.

“I’m just really proud of our guys. It will be a special tipoff. More so this year than others.”

Continue reading story here

Pac-12 conference schedule released 

From the Pac-12 … The Pac-12 Conference released the remaining game dates for the league’s inaugural 20-game regular season for 2020-21 on Tuesday.

With reorganized dates for the league’s additional early December games announced in late October, all game dates for the 20-game Conference season have now been set.

Television network designations and start times will be announced as available in the future. All 120 Conference games will be televised by either Pac-12 Network, ESPN/2/U, FOX/FS1 or CBS.

The Conference received approval to move to a 20-game format in May 2019, and announced original dates for the additional two games in December 2019. However, due to the NCAA’s shift in season start date to Nov. 25, programs were allowed to reach mutually agreeable dates for the previously scheduled league games. In total, five of the original 12 dates were moved to allow for flexibility in non-league scheduling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remainder of league play will resume on New Year’s Eve and conclude March 6 ahead of the 2021 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas from March 10-13.

All basketball competitions will be conducted in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee health and safety recommendations and guidelines, as previously announced on September 24 when the Pac-12 CEO Group voted to resume football, basketball and winter sport seasons. The regular-season schedule has been designed to allow for flexibility should a need arise for rescheduled contests.

PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL 2020-21 CONFERENCE ADDED DECEMBER GAMES

Wed., Dec. 2, 2020 – Colorado at Arizona; Oregon State at Washington State
Thurs., Dec. 3, 2020 – Arizona State at California; Washington at Utah
Sat., Dec. 5, 2020 – Washington State at Colorado
Sun., Dec. 6, 2020 – California at UCLA
Sat., Dec. 12, 2020 – Oregon at Washington*
Sun., Dec. 13, 2020 – Stanford at USC*
Sat., Dec. 19, 2020 – Arizona at Stanford
Sun., Dec. 20, 2020 – USC at Oregon State*
Tues., Dec. 22, 2020 – Utah at Arizona State*
Wed., Dec. 23, 2020 – UCLA at Oregon*
* – Adjusted from original date

PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL 2020-21 CONFERENCE GAME DATES (12/31 – 3/7)
Thurs., Dec. 31
Arizona at Washington
Arizona State at Washington State
Colorado at USC
California at Oregon
Stanford at Oregon State
Utah at UCLA

Sat., Jan. 2
Arizona at Washington State
Arizona State at Washington
California at Oregon State
Colorado at UCLA
Stanford at Oregon
Utah at USC

Wed., Jan. 6
Oregon State at Utah

Thurs., Jan. 7
Oregon at Colorado
UCLA at Arizona State
USC at Arizona
Washington at Stanford
Washington State at California

Sat., Jan. 9
Oregon State at Colorado
UCLA at Arizona
USC at Arizona State
Washington at California
Washington State at Stanford

Sat., Jan. 9 OR Sun., Jan. 10
Oregon at Utah

Wed., Jan. 13
California at Colorado
Stanford at Utah

Thurs., Jan. 14
Arizona at Oregon State
Arizona State at Oregon
Washington at USC
Washington State at UCLA

Sat., Jan. 16
Arizona at Oregon
Arizona State at Oregon State
California at Utah
Stanford at Colorado
Washington at UCLA
Washington State at USC

Wed., Jan. 20
Colorado at Washington

Thurs., Jan. 21
Arizona at Arizona State
UCLA at California
USC at Stanford
Utah at Washington State

Sat., Jan. 23
Colorado at Washington State
Oregon State at Oregon
UCLA at Stanford
USC at California

Sun., Jan. 24
Utah at Washington

Wed., Jan. 27
Washington State at Washington

Thurs., Jan. 28
California at Arizona State
Oregon at UCLA
Oregon State at USC
Stanford at Arizona

Sat., Jan. 30
California at Arizona
Oregon at USC
Oregon State at UCLA
Stanford at Arizona State
Utah at Colorado

Thurs., Feb. 4
Arizona at Utah
Arizona State at Colorado
Stanford at California
Washington at Oregon State
Washington State at Oregon

Sat., Feb. 6
Arizona at Colorado
Arizona State at Utah
UCLA at USC
Washington at Oregon
Washington State at Oregon State

Thurs., Feb. 11
Colorado at Stanford
Oregon at Arizona State
Oregon State at Arizona
UCLA at Washington State
USC at Washington
Utah at California

Sat., Feb. 13
Colorado at California
Oregon at Arizona
UCLA at Washington
USC at Washington State
Utah at Stanford

Sun., Feb. 14
Oregon State at Arizona State

Wed., Feb. 17
Arizona State at USC

Thurs., Feb. 18
Arizona at UCLA
California at Washington State
Colorado at Oregon
Stanford at Washington
Utah at Oregon State

Sat., Feb. 20
Arizona at USC
Arizona State at UCLA
California at Washington
Colorado at Oregon State
Utah at Oregon

Sun., Feb. 21
Stanford at Washington State

Thurs., Feb. 25
Oregon at Stanford
Oregon State at California
UCLA at Utah
USC at Colorado
Washington at Arizona State
Washington State at Arizona

Sat., Feb. 27
Oregon at California
Oregon State at Stanford
UCLA at Colorado
USC at Utah
Washington at Arizona
Washington State at Arizona State

Sat., March 6
Arizona State at Arizona
Colorado at Utah
Oregon at Oregon State
USC at UCLA
Washington at Washington State

Sat., March 6 OR Sun., March 7
California at Stanford

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November 23rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

With cancellations aplenty nearby, Buffs just trying to get to the opener safely

From the Daily Camera … As the Colorado Buffaloes begin the first game week of a season they hope will continue to feature continuous game weeks until March, the goal is simple yet tenuous. A balance of anticipation and trepidation that might also continue through March.

CU men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle talked on a video media session Monday morning, roughly 56 hours before his squad is scheduled to open the 2020-21 season against South Dakota in Manhattan, Kansas. Reaching that seemingly innocuous goal of getting to tipoff won’t be as easy as simply checking the hours off the clock, as the coronavirus pandemic already has made a mess of college basketball’s scheduled opening night on Wednesday.

Boyle is crossing his fingers that the Buffs, who haven’t suffered a single positive test amongst its scholarship players since the bulk of the team reconvened on campus in June, can produce a safe and victorious two-game, season-opening trip to Kansas State.

“We have to get Wednesday at 7 p.m. (6 MT) in Manhattan, Kansas,” Boyle said. “If we can do that, it will be a hell of an accomplishment for these young men. You look at what’s going on through our state, it’s another testament to our guys and, knock on wood, people keep staying safe and healthy.”

On Friday, Colorado State announced it is suspending activities for its men’s basketball program through Dec. 2 due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program, casting at least a shadow of concern over the Rams’ scheduled Dec. 8 visit to the CU Events Center.

On Monday, the hits kept coming. The University of Denver, coached by former CU assistant Rodney Billups, announced the cancellation of its season-opener Wednesday against Colorado Christian due to positive tests within the Pioneers’ program. No. 11 Tennessee, with former CU assistant Kim English on staff, suspended all team activities after head coach Rick Barnes tested positive for COVID-19. No. 9 Duke was forced to cancel its opener against Gardner-Webb.

The opening week schedule-juggling has struck the Pac-12, as well. Arizona’s opener against Northern Arizona was canceled, as was No. 18 Arizona State’s highly-anticipated showdown against No. 2 Baylor in Connecticut. Instead, the Sun Devils will play Rhode Island.

Continue reading story here

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November 22nd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Despite all the records, Tad Boyle not satisfied as 11th season set to open

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle has always been a student of history.

It is why, when he was hired as the Colorado Buffaloes’ 18th men’s basketball coach in 2010, he exhibited some restraint when he began exploring the real estate market in Boulder.

“I remember driving around with my wife and a realtor when we were looking for houses,” Boyle recently said with a chuckle. “I told her, ‘Now we have to be careful here. I may not have this job for more than 2 or 3 or 4 years. Let’s lower the bar, so to speak.'”

Boyle was simply being pragmatic. He knew that coaching men’s basketball at Colorado was neither an easy or forgiving task. He knew that of the previous 17 coaches in CU history, only four had lasted at least 10 years, and only one of the six before him had lasted longer than six seasons.

But instead of repeating history, Boyle has rewritten it. Now entering his 11th season at Colorado — fourth on the all-time longevity list at CU and well within striking range of Nos. 2 and 3 — he has produced arguably the most successful decade in program history.

The numbers tell the story:

— Nine winning seasons in 10 years.

— Second on CU’s all-time victory list with 210, trailing only Sox Walseth’s 261.

— Second-best winning percentage in program history (minimum four seasons) at .610, trailing only Forrest Cox’s .623.

— Seven of Colorado’s 11 total 20-win seasons.

— All four of CU’s top win seasons (24 twice, 23 twice).

— First head coach in CU history to take the Buffs to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as the first to take Colorado to seven consecutive postseason appearances.

— Only CU coach to win 20 games in his first four years, and the only CU coach to own seven 20-win seasons.

— A .564 postseason winning percentage, best in school history.

— Four conference tournament semifinal appearances and one conference tournament title.

— 15 of CU’s all-time 26 conference tournament victories.

— Six NBA Draft picks, including three first rounders.

Those numbers are just the highlights, but they are clearly a testament to the job Boyle has performed in just his second collegiate head coaching stop. Along the way, he has also increased attendance, captured the attention of CU’s student body, and put the Buffs into the national conversation on a consistent basis.

But the best part? While understandably proud of what he has accomplished at a school that struggled more often than not in men’s hoops, Boyle is far from satisfied.

Continue reading story here

—–

November 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tyler Bey traded from 76ers to Dallas Mavericks 

From Sports Illustrated … The Dallas Mavericks ended up with a third rookie on Wednesday night, acquiring Colorado’s Tyler Bey at No. 36 overall as part of the Josh Richardson-Seth Curry trade.

The Mavs acquired the pick after trading Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers for Richardson. The 76ers conveyed the No. 36 overall pick to Dallas as part of the trade.

The Mavs ended up with a haul on Wednesday night, taking Arizona wing Josh Green with the No. 18 overall pick (a pick that, at one point, was rumored to be conveyed to Oklahoma City for acquiring Dalino Gallinari) and Stanford guard Tyrell Terry with the No. 31 overall pick. The Mavericks received that pick four years ago in a trade to acquire Andrew Bogut from the Golden State Warriors.

Bey, 6-foot-7, like Green, would give the Mavs some help on the defensive side of the floor. Bey was named the 2019-20 Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, along with earning league All-Defensive Team and All-Pac-12 Second Team honors. He was Colorado’s second Defensive Player of the Year in any conference, joining Andre Roberson who earned the Pac-12’s honor in 2012-13.

But he can also give Dallas some help on the offensive side. In three seasons with Colorado, Bey finished as one of seven Buffs to finish their career with 1,000 points and 800 rebounds. His career averages were 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. He also ended his CU career No. 8 in rebounds (800), No. 9 in double-doubles (31) and No. 10 in blocked shots (102).

In his final season in Boulder, Bey averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks. He led the Buffaloes in rebounds, steals and blocks that season. He was also their second-leading scorer.

Tyler Bey taken in the second round by the 76ers (8th pick; 38th overall)

Related … Tyler Bey’s CU Career at a Glance … from CUBuffs.com 

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado’s Tyler Bey was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft with the 36th overall pick Wednesday night.

A native of Las Vegas, Bey was the 2019-20 Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year while earning league All-Defensive Team and All-Pac-12 Second Team honors. Bey averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks as a junior, leading the Buffaloes in the latter three categories and ranking second in scoring.

Bey, a 6-foot, 8-inch, 216-pound forward, is Colorado’s third NBA Draft pick in the last four years and sixth in the 10-year Tad Boyle era.

Overall, he is Colorado’s 35th NBA Draft pick and the second Buffs pick by the 76ers. Chuck Williams was a sixth round pick of the 76ers in 1968.

Reports by ESPN have Bey being part of a proposed trade that will eventually land him with the Dallas Mavericks, though all proposed trades have to pass through NBA Legal before being finalized. Andre Roberson was in a similar situation in 2013, drafted by Minnesota 26th overall eventually landing in Oklahoma City.

Bey led the Pac-12 in rebounding and defensive boards (7.0 drpg), third in double-doubles (12), fifth in steals, seventh in blocks, eighth in offensive rebounds (2.0 orpg), ninth in field goal percentage and 17th in scoring. He was the only conference player ranked in the top 15 in rebounds, blocks and steals.

In addition to his 2019-20 conference honors, he was a NABC All-District 19 Second Team pick, one of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award and one of 15 on the Midseason Team for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.

As a sophomore, Bey was the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year and a first team all-league pick. He averaged 13.6 and 9.9 rebounds per game and his overall rebound total of 356 was the second most in a single season in team history.

For his three-year career, Bey averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block over 99 games with 87 starts. He’s one of seven Colorado players to eclipse 1,000 points and 800 rebounds and only the third documented player to reach 1,000 points, 750 rebounds and 100 blocks.

Bey ranks eighth in rebounds (800), ninth in double-doubles (31), 10th in blocks (102) and field goal percentage (.530) and 29th in points (1,113) on Colorado’s all-time lists.

Following his junior season, Bey declared for the NBA Draft which would normally be held in June, but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was invited to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, held both virtually with some in person workouts. He posted a 43.5-inch max vertical leap, setting an NBA Combine record for forwards.

Continue reading story here

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November 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

Could Tyler Bey sneak into the first round tonight?

From SportsPac-12.com … The 2020 NBA draft was originally scheduled to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in June. However, due to COVID-19, it was pushed back to October, and has since been rescheduled for 5:00 p.m. MT tonight. It will be conducted via videoconferencing from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut.

I’ve included projections for all the selections in the first two rounds, but have only commented on the ones that matter most to us here in Pac-12 Country—the six Conference players I think will go in the First Round, and the four I expect to be taken in the Second Round.

Second Round – Pick No. 1 … No. 31 …  Dallas – Tyler Bey, Small Forward, Colorado

► A long player with a great all-around game like Bey seems like someone any team could use. He might even be able to sneak into the back end of the first round.

—–

November 16th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU’s seven-game non-conference schedule (starting next Wednesday!) includes K-State; CSU

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … Regional rivals and a pair of Power 5 opponents highlight the abbreviated University of Colorado men’s basketball nonconference schedule announced on Monday.

Colorado State, Northern Colorado and Omaha will visit the CU Events Center during an eight-day span in December; the Buffaloes’ only home nonconference opponents. Colorado will play three neutral site games and one road contest to round out the preseason slate which was cut to seven games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Buffaloes are set to open, as previously announced, at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan. Colorado tips off against South Dakota, which recently replaced South Dakota State, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m.. The Buffaloes will face former Big Eight/Big 12 rival Kansas State on Friday, Nov. 27, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Buffaloes defeated the Wildcats, 87-75, in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big 12 Tournament.

After opening Pac-12 Conference play at Arizona (Wednesday, Dec. 2) and home against Washington State (Saturday, Dec. 5), Colorado resumes nonconference action by hosting Colorado State on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The following week, the Buffaloes host Northern Colorado (Monday, Dec. 14) and Omaha (Wednesday, Dec. 16) to round out an overall four-game home stand.

Colorado’s three home nonconference games will be its fewest since 1964-65, when Denver, Drake and Wyoming were the only non-Big Eight opponents to visit Boulder. The Buffaloes’ 13 scheduled home regular season games will be their fewest since having that same number for the 1989-90 season.

Colorado wraps up the nonconference schedule with two games at the Far West Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against one familiar opponent and a new one. The Buffaloes will play a “nonconference” game against Washington on Sunday, Dec. 20. Colorado will finish off nonconference play with a first-time match up with Grand Canyon on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Similar to last year’s Pac-12 China game against Arizona State, the match up with the Huskies will not count toward the league standings. Washington was one of two schools that Colorado was only to face once with the league’s new 20-game schedule. Adding the Huskies during the nonconference schedule leaves Arizona State as the only Pac-12 team the Buffaloes will face once during the regular season – that game taking in place in Boulder, the week of Feb. 3-7, 2021.

The Pac-12 schedule is set to resume the week of Dec. 30-Jan. 3. Times and television for the rest of the nonconference games, as well as dates and times for the remaining Pac-12 contests, will be announced at a later date.

2020-21 Colorado Men’s Basketball Schedule (As of Nov. 16, 2020)

 

DATEOPPONENTLOCATIONTIME (MT)TV
Wednesday, Nov. 25^-vs. South DakotaManhattan, Kan.6 p.m.TBA
Friday, Nov. 27^-at Kansas StateManhattan, Kan.6:30 p.m.ESPNU
Wednesday, Dec. 2*at ArizonaTucson Ariz.TBATBA
Saturday, Dec. 5*WASHINGTON STATEBOULDERTBATBA
Tuesday, Dec. 8COLORADO STATEBOULDERTBATBA
Monday, Dec. 14NORTHERN COLORADOBOULDERTBATBA
Wednesday, Dec. 16OMAHABOULDERTBATBA
Sunday, Dec. 20!$-vs. WashingtonLas Vegas, Nev.TBATBA
Tuesday, Dec. 22$-vs. Grand CanyonLas Vegas, Nev.TBATBA

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November 12th

… CU in the Arena … 

Preseason media poll: UCLA picked to win Pac-12

From the Pac-12 … For the first time since 2011-12, UCLA has been voted the favorite to win the 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball title in a vote of 23 media members who cover the league.

Just 10 points separated the top three teams – UCLA, ARIZONA STATE and OREGON – in the poll, the closest vote among the top three in the 37-year history of Conference preseason picks.

The Bruins, who were ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press preseason top 25 earlier this week, collected nine first-place votes and 251 points to edge projected runner-up Arizona State – the AP preseason No. 18 Sun Devils garnered five first-place votes and 246 points to match their highest ever preseason prediction (2008-09 Media, 1985-86 Coaches).

Defending Pac-12 regular-season champion and AP preseason No. 20 ranked Oregon netted seven first-place votes and 241 points to slot in third.

STANFORD picked up one first-place vote and 209 points to check in fourth, its highest appearance since 2012-13 (fourth), while ARIZONA (173 points) and USC (one first-place vote, 154 points) rounded out the top half of the poll. COLORADO, UTAH, WASHINGTON, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON STATE and OREGON STATE completed the predicted order of finish.

Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 17 times in 31 tries, including five times in the Pac-12 era (since 2011-12), while the winner has been accurately chosen in 21 of the 36 all-time preseason votes.

2020-21 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

Team (First Place Votes)Points
1. UCLA (9)251
2. ARIZONA STATE (5)246
3. OREGON (7)241
4. STANFORD (1)209
5. ARIZONA173
6. USC (1)154
7. COLORADO149
8. UTAH131
9. WASHINGTON85
10. CALIFORNIA65
11. WASHINGTON STATE54
12. OREGON STATE36

McKinley Wright named first-team All-Pac-12

From the Pac-12 … All 12 programs were represented on the 2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball preseason All-Conference Teams as selected by media who cover the league and revealed ahead of the league’s virtual media day on Thursday.

Preseason league favorite UCLA led all programs with four honorees across the 20 selections (First Team, Second Team, Honorable Mention), headlined by First Team pick Chris Smith and Second Teamer Tyger Campbell.

Preseason runner-up ARIZONA STATE followed with three honorees all from its potent backcourt – First Team pick and Associated Press Preseason All-American Remy Martin and Second Team selections Josh Christopher and Alonzo Verge Jr.

OREGON and STANFORD were the only programs with multiple First Team selections in the Ducks’ Chris Duarte and Will Richardson, and the Cardinal’s Oscar da Silva and Ziaire Williams.

Christopher and Williams were joined by fellow McDonald’s All-American Evan Mobley of USC as freshmen to earn preseason recognition.

Six All-Conference and two All-Defensive Team selections from last season are slated to return for 2020-21 – the eight returning all-league picks being the most to return to the Conference since its record-setting 2015-16 campaign. Additionally, six NBA Draft early-entry candidates elected to return to Pac-12 programs – First Team All-Conference performers Martin (ASU), Smith (UCLA) and Wright IV (Colorado), Second Team honorees Allen (UTAH) and Bradley (CALIFORNIA), and reigning Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year Verge Jr. (ASU). Stanford’s da Silva (First Team) and Bryce Wills (All-Defensive) round out the returning All-Conference performers.

2020-21 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Preseason Media All-Conference Teams

FIRST TEAM

NameYr.Pos.School
Timmy AllenJr.FUtah
Matt BradleyJr.GCalifornia
Oscar da SilvaSr.FStanford
Chris DuarteSr.GOregon
Remy MartinSr.GArizona State
Evan MobleyFr.FUSC
Will RichardsonJr.GOregon
Chris SmithSr.GUCLA
Ziaire WilliamsFr.FStanford
McKinley Wright IVSr.GColorado

SECOND TEAM

NameYr.Pos.School
Isaac BontonSr.GWashington State
Tyger CampbellR-So.GUCLA
Josh ChristopherFr.GArizona State
Ethan ThompsonSr.GOregon State
Alonzo Verge Jr.Sr.GArizona State

HONORABLE MENTION (received votes from four-or-more members of the media): James Akinjo (Jr., ARIZ), Evan Battey (Jr., COLO), Quade Green (Sr., WASH), Jalen Hill (R-Jr., UCLA), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (So., UCLA).

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November 11th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle Recruiting Class signs – ranked 16th in the nation

Press release from CUBuffs.comQuincy Allen, Julian Hammond III, Lawson Lovering and Javon Ruffin have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2021-22 head coach Tad Boyle announced on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA Early Signing Period.

The class includes a pair of Top 100 four-star recruits in Allen and Lovering and as a whole has been widely acclaimed during the early period. 247Sports.com has Colorado’s 2021 class ranked No. 16 nationally while Rivals has the Buffaloes at No. 19.

But more importantly, it’s back-to-back solid recruiting classes for Boyle and his staff. Five freshmen – four from a 2020 class, ranked No. 32 by Rivals and No. 41 by 247Sports –  could make an impact this season which is scheduled to tip off in two weeks.

“It’s an exciting class, especially when you add that group of guys to the freshmen that we have in the program right now,” Boyle said. “That is a core group of nine guys that are going to take this program, to hopefully the next level.”

Quincy Allen, 6-7, 190, G/F, Silver Spring, Md. (Maret School)
Allen is 49th on the ESPN 100 national list and checks in at No. 68 via Rivals and No. 71 in the 247Sports composite rankings. He plays in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, regarded as one of the top private school leagues in the country.

Allen, who entertained offers from schools such as Louisville, Michigan and Miami, fell in love with Colorado during an official visit to Boulder last February when the Buffaloes had a sold-out CU Events Center against UCLA.

Allen’s junior season was shortened by injury, but he is now 100 percent. He recently helped Maret to a 7-3 record during an abbreviated fall season. Maret will resume practice in late December and is slated for a 15-game schedule beginning Jan. 12.

Quincy Allen:
“I felt really welcome when I came out there, not from just a basketball standpoint but everyone in the city of Boulder and all the people I met on campus. And, yeah, I was really attracted by the coaching staff, they welcomed me and made me feel like I was part of the team. I just love coach Boyle’s philosophy like philosophy. I fell his philosophy really compliments my game.”

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
“Quincy can guard and play multiple positions. He’s got as much upside as any player I think that we’ve ever signed at Colorado, in terms of his length, athleticism and skill set. We don’t recruit the (Washington) DC area day in and day out, but we made a decision as a staff to kind of swing for the fences and get out of our comfort zone recruiting wise with three to four kids in the junior class and he was one of them.”

“We got him to come in, take an official visit last February, when we played UCLA. And even though we didn’t win that game, our building was electric that night. Our players fought hard. We didn’t win but he had a great, great experience and really, I think, fell in love with what Colorado basketball is all about, which is a full CU Events Center, and rabid fan base and great students section, and a group great young men. He and his mom visited, and he would not be a Buffalo if it weren’t for that new rule of juniors being able to visit officially because he would have never been here he would have never experienced it. We were very fortunate, happy and excited that Quincy is going to be a Buffalo.”

Julian Hammond III, 6-2, 180, G, Denver, Colo. (Cherry Creek)
Hammond averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a junior, leading the Centennial League in scoring and helping Cherry Creek to a No. 4 seed at the state tournament. 247Sports lists him as the top player in the state of Colorado and the 30th best combo guard in the nation.

Hammond is the latest in a line of Colorado’s top prep basketball players staying home – a Boyle-era recruiting staple. He’s a two-sport standout, earning All-State honors in both football and basketball.

A quarterback on the gridiron, Hammond let the Bruins to the 2019 Class 5A state championship and is hoping for another this fall. His grandfather, Julian Hammond, played for the Denver Rockets of the ABA from 1967-72. The honor of playing for CU as a Colorado kid, family, and staying close to home, played a role in his decision.

Julian Hammond III:
“That was one of the things that made Colorado so appealing. It’s where I’ve always wanted to go and it’s just nice knowing that it’s 30-35 minutes from my house so if my family want to come up and watch me, they always can.”

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
He’s a young man who’s comes from a great basketball family and a very good player in his own right. And the thing about Julian that I love is, he’s obviously a great high school football player. He’s got one state championship under his belt and I know they’re shooting for another one here this year. He’s playing the quarterback position in football; obviously shows he’s got leadership. You have to have a level of toughness to play the sport of football. We feel like he’s got that but as a basketball player in his own right. He’s a guy that can shoot it can handle it. And he’s got great anticipation skills.  I think he’s going to be a very good defender before it’s all said and done as well.”

Lawson Lovering, 7-0, 220, C, Cheyenne, Wyo. (Central)
A two-time Wyoming Class 4A All-State selection, Lovering averaged 13.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a junior. He shot a state-best 69 percent from the field and was named the 2020 East Conference Co-Player of the Year as Cheyenne Central finished the season at 20-3 overall.

Lovering is a consensus four-star prospect, coming in at 57th in Rivals’ national rankings and as the ninth-best center in the country. 247Sports has Lovering as Wyoming’s top player and 46th in its own national rankings.

As a sophomore, Lovering averaged 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and shot 61 percent from the field.

Lawson Lovering:
“(Signing the NLI) is a weight off my shoulders. It’s nice to finally sign and make it official. I work my butt off every day and I’m eager to come play. I think I’m a really skillful big, I move really well, which is going to help me play in the Pac-12.”

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
“Lawson is from Cheyenne, Wyoming, but I almost consider him a Colorado guy just because we’ve been recruiting him, like he’s a Colorado guy for so long, and coach (Associate Head Coach Mike) Rohn did a really good job in the recruiting process. We’ve really followed him even starting back to his freshman and sophomore year in high school, and just watched him grow and develop. He’s just one of those guys, you know that every time you go see him, he’s getting better and better and better.

“I always say this with seven footers. The first question I asked myself, if we’re recruiting a seven-footer is, ‘would he be playing basketball, if he were six feet tall?’ And if the answer is yes, you should probably recruit them, because they love the game, and if they love the game they’re going to continue to get better at the game and work on their body and improve. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t recruit them, because, yes they are seven feet tall, but they’re only playing basketball because they’re seven feet tall, or they’re not playing because they love the game and Lawson loves the game. And it’s evident in how hard he works, and, and the improvement he’s made just in his high school career.”

Javon Ruffin, 6-5, 195, G, New Orleans, La. (PHHoenix Prep)
Ruffin averaged 22.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a junior for Isidore Newman High School in his hometown of New Orleans. He helped the Greenies to a district title and the semifinals of the Division III state semifinals.

An All-State selection by the Louisiana State Writers Association, Ruffin is playing his final high school season for PHHoenix Prep in Arizona. Ruffin is currently averaging around 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists on a squad with a 21-3 record that features eight future NCAA Division I players on its roster.

His father, Michael Ruffin is a Denver native and played nine seasons in the NBA for six different teams.

Javon Ruffin:
“I saw everything (in choosing Colorado). I feel like they have everything. It’s a good school, I love the coaches after getting to know them. I haven’t met a better coaching staff. And with the players that are there and the opportunities that will be opening up with some players leaving. It’s just going to be the perfect situation. Going to college is a dream for every basketball player and being able to play in such a competitive league with a team that has a chance to go to the tournament every year. It’s exciting.”

Colorado Head Coach Tad Boyle:
“Javon is another guy who I think the sky is the limit in terms of his development. He’s a big guard that can play and guard multiple positions. We’ve had a lot of success with 6-5, 6-6, guards in our program and Javon is another one in that line. He’s a guy that can get to the rim, get to the foul line, shoot the three, and I think he’s got the ability to be a very good defender.”

“His dad Michael was a heck of a player at Cherry Creek back in the day and went on to a great career at Tulsa and then a great NBA career. And I just remember the first conversation I had with Javon parents. I remember I was an assistant at Oregon when Michael was coming out of Cherry Creek and I did not pound on the table as an assistant to recruit him. And it was a big regret of mine because he turned out to be a great, great player. And I felt like he was going to be at the time, but I didn’t pound the table and so now here I am some 20-plus years later, and I’ve got the ability to recruit his son. And we, we went all in from the very beginning on him.”

CBS NBA Mock Draft has Tyler Bey an early second-round pick

From CBS Sports … Believe it or not, the 2020 NBA Draft is finally (almost) here. It’ll be conducted virtually. It’ll be five months later than initially planned. So nothing is normal about it. But, hooray hooray, it is finally (almost) here.

And yet there’s still no consensus at the top.

Many franchises believe LaMelo Ball is the best prospect available. Others insist it’s James Wiseman. Some are certain it’s Anthony Edwards. So the top three or four picks in this draft could reasonably go in any order.

Tyler Bey … Second round … Pick No. 8 … Pick No. 38 overall 

PROJECTED TEAM

New York

PROSPECT RNK

42nd

POSITION RNK

8th

Tyler Bey is a combo forward who shot 41.9% from beyond the arc last season at Colorado. He mostly played power forward in college, but he’s shown the ability to drift to the wing when allowed to do so.

Read full story here

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November 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

Preseason AP poll contains three Pac-12 teams (none named Colorado)

From CBS Sports … The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ 2020-21 Top 25 preseason college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last season’s final ranking:

RANKTEAMRECORDPOINTSLAST SEASON
1Gonzaga (28)0-015412
2Baylor (24)0-015405
3Villanova (11)0-0150110
4Virginia (1)0-0154016
5Iowa0-0127325
6Kansas0-012211
7Wisconsin0-0115017
8Illinois0-0110521
9Duke0-0107311
10Kentucky0-010388
11Creighton0-09227
12Tennessee0-0919NR
13Michigan State0-08209
14Texas Tech0-0790NR
15West Virginia0-065124
16North Carolina0-0465NR
17Houston0-043822
18Arizona State0-0402NR
19Texas0-0380NR
20Oregon0-037513
21Florida State0-03514
22UCLA0-0336NR
23Ohio State0-027019
24Rutgers0-0190NR
25Michigan0-0160NR

Others receiving votes: LSU 146, Memphis 69, Florida 69, Alabama 50, Indiana 48, Louisville 41, Richmond 40, Stanford 14, Providence 9, Saint Louis 8, Auburn 8, San Diego State 6, Connecticut 6, BYU 4, Loyola Chicago 3, Seton Hall 2, UNC Greensboro 1, Northern Iowa 1

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November 3rd

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs again looking for a season-opening opponent as South Dakota State backs out of Little Apple Classic

Related … Arizona head coach Sean Miller tries to justify why the Wildcats will play every non-conference game at home … From DesertSwarm.com

From CUBuffs.com … In a year when everything is upside down and nothing is certain, the Colorado men’s basketball schedule took yet another unexpected turn over the weekend.

Originally scheduled to open the season with South Dakota State in the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 25, the Buffs are suddenly looking for an opening opponent again after the Jackrabbits jumped ship for another tournament, the Crossover Classic.

Understandably, CU coach Tad Boyle wasn’t exactly happy with SDSU’s departure.

“Welcome to scheduling in the 2020-21 basketball season,” Boyle said in a Monday morning meeting with the media. “Unfortunately, everybody is self-serving. They’re trying to do what’s best for their own program. Contracts don’t mean a whole helluva lot, people’s words don’t mean a whole helluva lot right now, which is kind of disappointing. But that’s the way the world works.”

When the Little Apple Classic field was announced in early October, the SDSU website published a story quoting head coach Eric Henderson saying, “”We’re extremely excited to be a part of the Little Apple Classic. It was important for our team and University to find an (multi-team event)  that not only valued the safety of the student-athletes, but also provided high-quality competition. We can’t wait to start our season in the Little Apple.”

That excitement, though, evidently waned over the weekend when the Crossover Classic came calling — and it left Colorado, Drake and host Kansas State looking for another team for the Little Apple.

“Drake is still committed, Kansas state’s still committed, we’re still committed,” Boyle said. “We’re making phone calls. Made them this weekend, making them today. Trying to get a fourth team to step in for where South Dakota State bailed out.”

Boyle said there are still a number of teams who are looking for a multi-team event to open the season. But if they can’t find a replacement, they could be forced to make the Little Apple a three-team affair.

“That would be our last choice,” Boyle said. “We’d like to get another team in there. The good news is there’s still a lot of teams looking for games. Hopefully we can find one.”

Boyle also expressed disappointment in the Pac-12 conference season pairings, which were released last week. CU and travel partner Utah, along with Washington and Washington State, will be forced to play four straight road games. Such stretches are not allowed under normal Pac-12 scheduling rules, but those guidelines were waived in order to deal with the coronavirus and the circumstances it could present in the event of postponements.

 The Buffaloes will play the Bay Area schools the week of Feb. 10-14, then travel to the Oregon schools the week of Feb. 17-21. It will be the first time Colorado has played four straight conference road games since 1946-47, the Buffs’ final year in the Mountain States Conference.

“We have four (straight) games on the road, we’ll play four games on the road,” Boyle said. “We have 20 league games and we know 10 of them will be at home and 10 on the road. Life ain’t always fair. You just keep on playing, that’s all we can do.”

McKinley Wright one of two Pac-12 players named to Bob Cousy Award Watch list

From the Daily Camera … The Bob Cousy Award was won by former Oregon guard Payton Pritchard last spring, and Wright is one of 20 players named to the preseason list this year. Arizona State senior Remy Martin is the only other Pac-12 player on the preseason watch list.

Wright was one of the 10 midseason finalists for the award last year and eventually finished the season averaging 14.4 points and 5.0 assists per game. He became just the second CU player after Donnie Boyce to collect at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, and 400 assists in his career, and with 501 career assists he is on pace to top Jay Humphries’ program record of 562.

On Monday, the Buffs also learned their scheduled opponent for the season opener on Nov. 25, South Dakota State, has pulled out of a multi-team event at Kansas State. Regardless of what team eventually fills that opening void in the schedule, Wright believes the Buffs are getting closer to being ready when the lights finally go on.

“We’re not all the way there yet,” Wright said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys. Right now we’re getting up and down a lot, and right now we’ve got the freshmen brains all over the place with the sets we have, where we get to in transition, our defensive principles and all kinds of stuff like that. Right now, we’re not where we want to be. But we’re getting there and our freshmen are picking up.”

Read full story here

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