The Buffs will play under FIVA rules during the trip. That means 30-second shot clocks and eight-second backcourt rule (rather than 35 and 10, respectively). CU coaches preach patience and good shot selection, and now having to get the players used to a shorter clock has been a bit of a challenge.
With so many veterans on the roster, practices have been going well. There's also a large group of newcomers — freshmen and transfers/scholarship and walk-ons — who are slowly getting used to the higher level of play.
Senior forward Andy Osborn has been shooting the ball very well in practices. He's also a stronger version than he was last year, something that should help him inside when it comes to conference play.
True freshman swing player Calvin Williams is listed at 6-7, and has a wing span that will help him on the defensive end in the future. He's a hard worker, but, like most freshmen, is getting beat on defense. But word is he's already shown an ability to recover on defense because of his wing span and athleticism.
Juco transfer Dominique Coleman has been practicing exclusively at point guard, where he's demonstrated the kind of scoring ability that helped him lead the NJCAA in scoring last season. The point guard competition will be heated in the coming weeks. Senior Jayson Obazuaye can take people off the dribble, but doesn't have shooting range; senior Antoine McGee doesn't turn the ball over, but has never been a scoring threat. Junior Marcus Hall played both point and two-guard last season, and his unorthodox style of play can cause some teams fits, but he was inconsistent in 2004. Coleman is a big addition here, but it's unclear how the minutes will be divided.
Walk-on point guard Chase Perkowski, a 6-foot-2 kid from San Juan Capistrano (Santa Margarita Catholic), Calif., has been impressive, and could also vie for playing time down the road.
Finally, for the first time the NCAA will allow coaches to work with their entire teams in September for two hours each week, before full practices begin in October.
Head coach Ricardo Patton is in favor of this, not only from a basketball standpoint, but because it allows coaches more supervision over young student-athletes adjusting to college.