Buffs Open 2005-06 Season vs. UNCW

The Colorado men's team opens its season tonight at home vs. UNC-Wilmington. The game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. The CU women play Cal State-Fullerton at 6 p.m. at Coors. Inside, a Q&A with junior guard Marcus Hall, plus a look at Wilmington.

Marcus Hall started 21 games a season ago, and averaged 11 points and a team-high 4.3 assists per game, playing both point guard and shooting gaurd.

This season, Hall will primarily play shooting guard.

BSN: When you look at tape of Wilmington, what do you see from them? Marcus Hall: An experienced team. They're probably feeling comfortable right now, coming in a 3-0. They're probably confident after beating a fairly good Northwestern team and Wyoming.

I'm sure they're not going to look at us as the Big 12 Bid Dog.

I heard they had a pretty good guard and a pretty good big.

BSN: What do you think you're role is going to be this season. You started 21 games last year, and you're coming off the bench right now. Of course, Ricardo Patton likes to tinker with his lineups as the season goes along.
MH:
I haven't started on Day 1 since I've been here. I didn't start on Day 1 last year. So, who knows?

He's got me at the 2-guard spot for one reason, that's to score. I'll bring some points off the bench as of right now. If that role changes and I'm starting lineup, then I'll bring some points in the starting lineup.

But when I'm on the floor, I just want to play defense and try to get everybody involved.

The guys we've got this year, there are five guys, at least, that can put the ball in the basket at any given time. I'm going to let mine come to me, and when it does, be consistent with it.

BSN: Does having Dominique Coleman in the lineup at point guard, like you said, feel like you've got another guy that can score? MH: Definitely. And even if it's not him scoring, it's the fact that he's able to that'll make the defense a lot more honest. When you've got five guys out there (who can score), they have to really focus on their man, and their man only.

When they start doing that, that allows you a lot more one-on-one opportunities.

BSN: You mentioned defense; has that been a point of emphasis any more than other years this preseason?
MH:
Not at all. But this year we want to run a lot more, which we tried to do last year. We want to run a lot more, and one of the ways you can run is by getting steals and blocks and taking off on fast breaks.

Me and Rich (Roby) talked about that a couple days ago. You get a couple of steals and easy baskets, that just gets you a little more fired up to play more defense and get more easy buckets. That way you don't have to concentrate on hitting the open shot all the time.

BSN: What do you know about the kid from Houston that Ricardo signed, Dale Vanwright? Did you ever see him play, or was that too long ago?
MH:
We played against (Bellaire High School), I think, but he wasn't on varsity (when Hall was at Houston's Jersey Village High). But I've talked to a couple of people, and they said he could really play. I know the high school that he went to is the same high school that John Lucas and Emeka Okafor played for. They've always had a good program. I've heard they've got two other players that were recruited too, and they say he's the best player on that team, so he's got to be legit.

More on UNC-Wilmington
At first glance, playing an "at" school may cause some to grab their pencils and put a mark in the win column even before tip-off. But the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is off to an impressive start this season, and playing with confidence after winning three games away from their home gym.

The Seahawks beat Butler (75-59), Wyoming (62-59) and Northwestern (56-48) at the eight-team Black Coaches Association (BCA) Tournament in Laramie, Wyo., earlier this week. Perhaps what's most impressive is that UNC-W got the wins against three teams that play very different styles — Butler is a perimeter-shooting team, Wyoming likes to run and Northwestern employs a Princeton-type passing and cutting offense.

Senior guard John Goldsberry earned the BCA tourney MVP, and averaged 11.7 points and 6.3 assists in the three games.

The Seahawks were 19-10 last season. UNC-W earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in both the 2002-03 and 2001-02 seasons coming out of the Colonial Athletic Association.

"They're a very physical team, pretty disciplined in their execution," said CU coach Ricardo Patton. "So we've just got to be ready to play hard on both ends of the floor – play smart on the offensive end and share the basketball."

Probable Starters
Colorado
F Chris Copeland, Sr., 6-8, 235
F Andy Osborn, Sr., 6-9, 225
G Jayson Obazuaye, Sr., 6-2, 205
G Richard Roby, So., 6-6, 195
PG Dominique Coleman, Jr., 6-3, 185

UNCW
F Beckham Wyrick, Jr., 6-6, 220, 9.3 ppg
F Todd Hendley, So., 6-9, 225, 12.0
F Mitch Laue, Sr., 6-7, 235, 5.0
G Temi Soyebo, Jr., 6-0, 170, 6.3
G John Goldsberry, Sr., 6-3, 185, 11.7

Notes: The Colorado players will wear the initials "LS" on their jerseys this season in honor of senior Matt Senger's mother, Linda, who died of cancer in July.

Numbers: The Buffaloes are 9-0 in season-openers under Patton …Roby is coming off a season when he scored more points as a freshman (480) than anyone since Chauncey Billups (465). … Glean Eddy ranks 50th all-time on the CU rebounding list (329). Antoine McGee (172) and Marcus Hall (171) are 26th and 28th, respectively, on the school's assists list.


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