Buffs Turn Attention To Texas

The 10-1 Colorado Buffaloes travel to the Lone Star State to open Big 12 play at11-2 Texas Saturay (2 pm., MT, Altitude2). Inside, a Q&A with senior forward Andy Osborn, plus notes leading up to the game.

BSN: How much have you seen of Texas this year?
Andy Osborn:
I've been watching them all year; watching the games when they didn't play well and watching the games in which they did.

BSN: What's the biggest difference you see in them this year from the team you beat twice last year?
They've got two of their players back in P.J. Tucker and LaMarcus Aldridge. Tucker was ineligible and Aldridge had a hip injury. So they were missing 35 points a game. And they are two guys who are great in the low blocks, who are going to create matchup problems.

Aldridge is real long and Tucker is strong and gets to the basket. It's going to be a different kind of game. We're going to have to play them much more solid at every position. Last year they had some holes that we could exploit. This year, they're solid.

BSN: They go about seven or eight deep. You guys go as many as 10 deep. Is that going to be a factor?
We'll use the fact that we're in good shape from playing up at elevation. We want the pace of the game to be our speed. We play much more of an up-tempo game. We want that to be a key. But they also play an up-tempo game. It's going to be a challenge for us.

BSN: People around here tend to view things as football fans. In football, if you lose one game, it can ruin your season, depending on who it is. It's not that way in basketball, is it?
Last year Oklahoma won the conference at 12-4. Three or four losses will get you in the top four in this conference. This conference is so competitive, I don't think anyone could go undefeated, because you play tough games on the road. You play a quality opponent every night. You're going to have games where you just don't play as good as you could have, or you hit a team that's hot.

We want to go undefeated. But we won't be destroyed if we lose one game, or two games. It won't make or break our season. Coach said it best when he said we're not getting our grade until the end of the season. Whereas in college football, like you said, you can lose very early and not have a chance the rest of the year.

BSN: If the football team loses to Colorado State, that stays with them the rest of the year.
We got over that very quickly. We've got a game a couple nights later. It's a lot different than football. The mentality around here is all football, football, football. Well, now that's over. After last night's championship, there's no more college football. The campus has now turned to my favorite sport. (laughs)

It's perfect timing for us that thee first Big 12 game is going to be going down to the college football national championship school.

BSN: You were talking about this after Tuesday's game. Is there a difference in this year's team mentality?
This team is entirely different. Last year we were still trying to find roles. We didn't know who went where and who did what. We really didn't know what to do when it came down to a late-game situation on the road.

This year, spending the summer together, getting to know each others' games, getting a feel for each other and having that chemistry, it's helped us blossom.

We really feel confident right now with each other. We feel confident with our teammates that we're all going to do what we're supposed to do at the right time. That's a huge difference from last year. We all thought we kind of had to do it ourselves. We weren't really able to trust each other.


• Texas is 11-2. The Longhorns' most impressive win was earlier this week at then-No. 4 Memphis. They're two losses were to Duke (97-66) and Tennessee (95-78). Tucker, the 6-10 sophomore, is averaging 17.6 points and 10.5 boards.

• Colorado junior starting point guard Marcus Hall suffered a torn tendon in the first half of Tuesday's win over Savannah State. He was wearing a boot prior to Thursday's afternoon practice. He said he's been getting treatment, and that he expected to play Saturday. He said it was a similar injury to one teammate Julius Ashby suffered last year, one that kept him out of several games.

• Hall is boyhood friends with Texas running back Selvin Young, who scored a touchdown in the Longhorns' national championship game Wednesday night. Hall called Young Thursday to catch up. "I asked him how it felt to have a ring," Hall said. "He was so excited about it."

Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton said Thursday he can't remember a year when the Big 12 had more parity. "I think Texas and Oklahoma are the best two teams in the league right now. Maybe Nebraska, K-State and Colorado are better than they have been. And Iowa State must have found themselves (lately)," Sutton said. "In past years, I'd probably give you a list of 12 of the way I think they're going to finish, and I'd be pretty close. But you can't do that with this conference this year."

Probable starters

F Chris Copeland, Sr., 6-8, 235, 13.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F Andy Osborn, Sr., 6-9, 225, 9.7, 5.3
G Jayson Obazuaye, Sr., 6-2, 205, 10.0, 4.9
G Richard Roby, So., 6-6, 195, 15.9, 5.3
PG Marcus Hall, Jr., 6-1, 185, 9.3, 4.2 apg

F LaMarcus Aldridge, So., 6-10, 17.6, 10.5 rpg
F Brad Buckman, Sr., 6-8, 12.1, 7.4
F P.J. Tucker, Jr., 6-5, 18.1, 8.8
G Daniel Gibson, So., 6-2, 13.0, 3.5 apg
G Kenton Paulino, Sr., 6-1, 7.5, 2.2

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