Buffs Prep for Jayhawk Invasion

Colorado has had two good days of practice since losing on the road by 25 points at Texas Saturday, according to head coach Ricardo Patton. The team is hoping that will carry over into Wednesday night's matchup with Kansas at the Coors Events Center (7 p.m. tip, FSRM). Ten days ago, it appeared CU would get a struggling Kansas squad Wednesday. Now it appears they'll face a young, but very talented Jayhawk club who has grown up in recent weeks.

Kansas is 9-4 on the season. Though four non-conference losses is uncharacteristic for KU (it's just the fourth time since the 1988-89 season), a closer look reveals Kansas is very close to being in double-digit wins. Three of Kansas' losses — vs. Arizona and Arkansas at the Maui Invitational, and vs. St. Joseph's at the Jimmy V Classic in NYC — were away from Lawrence. The other loss came at home to Nevada. But the losses to Arkansas, Nevada and St. Joseph's are by a combined six points.

The young KU team showed signs that had it has taken a step in the maturation process when the Jayhawks whipped then-No. 19 Kentucky at home, 73-48, on Saturday.

Patton said Tuesday he doesn't see a lot of difference between this year's Kansas team, and ones in recent years.

"They still are the talent of Kansas," Patton said. "That's what makes it all work is who you are drawing the plays up for. It's all about execution. When you've got McDonald's All-Americans executing (KU has four on its roster), it seems to work more times than not."

If the 10-2 Buffs hope to make the NCAA Tournament this season, winning every conference game at home is almost an imperative. That's what the Buffs managed in 2002-03, the last time they were in the tournament. That January, Colorado beat the Jayhawks at Coors 60-59. It's the only win over Kansas since 1991.

Several members of the current CU team, including senior point guard Antoine McGee, were part of the 2002-03 team. McGee said the Buffs are prepared to protect their home turf.

"If you look at all of last week's games (in the Big 12), everybody won at home," McGee said. "We feel that we can beat anybody on our home court, regardless if it's Kansas, or whoever it is."

McGee said the Buffs worked the past two days to put the Texas loss behind them.

"Any time you lose a game, especially on the road, and when you've got another team coming in, you've got to put that loss in the past," McGee said. "We watched film and saw things that we did and things we need to change.

"Kansas is a good team. They're kind of young, but they're definitely talented. Look at the game that they had against Kentucky. We're definitely going to have to bring it. "

No tear there: Starting point guard Marcus Hall said last week he thought he had torn a tendon in his left foot, sustaining a similar injury to what kept Julius Ashby out several games in the 2004-05 season. An MRI test earlier this week, however, revealed Hall has no tear in the tendon, according to a CU team spokesman.

Osborn has sore knee: Starting senior forward Andy Osborn hit five 3-pointers in the win over Savannah State, then scored just 7 points in 28 minutes at Texas. Patton said Monday Osborn is playing on a sore knee.

Ticket update: As of late Tuesday afternoon, a CU official said there were roughly 1,100 tickets remaining for Wednesday night's game with the Jayhawks. The Coors Events Center holds 11,064. Anyone who's seen the Buffs host Kansas over the past decade knows this is a favorite road game for the Jayhawk faithful. In recent years, anywhere from 40 to 50-percent of the stands have been filled with Kansas blue. With CU students still on holiday break, Wednesday's crowd may once again have a blue hue. Tickets can be purchased by calling (303) 49-BUFFS, or online at www.cubuffs.com.

Can I get some fries with that? All four members of Kansas' heralded freshman class have McDonald's All-American on their résumé. Two have been contributing off the bench — 6–8 guard Micah Downs and 6-8 guard Julian Wright. Six-foot-6 guard Brandon Rush worked his way into a starting spot prior to the team's first game, while fellow frosh Mario Chalmers has started the past two games for KU. Rush leads Kansas in scoring (12.8 ppg). He is the younger brother of Jaron Rush (UCLA) and Kareem Rush (Missouri, Charlotte Bobcats). Patton said on Monday he thought Brandon was more advanced at this point in his career than his two older brothers.

Probable starters

F Chris Copeland, Sr., 6-8, 12.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F Andy Osborn, Sr., 6-9, 9.5, 4.3
G Jayson Obazuaye, Sr., 6-2, 9.5, 4.6
G Richard Roby, So., 6-6, 15.8, 5.2
PG Marcus Hall, Jr., 6-1, 9.1, 3.9 apg

F Christian Moody, Sr., 6-8, 4.5, 3.7
C C.J. Giles, So., 6-10, 8.5, 6.5
G Brandon Rush, Fr., 6-6, 12.8, 5.2
G Mario Chalmers, Fr., 6-2, 6.8, 3.0 apg
G Russell Robinson, So., 6-1, 6.5, 3.0<

BuffStampede Top Stories