Tuesday Hoops Notes

Inside, notes from Tuesday, including the status of starting point guard Marcus Hall.

Marcus Hall was scheduled to practice Tuesday after leaving Saturday's win over Kansas State on a stretcher with 2:02 remaining in the game. Hall, who played a team-high 34 minutes in the game, had been experiencing cramps in his calves and shins during the game, but it was severe back spasms that sent him to the floor.

Hall said it was scary for a few minutes.

"I didn't know what was going on, I just new I couldn't move," the point guard said before Tuesday's practice, the team's first since Saturday's game.

His parents and some other family members were in Boulder from out of town for the KSU game. His mother, aunt and sister went on to the Coors Events Center floor as Hall, motionless, was attended by doctors and paramedics.

"It sucked to put them through that – the only weekend that they come up here this year and they had to experience that," Hall said "But they understand. They know I'm OK."

Hall said he started feeling close to normal Monday. He had the option of not practicing Tuesday because of the back issue, but opted to go. Hall has been playing through various injuries all season, including a banged up knee, strained foot tendon and an ongoing shoulder issue. He even had a root canal.

"I could've been through a couple of surgeries (this season)," Hall said. "They suggested it on my shoulder, they suggested it on my foot. But, I mean, it's not the time for that, now is the time to get up and play."

Hall is getting electrolytes added to Gatorade, urged to eat right and may get some IV treatment to help from getting more cramps and spasms, he said.

Hall said he will have surgery on his left shoulder after the season. The shoulder has popped out of joint "six or seven times," but so far not during any basketball activity.

Head coach Ricardo Patton said he wasn't surprised Hall was ready to go Tuesday.

"He's young," Patton said. "That's what youth will do, youth will make you bounce back a little bit quicker. And he works hard in the weightroom. He's done a great job in building up his body and his stamina."

Meet the Press
Hall has been Colorado's most consistent point guard this season and the Buffs will need him in their next game when they travel to Iowa State Sunday (noon tip). Iowa State has perhaps as good a starting guard tandem as anyone in the conference in juniors Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock. The Cyclones often employ a full-court press.

"I think we just attack and don't let them set up the press," Hall offered as a key to beating ISU's press. "The point guard can't be the only person handling the ball. Sometimes they're going to try to keep the ball out of the hands of the point guard. Other guys have got to make solid passes. We should be all right for that."

Meanwhile, fellow point man Dominique Coleman is nursing a foot injury, and may not practice until Thursday.

Ranked and Ready
Hall said the 15-3/5-2 Buffs' debut in the Coaches Poll at No. 25 probably builds some higher expectations.

"I think that puts more pressure on us, but it also gives everybody more confidence," he said.

Patton cautioned the ranking reflects a work in progress, not a final product.

"I call it a great midterm grade," he said. "The semester is not over yet, so we still have to do well.

"Every team we face is a very good and capable basketball team. We just have to continue working to get better. That's the message I'm going to send to our guys."

Talk about this on the Ralphie's Den MESSAGE BOARD.

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