After winning five straight games, the Buffs are coming off a tough 96-79 loss on the road at Iowa State. The Buffs are 15-4 overall, 5-3 in conference where they are tied for third place with Oklahoma and Nebraska.
Senior guard Marcus Hall, who suffered lower back spasms the past two games, had blood tests done Wednesday that came back negative. He continues to try and solve the issue with rest and proper nutrition and hydration. He is expected to start Wednesday.
Ricardo Patton said more than anything, he wants the Buffs to regain the competitiveness they showed in earlier wins at Oklahoma State and Missouri, and the home victory over Kansas State, all three hard-fought wins. CU lost that in the game at ISU.
Hall said Cyclones guard Curtis Stinson earned his respect Sunday. Stinson lit up the Buffs for 24 points, 10 boards and 10 assists. Stinson earned conference player of the week honors after posting the triple-double. "He made the shots you're supposed to make," Hall said.
Patton said the Buffs caught Iowa State at the wrong time. The Cyclones had lost three-straight at home and their season was on the verge of collapsing before coming up with the great effort against CU.
"They played as well as we played all year, and we played probably as poorly as we've played all year," Patton said. "But you've got to give them credit. They caused us to play poorly in a lot of ways with their aggressiveness."
One key to bouncing back against Texas A&M will be how the Buffs handle 6-9 sophomore Joseph Jones, who leads the Aggies with 16.9 points and 7.1 boards a game. Jones has five double-doubles this year.
"I think he's a future NBA guy just because of how hard he plays, how tough he is," Patton said. "He had 31 (points) against Texas. That says all he needs to say."
In order to make Jones work on the defensive end, the Buffs' post players — Julius Ashby and Marcus King-Stockton — need to work harder to get open in the low blocks, and the perimeter players need to do a better job of feeding the ball inside, Patton said.
Patton expects a tough game Wednesday night.
"We've just got to be prepared to play a very physical basketball game," he said. "When they push, push back. I don't think we did that at Iowa State, and I think this game will be more physical than that game was.
"A loss should be enough, but sometimes it's not. We just want to make sure that our guys have enough of a competitive fire. They've got to elevate their intensity on both ends of the floor."
Early Tip Nets TV
The game tips off early, 5:05 MT, in order to accommodate a television broadcast locally on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain.
Mike Bohn said last month the athletic department hoped to have the new Chauncey's Kids Roundup mural up in one corner of the Events Center by the Feb. 11 Texas Tech game. It looks like that will happen as half the large mural was up Wednesday afternoon. …A student-led spirit group – The C-Unit – is organizing a "dress like Bobby Knight" day for Saturday's afternoon game with Knight and the Red Raiders.
F Chris Copeland, Sr., 6-8, 235, 13.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
F Martane Freeman, Sr., 6-9, 225, 8.5, 3.2
C Julius Ashby, Sr., 6-9, 5.1, 5.3
G Richard Roby, So., 6-6, 195, 18.1, 5.1
PG Marcus Hall, Jr., 6-1, 185, 9.2, 4.1apg
F Joseph Jones, So., 6-9, 16.9, 7.1 rpg
F Marlon Pompey, Jr. 6-8, 6.0, 3.4
F Chris Walker, Sr., 6-5, 3.1, 1.9
G Acie Law, Jr., 6-3, 16.6, 3.5 apg
G Dominique Kirk, So, 6-3, 6.7, 2.8