Richard Roby could sleep in a little bit Thursday morning after pouring in 28 points in the win over No. 19 Oklahoma the night before. He had a class at 11, a test at 12:30. But as the team gathered for a Thursday afternoon practice, the focus had already begun to shift from the jubilation of Wednesday night to the next team on the schedule, Kansas State.
"A win, you've got to enjoy it while it lasts, then get ready for the next game," Roby said. "It was definitely a big win, but we've got another big one coming up."
Kansas State hosts the Buffs Saturday (11:30 tip, MT). Colorado defeated the Wildcats 79-75 on Jan. 28 in Boulder. The Wildcats (13-9/4-7) have stumbled since then, losing five of their past six games. However, Patton said he expects another difficult game like the one in Boulder between the two teams.
"Our mindset is always to prepare for your opponent's best," he said. "That's what we'll prepare for. They played us tooth and nail here and we'll expect no different at their place."
"Nobody likes to get beat twice, especially when the second game is on their home floor," the sophomore said. "We know we're going to be in for a fight on Saturday."
Also, Patton wants his team to avoid letting up after Wednesday night's victory. He said the Buffs may have been too "giddy" the week they entered the Top 25 (Coaches Poll).
"As much as we all know how we have to learn how to face failure, we also have to learn how to face success," Patton said. "I think that's been a learning experience for this group."
The players were getting lots of attention from people after getting ranked, and may have lost focus, leading to two consecutive losses (at Iowa State and Texas A&M), and a near loss at home vs. Texas Tech.
"I guess we felt like we'd arrived a little bit, and we got a little big-headed," Roby said. "But everything's back in perspective. We know what we've got to do, and that's win games and get to the tournament."
Man in the Middle
The very good news in CU's quest to get to the tournament is the play of Julius Ashby, who had his best game of the season in the OU win. Ashby, who missed the first half of the season for academic reasons, scored 13 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and blocked a shot. What's more, having someone to throw the ball into in the paint helped open up the perimeter against the OU defense.
"He came out with a great focus, very focused," Roby said of Ashby, who had scored just one point the previous two games. "His confidence was kind of hurt after the last couple games. So after he scored, it kind of helped everything else."
Colorado continues to lead the conference in scoring, averaging 80.4 points per game. Here are some other notable numbers.
• Scoring margin, +12.5 (3rd in the Big 12).
• Free throw percentage, .64.0 (12th)
• 3-point field goal percentage, 38.3 (3rd)
• Rebounding, 41.4 (2nd)
• Blocked shots, 6.09 (1st)
• Assists, 17.45 (2nd)
• Steals, 9.05 (3rd)
Big Man on Campus
Former Buff and current Indiana Pacer David Harrison was at Coors to take in CU's practice Thursday.