Buffs Face First Road Test

The Colorado Buffaloes (1-0) will play the New Mexico Lobos for the first time since 1980 when the two teams meet in Albuquerque at UNM's famed "Pit." But some of the Buffs are familiar with one of the players they'll face Tuesday night (7 p.m. MT).

Guard J.R. Giddens played two seasons at Kansas, then transferred to New Mexico after the 2004-05 season. He sat out last year, per NCAA rules, but is in the Lobos' starting lineup this season, his junior year.

"He's a guy that there will probably be a lot of NBA scouts there watching," CU head coach Ricardo Patton said. "He's a bigtime athlete."

Giddens led the Lobos with 16 points and eight rebounds in UNM's win over Sacramento State Sunday. New Mexico is 2-0 on the season.

Two seasons ago, CU's Richard Roby matched up against Giddens when the Buffs and Jayhawks met twice.

"I guarded him," Roby said. "He loves that 3-point line. He likes to get out and run. I don't think he takes too many shots in between, he's just out there shooting threes or he's going to the hole. You've got to get up there and make him put it on the floor."

Roby had better stats than Giddens in both games in 2005 (Roby scored 28 points, Giddens had 22 in the two games combined), but Kansas won both games.

Of course, the game will feature more than the Roby-Giddens matchup. For a young Colorado squad, it'll be a big early-season test – going on the road to the Pit, one of the toughest home courts in college basketball. Patton addressed his team about the test in the locker room following CU's win over Denver Friday night.

"Our next challenge will be to learn how to win on the road," he said. "Certainly this is as good and as big a challenge as we're going to face all year long."

Patton has been to the Pit once before, when he was an assistant at Tennessee State. He's also familiar with New Mexico head coach Ritchie McKay, as Patton and McKay faced each other twice when McKay was up the road at Colorado State. Each team won once.

One final connection, Roby will be playing on the court where his father, Paul Roby, made a name for himself as a Lobo in 1978 and '79. Interestingly, in 1979, Paul Roby scored 10 points in a game against Colorado in Boulder, a game the Buffs won. It was the first regular season game at a new Coors Events Center, the same court on which Richard Roby plays.

Probable Starters
Kal Bay, G, 6-1, Fr., 6.0, 1 apg
Dominique Coleman, G, 6-3, Sr., 19.0, 7
Richard Roby, G, 6-6, Jr., 20, 5
Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, F, 6-6, So., 14, 17 rpg
Marcus King-Stockton, F, 6-9, Jr., 4, 3

New Mexico
J.R. Giddens, G, 6-5, Jr., 16.0, 8 rpg
Jamaal Smith, G, 5-9, Jr., 7.0, 4 apg
Tony Danridge, F, 6-5, Jr., 12.0 ppg
Roman Martinez, F, 6-6, Fr., 8.0, 2 rpg
Aaron Johnson, F, 6-8, Sr., 12.0, 8

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