Buffs Prep For Road Trip to Lincoln

On the heels of their first conference victory, a win at home over Iowa State Wednesday night, the Buffs (5-9, 1-2) travel to Lincoln for a game with the Cornhuskers Saturday (4 p.m. MT/ESPN+/Altitude).

Jeremy Williams found himself in the starting lineup against Iowa State Wednesday night. Williams had started six games earlier in the season, but had been coming off the bench for several games. He said he wasn't feeling well over the holiday break because some blood pressure medication he takes was locked in his dorm room over the break, (student-athletes are not allowed in the dorm over the break), and he thought not feeling 100 percent contributed to him losing a starting spot.

But CU head coach Ricardo Patton on Thursday said he sees Williams, sophomore Jermyl Jackson-Wilson and junior Marcus King-Stockton as somewhat interchangeable. All three have been in and out of the starting lineup and all are averaging between 18 and 25 minutes a game.

"They all give us something a little different," Patton said of the trio of post players. "I don't think (starting or not) is an issue with any of them. That's a luxury. Most guys, it's about starting."

While on the whole, the CU defense has left something to be desired this season, the trio's ability to block shots has been a bright spot. Colorado is averaging over 5 blocks per game, third most in the conference, and the three players have 49 swats between them.

Unlike MKS and JJW, who do their work in the low post, Williams has shown he's got inside-outside skills. He's taken 13 3-pointers, connecting on four of them this season. Williams averages 6.6 points and 4.9 boards a game.

Still, at 6-7, Williams said he likes to bang inside.

"I like the physical side of it," he said before Thursday's practice. "It gives us the opportunity to fight back."

Williams has earned a reputation as a funny man among his teammates. Thursday he told reporters stories from when he was a lifeguard in Memphis for two summers during his high school years. His first day on the job, Williams had to rescue the very first kid who jumped in the pool. Later, Williams rescued a 6-foot-9 fellow who was drowning in a 6-foot-deep pool. Williams said he jumped in the water, grabbed the man who was struggling under water, and told him to stand up. It worked.

• Both Texas A&M and Iowa State thought they could pound the ball inside against the Buffs. The Aggies were successful, and Iowa State was for a half, until the trio above responded in the second half. Patton said Thursday he expects Nebraska will try some of the same, and interior defense was to be a focus of CU's Thursday practice.

Nebraska is 11-4 overall, and 0-2 in conference play. The Nebraska lineup features 6-11, 270-pound junior center Aleks Maric. Maric has perimeter skills as well as being crafty in the paint, and averages 17.5 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. He's usually joined in the starting lineup by four players 6-4 and under.

"They spread you out with four guards and Maric," Patton said.

Probable Starters
Dominique Coleman, G, 6-3, Sr., 10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Xavier Silas, G, 6-5, Fr., 10.8, 3.8
Richard Roby, G, 6-6, Jr., 18.2, 4.9
Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, F, 6-6, So., 8.6, 6.4
Marcus King-Stockton, F, 6-9, Jr., 4.1, 4.3

Ryan Anderson, G, 6-4, Fr., 11.6, 4.8 rpg
Sek Henry, G, 6-3, Fr., 8.6, 2.2
Jamel White, G, 6-3, So., 10., 2.7
Charles Richardson, G, 5-9, Sr., 8.6, 6.0 apg
Alecs Maric, C, 6-11, Jr., 17.5, 7.6 rpg

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