CN Colorado Preview

The Colorado Buffaloes (18-8; 8-7) are in a must-win situation Saturday as they host Iowa State. With Texas A&M's monster win over Texas, the Buffs fell out of a tie for fourth and into fifth. Without a win on Saturday, Colorado will almost certainly fall out of the running to receive an at-large selection to the NCAA tourney. ISU won the first battle 96-79 on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Buffaloes have dropped three of their last four, including a 21 point set-back on Wednesday at Kansas. But, those three losses were all on the road. Colorado is a totally different team inside the high-altitude of the Coors Event Center. They are 12-1 this season at the Coors, and the points, pardon the ridiculous pun, have been "flowing." The Buffs average a tremendous 91 points in Boulder. They love to get out and run in the thin air.

         

Despite their high-octane attack, only two Buffs average double figures. Sophomore swing-guard Richard Roby (6'6) leads the attack. Roby puts up 17.5 points a game. He can beat you in a number of ways. He is knocking down 39 percent of his treys, but his three-point attempts are only 40 percent of his shots. He can set up screens well, take the ball off the dribble, and also attacks the glass, leading the Buffs in boards (5.5 RBG.) He has a nice mid-range game, and is best operating on the baseline. He is an absolute match-up nightmare. ISU shut him down in Ames, using as Roby put it, "Some weird defenses." They utilized the match-up zone with someone spying on Roby at all times. He was held to 10 points on 4-12 shooting. Look for the Clones to do the same thing.

 

Senior forward Chris Copeland (6'8) is also a versatile player. He shoots 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from downtown. He averages 12 points a game and 5 rebounds. He has a nice variety of post moves and will also take the opposing bigs off the dribble. He gave ISU fits in Ames, scoring 17 points and grabbing 8 boards.

 

Junior point guard Marcus Hall (6'1) was a problem for ISU in the first half at Hilton. Hall had 16 points in the first session and hit 4 of 6 trey balls. Luckily, he cooled off and ended the game with that same total. He plays with reckless abandon for life and limb, and at the same time is an efficient floor leader. He averages 9.5 points and four assists. Probably most impressive is his 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. He is one of the quickest guards in the country and will look to push at all opportunities.

 

 Senior Andy Osborn (6'9) is a guard in a forward's body. Osborn is built like Jackson Vroman, but shoots like Jake Sullivan. Although he is only shooting 36 percent from deep, 75 percent of his shots have been from out there. He is averaging just over eight points. The Buffs will try to create havoc by running high-lows with Osborn at the top of the offense. Leave him open and he will shoot it; guard him tight and he dumps it inside. He is a nice post-entry feeder. He really struggled against ISU the first go round, scoring only 6 points, on 2-9 shooting from three-land.

 

After that, the Buffs rotate so many bodies you would think you are watching the Colorado Avalanche. 14 Buffs logged minutes in Ames.

 

Senior guard Jayson Obazuaye (6'2) rounds out the starting five. Despite being a guard he doesn't like shooting from behind the arc, only shooting 13 of them this year. He is a classic slasher. He scores 7 points a game and grabs four rebounds. Look for him to attack off the dribble and like the rest of the Buffs, crash the glass.


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