Scouting Colorado

News, notes and quotes on No. 1 KU's matchup with Colorado today at 3 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on the Big 12 Network with Mitch Holthus, Jon Sundvold and Paul Splittorf calling the action. Kansas, which has just three home games left, is 25-1 and 11-0 in Big 12 play.

SCOUTING COLORADO

Colorado (12-13, 3-8 Big 12) is coming off a 77-67 home victory over Oklahoma on Wednesday night after losing four straight and seven of its past eight games, including a 72-66 overtime defeat against Kansas at home on Feb. 3. The Buffaloes lost to Missouri and K-State since the KU game before beating OU.

Junior guard Cory Higgins led CU in the victory over OU with 18 points, while freshman guard Alec Burks added 17 and sophomore guard Nate Tomlinson and junior forward Marcus Relphorde 13 each. Relphorde, who didn't play the previous game due to tendinitis (knee), also recorded 10 rebounds and six assists.

"Everybody contributed," Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik said afterwards. "We try to share the ball and get everybody involved in the game. When you do that, you win games — and you saw that tonight. ... We really wanted to push the ball and create a quick tempo against Oklahoma. We had 22 fast-break points. I think for the most part we made them earn tough shots, so in a lot of ways this was a rock solid team performance."

"It was huge for us," Higgins added of the victory. "We let a couple of (games) slip away these past couple of weeks. It helps us to feel good about ourselves and get another win under our belt."

Colorado is averaging 74.1 points per game and allowing 72. The Buffs are shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three-point range, and a Big 12-best 76.3 percent at the free-throw line. They're holding foes to 45.3 percent field-goal shooting and 33.2 percent from beyond the arc, while being outrebounded 35.6 to 29.2 boards per game.

CU is led by Higgins with 18.1 points per game. He's also made a team-high 49 steals. Burks, who missed the last game against KU with an injury, ranks second in scoring at 16.8 points per game. He is also the team's leading rebounder at 4.8 boards per contest. Relphorde is the third player in double figures at 10.5 points per game.

He's followed in scoring by senior guard Dwight Thorne II (8.2 ppg, team-high 28 threes), sophomore forward Austin Dufault (6.3 ppg), Tomlinson (5.8 ppg, 103 assists), junior forward Casey Crawford (4.0 ppg) and junior guard Levi Knutson (3.2 ppg).

SELF & KU ON THE BUFFS

Colorado certainly gave KU a battle in in the teams' last overtime game at Boulder. CU outscored Kansas, 32-26, in the second half, but made just 1-of-6 field goals in overtime, including 0-of-3 from downtown.

"The reason we won over there in Boulder in overtime was not because we weren't ready," KU coach Bill Self said. "I'm not going to say that. I'm not going to say it was a big letdown. It was because we didn't play well and they were a big reason that we didn't. I thought we played tired."

Kansas will have to better contain Colorado's Princeton style motion offense in Round 2.

"I'd say we guarded their stuff average," Self said about the last meeting. "We didn't create any havoc. We played beneath them, as far as not letting them back-cut us. By doing so, we didn't create turnovers (13), didn't create points points off our defense like I hoped we can. We got to do something to not allow them to get comfortable because their stuff is hard to guard. I think over time, we've shown we can guard it pretty well if we're fresh and into it. To me, that's the big key."

KU junior center Cole Aldrich said the 'Hawks are a fresher team after having Tuesday's practice off. He's glad they aren't playing in high-altitude Boulder today.

"I think not being in that altitude definitely helps because you run down the court twice and it seems like you're dying of air," Aldrich said. "But it's going to be another tough one."

"Obviously, they're a heck of a team because they brought us into overtime," Aldrich added. "We don't overlook anybody that we play because we know how tough the Big 12 is. You've seen the last month and a half so many teams go to different places winning on the road or getting upset at home. Anything can happen in the Big 12."

PASSING ROY

With KU's 59-54 victory at Texas A&M on Wednesday, Self passed former KU coach Roy Williams for most wins by a head coach since 1999-2000. Self ranks second behind Mike Krzyzewski with a 304-70 record during that time, while Williams is third with a 303-78 mark. Coach K's posted a 313-61 record since 1999-2000.

Phog.net Top Stories