Video credit: University of Colorado
Scouting report: Colorado
Game info: 6 p.m. Thursday at Coors Event Center (11,064 capacity)
TV: ROOT Sports (Ceal Barry and Alanna Rizzo.
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton)
Record: 9-4, 1-0 Pac-12.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Tad Boyle is 33-18 in his second season with the Buffaloes. He’s 89-84 in six years. His stint was at Northern Colorado where he was 56-66 in four years.
Prediction: Picked to finish in a 10th-place tie in the Pac-12 by media.
Series: Washington leads 7-6 in a series that began in 1953. Lorenzo Romar is 0-1 against Colorado, losing in 199 when he was at Pepperdine. Boyle has never faced Washington.
Last meeting: Mark Sanford led UW to a 76-68 win at Edmundson Pavilion on Jan. 2, 1996. Bryant Boston had 14 points, Jason Hamilton 14 and Jamie Booker added nine assists. The Huskies held CU freshman guard Chauncy Billups to four points.
Previous game: Colorado beat Utah 73-33 on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Photo credit: AP – Cliff Grassmick
— If Colorado hadn’t joined the Pac-12, it probably wouldn’t have landed Spencer Dinwiddie (above), a three-star recruit from Woodland Hills, Calif. who wanted to attend USC and UCLA. The academic standout narrowed his final two choices to Harvard and CU. Dinwiddie, the 2011 Los Angeles city section player of the year, chose the Buffaloes partly because he’ll get a chance to return home each year when they play the LA schools.
The 6-foot-5 point guard has led the Buffaloes in scoring in five of the last eight games. He’s started every game, but struggled early in the season. He averaged 4.8 points in the first five games. Since then, he’s hasn’t scored less than 12 and is averaging 15.6 in the past eight games.
Romar on Dinwiddie: “Wow. What a poised freshman he is. He’s a guy that not only takes, but hits big shots early in his career. He looks really good.”
— Sophomore forward Andre Roberson is the only Pac-12 player averaging a double double. His 12.0 rebounding average leads the Pac-12 and is third nationally. He also averages 12.1 points per game, which is second among CU players. Roberson ranks first in the conference in offensive (4.0) and defensive (8.0) rebounds. He has 14 career doubles, nine this year, which also ranks among the nation’s top-5.
Roberson has carved out a reputation this season as a rebounding machine. He told the Daily Camera: “You’ve got to have a knack for it and you also have to want to do it. You can teach people to box out and rebound, but you can’t teach them to go after it.”
Romar on Roberson: “Very long arms. Anticipates the ball and where it’s coming. Really has a nose for the ball.”
— Fifth-year senior Carlon Brown is the only person on the team who has played against the Huskies. The former Utah guard logged two scoreless minutes during an 83-77 UW win on Nov. 14, 2007. He played 98 games and started 75 during a three-year career at Utah. He was a Mountain West honorable mention pick as a junior. Brown sat out last season and leads Colorado in scoring and averages 12.8 points per game. His career high is 31.
— Nate Tomlinson, a four-year starter, is normally a good three-point shooter. He’s shooting 56.2 percent during his career behind the arc. But he’s in a terrible slump. Tomlinson is 0 for 10 in the past five games. Still he’s second on the team in three-point attempts and third in made three-pointers (14). The senior sharp-shooter has a career total of 128 (eighth overall at CU) and needs one more to crack the top five.
— Senior forward Austin Dufault is third all-time in school history with 107 career starts; tied for 15th in games played (113) and is 46th overall in career scoring (811 pts.).
— Colorado ranks first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense (.391) and defensive rebounding (27.2). Due in large part to Roberson, they’re second in rebounding offense (38.5) and rebounding margin (+7.7).
— Colorado is 8-1 at home. CU has played two non-Division I teams. It’s best win is a 70-68 victory against Georgia (9-5) and a 76-73 overtime win versus Air Force (8-4).
— CU’s four-game winning streak is the longest in the Pac-12.
— The 40-point win over Utah was also the highest point differential in a CU conference game since the Buffs defeated Denver by 41 points (77-36) on Mar.6, 1945 as a member of the Mountain States Conference.
— Colorado uses a 10-man rotation. Freshman guard Askia Booker is the top reserve who averages 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 21.5 minutes. Sophomore forward Shane Harris-Turks (6-11) is the tallest player in the rotation, but he only averages 14.8 minutes and 2.9 rebounds.
— The Buffs have used three starting lineups. The five-man configuration (below) has started 11 games.
F – Austin Dufalt, 6-9, 225, Sr., 10.3 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.2 apg.
F – Andre Roberson. 6-7, 210, So., 12.1., 12.0, 1.4 bpg
G – Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-5, 190, Fr, 11.5, 4.0, 1.5
G – Carlon Brown, 6-5, 215, Sr., 12.8, 3.2, 2.5
G – Nate Tomlinson, 6-3, 185, Sr., 5.6, 2.0, 3.5
— For the sake of conversation, it would be nice if Tony Wroten Jr. paired against Dinwiddie. Both are early candidates to claim the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award. The matchup could happen if Terrence Ross takes Brown, who is a bigger wing and Abdul Gaddy defends Tomlinson.
While Wroten versus Dinwiddie draws attention, the game will likely be decided inside between Aziz N’Diaye and Roberson. There’s a chance Darnell Gant could start on Roberson, but at some point N’Diaye may be more effective because he can use his size to contain the Buffs forward. This is the matchup that intrigues me more than any other. Roberson and N’diaye are first and second respectively in the Pac-12 in rebounding. At 7 feet, N’Diaye has a five-inch height advantage, but Roberson has faced taller defenders this season and thrived. He collected a season-high 17 rebounds against Utah’s 7-foot center Jason Washburn. Roberson has had at least 10 boards in 11 games.
It would also be interesting to see Roberson paired against redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons, who draws similar comparisons. Both are high-energy, undersized forwards who enjoy doing the dirty work beneath the rim.