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Scouting report: Colorado
Game info: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000 capacity).
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Lenny Wilkens).
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Tad Boyle is 59-31 (.656) in his third season with the Buffaloes and 11-5-97 (.542) in seven years as a head coach. Prior to joining Colorado on April 19, 2010, he spent four years at Northern Colorado where he amassed a 56-66 (.459) record.
Prediction: Picked to finish sixth in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.
Series: The series began Dec. 30, 1953 and it’s tied 7-7. Washington is 5-1 in Seattle. The last time the Huskies hosted the Buffaloes, UW won 76-68 on Jan. 2, 1996.
Last meeting: Washington traveled to Boulder, Colo. last season and got waxed 87-69 on Jan. 5, 2012. Tony Wroten Jr. led UW with 21 points, seven steals and six rebounds while C.J. Wilcox added 19 points and Terrence Ross 13. But the Huskies’ offense bogged down and defensively they were no match for CU’s balanced scoring. The Buffs had five players score in double figures.
Previous game: Lost 78-75 at home to UCLA on Saturday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— At 6-6, sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie (right) can be a matchup nightmare. He’s the primary ball handler and he puts a lot of pressure on opponents because of his height and length. In two seasons, Dinwiddie has started every game for the Buffs. Last season, he scored 13 points to help them in the win over Washington. He averaged 10 points last season and was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team.
This season, Dinwiddie does a little bit of everything for CU. He’s first on the team in assists (2.7 per game), second in scoring (14.4), third in rebounding (3.9) and fourth in field goal percentage (46.0). Dinwiddie also averages 1.4 steals and 2.4 turnovers.
He scored a career-high 29 points on Dec. 5 against Colorado State. He was named to the Bob Cousy Watch list.
— Junior forward Andre Roberson gets most of the attention because he’s on pace to average a double double for the second straight season, which would be a first for a CU player. The 6-7 big man averages 11.8 rebounds, which ranks third in the nation. He’s always in constant motion. Think Dennis Rodman. Roberson isn’t particularly big – he weighs 210 – but he’s a rebounding savant. Colorado is 16-5 when he grabs 12-plus boards and 8-0 when he’s over 15.
Roberson isn’t Colorado’s first, second or third offensive option, but he averages 10.9 points and shoots 53.7 percent from the field. His season high is 18 points and his career best is 21. He has six of his 31 double doubles this season. The Buffs are 25-6 when he has a double double.
Roberson is also an accomplished shot blocker who ranks seventh on the school’s all-time list with 109.
Last season he was named to the all-Pac-12 first team and all-Pac-12 defensive team.
— Sophomore guard Askia Booker has made a big jump in a short time. Last season he provided a spark off the bench and began to really come into his own late in the season. This season he moved into the starting lineup and continued to get better. Booker was the MVP of the Charleston Classic and won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award in November. He leads CU with a 14.9 scoring average and 29 three-pointers. Booker is quick with the ball and will take big shots.
— It’s been a tale of two seasons for Colorado. The Buffaloes played well in the non-conference season, started 10-2 and was ranked as high as No. 19 in both national polls. Then CU lost 92-83 in overtime at Arizona following a controversial referee call that negated what appeared to be a game-winning three-pointer from Sabatino Chen as time expired in regulation. The Buffs are 1-3 in the past four games.
— Colorado is loaded with weapons, including freshman forward Josh Scott who has started every game and averages 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds. He’s a strong candidate for postseason honors. He’s scored a career high 21 points and leads CU with a 54 percent shooting from the field.
— Dinwiddie and Booker are one of the highest-scoring backcourt tandems in the nation, but the Buffaloes are last in the Pac-12 averaging 10.8 assists.
— Roberson is a prolific shot blocker, but the Buffs are 11th in the conference averaging 3.3 blocks.
— CU is 17 in the RPI.
— The Buffaloes are looking for its first Pac-12 road win after losing at Arizona and Arizona State.
— Tonight’s game will tip off at 9:30 p.m. in Colorado. It’s the latest start time for the Buffs this season.
— Colorado uses as many as 10 players. Freshman forward Xavier Johnson has made three starts and leads the reserves with 9.3 scoring average and 3.7 rpg. Freshman guard Eli Staltzer and 6-11 center Shane Harris-Tunks also receive significant minutes.
F – Josh Scott, 6-10, 215, Fr., 13.4 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 0.7 bpg.
F – Andre Roberson, 6-7, 210, Jr., 10.9, 11.8, 2.1 spg.
G – Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-6, 200, So., 14.4, 3.9, 2.7 apg.
G – Sabatino Chen, 6-4, 190, Sr., 5.1, 2.1, 1.5
G – Askia Booker, 6-1, 170, So., 14.9, 3.5, 2.3
UW COACH LORENZO ROMAR ON COLORADO:
“They play very good defense. I think they’re one of the top 3-4 defensive teams in our league. Secondly, they have multiple weapons that can go out there and put the ball in the basket. Askia Booker is kind of a free spirit that goes out and makes plays. Spencer Dinwiddie is a 6-5, 6-6 guard that is very good and has a chance to play in the NBA. Andre Roberson is the leading rebounder in our league, 11.8 rebounds per game and is a very good shot blocker. Also a fantastic basketball player. They have a young freshman named Josh Scott that looks a little awkward maybe, but is highly effective. He’s averaging double-digit (scoring) as a freshman. That’s hard to do. They play together. They are well coached. They’re a very, very good basketball team.
“Nate Tomlinson, Carlos Brown and (Austin) Dufault, those three guys, three seniors did a lot for that program and won a lot of games. They kind of led them down the stretch when they were able to win the Pac-12 Tournament championship. They’re minus those guys, but they’ve replaced them with some pretty good basketball players. It’s just a matter of them coming together and gaining experience. In the preseason, they looked really good. It’s amazing, amazing how one call can change perhaps your psyche and how you approach the game. I would imagine they were so up. Such great range of emotions there with the shot going in, then they cancel it and they lose in overtime. Now you got to come back and play a very good Arizona State team. And now you end up going from ecstasy to getting swept. It’s tough. I hope it’s not against us, but they’re going to bounce back and they’re going to be a really good basketball team. They’re a really good basketball team now, I just think they’re going to be more in the win column as we go.
“They lost to a team that is playing really good right now in UCLA. Again, they’re probably reeling from what happened in Arizona. But when they come in here and play us Wednesday night, we’re going to see a very, very good basketball team. And they have our team’s attention. Our team really respects them. We know what happened last year. Our team is aware they won the Pac-12 Tournament championship. And all of our guys watched that Arizona game, so they know what Colorado is capable of. Hopefully we’ll be ready to meet that challenge.”