Mile high challenge for the men's basketball team
As Arizona men’s basketball tries to move on from losing sophomore forward Brandon Ashley, Colorado stands as an example of how to cope with an injury to a key player.
The No. 4 Wildcats (24-2, 11-2 Pac-12 Conference) will face a Buffalo squad on the road Saturday night that has stayed near the top of the conference standings even after losing junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie for the season in January.
Colorado (20-7, 9-5) is third in the Pac-12 after beating ASU 61-52 on Wednesday. The Buffaloes have won five of their last six games since getting swept on their Arizona trip.
The Wildcats beat Colorado 69-57 in Tucson on Jan. 23. Four of those five CU wins were at home, where the Buffaloes are 61-8 under head coach Tad Boyle.
Junior Nick Johnson shoots against Colorado Buffaloes' sophomore Josh Scott on Jan. 23 during the 69-57 win at McKale Center. The teams will play again on Saturday.
The CU trip could also be very taxing on an Arizona team that lost a rotation player.
The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Saturday’s game is also a “Blackout” and Senior Day for Colorado.
Colorado leads the all-time series 11-9, is 7-1 against the Wildcats in Boulder and is 2-0 against Arizona at the Coors Events Center.
He said it:
“We were playing the No. 1 team in the nation, but they weren’t that good,” said Colorado sophomore forward Xavier Johnson after the game against Arizona. “There’s no excuse for not getting the win.”
Who to watch:
#40, Josh Scott, sophomore forward, 6-foot-10, 245 pounds
Dinwiddie, Johnson and junior guard Askia Booker may grab more attention, but Scott could be tougher for the Wildcats to deal with inside without Ashley.
Scott recorded his 11th double-double of the season against ASU, with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
As of Wednesday, Scott is 16th in the Pac-12 in scoring, with 14.4 points a game, and fourth in rebounding, with 8.7 a game.
Colorado’s student section is named “C-Unit,” after the school’s abbreviation, “CU.” Even though it is the University of Colorado, students and fans call it “CU” because of “Midwestern casualness,” said former CU historian Fred Casotti on cubuffs.com.
Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Denver also use the reverse abbreviation. Except DU, all of these were members of the original Big XII with CU.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520