Arizona vs Colorado Preview
Arizona tore through its out-of-conference schedule with a perfect 12-0 mark. Next, a whole new season of sorts begins with Pac-12 play. The Wildcats are the favorites to take the crown, although Sean Miller feels four or five teams have a legitimate shot. UCLA’s young talent is starting to click, Oregon has the look of a dangerous team, and Colorado has spent time in the top-25. Arizona will begin its 18-game conference gauntlet by hosting the Buffalos on Thursday.
Colorado started the season on fire. The Buffalos won their first six games, including fairly impressive victories against Baylor, Dayton, and Murray State. Their ranking soared as high as number 19 nationally. Then came a mini-slump; during a four-game span, Colorado needed overtime to beat Texas Southern, lost its first game at Wyoming, and then was absolutely hammered by Kansas in a 36-point beat down (in the other game the Buffs topped Colorado State). Now Colorado has won its last three.
Andre Roberson is Colorado’s top player, and arguably the most underrated player in the country. He averages better than 12 points and 12 rebounds per game—an incredible stat for a player who is only 6’7” and 210 pounds. Furthermore, he leads his team in blocks, steals, and FG %. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he is also third in assists and shoots better than 42% from three-point range. He knows how to fill up a box score and is a tremendous threat on both ends of the court. Roberson also makes plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet, such as setting excellent screens and playing active help defense.
The Buffalos boast one of the top backcourts in the conference with Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie. The duo leads the team in scoring at 14.8 and 14.4 points per game respectfully. Both guards are active on the glass, combining for eight boards per contest.
In the post, freshman Josh Scott complements Roberson well. He averages about 13 points and six rebounds while shooting better than 50%. He is a strong candidate to make the Pac-12 all-freshman team. Outlook:
Colorado has high-level talent and a great inside-out game. Furthermore, they have a tremendous coach in Tad Boyle. On any given night, this is a team that could match-up well and give the Wildcats a heck of fight. However, the Buffalos road struggles are well-known. Colorado is 1-2 in road games this season, with the only win coming in a tight one at Fresno State. The Wildcats should win this game and could make a statement if they win big.