NR (USA Today)
January 14th, 2009
NR (USA Today)
|Colorado Buffaloes' Top Players|
|Dwight Thorne II||11.9||3.5||1.9||1.1||-||3.0||55.0%||65.0%||39.1%|
|Missouri Tigers' Top Players|
The men's basketball team will begin its conference play tonight against Missouri away from the friendly confines of the Coors Event Center in Boulder(game time 7pm on ESPNU), something the Buffs have had to do this year only a handful of times. Missouri is coming off a loss against Nebraska but still hold a 13 - 3 record even though the competition has not been that stiff. The Buffs have not played anyone that special either but still only boast an 8 - 6 record thus far. Missouri is 16.5 point favorites.
Their are two players who will need to be instrumental if the Buffs are to pull a few upsets in conference play this year: G Cory Higgins and G Nate Tomlinson. Higgins averages 17.9 ppg and 6.5 rpg, which leads the team from the guard spot. Tomlinson will be in charge of distributing and has taken over the role of floor general as a freshman. Tomlinson is the programs first Aussie player. The Denver Post has a nice feature on Tomlinson in today's paper.
The worst news has to be that CU has a horrible in conference streak to its name:
CU has not won a conference road game in almost three years -- an 80-78 overtime victory at Oklahoma State on Jan. 21, 2006. The program's losing streak on the road stands at 21 consecutive games entering tonight's Big 12 opener at Missouri (7 p.m., ESPNU).
The Buffs may get some help tonight in that starter Leo Lyons, who averages just under 15.0 ppg, was suspended for a traffic incident. The Buffs will have to try and slow down a powerful offensive team in Missouri who averages over 80.0 ppg but the thing that has me most worried is the statistical difference in rebounding. Missouri grabs nearly 40 rebounds per contest while Buffs only average 29. I expect we will see Bzdelik's team struggle tonight and for the rest of the Big 12 in that category.