KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 11: Cory Higgins #11 of the Colorado Buffaloes throws up a shot against the Kansas Jayhawks during their semifinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Our friends over at Allbuffs have put together a season preview roundtable with some of the best Buffs basketball minds on the net. We'll be discussing the upcoming season all week long so go ahead and dive in.
Excitement in Boulder is high for this basketball season. And AllBuffs is here to help. We asked some of the more knowledgeable people supporting the program their thoughts on this season, and over the next five days leading up to tip-off of the 2011-12 season against Fort Lewis, we're going to give you their thoughts and tell you what to expect for the upcoming season.
So now that you know everyone, here's the breakdown of what we'll be covering.
* Monday, November 7th - The PAC-12
* Tuesday, November 8th - CU in 2011-12 (Part 1)
* Wednesday, November 9th - CU in 2011-12 (Part 2)
* Thursday, November 10th - CU in the Future (Part 1)
* Friday, November 11th - CU in the Future (Part 2)
First question after the jump...How will CU do in the Puerto Rico Invitational?
Goose - We got the worst draw possible. I was hoping we wouldn't get Wichita State as, in my opinion, they're the favorites to win the whole thing. Getting Maryland/Alabama next won't exactly be a walk in the park either. I love that Boyle added the Ft. Lewis game to give the team at least one warm-up before heading in to this, but it wouldn't surprise me to see us go 1-2.
RumblinBuff - I'm going to have to say that the trip to Puerto Rico will be disappointing. I sure would like to be in the top portion of that bracket. Western Michigan or Iona in the first round? That'd be a gift. Instead, CU is stuck with a bracket comprised of the 2011 NIT title game combatants and Maryland. The draw is tough, and CU could repeat their Maui Invitational performance of two years ago by backing into a 1-2 record based on matchups alone.
Wichita State, CU's first round opponent, is loaded with seniors, and should be a top-25 team. The winner/loser of the Maryland/Alabama game won't be easy either. Alabama returns most of their talent from that team CU lost to in Madison Square Garden last season. Maryland, coached by Coach Boyle's mentor Mark Turgeon in his first year, is a typically athletic ACC squad.
Add to that the fact that the Buffs, relying on a series of newcomers to play pivotal roles, will have to gel, yet again, in the early going before their best basketball can be played.
Buffnik - I don't think we're good enough to win it. The first game will answer that. We play Wichita State and I think they're the best team in the field. If we pull a surprise there I'll change my thinking, but I think we lose.
Second round sets up as either Maryland or Alabama. Maryland has Turgeon and it's the opening of a system change. They're a young team (1 senior) that didn't make the postseason last year. It would be surprising if they were playing well in Puerto Rico. Alabama still has JaMychal Green who killed us in the NIT to go with a lot of athleticism, but they can't shoot and they don't have a center if Gueye is still out with his knee injury. We'd have a good shot against either team.
On the other side of the bracket, we've to Temple, Purdue, Iona and Western Michigan. I like CU against either Iona or WMU, not so much against Temple or Purdue.
Add it up and we should be either 1-2 or 2-1 in Puerto Rico. I'm a homer, so I'll say 2-1.
Tyler Ziskin - As a basketball fan for my entire life, and having played it for just as long, there's one thing I KNOW about basketball, and that's that it takes time to find chemistry. It's hard to overcome losing your top 4 scorers, there's no way around that. The Buffs will not be the same team at the end of the 2011-2012 season as they show early on. The Buffs will struggle early, and I see them losing their first two games in the tournament, and hopefully, they'll be able to find a way to get the last one. I know that seems pessimistic, but this team is young and has a lot to learn.
Zach Bell - 1-2. Will lose to Wichita & Maryland and hopefully bounce back against Western Michigan or Iona.
Head over to Allbuffs to read the rest of part two.