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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Wofford 0-0, CU 0-0. Away Record: Wofford 0-0, CU 0-0. Neutral Record: Wofford 0-0, CU 0-0. Conference Record: Wofford 0-0, CU 0-0. Series Record: CU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 2012-13 season is set to begin for the Colorado Buffaloes and the Wofford Terriers, as the two teams will square off in a non-league tilt at the Coors Events Center.
The Terriers are coming off a 19-14 season (12-6 SoCon) and a second-place finish in the Southern Conference South Division, earning an invite to the CBI. Two starters return from that squad, and longtime head coach Mike Young also welcomes seven freshmen. Wofford has posted a winning record in four straight seasons and enters the 2012-13 campaign in search of a fourth straight postseason bid.
Colorado was a real surprise in its inaugural Pac-12 season, as the team won the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed to earn its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2003. However, with the return of frontcourt bruiser Andre Roberson, the Buffaloes won't be able to play the underdog this season. The Buffs also welcome a few talented freshmen who should see plenty of floor time.
CU won the only prior meeting against Wofford, claiming a 65-58 decision in Boulder during the 1996-97 season.
Wofford came up a bit short in its quest to win a third straight SoCon title last season, but the building blocks are in place for the Terriers to reclaim the league crown. Coach Young's team held the opposition to averages of 63.2 ppg and 43.6-percent shooting from the floor in 2011-12, and that strong defensive presence will remain a principle for this year's squad. The team must replace top scorers Brad Loesing (14.9 ppg) and Kevin Giltner (14.8 ppg), although there are some weapons in the fold. One of those weapons is Karl Cochran, who averaged 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds last year as a freshman and will now be the focal point. Lee Skinner (6.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg) was another freshman who got plenty of valuable playing time, and he'll now be the primary option in the frontcourt. But if Young wants to expand his rotation, that means he'll need to count on a few youngsters to log some minutes as well. Of the incoming freshmen, point guard Bryan Harris, who initially committed to Duquesne, and wiry 6-7 forward Justin Gordon could earn some minutes. Fellow freshman Spencer Collins, a 6-4 guard, is penciled into the starting lineup.
CU lost three starters from last year's squad, but coach Tad Boyle likes the talent he has on hand, particularly some of the incoming freshmen. It all starts with Roberson, the 6-7 junior who averaged 11.6 points and an impressive 11.1 rebounds a year ago. Sophomores Spencer Dinwiddie (10.0 ppg) and Askia Booker (9.1 ppg) also proved capable scorers during their rookie campaigns and will both be given larger roles in the half-court game. After watching Dinwiddie and Booker hit the ground running last year, Boyle is hoping to get similar production from freshmen standouts Josh Scott (6-10, 215) and Xavier Johnson (6-6, 220). Scott was widely regarded as the top recruit in the state of Colorado after leading his high school team to a 4A state title and earning Colorado's Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Colorado Basketball honors. Scott averaged a robust 28.5 points, 11 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last year. Johnson impressed during the team's offseason trip to Europe, averaging 10 points and seven rebounds per game. Both players have elements to their game that can help the Buffs in the paint.
Colorado went 7-1 at home in conference play last year, as league foes found the Coors Events Center to be quite unwelcoming. Wofford won't be a pushover, but the Terriers are not quite at CU's talent level.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 67, Wofford 56
11/09 10:36:10 ET
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