Tennessee-Martin (0-1) at Colorado (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 10, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coors Events Center (11,064) -- Boulder, Colorado. Television: None. Home Record: UTM 0-0, Colorado 0-0. Away Record: UTM 0-1, Colorado 0-1. Neutral Record: UTM 0-1, Colorado 0-0. Conference Record: UTM 0-0, Colorado 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The Colorado Buffaloes will begin a six-game homestand on Sunday as they look to bounce back from an opening day loss, taking on the Tennessee- Martin Skyhawks at Coors Events Center in non-conference action.
The Skyhawks are also attempting to come back from a loss in the season opener as they were dropped 78-60 decision on the road against Wyoming on Friday night. Poor offensive execution and effort on the boards really cost UTM in the loss. The Skyhawks connected on just 35.1 percent of their shots in the game and were outrebounded by a 39-28 margin. The Skyhawks weren't on the winning side of games many times last year when they finished just 9-21 overall, tying for the second-most losses in the Ohio Valley Conference. Dating back to last season they have lost three straight games. The Skyhawks are in action again on Wednesday when they visit Arkansas State.
For a team coming off of 20 wins in three straight seasons and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, Colorado didn't look particularly strong against No. 25 Baylor on Friday. The Buffaloes didn't look good in either half and fell in a 72-60 decision. The first 20 minutes were really what sunk the Buffaloes, who had just seven field goals and missed all nine shots from beyond the arc. Josh Scott managed to post a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) but no other player had more than 10 points in the losing effort. That included leading scorer from last year Spencer Dinwiddie, who struggled to find his shot. Knocking the rust off will be essential, as the Buffaloes get set for another five straight home games.
This matchup marks the first between these two programs.
The Skyhawks struggled on both ends of the floor in the opener. A year ago UTM let up more than 76 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting and against Wyoming the team was guilty of allowing 78 points on 47.7 percent shooting. The weak defense was compounded by inefficient offense, especially in the second half when the Skyhawks managed just seven field goals. Dee Oldham served as the leading scorer for UTM as he tallied 15 points, while knocking down three 3-pointers off the bench. Marshun Newell (14 points) and Terence Smith (10) also reached double figures, but they were two of the worst offenders when it came to shooting the ball as they combined to connect on just 6-of-25 field goal attempts. The Skyhawks were playing without there two leading scorers from a year ago with Myles Taylor still suffering from an ACL tear and Mike Liabo suspended indefinitely.
Colorado did stumble down the stretch last year, losing three of the final four games, but there was enough talent left to expect a strong showing in the opener, even against a ranked opponent. Dinwiddie averaged more than 15 points per game last season but he had just 10 against Baylor. The issue was his lack of efficiency as he made good on just 2-of-12 shots from the floor. Askia Booker (10 points) was another double-digit scorer last season but he struggled to find his shot all year. It looks as if that search is ongoing as Booker pushed his way to 10 points, despite going just 5-of-16 from the floor, including misses on all four of his shots from beyond the arc. Perimeter shooting was a weakness all game against Baylor, as the Buffaloes had just 2 3-pointers on 19 shots from behind the arc. Scott was a lone bright spot as he made up for the loss of double-double machine Andre Roberson, by playing well in the paint.
It was alarming to see Dinwiddie shoot so poorly, but the bright side was he continued to get himself to the free-throw line. Dinwiddie will be able to find his shot once again and give the Buffaloes a nice inside outside combination with Scott. Until Taylor and Liabo come back, the Skyhawks are not potent enough to hang with many teams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 83, Tennessee-Martin 65
11/10 10:51:32 ET