Roster churn has become a common hurdle, and the Colorado Buffaloes might be feeling it more than most.
CU lost the core of its team, but is not exactly starting over.
The biggest subtraction was McKinley Wright IV, who was not just a team leader butprovided scoring, rebounding and assists to a Colorado team that he led as a senior to the NCAA Tournament last season.
The Buffaloes do have some seasoned personnel returning but they will be young and fairly untested when they open the season Tuesday night against Montana State.
The Buffaloes return starters Elijah Parquet – a Pac-12 All-Defense selection – and Evan Battey, along with Jabari Walker, Keeshawn Barthelemy, and Tristan da Silva.
Things looked good for Colorado during an undefeated tournament in Costa Rica in August, and then a 30-point win over Division II Colorado School of Mines on Oct. 27. But in the last exhibition game, at Nebraska, the Cornhuskers manhandled the Buffaloes.
“I knew that we didn’t face good competition in Costa Rica,” said Tad Boyle, who begins his 12th season as head coach. “I knew the School of Mines, as disciplined as they are and as well-coached as they are, I knew they weren’t going to give us the look we’ll see in the Pac-12, once we get there. That’s what the Nebraska game was for.”
The wakeup call came just in time to play the Bobcats.
Montana State won its two exhibition games by a combined 119 points but now faces stiff competition in a Pac-12 team.
Montana State can’t afford to get off to a slow start like it did against Yellowstone Christian.
“I know we can’t have that … when we open at Colorado,” Bobcats head coach Danny Sprinkle said. “We can’t have those lapses. We’ve got to come out focused and I didn’t feel like they were. I don’t know if it was because of the opponent or what the deal was, but that’s not an excuse.
“Our whole deal is competing against your own habits. You’ve got to get better habits and we’ll have to improve on that over the next five days.”
Montana State returns three seniors – Abdul Mohamed, Xavier Bishop and Amin Adamu – and a combined 13 freshmen and sophomores on the roster.
–Field Level Media