Better now than later.

That's probably the silver lining in regard to the injury status of Colorado's Namon Wright, who will be sidelined indefinitely due to a left foot injury. A transfer from the basketball program at Missouri, Wright underwent surgery on Friday to address the issue.

As a transfer, Wright was going to serve only as a practice player this season anyway. And while head coach Tad Boyle expects Wright back in the mix eventually, his absence robs the Buffaloes of the opportunity to compete against a starting-caliber player every day at practice.

"He's going to be out for a while," Boyle said. "He's got some rehab in front of him. It's really disappointing because he's going to miss a big chunk of practice. It's not ideal, but what can you do?"

Wright, a junior from Los Angeles, averaged 9.6 points and a team-best 5.2 rebounds last year for Missouri.

Mixed reviews

The Buffs returned to practice Monday two days after traveling to Texas to face SMU in a closed scrimmage. While Boyle was prevented by NCAA rules from commenting specifically on the action, the early test confirmed some of the shortcomings CU's coach expressed last week in terms of the team's subpar defense and rebounding.

"What we learned is our defense and rebounding is nowhere near where it needs to be," Boyle said. "Offensively we did some really good things, and we sputtered at times. We've got a long way to go.


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"The great thing about these closed scrimmages is you're playing against really quality competition. When you play against quality competition, you find out what your strengths and where your weaknesses may lie."

Notable

The Buffs host Oklahoma State in the team's second and final closed scrimmage on Saturday...The preseason AP top 25 poll was released Monday, and unofficially the Buffs are ranked 41st as the No. 16 team among others receiving votes (10 points). Among the CU opponents ranked in the initial poll are Oregon (5), Xavier (7), Arizona (10), and UCLA (16). Texas, a possible opponent in the Legends Classic, is ranked 21st.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07