The Colorado men's basketball team seemingly had the pieces in place to offset the absence of senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart, who is likely done for the season.
Perhaps that remains true numbers-wise, as Miller-Stewart produced just 6.2 points and 4.7 rebounds through the season's first six games.
However, the run of three losses in four games the Buffaloes take into their Friday night nonconference date against South Dakota State coincides exactly with the moment Miller-Stewart was sidelined. This week, head coach Tad Boyle conceded that without the team's most experienced and aggressive post player, the Buffs have lost an edge.
"We miss Tory's physicality for sure. Absolutely," Boyle said. "We miss a senior out there. We miss a player who's really energetic and plays with great emotion. We miss that. But look, Tory's not here. I'm not going to cry over spilled milk.
"One thing we're not going to do, is we're not going to make excuses for ourselves. We've lost three out of four. Xavier, we have to play an A-game, maybe an A-plus game, to beat them. But the other two were winnable games that we, Colorado, came up short. It's disappointing, but it's where we are."
The Buffs outrebounded each of their first six opponents but have been outrebounded in each of their three losses without Miller-Stewart.
Friday's match is just the third all-time meeting between the Buffs and South Dakota State. CU won each of the previous meetings, both at home, recording an 82-49 win on Feb. 14, 2005 and a 66-62 win on Dec. 2, 1978...If senior George King scores seven points against South Dakota State he will move from 32nd to 30th on CU's all-time scoring list...Sophomore forward Lucas Siewert has made eight consecutive free throws.