SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Alec Burks wasn't here to throw the sinking Buffs a life vest.

After Colorado's 67-58 loss to Wichita State in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-off, Tad Boyle admitted that the team is missing its "playmakers on the floor" early in the season.

Carlon Brown scored 15 points on 7-for-15 shooting. No other CU players scored in double figures as the rest of the squad finished 14-for-35 shooting.

"We're still in a learning process," Brown said. "I think a lot of teams are in the premature phase of finding out who they are as a team."

Boyle will learn a lot about his team's resiliency as they try to bounce back today against Maryland at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico (4:30 p.m., no television).

Wichita State s Toure Murry, front, dribbles past Colorado s Andre Robertson during an NCAA basketball game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17,
Wichita State s Toure Murry, front, dribbles past Colorado s Andre Robertson during an NCAA basketball game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo) ( Ricardo Arduengo )

The Terrapins, now coached by Boyle's mentor and friend Mark Turgeon, are coming off a 62-42 loss to No. 15 Alabama.

"I told our team that I think the mentally tougher team will win," Boyle said. "We've got to bounce back mentally. Physically, I played some guys more than I wanted to. ... We've got to rely on our youthful exuberance with these guys' legs."

Nate Tomlinson (31 minutes), Andre Roberson (31) and Austin Dufault (30) all logged a lot of court time. But none of them started the game.

Boyle did not want to get into the specifics of why these team leaders were disciplined, saying only that the situation "wasn't a big deal" and the minor punishment was "an opportunity to learn."

Tomlinson (three assists, three turnovers), Roberson (four points, 10 rebounds) and Dufault (eight points, four rebounds) checked into the game with 17:10 remaining in the first half.

"I'm not really too worried about it," Roberson said of the brief benching. "When you do go in you just have to come in with energy."

Freshman guard Askia Booker, freshman walk-on Beau Webb and sophomore center Shane Harris-Tunks joined Spencer Dinwiddie and Brown in the starting lineup.

A 3-pointer by Dufault tied the score 24-24 with 5:13 remaining in the first half, but the Shockers (2-0) seized control with a 7-0 spurt before the intermission.

Brown, who scored nine points in the first six minutes of the second half, cut the deficit to 37-33 on a three-point play with 16:45 remaining.

"I think we were all proud that we competed. We weren't pointing fingers or blaming one another," Brown said. "We just wanted to stay in the game and give ourselves a chance in the end, which we did. Unfortunately, we didn't box out and didn't make enough plays down the stretch to win."

Both teams had 14 rebounds at the break. Wichita State beat the Buffs 24-14 on the glass in the second half.

"We played pretty solid. The rebounding margin was what the difference was," Dinwiddie said. "When we got down by three our four points, which happened several times, they went on some runs. And we just couldn't fight back from that last one."

Dinwiddie and Booker each made 3-pointers in the final five minutes to bring their team to within five points, but CU did not score in the final 1:48.

"Most offenses at this time of the year are not clicking. They're not in midseason form. So it's hard right now at this time of the season to really rely on the offense to get you going," Boyle said. "Right now you have to rely on your defense and your rebounding to win games in November. Ours wasn't good enough."

The Shockers and Crimson Tide will meet in a rematch of last year's NIT title game tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2). The Buffs (1-1) will face an ACC opponent for the first time since Jan. 9, 1991 (an 89-72 victory over Wake Forest). The CU-Maryland game can be viewed online at ESPN3.

"We definitely look forward to bouncing back. This is a game we should have won," Dinwiddie said. "We really felt like we kind of beat ourselves, not to discredit Wichita State because they're a great team and they played very hard, but we just need to come back (today) and play better."

Wichita State 67, Colorado 58

WICHITA STATE (67)

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Smith 31 6-12 1-2 2-6 1 1 17

Stutz 30 7-14 0-1 5-11 1 3 14

Ragland 30 2-5 0-0 0-4 4 4 4

Williams 28 1-7 1-1 1-1 0 1 3

Kyles 33 4-7 0-0 0-3 4 0 10

Wessel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Orukpe 10 0-1 0-0 0-3 0 0 0

Hall 16 1-1 0-0 1-5 0 2 2

Murry 22 6-13 3-4 2-5 2 2 17

Cotton 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

White 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 200 27-60 5-8 11-38 12 14 67

Percentages: FG .450, FT .625.

3-Point Goals: 8-23, .348 (Smith 4-7, Kyles 2-5, Murry 2-5, Stutz 0-1, Ragland 0-2, Williams 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 0.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Stutz, Hall, Smith).

Turnovers: 16 (Murry 5, Smith 3, Kyles 2, Williams 2, Ragland, Stutz, Cotton).

Steals: 10 (Kyles 3, Ragland 2, Hall, Smith, Murry, Orukpe, Williams).

Technical Fouls: None.

COLORADO (58)

FG FT Reb

Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

H-Tunks 17 2-2 4-5 0-2 2 1 8

Booker 12 1-2 2-4 0-2 1 4 5

Webb 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Dnwdie 27 2-7 2-2 0-0 1 1 7

Brown 28 7-14 1-2 1-4 1 1 15

Tmlinsn 31 2-7 0-0 0-2 3 1 5

Sharpe 9 0-0 2-2 1-2 1 0 2

Rberson 31 2-7 0-2 1-10 1 3 4

Chen 12 2-2 0-0 1-1 1 0 4

Dufault 30 3-8 0-2 1-4 2 2 8

Totals 200 21-49 11-19 5-28 13 13 58

Percentages: FG .429, FT .579.

3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (Dufault 2-5, Booker 1-1, Dinwiddie 1-2, Tomlinson 1-2, Brown 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 1.

Blocked Shots: 2 (Roberson, Dufault).

Turnovers: 17 (Booker 3, Roberson 3, Tomlinson 3, Dufault 3, Dinwiddie 2, Sharpe, Brown, Chen).

Steals: 9 (Booker 2, Roberson 2, Tomlinson 2, Dinwiddie, Dufault, Chen).

Technical Fouls: None.

Wichita St. 33 34 -- 67

Colorado 26 32 -- 58

A -- 5,322.

Officials -- Jim Burr, Randy Heimerman, Mike Thibodeaux.