We're talking about practice.

Colorado returns to its fancy new facility today for an important week of preparation after a disappointing 5-4 start to the season.

Beau Gamble, a walk on from Fairview High School, will be counted on by Tad Boyle as much as any of the Buffs during these intense sessions.

"I think it's a little different situation here in how we treat our non-scholarship players versus how some programs treat them," CU's second-year head coach said. "To me, he's one of the 15 guys on our team. We expect just as much out of him walking out of this tunnel to practice as anybody.

"I love having Beau because he wants to be here."

Gamble was a part of Fairview's memorable 2008-09 team that started the season 26-0 before losing to George Washington in overtime in the 5A state semifinals at a packed Coors Events Center.

During his senior season, Gamble attended a prep school in New Hampton, N.H., hoping to get some more interest from college basketball programs. But the 6-foot guard suffered an injury just six games into the season.

Santa Clara, which had been recruiting Gamble before he was hurt, asked him to walk on. As a freshman he saw action in four games for the Broncos.

"My experience at Santa Clara was great. I loved the team out there and I can't say enough about the coaching staff," Gamble said. "But at the end of the day, I've always wanted to come home and be a Buff."

The Gamble's are friends with former CU head coach Ricardo Patton and his family. Beau attended many games at the Coors Events Center -- including the upset of Kansas in 2003 -- growing up and was a big fan of players like David Harrison, Michel Morandais, Jaquay Walls, Blair Wilson and James Wright.

"I always wanted to be a Buff, and coach (Jeff) Bzdelik wanted me to walk on," Gamble said. "I also felt like there was part of me that wanted to get out of Boulder for a little bit and test the waters elsewhere. It just ended up being there was no place like home."

Gamble, who knew Levi Knutson well from summer pick-up games in Boulder, asked the senior guard to tell Boyle that he was interested in transferring to CU. The coaching staff decided to add Gamble and former Arapahoe High School standout Beau Webb to the roster this season as walk ons.

"The biggest thing that (Gamble) brings to our program is a love of the university," Boyle said. "He grew up here and he always wanted to be a Buff. Now he gets a chance to live out that dream."

Webb travels with the team on the road and started the Wichita State game as Boyle punished some regulars to begin the Puerto Rico Tip-off.

Gamble is sitting out this season per NCAA transfer rules, but he's still allowed to practice and is a key member of the scout team.

"My role this year is just to bring it every day in practice and try to make my teammates better," Gamble said. "When we do scout team stuff I have to give 100 percent effort. Knowing I can't play in the game, these practices are my games and I have to make them good."

The Buffs have some time to regroup after Friday's frustrating loss to Wyoming, which snapped the program's 27-game home winning streak against non-conference teams. CU doesn't play again until Dec. 19 against Cal State Bakersfield.

During Pac-12 play, Boyle and his staff will have to prepare the Buffs quickly with the Thursday-Saturday scheduling format. That's why it's important to have quality walk ons to add to the overall depth of the team.

"With one day in between games you have to have guys on the scout team who are able to pick things up and run them at a speed that's going to help our team," Boyle said.