It was an obvious question for Northern Arizona head coach Jack Murphy after his team's 98-51 loss to Colorado on Friday night at the Coors Events Center.
The Lumberjacks (4-7) fell to 0-3 against Pac-12 teams this season with previous losses at Arizona (93-50) and Oregon (83-73). The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. The Ducks were the only other Pac-12 team that received votes this week.
"When they shoot the ball like they did tonight, they'll compete with anybody in the league," Murphy said of the Buffs, who finished 66.7 percent from the field.
"I think that those three teams, and I obviously haven't seen the other nine, but those three I've seen are very, very good.
"I think Arizona's size will present problems for a lot of teams in the league, but Colorado, they have great guard play in they young sophomores. With (Andre) Roberson and (Josh) Scott and the high-low action in the front court, they can be really tough to beat."
CU's backcourt of Askia Booker (17 points) and Spencer Dinwiddie (15 points) were a combined 14-for-18 shooting with 10 rebounds, six assists and three turnovers. Scott (11 points, four rebounds) and Roberson (10 points, eight rebounds) were 9-for-12 shooting.
All of CU's starters played 24 minutes or less.
"This is a really good program, they're really well coached," Northern Arizona guard DeWayne Russell said of CU after scoring a team-high 15 points. "You could just see the discipline, that was the biggest thing. You could just feel the discipline and how good they were on defense."
CU hosts Hartford on Dec. 29 before opening up Pac-12 play on Jan. 3 at Arizona.
"Opening up at Arizona is going to be a big game for us," Dinwiddie said. "Not to look past Hartford, but you are kind of thinking about that a little bit."
Mac at Coors
New CU football coach Mike MacIntyre received a standing ovation at halftime and then told the crowd of 10,034 exactly what they wanted to hear.
"To be a Pac-12 champion as soon as possible," MacIntyre said when the emcee asked what his plan for the downtrodden program was.
CU now leads the series 4-0. This was the first meeting since the Buffs' 90-66 victory over Northern Arizona on Dec. 21, 1991.
Tad Boyle, who coached in the Big Sky for four seasons at Northern Colorado, improved to 6-3 against Northern Arizona.
Two graduated members of last year's Pac-12 Tournament championship game, Austin Dufault and Trey Eckloff, were back at the Coors Events Center to watch the Buffs.
Dufault is playing professionally in the Czech Republic. Eckloff is attending law school at the University of Denver.
Fort Lewis head coach Bob Hofman, a star guard for the Buffs from 1970-74, also attended the game.
CU is 9-2 for the first time since the 1994-95 season. ... The Buffs are 5-0 at home this season and 37-4 at home under Boyle. ... The 98 points were the second most by a Boyle-coached CU team behind the 104-59 win over Longwood on Dec. 19, 2010). ... Even though the game was televised it only lasted one hour and 39 minutes.
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