Almost three weeks ago, the CU men's basketball team hosted a closed scrimmage against Boise State, a program Buffaloes coach Tad Boyle believes merited preseason consideration as a Top 25 squad.
On Saturday, the Buffs will go through their final tuneup, competition-wise, before next week's season opener against No. 7 Iowa State as SMU visits Boulder for another closed scrimmage.
Despite recent academic violations that will keep the Mustangs out of the 2016 postseason, and keep legendary head coach Larry Brown suspended for nine games, SMU nonetheless has garnered its fair share of preseason recognition, getting tabbed as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference in the league's preseason coaches' poll.
While the Boise State test gave the Buffs a chance to attempt executing a specific game plan against a live opponent, Saturday's scrimmage will allow further opportunities for CU to sample particular sets with specific player combinations on the floor.
"What we're looking to do in this scrimmage versus the last scrimmage — What are we going to work on offensively? What do we need to work on defensively? How long do we want to run offense A versus offense B?" Boyle said. "Those are all the things that we're going to talk about for this scrimmage.
"The last scrimmage was more about this is our game plan, this is what we're going to do, let's go try and do it and how do we handle that. This one's going to be more of us changing throughout the scrimmage, and how do we handle those changes."
Also of key importance for the Buffs will be the use of live officials. Given the NCAA's offseason decree to clamp down on physical play, understanding what will be called a foul compared to previous seasons will give the Buffs an early sense of how the game might be called in 2015-16.
"Especially with the way this game is going to be officiated early in the season, you may plan on starting these five guys, and then at the 16 minute-mark you're going to bring in this guy ... you may have that all planned out and that's good," Boyle said. "But the reality is, two quick fouls on this guy and he's out. Now your rotations are all screwed up. You have to be ready for everything."