As far as the Colorado Buffaloes are concerned, their record sits at 0-0.

An 11-game winning streak that spurred the program's best start since the 1941-42 season officially is part of team history, as CU reconvened Monday after a three-day holiday hiatus to resume workouts with the Pac-12 Conference schedule looming.

The Buffs open league play at Cal on Friday night, and in the class-free days leading up to the Pac-12 tipoff head coach Tad Boyle expects his club to remain focused on the strengths that have helped forge the club's 11-2 start.

"We have to build on the things that we've been doing well," Boyle said. "Which is rebounding the ball, playing inside-out through our bigs, and having our 3-point shots come as a result of paint touches. But what we have to do, is we have to guard with more of a sense of urgency. We can't give up layup after layup after layup, whether it's in transition defense or half-court.

"So defensively we have to get better, and we have to take care of the basketball."

As mentioned by Boyle, one of the clear areas of strength for CU has been the team's rebounding, with the Buffs finishing the nonconference portion of the schedule as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation.


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The Buffs begin the week ranked in a tie for fifth in the NCAA in overall rebounds per game (44.2) while also ranking 10th in rebounding margin (plus-11.5). CU has outrebounded its opponents in 12 consecutive games since getting outrebounded by Iowa State in the opener, and the Buffs are coming off a game in which they outrebounded the nation's leader in rebounding margin, SMU, 38-34.

Though 18 games still remain, CU's current average margin of rebounds would count as a school record, while the Buffs' overall rebounding average would rank as the program's best effort since the 1960s.

"I'm very pleased with where we are," Boyle said. "It starts with our bigs, but it finishes with our guards. It takes the whole team. We don't have one guy that's doing it all. Josh (Scott) is doing a great job. Wes (Gordon) is doing a great job. Tory (Miller) is really rebounding the ball well. But really the x-factor comes from guys like Josh Fortune and George King and Tre'Shaun Fletcher and Xavier Talton as guards who help us rebound."

Scott has set the pace on the glass, averaging a team-leading 9.4 rebounds a game, while Gordon (6.7) and Miller (4.2) have helped make CU a formidable rebounding squad inside. Fortune and King each are averaging over four rebounds per game, with Fortune having a 14-rebound game to his credit against Portland on Nov. 20.

"Obviously guys like Tory, Josh, and Wes down low are the guys doing most of the damage," King said. "But I think some of that comes from the wings, and that comes from coach making an emphasis on offensive rebounds, or boxing out and going to get the rebound. Just having us not be one-dimensional players — we have to play defense and be able to rebound."

Decision delayed

The uncertain status of senior forward Xavier Johnson will remain unresolved until at least the end of the week. After suffering a torn Achilles tendon last summer, Johnson has expressed an interest in possibly returning this season while rehabilitating his injury throughout the nonconference schedule.

A native of Los Angeles, Johnson has remained in California and will rejoin the team when it travels to Northern California for Friday's battle at Cal, with an announcement expected then as to whether Johnson will take a medical redshirt this season.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07