There are plenty of problems at hand for coach Tad Boyle as he attempts to rally his young Buffs squad, now playing without one of its three seniors, following Colorado's first loss of the season.

He can say with total confidence, however, that McKinley Wright isn't one of those problems.

Despite a frustrating overall effort for the Buffs during Saturday's loss at Colorado State, Wright basically took it upon himself to keep CU in the game by sparking comebacks in both halves.

During the first half, the Buffs trailed by seven when a Wright 3-pointer began an 11-4 run that helped keep CU within three points at halftime. Wright scored eight of those points, with the others coming when the freshman guard hit George King for a layup and a 3-point play.

In the second half, the Rams built a 17-point lead before Wright again went to work, scoring 11 consecutive points on his own to start a comeback that ultimately fell short for the Buffs.

In his first action in the state's biggest rivalry, Wright finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He went 7-for-15 from the floor with a 4-for-8 mark on 3-pointers. Wright hasn't scored fewer than 10 points in any of the first seven games of his career.

"McKinley Wright is the least of my worries and the least of my concerns," Boyle said. "The kid is a stud. I'll take him any day of the week. He needs to get better. He made some mistakes (at CSU), some over-penetration and tough shots in the lane. Part of that is on McKinley but not solely on him. He needs to get better at certain areas. He knows that. He's coachable. He's smart. McKinley is going to be fine."


Already beginning to assert his leadership skills on the floor, Wright's voice and tough-guy demeanor could prove even more critical for the Buffs as they move forward without senior Tory Miller-Stewart, who last week suffered what likely is a season-ending broken foot.

"Without Tory, it's next-man up," Wright said. "We've got to find somebody to step up. I think all these guys are capable of doing it, Dallas (Walton), Lucas (Siewert), and Tyler (Bey). I think they're going to be huge for us in order to be successful. They're numbers are going to go up and I believe that."

Pat Rooney: or