When the Associated Press preseason men's basketball top 25 poll came out on Thursday, and it didn't include the Colorado Buffaloes, it was a bit of a surprise.

But, Spencer Dinwiddie admits that could be a good thing for his team.

"It might be, yeah, for sure," the junior point guard said.

An NCAA Tournament qualifier the past two years, CU believes this could be its best team in years. Several voters did put the Buffs in their top 25 ballots, as CU finished with the 29th-most points in the poll.

Considering what they've done in recent years, and the strength of the team this year, Dinwiddie admitted, "When I did see (the poll), I was a little bit disappointed."

Then again, being just outside of the rankings means the Buffs have plenty of room in which to grow.

"It's not like we were 40 or 50," Dinwiddie said. "We were 27 or 29 or whatever, so we were right there. It gives us something to strive for."

Getting into the top 25 is not CU's main focus, of course, but by getting there, it means the Buffs are doing what they're supposed to do.

"We want to win," Dinwiddie said. "We want to live up to our fans' expectations and we want to be in the top 25 and prove some people wrong still.

"Our focus is to take care of business, because we want to be successful in our conference play and we also want to make the Tournament. That's a goal, and we also want to make a run this year."


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A week away

Friday marked one week before the Buffs take the court for the season opener. CU opens Nov. 8 in Dallas against No. 25 Baylor.

"I'm getting anxious right now," freshman Tre'Shaun Fletcher said.

Although there is still a week to go, the Buffs have been in practice for more than a month, and they're starting to feel ready.

"We've made strides on defense and building chemistry with each other," Fletcher said. "We kind of know tendencies of what each other likes to do and playing off each other; it feels good."

Dinwiddie said the Buffs are starting to recognize how quickly the opener is approaching.

"I think there's a heightened focus and maturity level, and of course (especially) on defense," he said. "(Defense) is what Boyle preaches and that's pretty much how you win a game around here (in practice). We don't even keep score of the offense; we keep score based on stops."

Notable

The opener against Baylor will be broadcast locally on Root Sports. ... Fletcher said he is excited about the progress he and the other freshmen are making to this point. "I'm definitely seeing strides from each and every one of us since the first day of practice," he said.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.