Although unranked in both national polls, the Colorado men's basketball team was on a lot of top 25 ballots in the preseason.

The Buffaloes came in with the 27th-most votes in the USA Today coaches poll, and the 29th-most votes in the Associated Press media poll. Many people think that's too low.

As for Buffs head coach Tad Boyle?

"We are right now today, on Nov. 5 -- we are officially overrated as a basketball team," Boyle said on Tuesday. "That doesn't mean we will be in December or January or February. It just means we are right now, relative to what the outside world thinks of Colorado basketball. That's the thing I'm trying to drive home to our players."

CU opens the season on Friday night in Dallas against the No. 25 team in the AP poll -- Baylor (the Bears are No. 26 in the coaches poll). It is a game CU can win, but Boyle has serious concerns about his squad just days before the opener.

"I'm extremely worried (about the defense)," Boyle said. "I'm not worried. I'm extremely worried."

CU was fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense last year, allowing just 63.6 points per game, and the Buffs were third in field goal percentage defense (40.1). No team in the conference defended the 3-point shot better than CU.

The Buffs did all of that, however, with Pac-12 defensive player of the year Andre Roberson leading the way and Sabatino Chen, Jeremy Adams and Shane Harris-Tunks all playing significant minutes.


"Those four guys are gone and we haven't picked up the slack defensively," Boyle said. "Offensively, we might be a little bit more skilled or talented. But, defensively, we're not nearly as good."

Boyle is particularly worried in relation to the Baylor game.

Baylor's Isaiah Austin a 7-foot-1 sophomore center who averaged 13.0 points and made 46 percent of his shots last year. Had he not torn his labrum, he might have left school and been a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.

When CU beat Baylor, 60-58, on Nov. 16, 2012, Roberson held Austin to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"I watched our Baylor game from last year," Boyle said. "The one thing that was very apparent from that game was the value that Andre brought to us defensively. To be able to put him on a guy like Isaiah Austin and not have to help, not have to double, because Andre could do his thing. Not that he shut him out, but he can neutralize a player like that."

The Buffs are still looking for that type of player, although they do believe they are heading in that direction.

"I wouldn't say it's great," sophomore center Josh Scott said of the CU defense. "It's by no means bad, but it's getting there. We're just bringing everybody up to speed."

If the Buffs can get up to speed in a hurry, they might be deserving of national recognition. But, not yet, Boyle said.

"With that being said, I love our team, I love our players and I've got a lot of confidence in their ability," he said, "but it's what you do when the lights come on and they throw the ball up for that first tip."

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