CU men's basketball preview: Louisiana-Monroe

MATCHUP: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (1-1) at Colorado Buffaloes (2-0).

GAME TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m., Coors Events Center.

BROADCAST: Radio — 760 AM; TV — Pac-12 Mountain.

COACHES: Louisiana-Monroe: Keith Richard, sixth season (68-119, 218-236 overall); Colorado: Tad Boyle, seventh season (132-80, 188-146 overall).

LEADERS: Louisiana-Monroe — Scoring: G Jordon Harris, Jr., 16.0 ppg; Rebounding: F Travis Munnings., So., 11.5 rpg; Assists: G Nick Coppola, Sr., 6.0 apg. Colorado — Scoring: G Derrick White, Sr., 12.0 ppg; Rebounding: F Wesley Gordon, Sr., 13.0 rpg; Assists: G Thomas Akyazili, So., 5.0 apg.

NOTABLE: George King, CU's top returning scorer from last year, will look to get on track after shooting 6-for-17 and scoring 17 total points in the first two games. "My thing with George is, don't worry about offense," Boyle said. "Don't overthink the game. George's offense will come. He can't stress about it."...The Buffs leave Friday for New York City, where they will face Notre Dame on Monday and either No. 23 Texas or Northwestern on Tuesday at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn. The early flight allows the Buffs a chance to visit Ground Zero Saturday morning. "It will be a great educational experience for our players and our staff," Boyle said...The Buffs have face Louisiana-Monroe just once, posting a 65-62 win at home on Dec.


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23, 2008. Austin Dufault paced CU in that game with 21 points.

This wasn't the way Bryce Peters always envisioned the start of his college basketball career.

Instead of making his debut with the Colorado Buffaloes this past week, Peters has been on the sideline, biding his time while serving a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules.

That suspension is over and, combined with the absence of guard Dom Collier due to a nagging foot injury, Peters finally is expected to take his spot in the CU rotation Thursday night in a home date against Louisiana-Monroe.

"Throughout this whole thing, it's been a learning experience," said Peters, a freshman guard. "I'm a freshman. I'm away from home trying to be on my own. I know I'm blessed I have the opportunity to play.

"In high school I didn't have to do as much as I do now. I've talked to coach (Tad) Boyle and my off the court decisions have to get better. I understand that. And I've learned from that. So now I just have to perform on the court."

Peters' return to the action comes at a fortuitous time for the Buffs, who will be without guard Dom Collier for the near future due to a nagging foot injury. Boyle did not speculate how long Collier would remain sidelined, but the junior guard certainly will miss Thursday's game and likely CU's final two dates in the Legends Classic next week in Brooklyn.

A starter for all but one game last year, Collier made an impression in the opener last week against Sacramento State as a possible key ingredient off the bench, connecting on four 3-pointers and leading the Buffs with 12 points. His absence provides a rotation spot for Peters to slide into.

"Obviously Dom being out opens up some minutes there for Bryce and-or Deleon (Brown)," Boyle said. "We're going to play Bryce. What's done is done. Hopefully it was an opportunity for him to learn and grow. Hopefully he has.

"I don't worry about Bryce Peters on the court. I'm excited for him to get his first minutes as a college player (Thursday) night. I'm concerned for Bryce Peters off the court, taking care of what he needs to take care of and acting like he needs to act. There's some changes that he has to make when it comes to that. And he understands that. Now, is he going to do it? Time will tell. I hope he does, because he has a chance to be a terrific, terrific player."

Compounding Peters' frustration was that two of his freshman classmates, Brown and Lucas Siewert, enjoyed memorable CU debuts against Sacramento State. Both players connected on their first career 3-point attempt, with Brown going 3-for-4 for nine points in 15 minutes and Siewert going 3-for-3 from long range before finishing with nine points and five rebounds.

A 6-foot-4 guard, Peters was ranked as the No. 17 recruit out of California last year by ESPN100, and he once went a perfect 19-for-19 at the free throw line in a high school game.

"Honestly, I'm not even focused on offense for (Thursday) night. It's defense," Peters said. "I said the first week I got here, defense is what I focus on. If you can bring energy on defense, than defense will take care of offense."

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