Next season's schedule for the Colorado men's basketball team will feature an even greater in-state focus than usual.
While specific dates and tipoff times will not be finalized for several months, the Buffaloes' nonconference schedule for the 2017-18 season is rounding into shape. Highlighting a few new faces will be a long-awaited renewal of the local rivalry with the University of Denver, with the Pioneers set to visit Boulder in the programs' first showdown in 10 years.
The Pioneers are coached by Rodney Billups, who spent four seasons on the staff of CU coach Tad Boyle before taking the job a year ago at DU, Billups' alma mater. Additionally, the game will feature a return to the Coors Events Center for former CU head coach Ricardo Patton, now an assistant on Billups' staff. The Pioneers finished 16-14 in Billups' first season.
The Buffs also will renew their rivalry with Northern Colorado in Boulder and host Air Force in the third game of a four-year agreement with the Falcons.
CU visits Colorado State as well in the final game currently under contract for the state's premier college basketball rivalry, though CU coach Tad Boyle has previously expressed confidence the series will remain ongoing.
Much of the remainder of CU's schedule has previously been reported. The Buffs will begin a home-and-home series with New Mexico, starting with a date at home. CU hosts Portland in finale of a three-year, two-for-one agreement with the Pilots. The Buffs also will visit Xavier in the completion of a home-and-home series that began with a CU home win in December.
Finally, CU will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands in November, playing three games against a field that includes Wake Forest, Houston, Quinnipiac, Drake, Drexel, Liberty, and Mercer.
Roster updates pending
Boyle said he has completed his year-end meetings with each of his players, indicating there might be at least a couple players considering the option of transferring out of CU. Boyle said any announcement on that front could arrive early next week, after those players use this week's spring break to consult with their families.
"It's still up in the air with a couple of them," Boyle said. "If there's any movement on our roster, I would expect to have an announcement on that probably some time early next week."
Boyle traveled to Phoenix on Wednesday in preparation for his coaching assignment on the Final Four floor Friday night leading the West squad in the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star game.
"I'll be a lot busier than I normally am, but that can be a good thing," Boyle said. "You get a chance to go on the Final Floor floor, going with and against good players. I'm looking forward to it."
The all-star game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network Friday afternoon at 4:30 MDT.