Friday will mark the two-week warning for the Colorado men's basketball season opener against Northern Colorado. With the 2017-18 tipoff closing in, the Buffaloes are preparing to compete in a series of dress rehearsals.
That run begins Saturday, as the Buffaloes will go through a black-and-gold intrasquad scrimmage ahead of the home football game against Cal, which kicks off at noon. The doors to the Coors Events Center will open at 9:30 a.m. and admission is free.
On Monday the Buffs will host Colorado Mines in an exhibition match, and on Saturday Nov. 4 CU will host its final preseason tune-up with a closed scrimmage against SMU.
"The black-and-gold will be more about us and what we're doing and what we're trying to execute, both offensively and defensively," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "Mines will be Mines. And then the closed scrimmage will be another great test for us and a team we've practiced against many times over the past few years. Very talented.
"Our weaknesses will be exposed, and hopefully we can shore those up as quickly as we can by November 10th."
The exhibition against Mines will provide a reasonable test for the young Buffs beyond the preseason fodder that typically is trotted out for exhibition games. The Orediggers won the regular season title in the Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference last year in addition to the league tournament. Mines was picked second in the RMAC's preseason poll.
"I have tremendous respect for (Mines coach) Pryor Orser and the job that he has done there," Boyle said. "That wasn't a game that was just pulled out of the sky. There was some thought that went into that. We wanted to play a team that is going to give us a test. They may not have the athleticism and the size and the length that we're going to face down the road, but they're very well-coached, they execute well, and our guys will learn from that. That's what we want. We want that opportunity to learn and get better and be tested."
Tickets for the Mines exhibition are $10 for reserved seating and $5 for general admission.
Boyle reiterated his youthful Buffs team will remain a work in progress even after the regular season begins. Yet he is encouraged with the progress the club has made now that the calendar has reached the fourth week of preseason workouts.
"The key for this team is to continue to get better and learn from our mistakes," Boyle said. "What I like about our team right now is if I blow the whistle and ask them what mistake was just made, they know it now. Two weeks ago they may have had no idea what mistake they made. So that's progress. They're recognizing mistakes they're making. Now, they have to learn from it, move on from it, and not make the same mistakes the next day. That's what will allow us to grow as a team."
Decisions on any potential redshirts for the 2017-18 season are expected to be announced by the end of the week...Despite an off-night in a loss against Minnesota, former CU star Alec Burks is off to a hot start with the Utah Jazz, going 10-for-17 through the season's first three games with a 3-for-4 mark on 3-pointers.