CU men's basketball preveiw: Quinnipiac
MATCHUP: Colorado Buffaloes (2-0) vs. Quinnipiac Bobcats (1-1).
GAMETIME: Friday, 4 p.m. MST, Vines Center, Lynchburg, Va.
BROADCAST: Radio — 760 AM; TV — Subscription-based live stream available at FloHoops.com.
COACHES: Colorado — Tad Boyle, 8th season (151-95, 207-161 overall); Quinnipiac — Baker Dunleavy, 1st season (1-1 at Quinnipiac and overall).
LEADERS: Colorado — Scoring: G George King, Sr., 11.5 ppg; Rebounding: King 8.0 rpg; Assists: G McKinley Wright, Fr., 2.5 apg. Quinnipiac — Scoring: F Chaise Daniels, Sr.., 19.5 ppg; Rebounding: G Cameron Young, Sr., 7.5 rpg; Assists: G Rich Kelly, Fr., 8.5 apg.
NOTES: CU plays either Wake Forest or Drake on the second day of the Paradise Jam Saturday. If the Buffs defeat Quinnipiac the Saturday game will be at 6:30 MST, if they lose it will be 12:30 p.m. MST...The remainder of the tournament field includes host Liberty, Mercer, Drexel, and Houston...CU has never played Quinnipiac...The Buffs have held their first two opponents to a .214 mark on 3-pointers (12-for-56)...Following the tournament the Buffs will be off until a Nov. 26 home date against Air Force.
For the first time since its inception in 2000, the Paradise Jam basketball tournament won't feature the typical perks of sunny skies and brilliant beaches.
And for at least one of the Colorado Buffaloes, that's just fine.
There was one player who wasn't quietly disappointed when organizers were forced to relocate the Paradise Jam from its usual home in the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., due to hurricane damage. Buffs senior George King has family roots in both Virginia and North Carolina, and CU's three games in three days will give a number of King's family members their first opportunity to watch him play in person.
"I've got North Carolina and Virginia coming and I got a lot of tickets sold. It's going to be real exciting," King said. "I don't think I've ever seen my grandma from my mom's side and my grandma from my dad's side together. It should be fun. A lot of family members.
"The whole Virginia side has never seen me play. Ever. This might be the highlight of their year, because it's real slow out there. It's a real country town. It's going to be a lot of fun for me and a lot of fun for them as well. Hopefully I'm not the only person who's happy we're going there, but I'm probably the most excited person to be going to Virginia. It worked out great for me."
King spent his early childhood growing up in Fayetteville, N.C., before moving to San Antonio with his mother. At first he often visited his family back east, but as his basketball career took hold during high school those visits grew more infrequent.
King's extended family will get a good look at a player who remains CU's leading scorer (11.5) and rebounder (8.0) despite playing just an average of 21.5 minutes through the Buffs' 2-0 start. Part of the truncated minutes was due to two early fouls during Tuesday's win against Denver, in addition to Tad Boyle's desire to get an early look at a cast of players that includes four true freshmen plus redshirt freshman Dallas Walton.
The original schedule for the Paradise Jam included one off-day, but in this weekend's format the Buffs will play three games in three days, beginning Friday against Quinnipiac. Boyle is confident King's playing time will increase as the schedule unfolds. He has been the Buffs leading rebounder in both games so far while doing most of his scoring damage inside, taking advantage of smaller defenders to produce a 9-for-15 mark from the floor.
His extended family won't see it happen this weekend, but the senior guard is starting to close in on a few career milestones. King surpassed the 900-point mark against DU and needs 97 points to become the 34th member of CU's 1,000-point club. He needs to make six 3-pointers to join the top 10 leaders in program history — one club King very well could join before the Paradise Jam concludes.
"I'm really proud of George. George has not played maybe not as many minutes as he wants to or expects to as a senior, but that will come," Boyle said. "Right now, I'm asking our guys to be unselfish when it comes to minutes. The thing I love about George and I love about Tory (Miller-Stewart) and I love about Dom (Collier) is they're about the team, they're not about themselves. That's refreshing as a coach. It's important the young guys see that and understand that and learn from that."