CU men's basketball preview: Omaha Mavericks
TIPOFF: Friday, 7 p.m., CU Events Center.
BROADCAST: Radio — 850 AM; TV — Pac-12 Network.
RECORDS: Omaha 1-2; CU 1-0.
COACHES: Omaha — Derrin Hansen, 14th season (207-190 overall and at Omaha); CU — Tad Boyle, 9th season (167-110, 223-176 overall).
KEY PLAYERS: Omaha — G Zach Jackson, Sr., 20.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg; F Mitch Hahn, Sr., 11.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg; F Matt Pile, So., 10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg. Colorado (2017-18 stats) — G McKinley Wright, So., 14.2 ppg, 4.7 apg; F Tyler Bey, So., 6.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, G Namon Wright, Sr., 9.7 ppg, 3.5 ppg.
NOTES: This will be CU's last home game until a Nov. 28 date against Portland...Junior forward Lucas Siewert quietly put together a strong game in the Buffs' opening win against Drake. Siewert went 4-for-4 overall and 2-for-2 on 3-pointers, finishing with 11 points and three rebounds in 23 minutes...CU defeated Omaha 87-82 at home three years ago in the teams' only previous meeting. While Namon Wright was on the bench at the beginning of a redshirt season, no current Buffs played in that game...Omaha opened the season with a 104-76 loss at Minnesota before defeating Buena Vista. The Mavericks are coming off a home loss against Northern Arizona Wednesday...Omaha's Jackson became the program's 39th 1,000-point scorer during the opener against Minnesota.
Daylen Kountz quietly went about his business Tuesday for the Colorado men's basketball team.
If he keeps producing at the clip he put together in his victorious Buffaloes debut against Drake, Kountz will be just fine with thriving outside the limelight. Kountz, along with fellow freshman Eli Parquet, turned in solid opening acts for the Buffs in a 100-71 season-opening win, and it's a performance both players look to build upon when CU's season continues Friday night against Omaha at the CU Events Center.
"I thought they both, for their first college games, did a good job," head coach Tad Boyle said. "The one thing we know Eli can do is really guard well. And I thought he did at times. Daylen we know is really good in the open floor. One of the things I've talked about with my team is that outside McKinley (Wright), we don't have guys that are making a lot of plays for other players. And Daylen had four assists and one turnover. We'll take that every night.
"He's really good in the open floor. He's good at attacking the basket. I want our guys to play with confidence and shoot the ball with confidence when they're open. And I thought he did that too."
Kountz came off the bench to go 3-for-4 with nine points, four assists, three rebounds and only one turnover in 18-plus minutes. Parquet went 2-for-4 with five points, three rebounds and two turnovers in 16-plus minutes, with the two freshmen going a combined 2-for-3 on 3-pointers.
For Kountz, it was the most impressive debut for a homegrown Buff since Josh Scott went 10-for-11 at the free throw line with 14 points and six rebounds in his first CU game six years ago.
"It felt good finally being able to play my first college game," Kountz said. "I was excited. It was a good debut. I'm just adjusting, just playing my game which is making simple plays. Because simple plays lead to big plays. I'm a little more relaxed now after that."
Given the Buffs played without two regulars, guards D'Shawn Schwartz and Deleon Brown, in a lopsided game that saw Boyle substitute freely down the stretch, it is ill-advised to project the roles Kountz and Parquet ultimately will play as the season unfolds based on the opener. Schwartz and Brown will be back in the rotation Friday night, which likely will squeeze the minutes for the two freshmen guards, particularly in a closer game.
Still, Boyle expects Kountz and Parquet to push for playing time as the Buffs dive deeper into the season.
"That will be a work in progress," Boyle said. "We'll have Del and D'Shawn available this game. Again, you have to make your time on the floor count. And really, make practice time count. Because now practices become more an indicator of who plays and who doesn't. When you've got everyone playing well, this can be a really deep team."