Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
CU men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle believes his club gets a better learning experience in closed scrimmages than in traditional exhibition games.


SAN FRANCISCO — Many basketball programs use exhibition games as dress rehearsals for when the lights are turned on for the regular season.

Coach Tad Boyle and his Colorado Buffaloes aren’t one of them.

Per NCAA rules, teams can either host a traditional exhibition game during the preseason or hold a pair of scrimmages against other programs that are closed to fans and the media alike.

Boyle much prefers the closed scrimmages — not because he doesn’t want to give fans a glimpse of the season to come, but simply because he believes the closed scrimmages offer a better chance for his club to learn and improve. It also allows both squads to practice particular in-game situations that may not evolve naturally in a traditional preseason game.

“If a guy picks up two fouls early in a (closed) scrimmage, you play on,” Boyle said. “You use it and learn from it, but in an exhibition game you don’t get that. It allows us to play high-quality, NCAA-caliber teams to find out more about what our real weaknesses are.”

The Buffs host Boise State in their first closed scrimmage Saturday and will square off against SMU later in October. Per those same NCAA rules, Boyle will be unable to comment on the particulars of Saturday’s workout.

Pat Rooney: or