If an encouraging weather forecast and a critical home game for the Colorado Buffaloes football team aren’t enough to create a palpable buzz on campus Saturday, CU fans also can get their first glimpse of what is expected to be a standout Buffaloes men’s basketball team as well.
Coach Tad Boyle’s club will host an open scrimmage at the Coors Events Center Saturday afternoon ahead of Saturday evening’s football game against Arizona State.
The doors to the Coors Events Center will open at 2 p.m. The Buffs will hold a 45-minute practice session followed by a scrimmage with NCAA officials regulating the action. Admission is free.
“It gives our fans a chance to get a sneak peak,” Boyle said. “We didn’t know what time the football game was going to be, but when they set that we wanted people to be able to come and watch a little hoops, then go tailgate.
“There are a lot of people as I go around town saying they’re excited about basketball. Well, here’s an opportunity to come watch the new guys. Probably the only time they’ll get to see a guy like (transfer) Namon Wright, who’ll be sitting out this year. They can see the freshmen and see what kind of summers the upperclassmen have had.”
The Buffs held a scrimmage this past Saturday with officials on the floor. Including the two closed scrimmages still upcoming this preseason, the Buffs will have at least four opportunities to compete in front of officials with live whistles.
“We did that last Saturday as well,” Boyle said. “They can see what’s an illegal screen and what’s not. What’s a hand check and what’s not.”
The Wright move
Speaking of Wright, a transfer from Missouri, the 6-foot-5 wing player reports his transition into the CU program is going smoothly.
“It’s been great. All the guys are very good dudes and it’s a good fit for me,” Wright said. “Team chemistry is important.”
Wright averaged 9.6 points and a team-best 5.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year at Missouri, but after leaving the native of Los Angeles hoped to land at a place where he could play more frequently in front of family and friends.
Like Derrick White last year and Josh Fortune the year before, Wright will provide a starting-caliber player for the Buffs to compete against at practice. His role will become more crucial when the games begin and Wright often takes on the role as the upcoming opponent’s lead player during on-court game-planning.
“He’s legit,” Boyle said. “You can’t just fall asleep on him and get away with it. That helps certainly as the season goes along. When we start getting scouting reports he’s playing the guy on the other team we have to stop. Derrick was great at that last year. We’re going to need (Wright) to do that this year.”
Senior forward Wes Gordon missed practice Tuesday due to an ankle injury, but the setback is considered minor and is not expected to keep Gordon sidelined long…Gordon will be the CU player representative next week at the Pac-12 Conference media day in San Francisco.