Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado head coach Tad Boyle, center, feels the Buffs’ defense needs a lot of work before the regular season begins.

Upon further review, head coach Tad Boyle witnessed many of the characteristics typical of a basketball team during the preseason.

The offense is in good shape, perhaps somewhat surprisingly so. Defensively, though, the Buffaloes still have a long way to go in order to compete in the Pac-12 Conference.

The Buffs got back to work Tuesday in the basketball team’s first organized workout since Saturday’s open scrimmage at the Coors Events Center. After reviewing the action the past few days Boyle was pleased with his team’s offensive efficiency. Yet he also couldn’t help but wonder if some of those impressive offensive numbers resulted from a somewhat lackadaisical approach on defense.

“From the first week to the second we made some strides,” Boyle said. “We had 22 assists and 12 turnovers as a team. That’s a really good ratio, a good number. We shot the ball 58 percent I think from two and 42 percent from three. We made shots. Now, that might be a testament to the defense, which is on the other side of the equation right now. But you’ve still got to make open shots when you’re open, and we did that.”

The Buffs did play their intrasquad scrimmage without the team’s top interior defender in senior Wesley Gordon, who still is working his way back from a minor ankle issue. While Boyle expressed optimism at the overall fitness level of his club, he believes the Buffs have a long way to go defensively before the Nov. 11 season-opener at home against Sacramento State.

“We went for 24 minutes, and if we would’ve gone for (40) minutes the score would have been 101-100, or 102-100. We’re not guarding anybody,” Boyle said. “Our rebounding and our defense are nowhere near where they need to be for us to be an upper-echelon team in the Pac-12.

“A lot of room for improvement. But we made some strides. Now we’ve got to get better in those two areas. Defense and rebounding are the key.”

Travel begins

Gordon and Boyle will represent the Buffaloes at the Pac-12’s basketball media days on Friday at the conference headquarters. The Buffs have used Thursday as the typical off day so far during the preseason but will use Friday as the off day while Boyle and Gordon are in San Francisco.

“We’ve got 30 days of practice in 42 days, so it allows us to take a few days off, which is nice,” Boyle said. “When we go, we go hard. But when we’re off, we’re off and hopefully getting healed and rested and ready to go.”

CU plays three home games before playing away from the Coors Events Center for the first time on Nov. 21 in a neutral-court showdown against Notre Dame in Brooklyn, N.Y. as part of the Legends Classic. Last year the Buffs opened against Iowa State in Sioux Falls, S.D., and played their second game at Auburn.


CU will host its in-house basketball media day for the men’s and women’s programs on Tuesday, Oct. 25…Single-game tickets for CU home games can be purchased at or by visiting box office inside the Champions Center. Fans also can order tickets at 303-49-BUFFS.

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