In the team’s season opener just three days earlier, junior guard Dominique Collier displayed a 3-point touch that could be one of the primary weapons off the Colorado Buffaloes’ bench this season.
Unfortunately for the Buffs, that first impression of Collier might be their last impression for a while.
On Monday Collier succumbed to a nagging foot injury that limited him through the final portion of the preseason, playing just seven minutes in the first half before watching the remainder of CU’s ugly 67-55 win against Seattle in the first game of the Legends Classic at the Coors Events Center.
“Some days are good, some days are bad,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “Friday night he was terrific, but Saturday he was really hurting. Sunday he was better and today he wasn’t himself in the first half. Coach (Mike) Rohn asked him how he was feeling and he said, ‘I just don’t know if I can go.’ He’s in a lot of pain.”
Collier knocked down four 3-pointers in the opening win against Sacramento State and finished as the team’s leading scorer with 12 points, but Boyle hinted the latest setback might keep the junior guard on the bench for an extended period.
The Buffs continue the Legends Classic at home Thursday against Louisiana-Monroe before traveling to Brooklyn to complete the tournament with games against Notre Dame and either Texas or Northwestern.
“I’ve got to talk to Dom, I’ve got to talk to our trainer about what’s the best thing long-term,” Boyle said. “Sometimes you hurt it more by trying to fight through it. We’ve got to get it healthy and healed. If we’ve got to shut him down, we’ll shut him down.
“I just want him healthy, and he’s not. And it’s apparent by the way he’s practicing. We need him. We need Dom Collier to be effective for us this year.”
Perhaps no player in CU history has been knocking on the door of the career 1,000-point club longer than Xavier Johnson.
The senior forward became the 33rd member of that prestigious group early in Monday’s contest, connecting on a short fadeaway from the post to reach 1,001 career points. Johnson finished his junior season in 2015 with 990 points. After tearing his Achilles tendon that summer, Johnson had to wait until Monday to finally surpass the 1,000-point threshold.
“It’s a blessing I guess. It’s a blessing to be able play the game again coming off the Achilles tear,” Johnson said. “I’m just happy I can score the basketball, I guess.”
With 13 points Monday, Johnson increased his career total to 1,009 points. Next up on CU’s all-time scoring list are Andre Roberson (1,012) and Chauncey Billups (1,020).
Senior Wesley Gordon grabbed 14 rebounds and became the 11th CU player to reach the 700-rebound plateau in his career. Gordon now has 705 rebounds and needs just five more to jump from 11th to ninth among CU’s all-time leaders…Freshman guard Bryce Peters completed his two-game suspension for a violation and team rules and will be eligible to play Thursday when the Buffs host Louisiana-Monroe.