Rivalry battle on deck as CU Buffs men’s basketball ready to host CSU

Sunday’s victory against Wofford probably won’t be remembered as the most dominant or picturesque win the Colorado men’s basketball team picks up this season, but it allows the Buffaloes to turn the page and set their sights on a matchup that always looms large on the schedule.

The Colorado State Rams are coming to town.

The state rivals will meet for the 127th time on Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center, and as usual CU head coach Tad Boyle expects it to be a bitterly contested showdown.

“I’m always talking about defense and rebounding, but rebounding is the key against those guys because they’re so well-schooled and well-coached in terms of going to the glass offensively,” Boyle said. “We’re going to have to box out, and then we have to exert our will on the offensive glass.

“It’s going to be a bloodbath inside. They play physical and they rebound the ball extremely well, so we’re going to have to be ready for that.”

CU outrebounded the Rams 42-36 in a win last year in Fort Collins.

Miller ailing

The Buffs played without reserve forward Tory Miller on Sunday, and Boyle remained uncertain if Miller will be able to return against CSU on Wednesday.

Miller rolled an ankle late in last week’s win against Texas in Brooklyn. Miller averaged 5.8 points and five rebounds off the bench through the first five games, and Boyle noted that Miller’s energetic style was a glaring absence during what was generally a listless first half against Wofford.

King denied

Boyle invoked the phrase “the light bulb has maybe gone on” last week in regards to George King after the fourth-year junior posted a career-best 13 rebounds in consecutive games against Notre Dame and Texas.

On Sunday that light was off, as King followed up that impressive showing on the glass by going without a rebound in 26 minutes against Wofford. King was able to do his part scoring-wise as the Buffs pulled away in the second half, going 4-for-4 and scoring 10 second-half points after a scoreless first half, but a return to form on the glass will be critical in the upcoming match against CSU.

“He’s better than having zero. That’s not very good,” Boyle said. “He’s not going to have 13 every night. We know that. We’ll look at the numbers for offensive effort, we won’t know that until we grade the film. But sometimes the numbers speak for themselves. A zero is a zero, I don’t care how you look at it. Again, room for improvement.”

Until Sunday, King had posted at least six rebounds in four of CU’s five games.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07