CU men’s basketball preview: New Mexico
MATCHUP: New Mexico Lobos (3-5) at Colorado Buffaloes (6-1).
GAME TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m., Coors Events Center.
BROADCAST: TV — Pac-12 Network. Radio — 94.1 FM and 850 AM.
COACHES: New Mexico — Paul Weir, 1st season (3-5, 31-11 overall); Colorado — Tad Boyle, 8th season (155-96, 211-162 overall).
LEADERS: New Mexico — Scoring: G/F Sam Logwood, Sr., 16.5 ppg; Rebounding: Logwood, 5.4 rpg; Assists: G Chris McNeal, Jr., and G Antino Jackson, Sr., 3.5 apg. Colorado — Scoring: G McKinley Wright, Fr., 16.1 ppg; Rebounding: G George King, Sr., 8.6 rpg; Assists: Wright, 4.1 apg.
NOTES: Boyle hopes to get more out of sophomore Lucas Siewert, whose comeback from an ankle injury was shortened to just six minutes Saturday at CSU. “He’s still not quite 100 percent, but he’s getting there,” Boyle said…King needs 15 points to become the 34th CU player to score 1,000 in his career…The Lobos are averaging 86 points per game…This is the programs’ first meeting since a New Mexico win in 2010. The Lobos lead the series 7-6…CU will return the trip to New Mexico next season…Weir led New Mexico State to a 28-6 record last year and the tournament championship in the WAC. He is the first coach to lead New Mexico and New Mexico State…A tough week continues for CU Saturday with a visit to No. 13 Xavier.
For now, Tad Boyle is putting those Tyler Bey-Andre Roberson comparisons on the backburner.
Throughout much of the preseason, the leader of the Colorado men’s basketball team lauded the rebounding potential of Bey, on several occasions comparing the freshman’s quick-leaping ability in the paint to that of Roberson, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward who posted CU’s top two individual rebounding seasons for Boyle in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
It’s not that Boyle has lost faith in Bey, who is coming off the best rebounding effort of his young career. But with the Buffaloes looking to shake off a disastrous outing on the boards in a loss at Colorado State, CU’s coach simply wants to see Bey inch closer to putting his potential into practice before resuming comparisons with the one of the top rebounders in the program’s history.
With senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart sidelined for the rest of the season due to a broken foot, and sophomore forward Lucas Siewert still less than 100 percent due to an ankle injury, Bey’s continued improvement on the glass will be a critical component going forward, beginning with a Wednesday night home date against New Mexico.
“Those (comparisons) are over,” Boyle said. “Andre Roberson and Tyler Bey, they don’t belong in the same sentence yet. I thought maybe early that they could, but until Tyler really starts exerting himself on the offensive glass, I’m not even going to mention those two in the same sentence anymore.”
While the Buffs were outrebounded 46-32 at CSU, Boyle noted how the Buffs’ starters at the three through five spots — George King, Namon Wright, and Dallas Walton — combined for just nine rebounds, with seven of those recorded by King. Though neither King nor Wright fit the definition of a traditional four-spot player, Wright averaged a team-leading 5.2 rebounds during his final season at Missouri. The junior guard was shut out on the glass at CSU and has not grabbed five rebounds in a game through his first seven contests with the Buffs.
“We had some really sub-par rebounding efforts, certainly as a team but also individually against CSU. I’m going to have to address those with playing time,” Boyle said. “I’m going to have to do a better job of that maybe in the game, but I’m going to address it from game to game. I thought we guarded pretty well up there, but we obviously didn’t rebound the ball and we have to do a better job of that.
“When we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do, I have to make changes. That’s the beauty of having a team with depth.”
As for Bey, he provided a season-high six rebounds while playing a season-most 22 minutes at CSU. At 6-foot-7 and just 206 pounds, Bey is being challenged with guarding much bigger forwards in the paint — a challenge that will continue to be more commonplace with Miller-Stewart sidelined.
Bey has shot the ball reasonably well from the floor (9-for-22) and has been outstanding at the free throw line (12-for-13), but the rookie also has committed 13 turnovers.
“I feel like I need to step up a little bit. Tory’s out so I have a big part on my shoulders,” Bey said. “Rebounding is something I actually love doing. I know Tory wants us to step up as a team and do what we have to do and execute on both ends. I feel like I could’ve done better (at CSU). Six rebounds is good, but I feel like I could’ve gotten 10, maybe more.”