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Game day notes: No. 21 CU Buffs taking care of business on the glass

Daylen Kountz still trying to get on track

Colorado sophomore Daylen Kountz has struggled to find the mark through four games for the No. 21-ranked Buffs.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Colorado sophomore Daylen Kountz has struggled to find the mark through four games for the No. 21-ranked Buffs.
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LAS VEGAS — Throughout a coaching tenure now in its 10th season, Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle hasn’t wavered from his program tenets of defense and rebounding.

Anyone who has watched the 21st-ranked Buffaloes through their 4-0 start knows CU has set an impressive pace on defense. Yet the Buffs also have been taking care of business on the glass.

Going into Tuesday night’s finale of the MGM Resorts Main Event against Clemson (9:30 p.m. MT, ESPN2), the Buffs had outrebounded three of its four foes so far while attacking the offensive glass efficiently enough to produce substantial advantages on second-chance points.

“One of the things we talked about at halftime (against Wyoming) was we missed 20 shots in the first half and we had three offensive rebounds. That’s not good enough,” said Boyle, whose club grabbed 10 offensive boards after the break despite shooting 50 percent. “If you’re not scoring, you’d better get some off the glass. We know Evan and Tyler are capable of doing that. And they both did a good job. We had 10 offensive rebounds in the second half. Much better effort.”

CU outrebounded Wyoming on Sunday night 42-15, with Tyler Bey (career-best 19 rebounds) and Evan Battey (13) doing the bulk of that damage. The Buffs also grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, six of them from Battey, to post an 11-2 advantage over the Cowboys on second-chance points. Of CU’s 15 misses in the second half, 10 ended with offensive rebounds.

Other than the win against San Diego, which featured an even 9-9 mark on second-chance points, the Buffs have owned the advantage in that category in every game. Even in the UC Irvine win, when the Anteaters outrebounded the Buffs 41-32, CU was able to turn nine offensive rebounds into an 11-8 edge on second-chance points.

The Buffs should have an advantage on the glass against Clemson. The Tigers rallied late to defeat TCU in Las Vegas Sunday night despite getting outrebounded 40-29. TCU also posted a 13-6 advantage on second-chance points. Clemson essentially has been even on the glass against its opposition, with 6-foot-8 junior Aamir Simms leading the Tigers at 9.2 rebounds per game. Clemson has a big drop-off after Simms, with guard Tevin Mack ranking as the team’s second-leading rebounder at 4.8 per game.

The Buffs feature three players averaging more rebounds than Mack in Bey (12.0), Battey (7.3), and Lucas Siewert (5.5), with guard McKinley Wright just behind at 4.0 per game.

Slow going

The Buffs still are trying to get sophomore guard Daylen Kountz on track. It was a rough night shooting-wise for the Buffs all-around on Sunday against Wyoming, with Kountz finishing with a 1-for-6 mark. Kountz has started all four games but has scored just 14 points overall, and he takes a 4-for-23 mark into the matchup against Clemson.

Notable

Mack has traveled a winding path during his collegiate career. He played 48 games in two seasons at Texas before transferring to Alabama, where he average 9.0 points last year. After a coaching change at Alabama, Mack moved to Clemson as a graduate transfer…Tuesday’s matchup will be the first ever between CU and Clemson, and the Tigers’ late rally against TCU on Sunday — they scored the final 15 points of regulation before winning in overtime — avoided setting up matchups for CU against TCU for three consecutive seasons. The Buffs and TCU will square off next year in Las Vegas in the inaugural Pac-12 Coast to Coast Challenge and will meet again in Dallas in 2021…The Clemson game will be the Buffs’ first against an ACC foe since a loss against Notre Dame at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn three years ago.

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