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Another schedule shuffle: CU men’s basketball date with Oregon State postponed

OSU pausing program activities less than 24 hours after playing Stanford

Colorado's Evan Battey rebounds in front ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Colorado’s Evan Battey rebounds in front of Oregon State’s Payton Dastrup during the game in Boulder on Jan. 5, 2020.
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For the third time in Pac-12 Conference play, the Colorado men’s basketball team is dealing with a sudden postponement.

On Tuesday, Oregon State announced it is going to pause activities due to COVID-19 concerns and protocols. The announcement arrived less than 24 hours after Oregon State lost to Stanford on Monday in a game previously scheduled for last week.

That means OSU’s games this week at Utah and at CU on Saturday have been postponed. As of Tuesday, CU’s home date against No. 17 Oregon on Thursday is still on as scheduled (9 p.m., FS1).

In early December, the Buffs had their first two scheduled Pac-12 dates — at Arizona and at home against Washington State — postponed due to coronavirus issues within the CU program that shut the Buffs down for 48 hours.

The following week, on Dec. 8, the Buffs were scheduled to face in-state rival Colorado State, but the Rams weren’t yet ready to play after dealing with their own early-season shutdown. CU originally substituted that date with Division II Colorado Mines but ultimately made a hastily-scheduled trip to nationally-ranked Tennessee instead.

Unlike that quick trip to Knoxville, CU head coach Tad Boyle said it is unlikely the Buffs will make any similarly swift arrangements this time around for a replacement nonconference game.

“I think if this were later in February, toward the end of the season, the answer would be yes, we’d try to find one,” Boyle said. “I definitely looked at all the Front Range schools’ schedule this coming week and I think Air Force would be the only one that would make sense.

“But I think right now we’ll postpone this game in the hopes of playing Oregon State again at a later date. We’re in conversation with the Pac-12 office about a couple of other options at this point. Probably not for this weekend, but maybe for early next week. We’ll see if those come to fruition. A lot of schools are involved in that sort of thing so you’ve got to see what happens. I promise our attention is on Oregon on Thursday.”

Any game added to the schedule early next week likely will have to be slated for Monday, Jan. 11, as the Buffs are scheduled to play at home on Jan. 13 against Cal. Oregon State is not scheduled to play again until Jan. 14 at home against Arizona.

For CU, the OSU postponement is just the latest scheduling hurdle in the six weeks of the college basketball season. The Buffs’ Arizona date from early December was rescheduled for early last week, with CU suffering an 88-74 loss in its Pac-12 opener. Boyle previously said the Buffs and Washington State were eyeing a late January make-up date for their postponed contest in Boulder, and though no replacement date has been announced yet, Boyle reiterated on Tuesday the plan is to play that game the week of Jan. 25, when the Buffs have just one scheduled game at home against Utah (on Jan. 30).

“We’ve got a date the week that we play Utah at home is when we’re supposed to play Washington State at home,” Boyle said. “That’s my understanding.”