Colorado is coming off a lost week, suffering itsfirst defeat of the season and also losing its most experienced big man in seniorTory Miller-Stewart to a broken foot. So now, as they try to regroup, theBuffaloes host New Mexico in a Wednesday night non-conference contest.
Riding a 6-0 start, Colorado traveled to FortCollins on Saturday and spotted rival Colorado State a 17-point lead beforefalling 72-63 as a late rally fizzled. One of the key detriments for theBuffaloes was a 46-32 rebounding disadvantage after they entered the contestwith an average margin of plus-9.5 on the glass. That further highlighted the absenceof the 6-9, 250-pound Miller-Stewart who suffered the foot fracture two daysprior in practice. “I don’t worry about this spiraling into the next game,” Coloradocoach Tad Boyle told reporters earlier this week. “… This team has too muchfight, toughness and character to allow that to happen.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT NEW MEXICO (3-5): Wednesday’s game will bethe final road non-conference contest of the season for the Lobos, who are 0-4so far away from Albuquerque. Sam Longwood, a 6-8 swingman, is pacing the squadin scoring (16.5 points per game) and rebounding (5.4) while shooting 83.0percent (39-of-47) from the free-throw line. Guards Chris McNeal (15.6 points)and Anthony Mathis (10.6) also are averaging double figures for New Mexico,which ranks sixth nationally in forcing 20.4 turnovers a game but is beingoutrebounded by an average of four boards per contest.
ABOUT COLORADO (6-1): Freshman point guardMcKinley Wright IV has been quite a find for Boyle and is averaging a team-best16.1 points and 4.1 assists to go along with 4.9 rebounds and a 53.1 shootingpercentage from the field. Senior swingman George King is averaging 15.0 pointsand a team-most 8.6 rebounds while guard Namon Wright, a transfer fromMissouri, is contributing 11.6 points. In the paint, 6-10 sophomore LucasSiewert (5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds) and 7-foot freshman Dallas Walton (3.0, 2.0)will be counted on to step in for Miller-Stewart (6.2, 4.7), who was shooting ateam-best 66.7 percent from the field.
1. Colorado holds a 7-6 edge in the seriesbetween the border foes, but the teams haven’t played since an 89-76 New Mexicowin in Las Vegas in 2010.
2. Wright IV, the MVP of the Buffaloes’ ParadiseJam championship run in November, has scored in double figures in every game asa collegian and also leads the team with eight steals and six blocked shots.
3. Colorado is 3-0 at home this season and has won 34of its last 39 in Boulder.
PREDICTION: Colorado 80, New Mexico 71