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Buffs do glass work – The Denver Post

Collectively, Colorado has generally enjoyed an advantage on the boards.

And yet, individually, CU men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle believes there’s still a lot to be done.

As the Buffs continue to work through final exams while preparing for Thursday’s home date against North Alabama (6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network), the bouncing question the team faced at the start of the season has maybe found an answer.

Despite losing Pac-12 leading rebounder Jabari Walker in addition to the Buffs’ second rebounder Evan Battey, CU acquitted themselves well on the glass in the first 10 games of the season. The Buffs (5-5) have outshot the opposition in seven of those games, and they start the week ranked fourth in the Pac-12 with an average plus-5.4 rebound margin.

In two of the three games in which CU were passed, the deficit was only one rebound.

The junior college transfer J’Vonne Hadley gave the Buffs a big boost on the glass, averaging 7.5 per game. Improved rebounding totals from KJ Simpson and Lawson Lovering have kept CU competitive on the boards, and Boyle is still trying to capitalize on the higher rebounding ceilings of starters like Tristan da Silva and Nique Clifford.

The 6-foot-9 Da Silva is averaging 4.0 rebounds per game and averaging 4.8 over the last five games since a November streak with just five total rebounds in three games. Clifford averaged 4.6 rebounds last year but has only had 3.8 so far this season.

“I would watch guys like Tristan and Nique,” Boyle said. “I think J’Vonne Hadley has been our most consistent rebounder. Lawson, Tristan, Nique and even Luke (O’Brien), who is very active on the offensive glass, I want our guys to be selfish defensive rebounders and selfish offensive rebounders. This is one area where they can really differentiate themselves.

“That’s where I feel (good) about a guy like J’Vonne Hadley. I feel like I have to have it on the floor. He competes. He plays hard. He doesn’t chase his punches. He’s not looking to score. I’m just looking to play to help win games. I would say at this point I’m relatively happy with our rebound. I think our defense still needs to improve, be more consistent. We are progressing. We are close in both areas.

shelved

Boyle confirmed what may have become obvious by saying freshmen RJ Smith and Joe Hurlburt likely won’t see any playing time in order to redshirt and preserve the eligibility season.

“I don’t want to say there isn’t a scenario (that they would play in), but the probability is not very good,” Boyle said. “We told them about redshirting. That’s the plan.”

Boyle also said freshman rookie Harrison Carrington is also tagged for a redshirt, similar to the approach the Buffs took last season with Amondo Miller. Miller, of Valor Christian, made his playing debut for the Buffs in the waning moments of Colorado State’s rout last week.

Notable

In the latest AP Top 25 released on Monday, Arizona moved up one spot to No. 9 after its impressive win over Indiana. UCLA moved up three spots to No. 16. Arizona State was unofficially ranked No. 30 as the fifth team among others to receive votes, while Utah received 12 points when voting…Thursday marks CU’s opener against North Alabama…CU ranks seventh in overall defensive field goal percentage (.414) and sixth in defensive 3-point percentage (.312).

denverpost sports

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