Colorado-Kansas Preview

Kansas has gotten plenty of time to recover from a hard-fought

game, and it might need that rest for a potentially difficult

December.

That begins Saturday for the No. 9 Jayhawks with a visit from

former conference rival Colorado, a team that was ranked last

week.

Kansas (6-1) hasn’t played since pulling out an 84-78 win over

Oregon State on Nov. 30 in Kansas City. The final margin was

surprisingly uncomfortable considering the Jayhawks shot a

season-high 60.0 percent and limited the Beavers to 40.6

percent.

“You’re always happy you can get a win but we’re not satisfied

because we know as a team that we should be playing a lot better

than we are right now,” guard Travis Releford said.

Kansas might need to get better with matchups against Colorado

(7-1), Richmond (7-2) and Belmont (6-2) on the horizon. The

Jayhawks will also visit No. 7 Ohio State on Dec. 22 and face a

Temple team that has started 6-0 on Jan. 6.

First comes a visit from the Buffaloes, who will be motivated to

end a 20-game losing streak in the series. Kansas has also won 47

of 48 meetings and 29 in a row at Allen Fieldhouse. Before leaving

for the Pac-12 after the 2010-11 season, Colorado was 1-31 in Big

12 play against the Jayhawks.

“It’s exciting to have this game,” Releford said. “Our fans are

going to be looking forward to it and getting after them just as

much as we are.”

After back-to-back 24-win seasons under former Kansas guard Tad

Boyle, the Buffaloes prevailed in their first six games for the

first time since 1989-90 before losing 76-69 at Wyoming last

Saturday.

That caused them to fall out of the rankings from No. 19, but

they bounced back with a 70-61 win over Colorado State on Wednesday

as Spencer Dinwiddie scored a career-high 29 points, getting at

least 24 for the third straight game. Andre Roberson recorded his

fourth consecutive double-double with 15 points and a season

high-tying 14 rebounds.

Roberson and Shane Harris-Tunks are the only Colorado regulars

to have played at Kansas. The Buffaloes, who have one senior and

nine underclassmen on their roster, were blown out 89-63 by the

nation’s No. 1 team in their most recent visit Feb. 19, 2011.

“It’s going to make Wyoming look like a cakewalk in terms of the

atmosphere, the number of people and the decibel level. We’re going

to have to grow up,” Boyle told Colorado’s official website.

“Kansas is top 10 and they’re a good basketball team, a good

program. It’s a big opportunity.”

Boyle is 0-3 as a head coach against his alma mater, which

carries a 25-game win streak at Allen Fieldhouse into this matchup

and has registered 10 consecutive victories against Pac-12

opponents.

Releford will try to help extend those runs while adding to his

recent stellar play.

The senior is averaging 18.3 points on 72.2 percent shooting

over his last four games. He totaled 19 points and missed 17 of 23

shots – including all 11 from 3-point range – in his first three

contests this season.

He’s also been a strong presence on the defensive end, where

teammate Jeff Withey is causing major problems for opponents. The

Kansas 7-footer leads the nation with 5.7 blocked shots per game

while committing only six fouls all season.