Men’s basketball team begins a new season with a win
The CU men’s basketball team beat Brock University Thursday night in its first exhibition game of the season. The Buffs defeated the Badgers 70-56 at Coors Events Center.
Jeff Bzdelik made his debut as head coach for the Buffs against Brock, a Canadian university located in St. Catharines, Ontario. Bzdelik expressed his excitement to continue working with his squad, and said he wasn’t nervous about his first game for a program with high expectations.
“I’m always geared up for a game,” Bzdelik said. “I don’t care who we play.”
The Buffs outscored the Badgers 37 to 21 in the second half after trailing Brock by two points at the half. Bzdelik said he noticed a change in the comfort level of his players following some jitters at the beginning of the game.
“Obviously we played much better in the second half,” Bzdelik said. “We were just able to get the ball to the basket more efficiently. I’m very proud of the players. They gutted out a win tonight.”
Bzdelik said he has confidence is his offense, but the team needs to continue working on its defensive play.
“We have a long way to go,” Bzdelik said. “But it’s good to get out there and play against someone else.”
Senior guard Richard Roby led the Buffs with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Roby scored all of his baskets from the paint, attempting and missing only one three-point shot.
“I think I’m going to be more effective on this team around the free-throw line,” Roby said.
Senior guard Marcus Hall played for the Buffs after having minor surgery to repair a torn ligament on his right thumb. He wore a brace during the game, but he said he probably wouldn’t need it for the next game.
The Buffs will play another exhibition match against Regis on Nov. 6 before they start the regular season against New Mexico on Nov. 9.
Hall agreed with Bzdelik about working on the defensive aspects of the game.
“We need some defensive intensity,” Hall said. “If we do that from the get go, it would maybe have been a 70-40 game.”
Hall and Roby said they felt much more comfortable toward the end of the game. Roby said he was able to settle in after scoring his first couple of buckets.
“I just never got flustered this game, which is good for me,” Roby said.
The Buffs used eight players against Brock, including freshmen guards Levi Knutson and Cory Higgins. Bzdelik said he wanted to give them some experience early in the season.
Hall said the team is committed to making adjustments and pushing to improve.
“We lost a couple of balls and we had a couple of jitters,” Hall said. “Those are things that can be fixed.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Amanda Walck at firstname.lastname@example.org