It’s no secret that Colorado basketball has struggled to find its rhythm this year, and its biggest weakness easily comes on the road. Of the 19 games the Buffaloes have played so far, they have won exactly one game that didn’t take place on their home floor, and that was on a neutral court during the Diamond Head Classic Tournament in Hawai’i.
It’s safe to say the Buffaloes need a win at USC more than anything right now.
Not only would a win on Thursday end the goose egg streak, but it would give the team the boost of confidence it definitely needs right now. At a 10-9 record for the season and one of their best players benched with an injury indefinitely, the Buffs need a little good news.
USC might just be their best chance to finally get that road win they’ve waited so long for. Granted, the 9-10 record the Trojans hold isn’t much worse than CU’s current record, but almost all of their victories occurred during a fairly easy non-conference schedule.
Not to mention the Buffs absolutely demolished USC in their previous meeting at the Coors Events Center back on Jan. 4. The final score read 86-65, and the statistics certainly backed up Colorado’s offensive and defensive success.
While offense hasn’t been CU’s strong suit for a good chunk of their games lately, they were on top of their game that night. The Buffs ended the night shooting 55.2 percent and shot uncharacteristically well from the three-point range at 46.7 percent.
The Trojans, on the other hand, weren’t so lucky. They only managed 43.8 percent from the field while making just 20 percent of their three-point attempts. But don’t count the Trojans out just yet. They were much better than the team we watched go down 20-2 right out of the gate at the Keg last season.
They have more tricks up their sleeve this year with a matured sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic, who averages 12.9 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin (12.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg), and sophomore guard Katin Reinhardt (10.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg). And, even though he only averages 8.0 ppg, sophomore guard Julian Jacobs can pose a serious threat to this season’s Buffalo defense if he turns on his game.
If senior guard Askia Booker, sophomore forward Wesley Gordon and sophomore forward Jaron Hopkins play at the level they’ve been playing at lately—along with the help of the other sophomores and juniors that come off the bench—the Buffaloes have a good chance of leaving the Galen Center with their heads held high.
All in all, USC’s track record against Colorado is pretty poor. If the Buffs have any chance of picking up a road win early in conference play, this is it. CU plays Southern California tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
Contact CU Independent staff writer Alissa Noe at email@example.com.