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Pregame Primer – Colorado

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Teams: Oklahoma State (13-3, 1-1) vs. Colorado (13-4, 2-0)

Location: Coors Events Center – Boulder, CO
TV: Big 12 Network
Internet: ESPN3
Time: 12:30 CST

AP Rankings: Oklahoma State – N/A, Colorado – N/A
RPI: Oklahoma State – #31, Colorado – #90
Line: Colorado -4

Behind enemy lines: Ralphie Report

Homework:
I suppose it’s a good sign that CU hasn’t started 3-0 in conference play since 1997 (Chauncey!) but the fact that Alec Burks and Cory Higgins only went for a combined 21 in a road win against Kansas State on Wednesday does not bode well for the Cowboys. Burks is a potential lottery pick and Higgins probably has a better shot at playing professional basketball than anyone currently suiting up for Oklahoma State and I can’t imagine that they would be held below their 36-point combined average two games in a row.

That being said, this is uncharted territory for CU. I mean, we’re talking about a team that’s 2 for their last 36 Big 12 road games, it’s not exactly KU in the Phog on a Monday night. OSU has an opportunity to make an early mini-statement too. Go 2-1 in a pretty salty 3-game stretch to open the conference year and you’re sitting pretty waiting to toast Iowa St. in Gallagher-Iba next Wednesday. It’s going to take everybody though. You know the hippies in Boulder are going to be out in droves wanting to see history made by their hometown Buffs. I know I’ve said this OSU squad should run and gun until somebody (probably Pilgrim) passes out (which he might actually do in that altitude), and I still think they should. But more than anything on Saturday OSU needs to be in control of the game. You don’t want a hot team to start feeling the crowd early and have to play catch-up in the thin air. Run the offense through Moses, get Keiton open, let Markel go at it with Burks, and see what happens. It’s not a game you have to win but Colorado has opened the door for it to be a good mark on the resume come March with how they’ve gotten out of the gate.

What I’m worried about:
Well the fact that CU has opened with a pair of Ws over ranked teams — #15 Mizzou at home and #21 K-State at Bramlage — doesn’t exactly thrill me, although that win in Manhattan isn’t looking as sexy as one would have thought, say, six weeks ago. Of course if we’re going to make that argument then we also have to say that OSUs win in Stillwater over the ‘Cats isn’t as big as we first thought. I’m worried about Burks and Higgins, yes, anyone who plays them should be. But I’m most worried about going to Boulder on a relatively short turnaround from Wednesday. Travis Ford’s ’10-’11 squad features exactly three players who have played a combined 73 minutes at the altitude in Colorado. You can warn people about it, you can tell them the precautions to take, and you can even lock JPO in a hyperbaric chamber for 48 hours, but until these guys experience doubling over in exhaustion at the 16-minute timeout in the first half they aren’t going to believe it.

Two random stats that (probably) only interest me:
Marshall Moses is the active Big 12 leader in double-doubles with 19, next closest is Marcus Morris of KU with 12 and then Mike Singletary with 11.

Cory Higgins (5) and LaceDarius (6) have as many 30-point games in their careers as everyone else in the Big 12 combined.

Video to get you ready:
I know this has nothing to do with OSU CU basketball but I just wanted to remind everyone that OSU has the best quarterback in the country.

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