CU Buffs men's basketball notes: Date set for Nashville showdown against Tennessee

·3 min read

Jul. 19—The new-look Colorado men's basketball team will face a major test in the very first week of the 2022-23 season.

On Tuesday, the date officially was set for the third and final game of a three-game series against Tennessee, with the Buffs set to visit the Volunteers on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The venue is the home of the NHL's Nashville Predators.

Tickets go on sale on Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. MT via Ticketmaster. The tipoff time and television information will announced at a later date.

The game against Tennessee, the winner of the SEC tournament in March, will occur just a few days after CU's first-ever visit to Grambling as part of the inaugural year of the scheduling agreement between the Pac-12 and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The game at Grambling will be held on either Nov. 10 or 11, giving the Buffs a challenging two-game road trip just days after the season opener at home on Nov. 7 against UC Riverside.

CU will return home for a date against North Alabama before hitting the road once again, this time to play three games in four days at the Myrtle Beach Invitational, which begins Nov. 17.

The series against Tennessee was scheduled hastily in early December of 2020 after both programs experienced COVID cancellations in the opening weeks of the '20-21 season. Instead of playing a standalone game, former CU assistant Kim English, then an assistant at Tennessee, and CU's Director of Player Development at the time, Nate Tomlinson, conspired to create a three-game series between the Buffs and Vols.

CU began the three-game set with a 56-47 loss at Tennessee on Dec. 8, 2020 while playing without starting guard Elijah Parquet due to COVID, while starting wing D'Shawn Schwartz struggled through a scoreless outing in his return to the lineup after his own early-season COVID absence. It was the only game of the series with English and Tomlinson on the benches, as months later English was named the head coach at George Mason, where he hired Tomlinson as an assistant.

Tennessee made just its second trip to Boulder, and its first in 40 years, last December and topped the Buffs 69-54 behind 27 points from freshman guard Kennedy Chandler. Chandler was selected in the second round (38th overall) of last month's NBA Draft by San Antonio, which then returned Chandler to Tennessee in a trade with Memphis.

Other nonconference home matchups for the Buffs include Yale, Colorado State, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah. The field for the Myrtle Beach Invitational features Murray State, Texas A&M, Loyola Chicago, Boise State, Tulsa, UMass and Charlotte. The bracket for that tournament is expected to be released within the next week.

Loughlin honored

Former CU walk-on Will Loughlin was named to the 2021-22 Honors Court by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The Honors Court honors juniors, seniors and graduate players who finish the academic year with GPAs of at least 3.2. Loughlin twice was named to the Pac-12 Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll and graduated in May with a degree in computer science.

Loughlin was awarded a scholarship at the start of the second semester, which retroactively gave him a free ride for the entire year. Loughlin appeared in nine games totaling 45 minutes.

Notable

In what could provide a boost for NET Rankings across the Pac-12, Arizona on Monday announced a home-and-home series with Duke. The Wildcats will visit Duke early in the 2023-24 season, with the Blue Devils visiting Tucson the following year...The tentative jersey number assignments for the Buffs' newcomers: Jalen Gabbidon (3), RJ Smith (10), J'Vonne Hadley (13), Ethan Wright (14), Joe Hurlburt (24), Greg Gerhardt (30), Harrison Carrington (31).