Three keys for the Buffs to bounce back vs. Oregon

·2 min read

After having just two days to contemplate a wild but ultimately unfruitful homestand, the Buffs are back in Eugene on Tuesday to play a long-awaited game against Oregon.

I wouldn’t call this a game of two teams trending in opposite directions, but Oregon is definitely playing its best basketball of the season right now. Dana Altman’s Ducks have won six in a row, including a pair of wins against UCLA and USC. This is a much different Oregon team than what Colorado was preparing for back on Dec. 30 before COVID-19 issues in both programs postponed this matchup twice

Read on for our three keys to the Buffs bouncing back:

wipe the slate clean

Obviously, both of the Buffs’ most recent losses left a mark. But that doesn’t mean much with another top-tier Pac-12 team ready to provide more pain in Eugene.

Colorado is 3-2 in games following a loss and it needs to find a way to start fresh on Tuesday.

Up next: Defend the Ducks’ best

keep will Richardson on lock

Like Colorado, the Ducks have a much different roster compared to last year. Will Richardson, however, is still around and is averaging nearly 15 points per game.

I could see the Buffs guarding Richardson with a combination of Nique Clifford and Keeshawn Barthelemy — that is if Barthelemy is still the starting PG on Tuesday. Keep in mind that Richardson is a taller PG and it would make sense to me, at least, to keep Clifford on him. Clifford, who leads the Buffs in blocks, played well defensively against USC and UCLA, but Richardson is a tough task.

Up next: The final key

Fix the little things

I’ll defer to Tad Boyle on this one, who preached heavily that the Buffs’ next step as a young team is to play more polished basketball.

“We just have to understand the little things, and every possession means something,” Boyle said after the UCLA game. “We haven’t figured that out yet.”

Boyle would agree that turning the ball over 21 times vs. UCLA wasn’t little, but many of those mistakes could’ve been corrected with more attention to detail. Another 20-plus turnover game isn’t going to fly against the Ducks.

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