In the past, Boulder, Colo., has been one of the toughest places to play in the Big 12 conference, but with a lame duck coach Colorado has fallen from the ranks in the conference. When No. 8 Texas A&M travels to Boulder Saturday at 6 p.m., the Aggies will face a team that looks more like the A&M of old than former Colorado teams.
Colorado is just 3-5 at home, and they are getting outscored by more than 10 points a game this season. To compound the problems, the Buffs are turning the ball over on average 17.3 times per game. With a team with A&M's defensive reputation, this game looks on paper as if it can turn ugly.
The Aggies can use this game to get back on track, especially in the paint where Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas have been getting in foul trouble in the team's first two Big 12 games. Colorado doesn't have a strong post presence, and A&M has the clear advantage in the front court.
Colorado relies on senior Richard Roby, the team's top scorer. Roby puts up 17.33 shots per game, almost double that of the next highest on the team. If Roby gets hot, then Colorado can make a game of it. If not, the Buffs could be in for a long evening.
No. 8 TEXAS A&M AGGIES
PPG: 3.8 RPG: 3.8 BPG: 1.0
Junior forward Marcus King-Stockton was expected to be have a solid season this year, but so far he has fallen below expectations. He isn't a huge threat to score, he is shooting a dismal 47.5-percent from the free throw line and he is seeing his minutes dwindle. Despite averaging just 17.1 minutes per game, King-Stockton is committing 2.91 fouls per game, the second-highest on the team. Simply, Colorado is overmatched in the paint against A&M.
PPG: 13.6 RPG: 6.3 FT%: 87.2%
So far junior forward Joseph Jones has been match up against much taller opposition in the Big 12, which has been his Achilles' heel during his career at A&M. Against Colorado, however, Jones will face players in the paint that are similar in height, but less in strength. Getting him going from the field will be key in this game, and if the Buffs decide to foul him he has the best free throw percentage in the league to back him up. Jones' biggest improvement, however, thus far is on the boards where he had 12 rebounds against Baylor.
PPG: 8.3 RPG: 6.8 BPG: 1.58
Colorado doesn't have a lot of inside scoring, but sophomore Jermyl Jackson-Wilson has been slid on the boards. At 6-foot-5, he is giving up a lot of inches to A&M's inside duo of Kavaliauskas and Jones, but his athletic ability makes him a good defender in the paint. He also leads the team in field goal percentage by hitting 59.4-percent of his shots.
PPG: 12.0 RPG: 5.6 FG%: 61.7%
This is a game where senior forward Antanas Kavaliauskas could get back on track. So far in Big 12 play, Kavaliauskas has been getting into quick foul trouble, which has led him to not get into rhythm offensively. He will be matched up against an undersized forward in Jackson-Wilson, but Colorado will certainly use its taller players of the bench against A&M's inside presence.