Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Buffs looking for defensive surge as they host Eastern Washington

Field Level Media
08 Dec 2021, 07:40 GMT+10

After losing to two top-15 teams last week the Colorado Buffaloes hope to regroup Wednesday night for a home game against visiting Eastern Washington in Boulder.

Colorado is regrouping after its 69-54 home loss to No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday

The Buffaloes (6-3) struggled defensively against the No. 5 UCLA and No. 13 Tennessee, especially trying to stop dynamic guards. UCLA's Tyger Campbell had 21 points in a 61-73 victory in Los Angeles, and the Volunteers' Kennedy Chandler burned them for 27 points at CU.

The poor defensive efforts have coach Tad Boyle considering shaking up his rotation, with Eli Parquet on the edge of losing minutes.

"There's no reason to be in a defensive slump, but (Parquet) is struggling defensively," Boyle said. "I just don't think his mindset is where it needs to be there. I've got one thing the players want. And one thing only. It's playing time. That's how I fix it. That's how I fix anything. I've got to do a better job of distributing the minutes, and I didn't do a very good job of that (against Tennessee)."

Parquet was a Pac-12 All-Defensive selection last year but Colorado's defense has slipped this season. Boyle's motivation to change the rotation could be, in part, because Eastern Washington (4-4) has a solid backcourt.

Steele Venters has scored 20 or more points in the last two games and Rylan Bergersen is coming off a career-high 32 points in a win against Nebraska Omaha. The Eagles committed just 11 turnovers in that win, showing they can take care of the ball.

It was Eastern Washington's third consecutive road win, so they won't be intimidated playing at the CU Events Center. Among the Eagles' victories was a 76-71 at Washington State on Nov. 27.

Another strong performance against a Pac-12 team by Venters and Bergersen could give the Buffaloes trouble.

"Rylan Bergersen is so good. He's versatile," Eastern Washington coach David Riley said. "He's a tough matchup for anyone that gets to the line, he's super physical and plays like a football player sometimes."

--Field Level Media

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