Buffs 78, Denver 64

Jermyl Jackson-Wilson

Colorado used an aggressive pressure defense, and sophomore Jermyl Jackson-Wilson had a double-double as the Buffs won their season opener at home, 78-64, over Denver Friday.

Jermyl Jackson-Wilson hadn't played in a game that counted since the 2004-05 season. The transfer from Ohio State, who redshirted last year at Colorado, threw his own welcome-back-to-the-court party Friday night. JJW pulled down 17 boards and added 14 points in just 28 minutes of play in the win over visiting Denver.

But to hear the sophomore talk about the effort, it wasn't any big deal.

"It's just another day at work. Another day on the job," JJW said. "I've been playing since eighth grade. A game's a game."

His coach, Ricardo Patton, was a little more impressed, especially by the fact that 11 of JJW's rebounds came on the offensive end.

"That's just going and getting the basketball," Patton said. "That's what we thought he could do coming into this deal."

As they did in their recent exhibition win over Regis, the Buffs came out and shot poorly in the early going. Richard Roby, who had suffered a minor injury to two fingers on his shooting hand in practice this week, struggled, shooting just 3-of-11 from the field in the first half.

But the Buffs counterbalanced the shooting woes with a stifling pressure defense. Using a full-court press, the Buffs came up with 10 steals and forced DU into 14 turnovers in the first half. They led 37-24 at the break.

"I think we've got aggressive guys on our team," said Roby, who had four steals. "I think me and Dominique (Coleman) have some of the quicker hands in the country. We anticipate passes real well. So we wanted to get up in and defend, take some chances."

CU shot better in the second half, and continued their intense defensive effort until the final moments of the game. (DU scored the final seven points of the game, making the final score closer than the contest really was.)

Roby ended up leading all scorers with 20 points. Coleman had another strong all-around game, scoring 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and dishing seven assists.

But it was Jackson-Wilson who sparked the Buffs throughout with his aggressive play on the boards.

"That also makes you a marked man," Patton said about JJW's effort. "That means he'll have to work a little bit harder because teams will know that they've got to do a good job of keeping him off the glass. If he can continue to rebound like that, he's going to be a heck of a player."

JJW, who plays with a slight case of asthma, had to sit for two stretches of the game when he got winded.

"He's certainly missed when he's not on the floor; his intensity," Patton said. "But we hope that he can continue to play and get better with each game. I think he will. He works too hard not to improve."

NOTES
Jackson-Wilson's 17 boards are the most since Julius Ashby pulled down 17 on the road at California two seasons ago. It's also believed to be the most by a Buffalo in his Colorado debut. …With his 20 points, Richard Roby eclipsed the career 1,000-point mark. He is currently No. 24 all-time with 1,010 points, 10 points behind Chauncey Billups on the list….The game was the second part of a double-header with the women's team. The CU women beat San Francisco 62-56 in their opener. …The attendance was 3,776. …A number of football recruits were at the game, including Devin Mahina (Upland, Calif.), Sevai'i Eselu (Honolulu, Hawaii), and Nate Vaiomounga (Corona, Calif).

Stat Leaders
Colorado
Points: Roby 20, Coleman 19
Rebounds: Jackson-Wilson 17
Assists: Coleman 7
Turnovers: Roby 4
Blocks: Jackson-Wilson 2
Steals: Roby 4

Denver
Points: DaShawn Walker 16
Rebounds: Walker 12
Assists: Steve Wetrich 7
Turnovers: Tyler Bullock 6
Blocks: Antonio Porch 1
Steals: two tied with 1

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