• Colorado is 4-9 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Much has been made of CU’s youth — the team has seven scholarship freshmen this year. But on Tuesday, head coach Ricardo Patton called out veteran Richard Roby.
“Our young guys need someone on the floor to follow,” he said. “We’ve got some older guys that need to lead the way.
“Great players make players around them better. If Richard Roby is supposed to be our best player, he’s got to make others better.”
Patton said what’s been obvious to anyone who’s watched Colorado play this season – namely that Roby made the players around him better more often last year than he’s been able to this year. He’s averaging 18.5 points per game, but is shooting just 36 percent from the floor.
• Roby will get the chance to step up his game Wednesday night vs. Iowa State, a team that’s playing better than most thought they would prior to the season. First-year coach Greg McDermott recruited two juco transfers — guard Corey McIntosh and Mike Taylor — who made their way into the starting lineup this season.
Taylor has been named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week twice this season, including this week after averaging 21 points a game in Iowa State’s last two games. The 6-2 junior has the attention of CU players. Taylor, from Chipola JC in Florida, is shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc.
Also, junior big man Jiri Hubalek, originally from the Czech Republic, has been effective (9.8 ppg), while freshman Wesley Johnson leads the Cyclones with 9 boards a game.
The Cyclones are 11-6 overall and 2-1 in conference. They own victories at Missouri, over Nebraska, and lost at home in overtime to Kansas.
There’s at least one connection between players on CU and Iowa State. Xavier Silas was teammates with ISU freshman Dodie Dunson last year at Brewster Academy. Patton said CU would’ve recruited Dunson, a point guard, if they hadn’t already been recruiting Kal Bay and Dwight Thorne in last year’s class.
• Speaking of Bay and Thorne, the former played just five minutes in Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M, while Thorne logged 22 minutes. It’s a reversal of the playing time both were getting early in the season.
On Tuesday, Patton said he likes what Thorne brings on defense, and that “he’s not going to take a bad shot” on offense. While Thorne struggled mightily from the floor during non-conference play, he’s made his last two 3-point attempts.
On his defense, Thorne said, “My defense can always get better. I take pride in playing defense. I don’t like it when my man scores.”
Bay, Colorado’s second-most accurate 3-point shooter through 13 games (35 percent), said he spoke with Coach Patton Monday about what he needed to do to earn back some minutes.
“He said to continue to work on what I do best — get in the open court and find my teammates,” Bay said of the conversation. “And do a better job on defense.”
• Patton praised freshman center Marc Van Burck’s work ethic, but said the 6-11 player is still working his way back into basketball shape and getting up to speed on some of the things Patton implemented during Van Burck’s time on the sidelines nursing a stress fracture in his foot. Van Burck is fully healthy and ready to play, however, when Patton sees fit to use him.
• Classes at the university began Tuesday following the long holiday break. Dormitories are closed over the break, which means the CU basketball players spent the past several weeks in a local hotel.
Dominique Coleman, G, 6-3, Sr., 11.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.5 apg
Xavier Silas, G, 6-5, Fr., 10.2, 3.7, 1.9
Richard Roby, G, 6-6, Jr., 18.5, 4.8, 2.4
Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, F, 6-6, So., 8.7, 6.4, 1.5
Marcus King-Stockton, F, 6-9, Jr., 4.0, 3.4, 1.0
Mike Taylor, G, 6-2, Jr., 16.7, 4.0, 4.4
Corey McIntosh, G, 6-0, Jr., 4.3, 1.8, 2.6
Wesley Johnson, F, 6-7, Fr., 12.2, 9.0, 1.4
Rahshon Clark, F, 6-6, Jr., 8.2, 7.1, 1.4
Jiri Hubalek, C, 6-11, Jr., 9.8, 6.5, 1.4