As tipoff nears, CU Buffs men’s basketball crossing fingers to reach opening night safely

As the Colorado Buffaloes enter the first week of a season that they hope will continue to offer continuous weeks of play through March, the goal is simple but weak. A balance between anticipation and hesitation that could continue in March.

CU men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle spoke during a video media session Monday morning, about 56 hours before his side was scheduled to open the 2020-21 season against South Dakota in Manhattan, Kan.

Achieving that seemingly harmless goal of getting a tip won’t be as easy as simply checking the hours on the clock, as the coronavirus pandemic has already messed up the scheduled college basketball opening night Wednesday.

Boyle puts his fingers over the Buffs, who have not undergone any positive test among their stock market players since most of the team reconvened on campus in June, can make a safe and victorious outing to Kansas State for the season. .

“We have to be in Manhattan, Kansas by 7:00 PM (6 MT) Wednesday,” Boyle said. “If we can, it will be a great achievement for these young men. You look at what’s going on in our state, it’s another testament to our guys and, knock on wood, people stay safe and healthy. ”

On Friday, Colorado State announced that it is suspending operations for its men’s basketball program until Dec. 2 due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program, which cast at least a shadow of concern over the Rams’ planned December 8 visit to the CU events. Centre.

Monday the hits kept coming. The University of Denver, coached by former CU assistant Rodney Billups, on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the season opener against Colorado Christian due to positive tests within the Pioneers program.

No. 11 Tennessee, with former CU assistant Kim English on staff, suspended all team activities after head coach Rick Barnes tested positive for COVID-19. No. 9 Duke had to cancel his opener against Gardner-Webb.

Opening week juggling also hit the Pac-12. The Arizona opener against Northern Arizona was canceled, as was the highly anticipated # 18 Arizona State showdown against # 2 Baylor in Connecticut. Instead, the Sun Devils will play Rhode Island.

Last week, the Pac-12 conference relaxed previous football restrictions, allowing for non-conference matches if matches are canceled. Basketball has such a mandate not just for conferences. But given how Cal and UCLA were able to get a pair in football at the 11th hour after their respective foes were forced to cancel, Boyle was asked on Monday if CU would have the flexibility to run matches on the fly oppose in case one of the enemies during a run of four consecutive home games in December – Washington State (December 5), CSU (December 8), Northern Colorado (December 14) and Omaha (December 16) – are forced to bow .

Boyle indicated that those conversations are already underway.

“That’s the million dollar question,” Boyle said. ‘We certainly try. We want to have those contingency plans. You have to stay flexible this year. I’ve had conversations with Jeff Linder in Wyoming. I spoke to (CSU coach) Niko (Medved) after seeing what was happening with the Colorado State program. We are in constant contact between now and December 8th. We are hopeful that the game can continue. If not, Rodney Billups at DU, then I know they’re on hiatus right now, but I’ve clearly had conversations with him. Joe Scott at Air Force. All the people along the Front Range that we’ve been in contact with and we’re certainly open to that (rearrangement) scenario if we actually lose games. And we can do that very well.

“We remain agile and try to play as many games as possible.”