Buffs Set For Whirlwind Week
BOULDER—Four games in seven days. That's what the Colorado women's basketball program is staring down this week, starting with a pair of back-to-back matchups against Samford and Texas Southern.
Colorado (3-0), who also played on Friday to start the current six-game homestand, heads into Thanksgiving with a lot more than turkey on its plate. The Buffs will have three days in between games and then go back-to-back against Louisiana Tech and Wisconsin to close the stretch.
"Since I have been here, I have never played back-to-back games like that," junior Jaylyn Sherrod pointed out. "I'm excited to play Samford because they are from [my] home. I know a lot of people on that team. It will be good to have people here that I know and have grown up with."
The Buffs have short histories with both the Bulldogs and the Tigers. Colorado is 2-0 against both opponents. CU traveled to Samford in 2017 (71-60) before the Bulldogs visited Boulder in 2018 (81-39). CU's last contest with the Tigers was early on in 2019 (74-50).
Head coach JR Payne noted that the task at hand for the Buffs will all be about how the team prepares for the upcoming schedule.
"I think the biggest thing, as far as how we prepare, is that we prepare the same as a coaching staff for every single game – whether it's an exhibition or the No. 1 team in the country. Our preparation will be the same. The biggest thing for the team is going to be that they stay mentally sharp. We have a veteran ball club that knows how important that is. I have no concerns."
The Buffs are coming off their best offensive game of the season, scoring a season-high 69 points against Marquette. The team's defense was also effective against the Golden Eagles, limiting Marquette to 53 points after averaging 83.7 points in its first three games.
"Our defense was fantastic," Payne said after the win. "Mya [Hollingshed] and Jaylyn [Sherrod] had 10 steals between them. We love to be disruptive. We want those opportunities to go out in transition and I thought everybody was active on the ball. I thought we played long, and it definitely led to some good offense for us."
One thing the Buffs have to look forward to off the court this week is the welcome presence of family. Colorado has been on the road during Thanksgiving the past few seasons, but the return of the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic allows families to spend the week in Boulder and the team to gather for Thanksgiving.
"We have a lot of families coming out [this week]," Payne added. "That'll be really fun. A lot of times these guys don't get to see their families very much until Christmas. So, that'll be really fun.
"I'm not cooking because these guys don't want to cook," Payne joked. "But we'll have a bit Thanksgiving dinner on Friday before the Boise State vs. La Tech game. We'll eat and watch the game. Then everybody can go rest."
Mark Johnson returns with the call on the Colorado Radio Network. Pregame starts at 5:30 p.m. MT. Tip-off for both games is set for 6 p.m. MT.