The 19th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes attempt to keep their perfect start to the season alive when they play host to the Texas Southern Tigers on Tuesday night.
Texas Southern has just one win in six tries this season, defeating Louisiana at home on Nov. 16, 74-71. The Tigers have dropped three in a row to nationally-ranked Michigan State (69-41), Oakland (71-69) and Middle Tennessee (79-52).
After starting the year unranked, Colorado has risen to No. 19 in the most recent AP Poll. The Buffs participated in the Charleston Classic holiday tournament, beating Dayton (67-57), Baylor (60-58) and Murray State (81-74) en route to being crowned champions. Most recently, they took down Air Force at home on Sunday, 89-74.
These two programs never met prior to the 2009-10 season, but this will mark the fourth consecutive season they will face off. The Buffs have won all three previous matchups, most recently 56-51 in December of last year.
Texas Southern has challenged itself with a difficult non-conference schedule, and the results have not been pretty as it is shooting less than 35 percent from the field while being outscored by more than 15 points per game. It was more of the same for the Tigers against Middle Tennessee the last time out, shooting 39.6 percent from the floor while trailing by 19 points or more for the entire second half. Lawrence Johnson-Danner was one of the few bright spots off the bench with 14 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range, while Kyrie Sutton (six rebounds) and Raymond Penn (six assists) each added 10 points. On the season, Penn averages 17.4, nearly double the next-highest Tiger, while dishing out 4.4 apg. His production has come at a price however, as he's making just 35.4 percent of his field goal attempts. Fred Sturdivant has been useful in the paint area with 9.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 3.0 bpg.
The Buffs' undefeated start has been very efficient as they are shooting 48.8 percent from the field (including 42.4 percent from three-point range) while sporting positive scoring (plus-9.8) and rebounding (plus-7.0) margins. Their offensive performance against Air Force on Sunday was their best to date, going 30-of-53 from the field and 22-of-28 from the foul line in the 15-point win. Leading four teammates in double figures was Josh Scott, who scored 20 points to go with seven rebounds. Andre Roberson tallied a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards, and Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie netted 15 points apiece. Colorado's anchor down low the past several seasons has been Roberson (10.8 ppg), who continues to show that he is one of the nation's premier rebounders with nearly 11 boards per game. His defensive presence is a huge asset as well, as he leads the team in both blocks (eight) and steals (12). Roberson is surrounded by great scoring talent, with Booker (17.2 ppg), Scott (13.8 ppg), and Dinwiddie (13.0 ppg) all off to strong starts.