February 20, 2009 4:45 PM
On presses and paybacks . . .
For CU, the lowlights of a lopsided loss last month at Missouri were legion.
The Buffs yielded a season-high 107 points, lost by their largest margest of the season (45), committed a season-worst 26 turnovers and generally were left dazed and confused by the Tigers' mostly full-court pressure defense.
But as CU began preparations for Saturday's rematch in Boulder (11:30 a.m., Big 12 Network), point guard Nate Tomlinson claimed Mizzou would find a ``whole different team -- confidence-wise and the way we're playing together.''
Plus, said Tomlinson, who missed the second half of the rout with a sprained foot, coach Jeff Bzdelik has added a variety of ``press breakers'' that should enable the Buffs to successfully deal with the Tigers' pressure.
``We haven't really struggled with turning the ball over in the last couple of games,'' Tomlinson said.
At 22-4, Missouri has climbed to No. 11 (AP) nationally since blistering CU. Tomlinson acknowledged the Tigers were worthy, but was intrigued by the opportunity to catch them in the Coors Events Center.
``They're a really confident team on their home court,'' he said. ``They beat Kansas there, they've beaten pretty much everyone there. They're a good squad, but if we play them here and take care of the ball, I think we'll be all right.''
Since the blowout at Missouri, said CU guard Cory Higgins, ``We've made teams beat us instead of beating ourselves . . . I'd say we've come a long way in that way.''
And there's something else, added Higgins: ``They ran up the score on us, so yeah, we'll come out with fire in our eyes.''