WSU vs. Colorado basketball: Preview, TV schedule and game thread

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

The Cougs face the Buffaloes in Spokane.

The Washington State Cougars will try to avoid a second-consecutive 0-3 start to conference play when they take on the Colorado Buffaloes in Spokane Arena Wednesday night (6 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).

Colorado is coming off a win over Oregon, where it scored 100 points on the Ducks. The Cougars scored just 72 points combined in two games against Arizona and Arizona State last weekend.

WSU will be without DaVonte Lacy again after he he suffered what the school is calling a rib injury. Lacy is expected to miss a week.

Colorado's strengths

A dip in rebounding would be expected after losing a guy like Andre Roberson, but the Buffaloes have picked up right where they left off last season in cleaning the glass. Sophomore Josh Scott has filled Roberson's shoes nicely, grabbing 13 percent of his team's misses and nearly 24 percent of opponent misses while on the floor..

Overall, CU ranks eighth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage. Combine that with pulling down offensive rebounds at the 34th-best rate in the country, and the Buffaloes are one of the better rebounding teams in the conference.

Washington State has done well in limiting opponents from offensive boards, so don't expect to see an abundance of second-chance points on either end.

If Colorado can't get points on putbacks, they are among the best teams nationally in drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. The Buffaloes are shooting 57 free throws for every 100 field goal attempts against a national average of 41. Spencer Dinwiddie has led the way in attacking the basket, shooting nine free throws for every 10 FGA.

Colorado's weaknesses

The Buffaloes' biggest weakness on both ends comes from beyond the arc. Colorado is making just 32 percent of its own 3s, while allowing opponents to hit almost 37 percent.

That high 3-point percentage is coupled with opponents shooting an abnormally high amount of their shots from long range. With the Cougs' propensity to shoot 3s, expect a lot of them tonight. If WSU can get hot from outside, that is its best shot to pull an upset.

KenPom prediction

Colorado 69, WSU 62 with 79 percent confidence

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