(Photo credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
After rolling through the first phase of its schedule, No. 25 Colorado leaves the comfortable setting of Boulder and heads on the road.
Not for a road game, though -- for a neutral-site matchup with Richmond on Monday in the Sunshine Slam in Dayton Beach, Fla.
The Buffaloes (3-0) and Spiders (2-1) will tangle in the first round of the Beach bracket.
For Colorado, it will be a good test after facing three softer opponents in Towson, Grambling and Milwaukee. After a slow start in the opener, the Buffaloes have steamrolled through the last five halves to stay unbeaten.
What has fueled Colorado's run is a five-out -- or positionless -- offense to maximize the talent on the roster. With one true center in Eddie Lampkin, the Buffaloes are oftentimes running a smaller lineup, but so far it has worked.
Colorado shot better than 50 percent in all three games and multiple players are hitting double digits in scoring with the new motion offense.
"That's the reason we kind of implemented it," Buffaloes point guard KJ Simpson said. "Because we saw a lot of times last year we were standing around, not getting too many guys cutting or moving. It's kind of easy to guard us that way. When we have guys that are willing to cut, who spread the floor and our offense is spaced out, and guys sealing in and ducking in and setting hard screens and rolling hard, things like that ... you're going to get assists."
Five players are averaging double figures in scoring, with Simpson leading the way at 19 points per game. Highly-touted freshman Cody Williams had his first big game against Milwaukee with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes.
The challenge for Richmond will be stopping this Colorado offense that's averaging 92 points per game. The Spiders are coming off their first loss of the season -- 68-61 to Boston College on Wednesday night. Richmond played well on the road against an ACC squad, leading by 14 early before the Eagles took over.
The Spiders are led in scoring by senior guard Jordan King, who averages 18 per game. That stat is skewed a little -- he scored 34 points in the opener but has had just 10 in each of the last two games.
Where Richmond might have an advantage against Colorado and its positionless offense is at center, with 7-foot senior Neal Quinn roaming the paint. Quinn is second on the team in scoring at 12 ppg and is also averaging a team-high 6.7 rebounds.
He had his best game of the season against Boston College with a team-high 21 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
"It was really just a matter of showing the work that I've put in and knowing the scouting report," Quinn said after the loss.
He impressed his head coach, Chris Mooney.
"I think Neal had, if not the best game of his Richmond career, certainly one of them against an All-ACC player," Mooney said.
--Field Level Media