Texas coach Rick Barnes is running out of players in a hurry.
Barnes and the short-handed Longhorns will look to snap their current slide when they visit Colorado on Tuesday.
The 23rd-ranked Longhorns (15-6, 4-4 Big 12) have dropped three of four since losing P.J. Tucker for the season for academic reasons. Freshman center LaMarcus Aldridge, who started 16 games and averaged 9.9 points, injured his left hip on Jan. 15 and is not expected to return this season.
Texas has just six scholarship players left in its rotation after Kenton Paulino (toe) and Sydmill Harris (groin) were injured in Saturday’s 92-80 overtime loss to Iowa State.
Daniel Gibson scored 23 points in the loss and Brad Buckman had career-highs of 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Longhorns, who had their 16-game home winning streak snapped. Gibson, who has led the team in scoring in six straight games, played a career-high 45 minutes for Texas, which had won 34 in a row at home over non-ranked opponents.
Buckman (35 minutes), Dion Dowell, who scored a career-high nine points in 24 minutes, and Jason Klotz, who scored a career-best 20 in 40 minutes, also established new career-highs for playing time.
“I told the guys we still need to find a way to finish the game,” Barnes said. “It’s a tough way to lose a basketball game when you really have control of it but you can’t finish.”
Barnes, who has taken Texas to the round of 16 the last three seasons, has loved to use a deep rotation in the past to wear out opponents.
However, with a short bench, he knows that hting will have to change.
The Buffaloes (11-9, 3-6) beat Kansas State 70-60 on Saturday for just their third win in nine games. Freshman Richard Roby scored 22 points for Colorado, which had four players in double figures.
Roby, who leads the team with 15.6 points per game, was coming off a career-best 29-point performance in Wednesday’s 97-90 loss to No. 25 Texas Tech in which he hit seven 3-pointers. He was named Big 12 rookie of the week for the second time this season.
“Like I’ve said before, we’re just a mentality away from being a much better basketball team,” coach Ricardo Patton said. “It’s really no secret. Today we had the right mentality.”
Texas leads the all-time series between the schools 8-6 and has won seven of the last eight meetings.