Colorado meets Washington in Far West Classic

·2 min read

There might not be a better way to prepare for the Pac-12 season by playing conference-level competition. Especially when that game comes against a fellow Pac-12 team.

That's what will happen Sunday night when the Colorado Buffaloes and Washington Huskies meet in the Far West Classic in Las Vegas.

The game won't count in the conference standings, but it can help get both programs ready for league play, which begins next week.

And although the Huskies (1-5) are coming off two straight home losses, Colorado coach Tad Boyle isn't taking them lightly.

"They have some really talented pieces," Boyle said. "I'm sure coach (Mike) Hopkins is trying to meld them together still and they're still looking for a little bit more cohesion. But in terms of just raw talent, Washington's got it. They're long and athletic and they've got some guys that can shoot the ball."

One of those shooters is Quade Green, who leads Washington in scoring (14.8 points) and assists (3.2). Nate Roberts leads the team in rebounding with 7.8 boards a game.

Hopkins was somewhat disappointed with starters Jamal Bey and Erik Stevenson after a bad 66-58 home loss to Montana on Wednesday.

"My biggest thing with them is just play hard," Hopkins said. "Play for your team, and play as hard as you can. That's all I care about."

The Buffaloes (4-1) have gotten production throughout the lineup, led by 6-foot McKinley Wright IV. Wright had a season-high eight assists in a blowout win over Omaha on Wednesday night and his 530 career assists mark is 32 behind Jay Humphries, who is first in the category in program history.

Wright leads Colorado in scoring (17.6 points) and assists (5.8) and credits hard work in the offseason to improved shooting. He is hitting 64.8 of his field goals and is 46.7 from 3-point range.

"I put the reps in this summer, I put the work in this summer," he said. "My coaches believe in me, my teammates believe in me. Coach Boyle wants me to shoot 3-pointers. When you have your coach telling you to shoot more 3s and when your teammates believe in you, it's easy. Just credit to the work I put in and my teammates and coaches believing in me."

--Field Level Media