Advertisement

Five keys to Colorado beating California on the road

To end what has been a disappointing road trip that began with losses to then-No. 10 Arizona and Arizona State, the Colorado men’s basketball team will look to snag its first Pac-12 road win at Cal on Wednesday.

Cal, which also lost to Arizona and ASU, is coming off its first win of conference play, a 66-57 victory over UCLA. The Golden Bears are now 1-3 in the Pac-12 and 5-10 overall.

Entering Tristan da Silva’s second game back from injury, the 11-4 Buffs look to not only steal a win on the road but make a statement that they are still a top team in the Pac-12.

Tipoff on Wednesday night is set for 9 p.m. MT on ESPNU.

Here are five keys to the Buffs finishing their road trip strong:

Limit turnovers

Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports
Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Turnovers have been a glaring issue for the Buffs all year, as well as a point of emphasis for head coach Tad Boyle. With Colorado turning the ball over 14 times per game to start conference play (second-most in the Pac-12), taking care of the ball will be crucial, especially after watching ASU turn 13 Buffs turnovers into 27 points.

Get Tristan da Silva going

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In the five road games Tristan da Silva has played, Colorado is 2-3 with its star senior averaging 14.6 points on 23-of-64 shooting from the field (35.9%) along with 2.8 turnovers per contest. In his two best games on the road, the Buffs won both, including a 27-point upset of then-No. 15 Miami. While only in his second game back after suffering an ankle injury, a big TDS performance should bring optimism to a hungry CU squad.

Shoot the 3-ball well

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Despite shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc this season (top 10 in Division I), six of the Buffs’ seven worst shooting games from 3-point land have come away from the CU Events Center. Colorado has also only shot sub-30% from deep in three games this season with all three being losses on the road. As a team that has proven it can nail the 3-ball, bringing up those shooting numbers from distance on the road will bode well.

Contest 3-point shots

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing about California that stands out, it’s that the Golden Bears get shots up from deep. As a team that averages 26.3 3-point attempts per game (40th in Division I), the Golden Bears are hard to beat when shooting 36% or better from 3 as they’ve gone 5-3 in those games, including a double-overtime loss to Butler. Colorado may not be able to run the Golden Bears off the arc, but getting a hand up will pay dividends.

Create fast break opportunites

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffs have pushed the pace and scored the ball on the break well all year long. With California averaging 13 turnovers per game in conference play (third-most in the Pac-12), Colorado’s ability to capitalize on mistakes and turn them into transition points could play a big factor. Of the Golden Bears’ five wins, four of them came when they turned the ball over nine times or times.

Further reading

READ: After rough Arizona swing, Colorado goes voteless in latest USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll

Contact/Follow us @BuffaloesWire on X (Twitter), and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Colorado news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire