Men's basketball notes: Tad Boyle 'encouraged' about status of Cody Williams

Feb. 5—Cody Williams still didn't practice on Monday. Yet Colorado men's basketball coach Tad Boyle expressed optimism regarding the status of the Buffaloes' standout freshman.

The Buffs got back to work on Monday, two days after suffering a five-point loss at Utah that dropped them to 6-5 in the Pac-12 Conference, beginning the week in a muddled four-way tie for fourth-place in the league standings.

On the bright side, the Buffs also began the week in a favorable spot nationally despite their inconsistent run through league play so far, coming in at No. 29 in Monday's NET rankings. CU also has home wins to its credit against two of the three teams ahead of it in the standings (Washington State, Oregon), plus games remaining against each of the other three teams the Buffs are tied with (Utah, Stanford, UCLA), in addition to the looming Saturday showdown against Arizona.

Still, the most pressing issue for the Buffs ahead of Thursday's home date against Arizona State (6 p.m., FS1), will be to get the rotation fully healthy. CU has played just 11 of 22 games this season with its top seven rotation players in the mix, with multiple players absent in five of those 11 games. That included Saturday's loss at Utah, which saw Williams and senior reserve Luke O'Brien sidelined by injuries.

"We'll see. I'm encouraged with Cody, even though he didn't practice (Monday)," Boyle said. "I don't know about Luke right now."

Williams has missed nine games this season, including seven in a row from early December through Jan. 10 due to a left wrist injury. The Buffs have gone 6-3 without him, but have lost the last three in a row, all of which were Pac-12 games on the road (Arizona, Arizona State, Utah).

O'Brien missed his first game of the season after suffering an injury at practice last week, but Boyle on Monday said freshman Bangot Dak returned to practice. Dak was unavailable for Saturday's loss at Utah after suffering a bruised tailbone on a hard fall at practice last week.

Pac-12 honors

UCLA has the look of a young team starting to figure it out. And on Monday, sophomore guard Dylan Andrews was named the Pac-12's Player of the Week.

Andrews led the Bruins' home sweep of the Oregon schools, going a combined 15-for-28 overall from the field, 5-for-6 on 3-pointers, and 4-for-4 at the free throw line. He opened his week by going 6-for-12 with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in a win against Oregon State. Andrews was even better in a win against Oregon, going 9-for-16 overall and a perfect 3-for-3 from long range before finishing with 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Washington State's Myles Rice won the Freshman of the Week honor for the fifth time this season after his big game in the Cougars' rivalry win on the road at Washington. Rice went 7-for-14 overall and 2-for-5 on 3-pointers, recording 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.


Arizona moved up three spots to No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 released on Monday. No other Pac-12 team received a vote. ... The Pac-12 NET rankings to start the week on Monday: Arizona (4), Colorado (29), Utah (34), Washington State (40), Oregon (57), Washington (73), USC (97), Stanford (100), California (123), UCLA (124), Arizona State (135) and Oregon State (169).