The Colorado Buffaloes (11-4, 3-0 Pac-12) have opened their conference season with a bang and sit atop the Pac-12 at the moment, but face a tough test when they travel to face the California Golden Bears (13-4, 3-1) on Thursday night. The Buffs are only 1-1 on the road so far this year, while Cal boasts a perfect 11-0 home record. Even so, Colorado is riding an impressive six-game winning streak thanks to strong performances by Andre Roberson and Carlon Brown. Roberson is second on the team with an average of 11.3 points per game and a team-leading 11.7 rebounds per contest, while Brown paces the Buffs with a 14.1 point average on 51.7 percent shooting and 41.5 percent from three.
In a reciprocal game preview feature with The Ralphie Report, the staff at California Golden Blogs offered these thoughts on their team:
The biggest newcomer is sophomore Justin Cobbs, a combo-guard transfer from Minnesota. His addition has taken some of the scoring and ball-handling burden from Jorge Gutierrez, and adds another threat from the perimeter. He's a solid passer as well, and functionally having two point guards on the floor is part of what makes Cal's offense successful.
The other player to watch is Richard Solomon. The 6'10'' sophomore is coming off of a stress fracture, but he looked like himself against Oregon. He's vital to Cal's success because he's the best rebounder on the team and his length and athleticism makes a big difference on defense.
Meanwhile, the staff at Ralphie Report had this to say about the Buffaloes' hot start in the Pac-12 so far this season:
The Buffaloes have built their 3-0 conference start on the backs of Andre Roberson's continued dominance of the boards and Carlon Brown's ever improving play. Brown was named last week's Pac-12 Player of the Week for his play against Washington and Washington State and a similar performance will be required for the Buffs to handle Cal. The Buffs Pac-12 leading defense has been impressive, but slowing down Gutierrez and holding Crabbe below his averages will be no easy task.
Game date, time: 9:00 p.m. MT, Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2012
Location: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
Radio: AM 760
TV: Comcast SportsNet California
Spread: California is currently favored by 12 and 11.5 points on two sites, and the over/under is currently set at 132 and 131.5 points for those sites, respectively.