His college career winding down to just a few more games, Richard Roby today tries again for his first victory against Kansas University.
Colorado's 6-foot-6 senior guard from San Bernardino, Calif., takes an 0-7 record versus Kansas into today's KU-CU clash, set for a 12:45 p.m. tip at Allen Fieldhouse.
"Everybody is on top of you. There's a lot of blue in there, a lot of fan support," Roby said of the fieldhouse, where he's been on the wrong end of 21, 23 and 29-point setbacks. "Overall it's a hard place to play, an older arena, kind of dark sometimes."
Roby - he averages a team-leading 17.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game - scored 22 points off 8-of-15 shooting, including four of six threes, in the Jayhawks' 72-59 victory on Feb. 2 in Boulder.
"Roby is a cool guy. He doesn't talk trash at all. He has a nice little swagger about him," KU senior Russell Robinson said.
Robinson turned some heads before the last KU-CU game when he said Roby "isn't as good as he used to be."
"I think they (media) might have taken that out of context," Robinson said. "He's still good. Don't get me wrong. He's good. I meant he's not as dangerous as he was before because he played with less of a conscience because he didn't have as good of guys around him. He's got better guys around him now.
"He was good in Boulder. I expect him to be good again Saturday," Robinson added.
The Buffs enter today's game with a 10-13 record, 2-7 in Big 12 Conference games. CU is 1-1 since its last game against KU. The Buffs beat Oklahoma at home, 72-58, and lost to Oklahoma State on the road, 64-63.
"They run the Princeton offense and that's pretty tough to guard with a lot of back cuts," sophomore Darrell Arthur said. "We're just going to try to limit them from getting to the basket. They get a lot of baskets from driving, so we're just going to try to stop their penetration and get after the shooters. They run around a lot and do a lot of ball screens and back cuts."
¢ Injury report: KU sophomore guard Sherron Collins, who has a bruised knee, only participated in individual shooting drills at Friday's practice, witnessed by about 100 former KU players in town for the 110 years of basketball reunion. KU coach Bill Self lists Collins as "probable" for today.
¢ More '88 talk: Kevin Pritchard, general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers and Milt Newton, vice president of player personnel for the Washington Wizards, were unable to attend this weekend's 1988 national championship team reunion. They have conflicts during NBA All-Star weekend.
KU assistant basketball coach Danny Manning, a teammate of the duo on the '88 team, has visited with both at KU games this season.
"Quite a few of them," Manning said, asked how many ex-'88 teammates he speaks with regularly. "The basketball office over the years has been the 'check in place.' Somebody will call in every now and then and speak with Joanie (Stephens), coach Self's secretary, let her know how everything is going in their lives and with their children and stuff.
"Chris Piper (KU radio color announcer and '88 starter) has been in contact with most of the guys making sure they will be able to make it back. I speak to them every now and then when they call the office, pick up the phone and say hello. We're in contact a good amount of time throughout the year."
R.C. Buford, assistant coach on the '88 title team, is expected to be here today. For updates on each player on the '88 team, see today's special insert in the Journal-World.
"I think coach (Larry) Brown is someone everybody looked up to, respected, knew he had a great understanding and knowledge of the game," Manning said. "If you look at that team and people involved with that team, there's a lot of people still involved with basketball at some level. That's part of the reason we were fortunate enough to win the championship. We had a lot of great basketball minds playing together."
¢ About Larry: Manning was asked whether the '88 crown constituted Brown's greatest coaching feat in a Hall of Fame career.
"No. I say that because being a coach now, I am sure there were some teams he probably took from one point to another point, with a little different makeup that probably didn't receive the same amount of attention," Manning said. "Every team coach Brown has coached, he's made them better. We were certainly no different from any other team he coached in that aspect. He made us better. He made us better as individuals. He made us better as a team."
¢ Recruiting: Tyrone Appleton, a 6-3, 190-pound sophomore from Midland (Texas) College, will attend today's game on an unofficial visit. Appleton, who made an official visit to KU in January, has also had Kentucky, Texas, Iowa State and Indiana on his list.
¢ This, that: Dean Smith, a member of the '52 title team, will not be in town for this week's reunion after all, according to his peers at a reception Friday at Lawrence Country Club. Smith said he had a previous commitment. ... Kansas is 114-39 all-time versus CU, including a 57-7 record in Lawrence and a 48-5 mark in Allen Fieldhouse.