"Spencer [Dinwiddie] was one of those guys that really relished this game and since he's been gone we haven't had quite the same results," Tad Boyle admitted of the rivalry with Colorado State, following Friday's practice.
"The Mayor," as they called Dinwiddie, was never afraid of poking "little brother" as he loved to call them, and he always backed it up on the court, averaging 24 points per game in his three matchups with the Rams, including 28 and 29 point performances in his last two meetings with the rivals from up North.
I asked Colorado wing Tre'Shaun Fletcher if there's a player on this year's team who has that disdain for CSU. He pointed me in the direction of the big man with 4-0 on his uniform.
"I'm not a fan of CSU, I won't pretend like I'm a fan of them, their fans or any of that sort of stuff," said senior leader Josh Scott. "I have no room to talk, we lost last year, but do I plan on having a big game? Yeah, I do. Do I think our team is going to win? Yeah. We felt the loss last year and nobody wants to feel that again."
"I can be minding my own business and they can say whatever they want to us, but obviously, as a public figure in a way, we can't really do anything back," Scott told. "You just have to take it and think about this game and think, 'Hey, we're going to remember every word you said and everything you did.' It's a rivalry, you can't blame them for it, but you definitely remember those times when you get to game time."
Scott expects to show out when the Buffaloes take on the Rams on Sunday for a Noon tip, but he doesn't expect it to be easy.
"I'm expecting to be bruised, but I expect to be doing some bruising myself," he said. "Banged up, tired but in the end, that's just CU-CSU. In the end, I actually enjoy it, it's how the game is supposed to be played in terms of a rivalry game, it's supposed to be tough and hard."
"Expect a physical game," he added. "This game, year in and year out, is always physical and it's really about who's tougher, who has the will to rebound and make plays... It's a war zone."
Any time you go into Moby Arena for one of this games, it's going to be hostile. You can bet their fans and their team are going to be fired up and you can expect some tough moments, Scott knows all of that and he thinks the Buffs are prepared for it.
"I don't think this team is scared of adversity or worried about adversity," he explained. "It's going to hit and I think this team is built to weather it."
"It's CSU, it's a big game in football, basketball, volleyball, really anything, it's a big game," Scott continued. "For us, it's a test of where we're at, probably the biggest game we've played since Auburn, it's exciting, it's going to be a fun environment."
It's a rivalry game and it's about "revenge" for the Buffs this year, as Tre'Shaun Fletcher put it. If it's anything like years past it will be played close but it seems as if this year's Buffaloes have the edge they may have been missing last year.