Tad Boyle doesn’t care about flying home from the Puerto Rico Tip-off with a tan.
Colorado’s second-year coach understands better than anyone that quality wins — or bad losses (San Francisco, Harvard) — in November do matter to the NCAA Tournament selection committee in March.
The Buffs could have their bubble busted this weekend. Or they could emerge as an early-season surprise and a team to look out for in the Pac-12.
“The weather will be nice. But we’re not concentrating on laying on the beach and that sort of thing. We’re concentrating on going down there and taking care of business and playing as well as we can play,” Boyle said after Monday’s practice.
CU opens the tournament on Thursday against reigning NIT champion Wichita State (5:30 p.m., ESPNU). Boyle spent six seasons in Wichita as a Shockers assistant coach.
On Friday the Buffs will play either Maryland (coached by Boyle’s mentor, Mark Turgeon) or Alabama (the team that beat the Buffs in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden).
“There are definitely some story lines there,” Boyle said.
The CU team will leave on Tuesday. Freshman forward Damiene Cain (recently rejoined the program) and sophomore guard Jeremy Adams (concussion) will not be making the trip.
I will be in the Caribbean (I know, it’s a tough assignment, but someone has to do it) covering the Puerto Rico Tip-off, so make sure you check out Buffzone.com and follow me on Twitter @RyanThorburn for complete coverage.