Baylor’s Isaiah Austin, center, drives to the basket during the Bears’ game against the Buffs last year. CU won that game in the Charleston
Baylor's Isaiah Austin, center, drives to the basket during the Bears' game against the Buffs last year. CU won that game in the Charleston Classic. ( Alice Keeney )

Josh Scott can't help but crack a smile when asked about going up against Baylor's Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin.

"I prefer going against good players than crappy players any day," said Scott, Colorado's sophomore post. "I'm pretty pumped."

Scott and the Buffaloes (21-12 last season) will take on No. 25 Baylor (24-13 last year) on Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas in the final game of the Buckets and Boots Showcase.

Much of the focus on Baylor is with its frontcourt. The Bears lost two senior guards from last year's team, including standout point guard Pierre Jackson. They return some big-time players in the paint, though.

Jefferson is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 13.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He had a big game against the Buffs when CU beat Baylor, 60-58, on Nov. 16, 2012. Jefferson had 17 points (on 7-for-7 shooting) and nine rebounds in that game. He also blocked three shots.

Austin is a 7-foot-1 center who was likely headed to the NBA until suffering a torn labrum in April. He averaged 13.0 points and 8.3 rebounds last year.

CU head coach Tad Boyle said redshirt freshman Wesley Gordon will likely get the assignment of guarding Austin, while Scott will tangle with Jefferson.

Gordon's last competitive game was in March 2012, when he went up against Scott in the Class 4A state championship game. Now, he's got to battle a top NBA prospect.


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"It'll be a challenge, but Wes will be ready for it," Boyle said.

Scott insists he'll be ready, too. After adding 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason, he is eager to test himself against somebody other than his teammates.

"They're good players," Scott said of the Bears. "We're going to go into the game not underestimating them and I'm going to play my hardest. I'm a good player myself, so it's going to be a good game."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.