Colorado fans eagerly looking past the football season for a little basketball can start making watch party plans.
On Thursday, the Pac-12 Conference released the tipoff times and television information for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season. The Buffaloes begin the 13th season of the Tad Boyle era on Nov. 7 at home against UC Riverside in a contest that tips off at 6:30 p.m. and will air on Pac-12 Mountain.
CU’s 31-game slate includes 11 appearances on the various ESPN networks, though in six of those cases the specific channel will be determined later. Included in those appearances is the Dec. 8 rivalry showdown at home against Colorado State, which will tip off at 7 p.m. and air on ESPN2. The Buffs also will play on ESPN2 at home against USC (Feb. 23) and will play on the main ESPN network against Tennessee in Nashville on Nov. 13.
Both of CU’s games against UCLA will air in marquee spots on one of the traditional national networks, with the Jan. 14 game in Los Angeles airing on FOX and the Feb. 26 home date set for CBS. The January game at UCLA will start at either 1 p.m. MT or 6 p.m. MT, depending on FOX’s schedule for the NFL Wild Card round. That start time will not be determined until six days ahead of the game.
As it stands, the second game of the season at Grambling State on Nov. 11, part of the inaugural year of the Pac-12’s scheduling agreement with the Southwestern Athletic Conference, is not slated to be televised. Outside of the to-be-determined matchups in the final two games of the Myrtle Beach Invitational, only three tipoff times remain undetermined — the UCLA road game, the Dec. 21 home date against Southern Utah, and the final road game of the regular season at Arizona on Feb. 18 (6 or 8 p.m. MT).
Once again, the radio broadcast for every game will air on KOA 850 AM (KHOW 630 AM when there are conflicts with CU football, which will be the case at Grambling State, Broncos games, or Rockies spring training baseball later in the season).
The Buffs will be without the services of freshman guard RJ Smith until at least late October, according to Boyle.
Smith, a 6-foot-4 guard from Chino, Calif., suffered a knee injury earlier this year and has yet to practice at CU.
“The thing I’ve got to understand, and that RJ has to understand, is he missed all summer in terms of working out,” Boyle said. “He missed all fall. And now he’s going to miss the first month of practice. He’s going to be behind, and we just have to not push it. It’s hard coming back from any kind of injury. Especially with knee injuries, you can’t go from zero to 100.
“He’s starting to do some conditioning on his own. He’s doing some shooting. He’s on the sideline, he’s listening. That’s different than being out there, but we hopefully will have him at practice by the first week in November.”
Boyle doesn’t typically make redshirt decisions until at least a few weeks into the regular season, given the wild card of possible injuries. But he admitted Smith could be a candidate for a redshirt, given his late start and the wealth of more experienced two guards on the roster — returning starter Nique Clifford, Javon Ruffin, and graduate transfers Jalen Gabbidon and Ethan Wright.
“That’s something that we’ll talk to him about when that time comes,” Boyle said. “We’ll give him some practice time to figure that out.”
In addition to the charity exhibition at home against Nebraska on Oct. 30, the Buffs will host Wyoming for a closed scrimmage on Oct. 22…The CBS broadcast at home on Feb. 26 will be the network’s second visit to Boulder in four seasons. CBS also aired CU’s home loss to UCLA on Feb. 22, 2020, which started a season-ending five-game losing streak in a campaign halted abruptly by the start of the COVID pandemic.