Colorado and Stanford hope to display new-and-improved editions when they meet Thursday night in Palo Alto, Calif., in a renewal of the Pac-12 men’s basketball schedule.

Neither team recorded a win in conference play in two opportunities each earlier this month, with the Buffaloes (8-5, 0-2) falling at home to Arizona State and at Washington, while the Cardinal (5-7, 0-2) were beaten at home by UCLA and at Arizona State.

Colorado has made the most of four home dates since its 73-63 loss at Washington on Dec. 4, beating Colorado State, North Alabama, Northern Colorado and Southern Utah by a total of 71 points.

The Buffaloes not only used the time away from Pac-12 play to improve emotionally, but also physically, with forwards Luke O’Brien and Lawson Lovering now ready to return to action.

“That’s a benefit of our team — how deep we are,” said guard Nique Clifford, who had 14 points in Colorado’s 86-78 win over Southern Utah in its most recent action on Dec. 21. “We have so many guys who can play. Our depth is really going to benefit us as we play these (conference) games.”

Stanford won two of three since its previous conference game against the Sun Devils, also on Dec. 4. Most impressive was a 75-62 triumph on Thursday over Loyola-Chicago at a neutral site in nearby Santa Cruz, Calif.

Four Cardinal players scored in double figures, led by Harrison Ingram with 15 points.

Stanford’s new look for Pac-12 opponents features freshman guard Benny Gealer, who hadn’t played until the club’s last three nonconference games. He contributed a 3-pointer to each, making three of his four attempts.

“He has a pace to his game and confidence in his ability,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase assessed. “Obviously he can shoot the basketball. I don’t expect a finished product right now, but I expect him to go out and play with a reckless abandon.”

Colorado has dominated the recent meetings with Stanford, sweeping both games last season and in 2021. The Cardinal’s last win over the Buffaloes came in March 2020.

–Field Level Media