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Colorado Basketball

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Colorado Basketball

April 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU adds three-star point guard McKinley Wright 

Related … “Point guard McKinley Wright completes CU Buffs’ 2017 freshman class” … from the Daily Camera

The CU Recruiting Class of 2017, with three-star point guard McKinley Wright committing to the Buffs.

Wright, at 6’0″, 180-pounds, originally committed to Dayton, but re-opened his recruitment when the coaching staff at Dayton changed. Wright is considered by both Rivals and Scout to be a three-star prospect. Wright is considered by Scout to be the No. 2 point guard out of the state of Minnesota this year, and the No. 35 point guard from the Recruiting Class of 2017.

“This kid is really, really good,” Boyle said. “He’s kind of the missing piece for us. He’s a true point guard. He can shoot the three. He’s got the mid-range shot, floaters, he can get to the rim. Beyond his ability to pass and shoot though, I think his true value is in the intangibles. He has leadership skills. He makes plays for others. He has that quarterback mentality, and that’s something we need.”

Wright had offers from numerous schools, including Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Xavier.

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April 25th

… CU in the Arena … 

George King declares for the NBA draft … but does not hire an agent

From BSN Denver … Colorado Buffaloes guard/forward George King has put his name own the NBA Draft’s early entry list. The redshirt junior led the Buffs in rebounding last year with 6.8 per contest.

King has not hired an agent according to BSN Denver’s information so he essentially is just testing the water and as ESPN’s Goodman notes, “A bunch of these guys will drop out and withdraw once they realize they aren’t being invited to combine. Some doing it just for attention.”

It’s highly likely King will be back with the Buffs next year but this something certainly to watch out for. The early entry deadline was April 23, and college players have until 10 days after the draft combine (May 9–14) to withdraw from the pool.

Continue reading story here

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April 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs sign a 6’6″ guard from Belgrade, Serbia 

Related … “Lazar Nikolic adds to impressive 2017 recruiting class for CU men’s hoops” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Lazar Nikolic has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball and continue his education at the University of Colorado, head coach Tad Boyle announced on Wednesday.

Nikolic is a 6-foot-6-inch guard from Belgrade, Serbia. He is the 15th international basketball player for the Buffaloes since the mid-1950’s and the seventh in the Boyle era.

“Lazar is a big guard with a very good feel for the game,” Boyle said. “His size and skill allow him to be very good playing in a pick and roll situation.  He can make plays for himself and for others. Additionally, he is a very good rebounder.”

Nikolic is currently playing for Rome’s Stella Azzurra Academy in the Series B Italian League. Coached by Germano D’Arcangeli, Nikolic leads Stella Azzurra in assists at 4.1 per game while averaging 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in 25 games this season. He is second on the team in rebounding and free throws made (95) and third in scoring.

On the international stage, Nikolic played for Serbia’s U18 National Team that placed 10th at the 2016 European Championships, Division A. He also played on Serbia’s U16 National Team in 2014.

Nikolic also visited Georgia Tech and had interest from UCLA and Arizona State, among many others.

Here is a YouTube video of Nikolic in action:

 

Derrick White and Xavier Johnson do well in showcase for potential draft picks

From CUBuffs.com … For a player who was virtually nonexistent on the NBA’s radar just a year ago, Colorado senior Derrick White is rapidly registering his presence.

White, an all-Pac-12 performer in his only season with the Buffs, and fellow CU senior Xavier Johnsonrecently finished a three-game stint in the Portsmouth Invitational, an annual showcase for potential draft picks.

Both had solid showings. White finished with a 15.0 scoring average (tied for 13th best in the tournament) to go with 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, earning him honorable mention all-tournament honors while helping his team go 2-1 in the tournament. Johnson averaged 13.7 points per game and 5.0 rebounds for a team that finished 0-3.

“It was a great experience,” said White, who will wrap up school and his degree in early May. “It was definitely helpful. You can see what they’re looking for and see what they see in my game and the things I need to work on. What I’m doing well, things I need to focus on. Just getting that information from them and keep improving my game.”

Continue reading story here

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April 17th

… CU in the Arena …

CU women’s team down to six scholarship players after three decide to transfer

From the Daily Camera … Three players are transferring from the Colorado women’s basketball team, including one who was a full-time starter last season.

CU head coach JR Payne told Buffzone.com on Monday that forwards Makenzie Ellis, Monica Burich and Eleanor Jones have decided to leave the program and pursue other opportunities.

Payne said Burich plans to transfer to Drake, while Ellis and Jones are still exploring options.

Combined with four graduating seniors, the Buffs (17-16, 5-13 Pac-12) are set to return just six of 13 players from last year’s roster.

While disappointed to lose players, Payne, who recently completed her first season at CU, doesn’t believe it’s a major concern for the program.

“For a new coaching staff that comes in, you really try and see if they fit your system,” Payne said, adding that all three transfers are leaving on good terms. “If they don’t fit your system or they’re not necessarily comfortable at the position you’re trying to play them in and they’re young enough to transfer, this is totally normal”.

Continue reading story here

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April 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women’s team reaches semi-finals of 3-on-3 tournament

From CUBuffs.com … Four members of Colorado’s women’s basketball team were fortunate enough to be able to extend their 2016-17 season one more weekend, competing at the USA Basketball 3×3 National Tournament last weekend at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Senior Haley Smith, sophomores Makenzie Ellis and Kennedy Leonard, and freshman Quinessa Caylao-Do made up CU’s squad for the tournament.

Six Pac-12 schools competed against other organized teams as the conference piloted a program to expand 3-on-3 basketball at the national level to hopefully compete on a world stage in future years.

Under FIBA’s 3×3 rules, each game consists of one 10-minute period. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. If the game ends in a tie, the first team to score two points in overtime earns the victory. Shots made outside the arc are awarded two points, shots made inside the arc are awarded one point and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock is utilized.

… The four Buffs finished 3-2 in the tournament, reaching the semifinals, before bowing out to the tournament champions in a two-point loss.

CU opened pool play with a dramatic 16-14 overtime win over Ariel Investments, a more experience 3-on-3 team made up of women in their mid-to-late 20s. In overtime, Ellis sunk the game-winning jump shot.

“Haley ended up tipping up the rebound and Kennedy grabbed it,” Caylao-Do said. “I was the sub so I was like, ‘oh my gosh we have five seconds.’ So I screamed that in [to the players on the floor]. Luckily Kennedy heard me and they all [dropped] into the paint. Then Kenzie came through and made the shot.”

CU rounded out pool play on Saturday with a 21-15 loss to Southern California, before topping Washington State 15-13.

On Sunday in the quarterfinals, the Buffs defeated the Silent Assassins 14-12, but were eliminated in the semifinals 21-19 by Washington, which went on to win the tournament over Oregon in the finals.

Continue reading story here

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April 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle to explore the graduate transfer market

From the Daily Camera … With two open scholarships at his disposal, Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle is ready to start fishing in uncharted waters.

Earlier this week CU announced that guards Thomas Akyazili and Bryce Peters are leaving the program, with Akyazili set to return to his native Belgium to play professionally and Peters opting to transfer after just one season with the Buffaloes.

Like last year, when Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic left the program, Boyle and his staff will spend the spring attempting to use the open roster spots to bolster the team’s overall depth. Unlike any previous season, however, Boyle admits he will scour a resource he previously shied away from — the graduate transfer market.

“We’re going to look at the graduate transfer market, which we’ve never done before,” Boyle said. “We’ll see what we can get and what’s available. We’re involved right now with a couple. We’ll see if we can get that done. We may or may not. We’ve got a lot of oars in the water, so to speak. We recruit all season because of these kinds of scenarios. It’s just the nature of college basketball today.”

Continue reading story here

Jon Wilner – Pac-12 projections for the 2017-18 basketball seasons

From the San Jose Mercury News … This exercise is about the 2017-18 conference race, not dinner companions. The roster uncertainty facing all the top teams makes forecasting even more difficult than usual for this time of year.

… The order-of-finish projections below 1) are based on the Hotline’s draft assumptions and 2) will assuredly be adjusted in late May/June to reflect NBA departures, spring recruiting and the transfer market.

(Please note three key dates: The deadline for early-entry applications is April 23, the NCAA-mandated withdrawal deadline is May 24, and the NBA’s withdrawal deadline is June 12.)

8. Colorado: Hammered by eligibility-expirations (Josh Fortune, Derrick White, Wesley Gordon and Xavier Johnson), which only serves to highlight the missed opportunity that was CU’s 2016-17 season. The onus will be on George King and Dominique Collier, but that’s not nearly enough to contend. The Buffs will need contributions from Missouri transfer Namon Wright and a recruiting class that features three touted prospects.

Continue reading story here

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April 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

Thomas Akyazili and Bryce Peters to transfer

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado sophomore Thomas Akyazili and freshman Bryce Peters will not return to the men’s basketball team for the 2017-18 season head coach Tad Boyle announced on Wednesday.

“Thomas is returning to his home in Belgium to pursue a professional career,” Boyle said. “Bryce is exploring other options away from the University of Colorado at the end of the semester.”

Akyazili, a 6-foot, 2-inch guard from Antwerp, played in 63 games over two seasons for Colorado, averaging just under three points per game while dishing out 1.5 assists an outing. He was fifth on the team in assists this past season with 39.

Peters, a 6-4 guard from La Puente, Calif., averaged 4.7 points, 1.4 rebounds and one assist during his lone season in Boulder. He played in 24 total games, recording a start against Oregon State where he scored a season-best 15 points.

Colorado and San Diego set home-and-home series

From FanRag Sports … Colorado and San Diego will begin a home-and-home series starting next season, a source told FanRag Sports. The first game in the series will be in Boulder, with the following outing happening in San Diego for the 2018-19 college basketball season.

The Toreros went 13-18 during the 2016-17 college basketball season. San Diego has failed to make the NCAA Tournament since the 2007-08 season.

As for Colorado, the Buffaloes went 19-15. The program has gone to four NCAA Tournaments under head coach Tad Boyle. He has been with the program since 2010 and helped during the program’s transition from the Big 12 to the Pac-12.

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March 31st

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle grateful for legislation which will allow for additional multi-year coaching contracts

From the Daily Camera … Count Tad Boyle among those who believe recently-signed legislature ultimately will be a boon to Colorado athletics.

The leader of the men’s basketball program generally has enjoyed stability on his coaching staff throughout his seven-season tenure, yet Boyle is confident Senate bill 17-041 — signed early last week by Governor John Hickenlooper that erases caps on multi-year contract within state athletic departments — nonetheless will benefit his team as well as the entire athletic department.

“Much needed. I’m so thankful that it passed,” Boyle said. “We operate in a marketplace in college athletics, and for us to have that now is going to help us recruit and, probably more importantly, retain good assistant coaches. That’s critical for our program, for every program.”

… Two of Boyle’s assistants, Mike Rohn and Jean Prioleau, have remained on CU’s staff throughout Boyle’s tenure while working as at-will employees. The new legislation takes effect Aug. 9, though Boyle remains uncertain what sort of structure any long-term contracts for his assistants might look like.

“That’s something Rick George and I will sit down and talk about probably later on this spring,” Boyle said.

Continue reading story here

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March 29th

… CU in the Arena …

Roster attrition announcement due “early next week”

From the Daily Camera … Boyle said he has completed his year-end meetings with each of his players, indicating there might be at least a couple players considering the option of transferring out of CU. Boyle said any announcement on that front could arrive early next week, after those players use this week’s spring break to consult with their families.

“It’s still up in the air with a couple of them,” Boyle said. “If there’s any movement on our roster, I would expect to have an announcement on that probably some time early next week.”

CU to take on Denver University (and former assistant coach Rodney Billups)

From the Daily Camera … Next season’s schedule for the Colorado men’s basketball team will feature an even greater in-state focus than usual.

While specific dates and tipoff times will not be finalized for several months, the Buffaloes’ nonconference schedule for the 2017-18 season is rounding into shape. Highlighting a few new faces will be a long-awaited renewal of the local rivalry with the University of Denver, with the Pioneers set to visit Boulder in the programs’ first showdown in 10 years.

… The Buffs also will renew their rivalry with Northern Colorado in Boulder and host Air Force in the third game of a four-year agreement with the Falcons.

CU visits Colorado State as well in the final game currently under contract for the state’s premier college basketball rivalry, though CU coach Tad Boyle has previously expressed confidence the series will remain ongoing.

Continue reading story here

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March 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Senior tape of CU recruit D’Shawn Schwartz (it will make you feel better about 2017-18 season)

From YouTube of CU Class of 2017 recruit D’Shawn Schwartz of Colorado Springs (Rivals bio):

Tad Boyle to coach at the Final Four … at an All-Star game

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado head men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle will lead the West squad at the 2017 Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game in Phoenix on Friday, March 31, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced on Tuesday.

The game will be played on Reese’s Final Four Friday and is scheduled to tip at 4:35 MST at the University of Phoenix Stadium, and televised live on CBS Sports Network.

The rosters are composed of 21 of the nation’s outstanding seniors in NCAA Division I. Highlighting Boyle’s West team are a pair of familiar Pac-12 Conference standouts in UCLA guard Bryce Alford and Washington State forward Josh Hawkinson.  Also joining the West team are Nathan Adrian (West Virginia), Sterling Brown (SMU), Deonte Burton (Iowa State), Paris Lee (Illinois State), Ben Moore (SMU), Luke Nelson (UC Irvine), DeWayne Rusell (Grand Canyon), Rashawn Thomas (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and Derek Willis (Kentucky).

Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner will lead the East team. The East roster is comprised of Evan Bradds (Belmont), Troy Caupain (Cincinnati), Tyler Cavanaugh (George Washington), J.J. Frazier (Georgia), Jack Gibbs (Davidson), Tim Kempton (Lehigh), Moses Kingsley (Arkansas), London Perrantes (Virginia), Reggie Upshaw (Middle Tennessee) and Steve Vasturia (Notre Dame).

Coaching the Reese’s NABC All-Stars is the just the beginning of a busy offseason for Boyle. Later this summer, he will serve as an assistant coach for the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team. Boyle will join Team USA for training camp in Colorado Springs June 18-25 and then head to Cairo, Egypt, for the World Cup, July 1-9.

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20 Responses to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. ep

    Not real happy about King putting his name in for the draft. I know its probably just to get his name out there…it hasnt been so far. I just hope it doesnt translate to selfish play in the coming season to pad his stats. the ghost of Booker still haunts…………
    On the other hand I wish nothing but the best for White in his NBA travels

  2. Bufftrax

    Lazar Nikolic looks like the real deal. Long, no matter how tall he is – and he has no fear (or so it seems) of driving the lane and it looks like he could play the 1, 2, or 3 from the videos (including YouTube).

    Good catch… now we’ll have to see if he fits in the mix.

    Go Buffs.

  3. ep

    Rooney only mentions guards that are available. That aint gonna help the Buffs. Gotta get paint men

  4. VK

    Hey its the best it has ever been so don’t be making criticizing remarks about “Tad, Tad, Tad”.

    Hmmmmm. Other than a couple of years (though the ncaa/nit results were/are the same) is it really any different?

    Ah but it has been good.Pretty good seven year run. Now comes 8. 2 more recruits gone. Akayzili was a filler signing as was Stalzer (remember Tads comments about him when he brought him in? Wow………how wrong were they? And Talton and Guzonjic.

    Recruiting is an issue (put aside the “no zone play” and the game management, and the subbing plan, and the time outs…………Just the recruiting.

    Meaning being able to identify talent, character, potential on an off the court.
    Retain them
    Grow them, develop the. Improve them.

    So last years team.
    Dom…………haven’t seen much development or growth
    Gordon………zero growth. I mean really that whole deal is shocking
    Fortune……..He came here as a shooter. Been here 3 years. No improvement
    Miller………Really like him. Don’t see the growth or development
    Akazili……..Nope. No development.

    Hey maybe they were all capped years ago. Recruiting then coaching em and developing them.

    Recruit review

    2010….Mills, Roberson Brwon (Tr)
    2011….Adams, Cain, Dinwiddie Booker
    2012….Stalzer, Jenkins, Scott, Johnson, Gordon, Talton
    2013….King, Fletcher, Thomas, Hopkins
    2014….Miller, Collier, Fortune (TR)
    2015….Guzonjic, Akazili, White (TR)
    2016….Siewart, Walton, Peters, Brown, Strating, Wright (TR)
    2017….Batty, Schwartz, Bey (And maybe 2 more???)

    So you judge. If the recruits were ??? but not so ???? then where does coaching fit in?

    Wow, as Buff mans say,,,,,,,,,,,,,CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT SEASON

    Actually the talent looks better (less experienced maybe but how did that work out this year?) the next few years over all than it has in maybe forever. Nice mix don’t ya think?

    High expectations, and that rubber tree song too. And Dusty. Next season baby.

    Buffs.

    Note: How bout the WBB team. Better coached and led.

  5. VK

    It appears Boyle and his staff lack a skill at recruiting. Seriously.

    If Josh wouldn’t have shown up here Tad would be on the hot seat. Just my opinion.

    Buffs.

    8th year and its the best it’s ever been…………WHOOPIE

  6. VK

    NBA is fairly unwatchable other than 3’s and dunks maybe. The pushing shoving traveling double dribble fouls whining acting etc etc and all that other crap has ruined the NBA. Can’t watch em. In fact don’t watch em.

    I mighta seen one of those NBA games last night. thought it was a college game.

    Buffs

  7. Dennis

    Presume Bryce Peters and Thomas Akyazili will be gone. Will not miss Akyzili, but Peters had athletic potential to be a good player. After this year’s experience with a “basketball brainless” crew, Peters was heading in that same direction. Maybe there is a graduate transfer who can make a substantial contribution.

  8. ep

    We know he can dunk. I saw a few seconds of ball control and change of direction. Be nice to see more than a bunch of dunks

    • Old Codger

      WHAT?

      Did you close your eyes for all those 3 pt.ers he kept hitting? Or is your comment just intended to inflame those who didn’t watch the vid?

      Best thing was, he looked like a LEADER out there on the floor. That’s what the Buffs have missed, not talent!

  9. ep

    I hope Boyle will have some time for recruiting

    • Old Codger

      Two knocks on Boyle in two posts! Nice!

      Guess you really don’t understand the rhythm, timing and wherewithal of recruiting and who does what; if Tad hasn’t developed a solid relationship with a kid and hid parents, by now, the next two months ain’t gonna make any difference at all!

      Back under the rock for you!

      • ep

        I know those were terrible knocks….I am so sorry
        seriously?
        Last season was the biggest knock on Boyle….even with White propping him up

        • WarBuff

          Hard to imagine what this team’s record would have been without White. This senior class (and another past one) have been terrible let downs.

          • VK

            Yup put the responsibility where it belongs. Recruiting, coaching.

            Hmmmmm……..is that your job Ol kodger?

      • VK

        Tad is a “filler taker” I am sure you can name them.

        Hey Red Miller took the Broncos to a new level. But couldn’t take em to the ext level. ( your know of Red right)

        7 years seems to be enough time to get to a higher level. Even if one can babble Tad has taken the Buffs where no one has taken them before. True, but so did Red.

        Flip phones are for ol guys.

        Buffs

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