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Colorado Basketball

 

June 24th

… CU in the Arena …

Derrick White already working on becoming the best Spur he can be 

From the Daily Camera … Derrick White admits a much-needed new car might be in his future.

Yet for now the festivities are over, and on Friday it was time for White to get back to work.

Less than 24 hours after White became the ninth Colorado Buffaloes player selected in the first round of the NBA draft, going at No. 29 to the perennially competitive San Antonio Spurs, White was back in the gym, working out and setting his sights on the next phase of his professional career.

That means doubling his efforts to secure a roster spot with an organization that has collected five NBA titles under coach Gregg Popovich and owned the league’s second-best record this past season. White said he expects to travel to San Antonio this upcoming week and will play for the Spurs’ summer league team in July.

Continue reading story here

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June 23rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle on White and the Spurs: “It’s a match made in heaven in my mind”

From the Daily Camera … According to a database compiled by the Colorado High School Activities Association, Derrick White is the 24th Colorado native to be selected in the NBA draft and the first since former Palmer star Reggie Jackson in 2011.

“What makes it so sweet is that obviously Derrick’s story is a unique one, but every guy that has been drafted didn’t come to Colorado with McDonald’s All-American accolades,” Boyle said. “They developed into NBA players, and that’s what’s so satisfying” …

… “Absolutely a perfect fit,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “Coach Popovich and their organization from top to bottom, the things that they value from top to bottom, Derrick fits them to a T. It’s a match made in heaven in my mind.”

Continue reading story here

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June 22nd

... CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White goes in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs

RelatedDerrick White’s biography

Related … “For second year in a row, Spurs take PG in first round” … from the San Antonio Express

Related … “Derrick White selected in first round of NBA draft by San Antonio Spurs“… from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … A long journey has come to a storybook conclusion – at least this for this edition in the series.

From a Division II All-American to All-Pac-12 standout directly into head-turning, nation-wide summer tour, former Colorado guard Derrick White is headed to the NBA. White was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft with the 29th overall pick Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

A native of Parker, Colo., White led the Buffaloes at 18.1 points, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line in his lone season at the base of the Flatirons. He was named to the Pac-12’s 2017 All-Conference First Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament Team. He was also selected to the USBWA All-District VIII First Team and NABC All-District 20 Second Team.

White is Colorado’s fourth NBA draft pick in the last seven years, marking the coach Tad Boyle era, and third selection in the first round.

Overall, he is Colorado’s ninth first round NBA Draft pick and 34th overall. White is the first Colorado player picked by the Spurs.

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June 21st

… CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White buzz has given life to his draft night party

From the Daily Camera … As a father, Richard White obviously was going to support whatever decision his son Derrick made in pursuit of basketball dreams that, five years ago, were far loftier than his college prospects.

When Derrick White headed to UCCS after receiving no Division I offers out of Legend High School in Parker, Richard was right alongside his son in the belief that all he needed to showcase his overlooked skills was a chance to play.

When Derrick White decided he needed a bigger challenge after a three-year, Division II All-American career with the Mountain Lions in Colorado Springs, Richard agreed it almost was a no-brainer for his son to take his game to the University of Colorado.

But preparing a family party for the NBA draft? Even Richard White, devoted father and Derrick White’s No. 1 fan, sometimes shakes his head in mild disbelief that the day has almost arrived when his son’s name will more than likely be called by an NBA team.

Continue reading story here

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Tyler Bey: “I want to work hard enough to get ahead of everybody on the team”

From CUBuffs.com … For the most part, Tyler Bey is a man of few words.

Bey, a member of what is being touted as one of the best Colorado basketball recruiting classes ever, is the kind of guy who lets his game do the talking.

The guess is Buffs fans will love what they see — and hear.

“I think the fans will like me,” Bey said recently. “I like to believe I’m an exciting player to watch. I dunk a lot and I think the crowd will like that because it brings excitement and emotion to the team.”

Bey is a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward who will no doubt be given every opportunity possible to earn some significant playing time right away. Tabbed by the recruiting services as a player with “a bevy of athleticism,” he’s been ranked among the top 150 players in the country after a standout senior season at Middlebrooks Academy in Los Angeles. Bey is a player who can score inside and out, and possesses excellent speed, particularly for a bigger player.

Bey will be one of five newcomers to the Buffs this year, three of whom — Bey, D’Shawn Schwartz and McKinley Wright — are already on campus and enrolled in classes. They are already participating in summer conditioning drills and beginning preparations for an August trip to Italy. CU’s remaining two freshman signees, Evan Battey and Lazar Nikolic, are expected to be on campus in time to join the Buffs on their overseas excursion.

Bey and the rest of the incoming class arrive in Boulder at a time when Tad Boyle‘s Buffs are hitting the “reset” button to a degree. Colorado lost four seniors to graduation last season — including three starters — and two other players transferred out of the program.

It is, in essence, the perfect time for a highly touted freshman class to come in and have an immediate impact.

Continue reading story here

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June 20th

… CU in the Arena … 

Team Colorado a No. 1 seed in The Basketball Tournament

From the Daily Camera … The path toward a possible second consecutive appearance in the title game of The Basketball Tournament is coming together for Team Colorado.

The alums from CU’s men’s basketball program will open the $2 million winner-take-all competition as one of the tournament’s four No. 1 seeds, receiving the top spot in the West Region in the brackets released Tuesday. Team Colorado will play Kimchi Express at 3:15 p.m. MDT on July 15 at Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas. The winner will play a second-round date at the same location on July 16.

Team Colorado suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the TBT championship game a year ago, letting a big lead and the $2 million payoff slip away. Team Colorado returns mostly the same group of players this year with former NBA player Chris Copeland and big man Josh Scott, an All-Pac-12 Conference performer with the Buffs just a season ago, added to the mix.

 

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June 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White works out for Denver Nuggets

From Daily Camera … Like almost any young basketball player who calls Colorado home, visiting the Pepsi Center to watch the Denver Nuggets was a regular ritual for Derrick White while growing up.

Monday’s experience at the Nuggets’ home base was just a little different.

Instead of making the trek while daydreaming of basketball glory in the back seat of the family car, White was picked up at the family’s Parker home Monday morning by a car service. A few hours later, the former University of Colorado star was going through his next-to-last pre-draft workout with his hometown team.

While White has become well-versed in the expectations of such workouts over the past two months, suiting up in Nuggets gear, even if just for one morning, was a gratifying experience for a player who, five years ago, had no Division I scholarship offers coming out of Legend High School.

“It’s been a whole crazy process,” White said. “I went (to Nuggets games) all the time. I’m a Colorado guy, so any Colorado sports team is my team. I was always at the games.

“I played (at the Pepsi Center) in The Show, and that was crazy then. I’ll bet it will be even more crazy (in the NBA). I’m just glad to have this opportunity.”

Continue reading story here

Prizes offered from CU for men’s basketball season renewals

From CUBuffs.com … Renewals for University of Colorado men’s basketball season tickets are underway now.

Turn in your renewal for the 2017-18 season to be eligible for a series of prizes during the Renewal Benefits Sweepstakes. Five winners are chosen weekly for prizes that include Buffs Gear, two premium seats for the CU-Texas State football game on Sept. 9 and the chance to deliver the game ball before a Colorado basketball game.

Your season ticket renewal will also allow you priority access to discounted single game tickets and single game ticket exchange for nonconference and select Pac-12 contests. Season ticket holders have priority access to postseason tickets and have access to ticket transfer, where you can transfer your tickets to a friend through your online account.

Prices start at $155 for general admission and $245 for reserved seating. The deadline to renew your season tickets is July 5. Tickets must be renewed by June 23 in order to be eligible for the Benefits Sweepstakes.

To renew season tickets for the 2017-18 season, please look for a personalized email from the CU Athletic Ticket Office or contact them at cutix@colorado.edu or over the phone at 303-492-5858.

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June 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

George King: “I want to leave this program better than I found it”

From CUBuffs.com … George King knows the time is now.

Time to make one more impression on pro scouts. Time to take his game to the next level on both ends of the floor.

But most of all, time to assume the reins of team leader and help guide the Colorado men’s basketball team back to the NCAA Tournament.

King, a fifth-year Buffs senior, still has a chance to join a select group of Buffs, those who have played in three NCAA Tournaments. To do that, he will not only have to have an outstanding year, he will also have to help shepherd the development of a highly regarded freshman class that brings plenty of potential to Boulder.

“I’ve been trying to do this for a while, but I have to do it now more than ever,” King said recently. “I have to walk the walk. It’s not about talking the talk. Not only just lead by saying, ‘Hey, this is what we need to do,’ but also lead by example. It means showing up with punctuality. Being on time or maybe a little early. Going to class. Doing the right thing off the court as well as on. Setting a good example for everyone and living by that.”

Continue reading story here

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June 14th

… CU in the Arena …

D’Shawn Schwartz: “I think a big focus for me is just making sure my shot is knocked down”

From the Daily Camera … The newcomers with the Colorado men’s basketball team understand a large portion of the burden of returning the Buffaloes to a state of consistent NCAA Tournament contention is on them.

And perhaps no one among that group will face more pressure than D’Shawn Schwartz.

Saddled with the twin burdens of being the highest-ranked recruit in CU’s 2017 freshman class while also representing the group’s only in-state recruit, Schwartz arrived in Boulder this month alongside classmates McKinley Wright and Tyler Bey ready to get to work.

“I’m trying to get acclimated, first off. Finding where my classes are and everything like that,” Schwartz said. “Then I’m trying to build chemistry with everybody. I think a big focus for me is just making sure my shot is knocked down. And I know coach is going to focus on rebounding for me, so that’s something else”.

Continue reading story here

Buffs excited about 3-on-3 becoming an Olympic sport

From CUBuffs.com … When the International Olympic Committee announced the addition of 3-on-3 basketball as a new competition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last week, Colorado’s women’s basketball team took particular interest. A group of four CU players helped pilot a 3-on-3 program for USA Basketball in April to grow the sport in the United States.

“I’m really excited about 3-on-3 becoming an Olympic sport,” Buffs head coach JR Payne said. “I believe that 3-on-3 basketball allows players to really showcase their skillset in a way that is different than a 5-on-5 setting. There is a lot more open space, which allows players to be creative both on and off the ball.”

Under FIBA’s (International Basketball Federation) 3-on-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.

Carol Callan, the Women’s National Team Director for USA Basketball and CU’s radio analyst, has been pushing for 3-on-3 to be added to the Olympics. One of the big selling points with the IOC was that it provides many more countries an opportunity to compete since just four players are required to complete a team. It can be more difficult to put a full team together for 5-on-5 in less-populated countries.

Continue reading story here

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June 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

Jon Wilner Pac-12 projections

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 was hit hard by early entries into the NBA Draft — as hard as it has been hit, in terms of high-end talent, in years. But in one sense, the conference also emerged victorious in the draft decision game.

I’d argue that the most realistic way to judge that outcome is by how many of the undecided, impact players on contending teams opt to remain in school.

And in that regard, the conference had more wins than losses.

In particular, I’m speaking of Arizona and USC, which were a combined 4-of-4 in retaining undecided impact players: Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu.

With that quartet back for 2017-18, the Wildcats have a top-five roster, and the Trojans aren’t far behind.

Imagine how the top of the conference would look without those four.

… Here we go (initial projections here) …

9. Colorado (previous: 8). Positioning based on returning talent (George King and Dominique Collier). Anything above this point will require consistent contributions from the array of newcomers, which is quite possible.

Full list can be found here

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June 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU’s new point guard, McKinley Wright, “is all about winning”

From CUBuffs.com … McKinley Wright isn’t afraid to make the confession. Until about a month and a half ago, he didn’t really know much about the Colorado men’s basketball program.

Although at one point Wright was on CU coach Tad Boyle’s radar, Wright’s early commitment and eventual signing with the University of Dayton meant some other player yet to be determined would grab the label of the Buffs’ point guard of the future.

Yet a coaching change at Dayton quickly scuttled that future, for both Wright and Boyle’s Buffaloes. Wright, a 6-foot point guard who won Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball award this past year, arrived on campus this past week with just one directive from his new coach — keep honing those winning ways.

“McKinley has to do for our team what he has done for every team he’s played on. Which is lead the team, help make winning plays,” Boyle said. “McKinley is all about winning. Every team that he has played on has won.

“He’s a guy who can affect a game in a lot of different ways. McKinley has so many intangibles that help a team win. What I want him to do…whatever team you’re on, whether you’re playing pickup or whether you’re in a two-on-two workout or three-on-three, whatever the case may be, make sure your team wins. Because that’s what he’s always done. And that’s what I think he’s going to help us do.”

Continue reading story here

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June 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tyler Bey the most promising of CU’s incoming freshman class

From the Daily Camera … Rarely has Tad Boyle had to rely heavily on the contributions on true freshmen through the first seven seasons of his tenure as the Colorado men’s basketball coach.

That should change next season. And Tyler Bey has as good a chance as any of the newbies to make a significant contribution at the opening tip of his career.

This week three of the five players in the Buffaloes’ talented and intriguing 2017 freshman class — Bey, McKinley Wright, and Colorado Springs native D’Shawn Schwartz — arrived in Boulder to begin the process of getting acquainted with their teammates on the court while taking their first college course off the court.

The 6-foot-7 Bey adds what the Buffs hope will be a dynamic element to their array of wing players, with the southern California native already drawing an impressive comparison to a recent CU great from his new head coach.

“Tyler is a guy who probably, physically and talent-wise, has got the most upside as anybody in our freshman class,” Boyle said. “How quickly he can adjust to the college game and the college lifestyle, that is going to be the key. But Tyler is a guy who is as close to Andre Roberson as we’ve had coming into our program.

Continue reading story here

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June 6th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White a likely second round pick in upcoming NBA draft

Some mock NBA drafts (coming up June 22nd) …

Draft Express … 3rd pick in second round (33rd overall), to Orlando Magic … Derrick White is emerging as one of the best stories of the 2017 NBA Draft class, going from being entirely off the NBA radar after transferring from Division II, to earning first team All-Pac 12 honors, an invitation to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, and then a spot at the NBA Combine. His strong play in every setting he’s participated in the past six months has helped him emerge as a candidate to the be the first senior selected in the 2017 NBA Draft, which would have been almost unfathomable a year ago considering his starting point.

Walter Football … 8th pick in second round (38th overall), to Chicago Bulls … The former Division Two transfer led the Buffs in scoring and could potentially play either guard spot at the next level.

NBA Draft … 15th pick in the second round (45th overall), to Houston Rockets … A more under the radar prospect, White posted excellent times in all the speed and quickness drills, and at 6’4, could be an ideal point guard prospect from a physical standpoint. He finished top 10 in Lane Agility, Shuttle Run and Three Quarter Court Sprint (2nd) and had a solid top 20 max vertical at 36.5.

Sports Illustrated Big Board … No. 28 overall (a late round first pick) … White looked like the best player at the combine and has built a ton of buzz off the strength of his pre-draft showings. A late bloomer, former Division II All-American transferred to finish his career at Colorado and made waves as one of the most productive players (18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists) and top defenders in the Pac-12. He’s quick, decisive and big enough to play both guard positions. White is more scorer than passer at this stage, but will need to grow more comfy off the ball to play the two. Regardless, he’s an increasingly intriguing prospect with one of the draft’s better backstories and a real shot at the first round.

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May 31st

… CU in the Arena … 

Neill Woelk: New Chapter In Buffs Hoops Begins This Summer

From CUBuffs.com … Early next week, members of one of the most highly regarded recruiting classes in Colorado basketball history will begin showing up on campus.

Not all will arrive at the same time. But by the time Tad Boyle‘s Buffaloes board a plane in August for a 10-day tour of Italy, all five — McKinley Wright, Evan Battey, D’Shawn Schwartz,  Tyler Bey and Lazar Nikolic — should be ready to begin playing their part in writing the next chapter of Colorado basketball.

If the newest group of Buffaloes comes anywhere close to matching early expectations, it will be a chapter well worth watching — and one that Boyle and his assistants are excited to begin.

Not that the first seven years of the Boyle Era in Boulder didn’t produce outstanding results. In fact, it would be hard to find a more successful seven-year stretch in modern CU history. Under Boyle’s guidance, the Buffs have produced seven straight postseason appearances (four NCAA Tournaments, two NITs and a CBI berth), five seasons with at least 20 wins (out of nine all-time at Colorado), and 15 wins against ranked opponents. In that span, the Buffs also rewrote the program’s attendance records.

It is a stretch of which Boyle and his assistants are rightfully proud. After a 40-year period in which Colorado produced just two NCAA Tournament berths, Boyle put CU into the conversation of annual NCAA tourney contenders — new and exciting territory for Buffs fans.

But Boyle also knows that leaning too much on the past is no way to build the future. He knows it is time to turn the page, and it is why he is quietly pointing to the incoming group of freshmen as a new chapter in Colorado basketball, one he believes could propel the Buffs from annual NCAA tourney contender to a program that takes the next step:

A program that makes frequent forays deep into the tournament.

Continue reading story here

CU entry into “The Basketball Tournament” looking for another deep run 

From CUBuffs.com … Last summer, an interesting phenomenon began to unfold as Team Colorado — a group of CU Buffs alumni — made its way through the The Basketball Tournament’s bracket.

Buffs hoops was hot in the summer. At a time when college basketball is by no means top of mind for most sports fans, CU followers were tuned in and turned on by Team Colorado’s march to the TBT championship game. Buffs fans followed closely on social media, engaged team members and talked basketball as the tournament progressed.

(For the uninitiated, the TBT is a 64-team tournament that offers a $2 million, winner-take-all prize. It’s spread over four regionals in July, followed by a “Super 16” in Brooklyn and a final four championship round in Brooklyn, with the final three rounds broadcast by ESPN and ESPN2. The field is peppered with alumni teams from some of the nation’s traditional college powerhouses, and the rosters are loaded with former college stars, overseas standouts and even a few former NBA players. It is, quite simply, the midsummer answer to a hoop junkie’s dream.)

Now, one year later, Team Colorado is back, boasting an improved roster and anxious to  take another shot at TBT’s $2 million payday.

“It was a great experience,” said Team Colorado general manager and former Buff Beau Gamble. “In today’s world, social media allows fans to be interactive and tune in and be excited about something and really engage with it. To have people excited about Colorado basketball and talking about it in June, July and August is neat. We couldn’t ask for anything else. It’s great publicity for CU and it’s helping build the brand of Colorado basketball.”

Indeed, while the $2 million prize is obviously the main goal — at least for the players and coaches — the formation of Team Colorado is also accomplishing something on a much larger scale: helping build and strengthen the “Colorado basketball family.”

Continue reading story here

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May 25th

… CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White projected as a second round pick

From the Daily Camera … For the situation Derrick White currently is in, the fate of his immediate future can ebb and flow with each passing workout.

Turn in a few good days, as White did at the NBA combine in Chicago earlier this month, and his draft stock soars. Still, a bad day on the circuit of team workouts White has been undergoing lately can douse the interest of a potential employer.

With the NBA draft about one month away, White remains in the midst of his extended audition in front of NBA scouts and front office personnel. It often is a precarious situation, as the individual pressure mounts to put on a show.

Yet White might be uniquely suited to these sorts of showcases. After all, the now-former Colorado Buffaloes star has made a living out of turning heads since he was an overlooked and undersized Division II prospect coming out of Legend High School in Parker.

… His big showing at the Chicago combine has solidified White’s status as a likely second-round pick in next month’s 60-player, two-round draft. One offered by draftexpress.com has White pegged as the top pick in the second round (No. 31 overall).

Continue reading story here

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May 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Two former Buffs audition for Denver Nuggets 

From Mile High Sports … The Denver Nuggets announced the list of participants for their second pre-draft workout, to be held Tuesday, May 23, and there are two more Colorado Buffaloes on the list. The Nuggets hosted CU senior-to-be George King, among other players, for a workout Monday. These two players, however, won’t be asked about their future with the Buffs.

Wesley Gordon and Xavier Johnson, who just completed their senior seasons in Boulder, will be among six players at Pepsi Center on Tuesday as part of the workout.

Here is the full list of players* courtesy of Nuggets PR:

Chris Clemons – 5-9, 165, Campbell G
Eric Garcia – 6-0, 185, Wofford G
Wesley Gordon – 6-9, 220, Colorado C/F
Johnathan Williams – 6-9, 228, Gonzaga F
Xavier Johnson – 6-7, 225, Colorado F
Isaac Humphries – 7-0, 255, Kentucky C

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May 16th

… CU in the Arena …

George King will return to Colorado for his senior season 

From Daily Camera … That youth movement that is about to take over the Colorado men’s basketball program still will be able to lean on the Buffaloes’ top returning scorer and rebounder.

As expected, George King will return to CU for his fifth-year senior season in 2017-18. Though well off the radar on most draft prognostications, King nonetheless declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent. King is expected to withdraw his name from the draft pool by the May 24 deadline.

King is coming off a season in which his scoring numbers and shooting percentage fell, yet he emerged as the Buffs’ leading rebounder. King will be CU’s top returning scorer, as he ranked third at 11.1 points per game. King averaged a team-best 6.8 rebounds, a jump from 4.7 the previous season.

Continue reading story here

Derrick White moving up NBA draft boards

Related … “Derrick White draws praise in first game at NBA combine; other observations” … from the Denver Post

… Derrick White made the most of his playing time during Thursday’s five-on-five action. The former Colorado guard came off the bench and played both guard spots, something ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla noted will work in White’s favor when draft night rolls around.

Related … Derrick White to Phoenix in second round (pick No. 54) … from nbadraft.net

Related … “How a D-II prospect morphed into the most unique ‘one-and-done’ in the NBA Draft” … from CBS Sports 

… But unless you’re a hardcore college basketball fan, an NBA Draft junkie or watched the Pac-12 regularly last season, you may have no idea who Derrick White is. You may not know the name, the game, his look, any of it. But, once you watch him play, he’s hard to shake from your mind. There’s a captivating element to his style. He’s lean but not lanky to a fault. His untamed, curly hair bobs with joy. Most fun: his seemingly mutant-type ability to elasticize himself whenever he dunks in traffic.

From DraftExpress.com … No. 5 in NCAA seniors … No. 31 in mock draft … No. 59 overall out of 100 NBA prospects

Colorado Guard Derrick White posted the second best three-quarter sprint time at 3.08 (97th percentile historically) and tied for the third best standing vertical leap at 35.5 (99th percentile historically).  The D2 transfer combo guard was a rather unheralded prospect until this season.  White measured 6’4.5 with shoes with a 6’7.5 wingspan which is very similar to the physical measurements of Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant, but his athletic testing results are very similar to those of Mike Conley’s.

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May 15th

… CU in the Arena …

Coors Events Center getting new scoreboard installed

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado and Daktronics are providing more improvements to the Coors Events Center this off-season with the installation of a center-hung video and scoreboard.

The system, which will be installed this spring and summer, will include almost 700 square feet of 6 millimeter digital high definition LED boards and state-of-the-art video processing and graphic interfacing capabilities.

“We are excited to continue to improve upon the fan experience for all of our events at the Coors Events Center,” said Matt Biggers, Chief Marketing Office for the Buffaloes. “These new state of the art video boards will allow our fans to enjoy CU Athletics’ events in a whole new way.  We are excited to partner with Daktronics to bring the entertainment value to a whole new level for Buffs fans.”

Continue reading story here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado entry to the The Basketball Tournament adds talent

From the Daily Camera … It’s not easy to just forget about a lost payoff of that magnitude.

And, rest assured, the alums of the Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball program that barely missed out on a $2 million payoff at The Basketball Tournament last summer haven’t forgotten. For those returning to Team Colorado this summer, it’s all about finishing the job.

The winner-take-all format of The Basketball Tournament is back in its fourth incarnation this summer, and after last year’s runner-up finish that saw the former Buffs well in control during the first half of the jackpot title game, there is a sense of unfinished business.

The roster essentially is set for Team Colorado, which will feature an interesting mix of holdovers and newcomers.

… Among the returnees from the group that put together the stirring summer run a year ago are Dominique Coleman, Austin Dufault, Marcus Hall, Marcus Relphorde, Richard Roby, Calvin Williams, and Shannon Sharpe. Team Colorado again will be coached by Dwight Thorne, now the director of basketball operations for former CU assistant Rodney Billups at the University of Denver.

The newcomers are highlighted by 2016 senior Josh Scott, who left CU ranked eighth all-time in scoring, third in rebounding, and second in blocked shots; Chris Copeland, who recently completed a four-year NBA career; and Michel Morandais, the 2004 graduate who remains 11th on CU’s all-time scoring list. Also new to the mix will be 2016 graduate Xavier Talton and James Wright, a teammate of Morandais’ for two seasons in the early 2000s.

Continue reading story here

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May 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Newest Buff McKinley Wright: “I think I fit perfectly in the system”

From CUBuffs.com … Ask point guard McKinley Wright about his game, and the answer is always the same:

His biggest asset? “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

What will Colorado fans see next year from the final addition to what is being touted as the best recruiting class in the Tad Boyle era? “The passing, the willingness to do whatever it takes to win. I think they’ll see I’m going to play my heart out every game.”

What do his teammates appreciate about him the most? “I think they like that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win. I don’t have to score — I can if need be, but that’s not important to me. What’s important is that we win.”

Why will he fit in at Colorado? “My competitiveness. My willingness to do whatever it takes to win basketball games. Also, the fast pace, getting up and down the floor. I think I fit perfectly in that system.”

Continue reading story here

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April 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Derrick White invited to NBA draft combine

From the Daily Camera … The next step has arrived in Derrick White’s quest toward a potential NBA career.

The University of Colorado men’s basketball star is one of 60 players who have been invited to the NBA’s pre-draft combine. The prospect showcase will be held in Chicago May 9-14.

White made the most of his lone season in a CU uniform following a Division II All-American career at CU-Colorado Springs, leading the Buffs in scoring (18.1) and assists (4.4). White was the first Buffs player to average at least 18 points since Alec Burks put up 20.5 points per game in the 2010-11 season. White, a first team All-Pac-12 Conference selection, shot .396 from 3-point range and .507 overall. White’s 3-point percentage matched the seventh-best single-season mark in program history, and his 49 blocked shots and 42 steals helped White also land a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

Continue reading story here

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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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21 Responses to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. Adam Kenny

    Congratulations to Derrick White – from Division II to the Pac-12 to a 1st round pick of the San Antonio Spurs. Proof that Leo Durocher was not always correct. Sometimes, a nice guy finishes first.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. ep

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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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