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Colorado Basketball

December 12th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs held to 26 percent shooting in falling at home to San Diego

Related … “San Diego defense smothers CU Buffaloes” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … As the old saying goes, the Colorado Buffaloes could not buy a basket Tuesday night.

As a result, the ice-cold Buffs dropped a 69-59 loss to visiting San Diego, their third loss in their last four games.

Now 7-3, CU hit just 14 of its 54 field goal tries (26 percent), threatening for much of the night to break the CU record for fewest field goals in a game (12). The Buffs at one point missed 12 straight field goal attempts in the second half, but still managed to cut a 16-point deficit to five at one point before the Toreros pulled away down the stretch.

CU’s George King had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, but shot just 4-for-16 from the field. McKinley Wright IV had 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting.

The Toreros, who shot a respectable 20-for-49, including 9-for-23 from 3-point range, improved to 8-2. San Diego’s Isaiah Wright led all scorers with 20 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing by eight at intermission, 29-21, the Buffs saw that deficit doubled just four minutes into the second half as the Toreros built a 42-26 edge by knocking down three 3-pointers in the stretch.

CU, though, slowly climbed back into the game at the free throw line. The Buffs put together an 18-7 run, with 14 of the points coming from free throws, to narrow USD’s lead to just five, 49-44, with 7:10 to play.

But the Buffs still couldn’t hit from the field — missing 10 in a row after closing the gap — and San Diego built the lead back to 12 with just three minutes to play, using a 7-0 burst to bump its margin to 58-46.

Colorado finally ended its drought from the field when Deleon Brown banked in a 3-pointer with 2:28 to play, but the Toreros held the Buffs at bay down the stretch for the win.

Continue reading story here

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December 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs look to rebound against San Diego Tuesday night

From CUBuffs.com … Almost without warning, crunch time has arrived for the Colorado basketball team.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs now have just three games remaining before they open Pac-12 play, with two of those on tap this week at home: Tuesday’s 6 p.m. matchup with San Diego and Friday’s 6 p.m. tilt with South Dakota State (both televised by the Pac-12 Network).

Those will be the Buffs’ last home games before their Jan. 4 conference home opener against Arizona State.

“We have to take care of these,” Boyle said after Monday morning’s practice. ” These opportunities are really important. San Diego is a big game for us. These are the games if you don’t take care of business can come back and haunt you. … These two home games are critical.”

After this week, the Buffs wrap up their non-conference schedule with a Dec. 22 game vs. Iowa in Sioux Falls, S.D. — a game that comes at the end of finals week at CU.

“It’s a big two weeks for our team,” Boyle said. “Academically it’s a big two weeks. It’s crunch time for these guys in a lot of different areas, and for a young team, they have to understand that.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 7-2 overall after falling to No. 13/14 ranked Xavier 96-69 on Dec. 9. After a 6-0 start the Buffaloes have lost two of three – both losses coming on the road. Colorado plays its last two non-conference home games this week before taking the next week off for finals.

The Buffaloes have four 7-1 starts over the last six seasons, with the previous three ending in NCAA Tournament
appearances (2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16). Colorado is averaging 75.3 points per game while shooting a solid 47 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 69.7 points per game while holding opponents to 40.9 percent shooting and 34.1 percent from 3-point range.

THE TOREROS: San Diego is 7-2 overall and has won its last two. The Toreros average 68.1 points on 44.2 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. San Diego has began the year as one of the nation’s top defensive teams. The Toreros rank No. 1 in the nation in defending the 3-point line, allowing opponents only 22.4 percent. San Diego also leads the West Coast Conference and is seventh in the nation scoring defense at 59.7 points allowed per
game and 15th in NCAA I in field goal percentage defense (.373).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fifth meeting between Colorado and San Diego with the Buffaloes holding a 3-1 series lead. The previous four meetings came in a five year span between 1987 and 1992. Colorado has won the last three, including both games played in Boulder; first an 83-72 decision on Jan. 9, 1988, then a 71-63 triumph on Jan. 7, 1992.

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December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU routed by No. 13 Xavier, 96-69

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s young Buffaloes got their first taste of the big stage Saturday, and the lesson delivered proved to be a harsh one.

Playing in front of a sold-out Cintas Arena crowd, the Buffs fell behind early and could never close the gap, dropping a 96-69 decision to No. 13 Xavier.

The Buffs hurt themselves early with turnovers and the hot-shooting Musketeers were glad to take advantage, jumping out to a 31-10 lead just eight minutes in.

CU, however, refused to quit. Colorado managed to close the gap to 16 by halftime and closed to within 13 midway through the second half, but Xavier pulled away down the stretch for the win.

The Buffs dropped to 7-2 while Xavier improved to 9-1.

Namon Wright led CU with 20 points while McKinley Wright IV added 16 and George King chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Musketeers, who shot a blistering 60 percent from the field (35-58) — including 9-for-14 from 3-point range — were led by Trevon Bluiett, who finished with 25 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing by 16 at the half, the Buffs temporarily closed the gap to 13 midway through the second period.

But the Musketeers regrouped and once again began to extend the lead, stretching the edge to as much as 29 at one point.

Continue reading story here

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December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU at Xavier – Saturday, 3:00 p.m., MT, FS1

Game Notes … Colorado is 7-1 overall, rebounding from its first loss of the season with a 75-57 triumph over New Mexico on Dec. 6. The Buffaloes have enjoyed a 7-1 start in four of the last six seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16 — all NCAA Tournament teams).

Colorado is averaging 76.1 points per game while shooting a solid 48 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 66.4 points per game while holding opponents to 38.5 percent shooting and 32 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (66.4 ppg), rebounding margin (+8.9) and defensive rebounds (30.9 drpg) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.385) and overall rebounds (40.9 rpg) and third in 3-point defense (.320) and rebounding defense (32.0). Colorado had 58 rebounds against New Mexico, its most
since grabbing 61 against Stetson on Nov. 24, 2002.

THE MUSKETEERS: Xavier is 8-1 overall and ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 14 in the most recent USA Today Coaches poll. The Musketeers have one of the nation’s top offensive attacks, ranking among the top 20 in NCAA Division I in several categories. Xavier is the second-best shooting team in the nation at 53.9 percent, just behind Virginia Tech (.553).

The Musketeers are 13th in the nation in scoring at 89.8 points per game, eighth in free throw percentage (.796) and 17th in assists (18.4 apg). Xavier had been held under 80 points only once, and that was a solid 76-63 win over Baylor on Nov. 28. Defensively, the Musketeers allow just under 70 points per game while holding opponents to 39 percent shooting.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the third meeting between Colorado and Xavier with each team holding one win in the series. Colorado claimed a 68-66 win over the No. 13/14 ranked Musketeers on Dec. 16, 2016, at the Coors Events Center. Xavier’s win was a 74-61 decision on Nov. 27, 1998, in San Juan, P.R. This will be Colorado’s first trip to Xavier and first on the home floor of a current Big East Conference team since playing at Marquette in 1987.

From CUBuffs.com …  When the Colorado Buffaloes open Pac-12 play in late December, they will see NCAA Tournament-caliber teams on a regular basis.

Saturday afternoon, Tad Boyle‘s 7-1 Buffs will get a taste of what that means when they face No. 13 Xavier in a 3 p.m. contest (FS1) at the Cintas Center, where the 8-1 Musketeers have won 36 straight non-conference games.

The game is the second half of a home-and-home series.

A year ago, Colorado beat Xavier in Boulder, 68-66, overcoming an eight-point deficit in the second half for the win. But while the Buffs proceeded to endure an up-and-down season from that point forward, the Musketeers came on strong at the end of the year and advanced all the way to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

Now, with most of last year’s team back — including guard Trevon Bluiett, a national player of the year candidate — the Musketeers are seen by most as a team capable of making another such run.

“They have unbelievable inside presence and depth,” Boyle said Thursday. “Bluiett is shooting the ball at an unbelievably high rate and (guard J.P.) Macura is tough and makes plays. The (forward Kaiser) Gates kid can really stroke it from three. They have great size, great shooting ability and they’re tough to guard.”

Bluiett is no doubt off to a hot start, averaging 21.3 points per game while shooting 53.6 percent from the field, one very big reason the Musketeers are second in the nation in team shooting percentage (53.9). Bluiett is also averaging 5.2 rebounds per game, and he is joined in double-figure scoring by Macura (12.6 ppg) and Gates (10.4 ppg).

Inside, the rely on the presence of 6-foot-9, 242-pound Tyrique Jones, who leads the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg) to go along with 9.8 points per game.

The Musketeers have also played a tough schedule early on, with wins thus far over Cincinnati, Baylor and Wisconsin. They’re only loss thus far has been to No. 16 Arizona State.

Continue reading story here

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December 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome 23 turnovers in 75-57 win over New Mexico

Related … “Freshmen lead second-half surge as CU men’s basketball tops New Mexico” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s young Buffs are growing up in a hurry.

CU’s freshmen sparked a decisive 12-3 run Wednesday night that broke open a one-point game in the second half and the Buffs pulled away down the stretch for a 75-57 win over New Mexico at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs also had plenty of help from their seniors.

Senior Dominique Collier led the Buffs with 16 points — 14 in the second half — while freshman McKinley Wright IV recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. CU senior George King posted his ninth career double-double and second of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Buffs won despite committing a season-high 23 turnovers that led to 28 New Mexico points. Colorado made up the difference by putting forth a dominant 58-31 rebound edge, as well as holding the Lobos to just 29.6 percent shooting (21-for-71) — including a 9-for-34 performance in the second half.

Colorado improved to 7-1 with the win while the Lobos fell to 3-6.

“Certainly not a thing of beauty,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “If we were in a beauty contest I think we would have gotten fifth place. But we did what we had to do to get the win.”

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: The Buffs travel to Cincinnati on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. matchup with No. 13 Xavier.

CU women post 70-67 road win over Colorado State

From CUBuffs.com …  Annika Jank scored a season-high 22 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Colorado to wild a 70-67 win at Colorado State on Wednesday night in Moby Arena. The Buffs improved to 7-1 this season with their sixth consecutive win, while CSU dropped to 5-3.

STAT LEADERS: Jank, a freshman from Edina, Minn., shot 9-of-15 from the floor and added two assists. Kennedy Leonardchipped in with 18 points and five assists, burying 8-of-11 free throws and forcing three steals. Zoe Correal provided 10 points off the bench and had six rebounds. Brecca Thomas scored nine points, including seven in the first quarter.

Continue reading story here

UP NEXT: CU hosts Dartmouth (6-1) at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Coors Events Center.

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December 5th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs to try and avoid another “sub-par rebounding effort” v. New Mexico

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Tad Boyle hinted strongly Tuesday that he will make some changes in his playing time rotation when the Buffs host New Mexico on Wednesday.

“When we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do, I have to make changes,” Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s the beauty of having a team with depth. … The definition of insanity is you keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Maybe we need to shake things up.”

The 6-1 Buffs, coming off Saturday’s loss at Colorado State, face the 3-5 Lobos in a 7 p.m. meeting at the Coors Events Center (Pac-12 Networks).

“The number of guys that we play probably isn’t going to change, the guys that play probably isn’t going to change,” Boyle said. “What’s going to change maybe is how long guys play and how much guys play versus other guys.”

Foremost on Boyle’s mind is correcting a rebounding issue that led to Colorado State owning a 46-32 edge on the boards in a 72-63 loss. That rebounding edge included a 25-9 differential among the starting front lines for both teams.

“We had some really sub-par rebounding efforts, certainly as a team but also individually against CSU,” Boyle said. “I’m going to have to address those with playing time.”

Continue reading story here

CU v. New Mexico – Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado is 6-1 overall after dropping its first game of the season, 72-63, at Colorado State on Dec. 2. It was the first true road test for the Buffaloes, although CU has already played three neutral site games in winning the three-game Paradise Jam Tournament in Lynchburg, Va.

Colorado is averaging 76.3 points per game while shooting a solid 48 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven averaging between five and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 68 points per game while holding opponents to 40 percent shooting and 32 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (67.7 ppg), field goal defense (.400), 3-point defense (.325) and rebounding defense (32.3 rpg).

THE LOBOS: New Mexico is 3-5 overall and coming off an 88-76 setback at UTEP on Dec. 2. The Lobos are averaging an impressive 86 points per game and have already hit the century mark twice this season. UNM is hitting 44 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the free throw line. New Mexico averages nearly 12 3-point field goals per game, ranking eighth in the country. Defensively, the Lobos give up 78 points an outing while allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent. New Mexico ranks sixth in NCAA Division I in turnovers forced at 20.4 per game and 10th in turnover margin at plus-6.1.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and New Mexico with the Lobos holding a slim 7-6 series lead. It is the first meeting since December 2010, when New Mexico defeated the Buffaloes 89-76 in Las Vegas. The Lobos have won the last three in the series, including a sweep in the last home-and-home set in 2006 and ‘07. Colorado’s last win over New Mexico was a77-65 decision in Albuquerque on Nov. 28, 1980.

New Mexico was the opponent in Colorado’s first regular season game at the Coors Events Center on Dec. 1, 1979, an 86-78 Buffaloes win. Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is 0-1 vs. New Mexico. Paul Weir has never faced Colorado as a head coach.

 

Tad Boyle on CU spiraling downward after CSU loss: “That’s not going to happen”

From CUBuffs.com … Sooner or later, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes were bound to hit a bump in the road.

The fact that it came against the Buffs’ in-state rival Saturday in Fort Collins just made it sting a little more than it might have otherwise.

Anyone who had watched Colorado with regularity this year knew the young Buffs had already flirted with disaster more than once. There was the game when they needed to rally from 13 down in the final four minutes to beat Quinnipiac. There was the 17-point lead against Drake in the second half that dwindled to one before they finally regained control.

Saturday was simply a case of tempting fate once too often. The Buffs allowed the Rams to build a 17-point lead in the second half before coming back to cut the deficit to four — but this time around, couldn’t get over the hump down the stretch.

While it is no consolation to the Buffs, it did take CSU’s best effort of the year to produce the win. The Rams, who entered the game shooting just a shade better than 30 percent from 3-point range, hit 39 percent of their long-distance shots. They also thumped the Buffs on the boards, taking full advantage of CU’s first game without the services of big man Tory Miller-Stewart (out with a foot injury), and ended up with nine blocked shots — three times their average thus far this season.

Now, the 6-1 Buffs have to take what they learned from the loss and apply it to the future, beginning with a pair of games this week. The slate begins with Wednesday’s 7 p.m. home tilt with New Mexico (Pac-12 Networks) followed by a 3 p.m. contest Saturday at No. 13 Xavier (FS1).

Continue reading story here

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December 4th

… CU in the Arena …

LaVar Ball pulls son out of UCLA over suspension

From CBS Sports … LiAngelo Ball’s UCLA career would appear to be over. It’s over, seemingly, because his father said so.

TMZ first reported on Monday afternoon that Bruins freshman LiAngelo Ball is no longer with the program or even a student at the university because his father, LaVar, removed him. ESPN shortly thereafter confirmed the story by talking with LaVar.

After a quiet couple of weeks in Westwood, the maneuver by LaVar Ball brings the latest round of publicity and counterblast to him and his family. Ball has built a business (Big Baller Brand) off the family name by being outspoken and riling up controversy on a near-weekly basis over the past year-plus.

Monday’s decision by LaVar is the second of its kind in the past two months. In early October, five-star prospect LaMelo Ball was pulled from Chino Hills High. Dad said he would be home-schooling his youngest child.

LiAngelo Ball’s jettison of UCLA comes while serving an indefinite suspension, along with UCLA freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, after the threesome was arrested and charged with shoplifting from multiple high-end retail outlets on the team’s overseas trip to China last month. LiAngelo Ball was a three-star prospect, ranked 226th in his class, coming out of Chino Hills High.

On Nov. 15, Steve Alford announced the Bruins trio would remain indefinitely suspended and would have to earn their way back onto the team.

Continue reading story here

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December 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

CU down two big men after Tory Miller-Stewart is lost for the season

From the Daily Camera … An already youthful roster for the Colorado men’s basketball team suddenly has become appreciably younger.

Overshadowing Saturday’s 72-63 loss for the Colorado men’s basketball team at rival Colorado State was the news that senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart suffered a broken foot earlier this week, a setback that could rob the Buffaloes of their most experienced post player for the remainder of the season.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Miller-Stewart and George King had both appeared in 101 games, with fellow senior Dom Collier playing his 96th career game at CSU. On a team that regularly sends five freshmen into the rotation, Miller-Stewart’s minutes will go mostly to sophomore Lucas Siewert, who still is not 100 percent recovered from an ankle injury, and redshirt freshman Dallas Walton, who made his first career start in just his fifth game Saturday.

“Tory was injured at practice and is out indefinitely,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ll kind of get a feel as we go. I’m going to just leave it at that and figure out from whoever I have to figure it out from what I can say, what I can’t say. But he’s out indefinitely. We’re not going to have him for a while.

“We missed Tory tonight. But we had enough guys. This loss had nothing to do with Tory Miller not being here. We miss Tory, we love Tory, but we had enough guys in uniform.”

Continue reading story here

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December 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to 6-1 after road loss to Colorado State

From CUBuffs.com … Call it a learning experience for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Down by as much as 17 points in the second half Saturday, the Buffs rallied to cut the deficit to five in the final few minutes, but could never get over the hump in a 72-63 loss to Colorado State.

The loss dropped Colorado to 6-1 while CSU improved to 4-4.

McKinley Wright led CU with 19 points and eight rebounds while George King added 9 points and seven rebounds — but King hit just 3 of his 13 field goal tries. CU was without the services of senior center Tory Miller-Stewart, who suffered a foot injury earlier this week in practice and is out for an indeterminate amount of time, according to head coach Tad Boyle.

The Rams dominated the Buffs on the boards, 46-32, and despite not recording a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game, managed to hold on by hitting free throws down the stretch.

HOW IT HAPPENED: It was the first true road game of the year for the young Buffs, and they played like it at times in front of a raucous Moby Arena crowd. Colorado played well in spurts — CU trailed just 38-35 at the half — but the Rams broke open a tight game after intermission with an 18-7 run in the first eight minutes to open up a 56-42 edge with 11:48 to go in the game.

CSU hit the Buffs from every position on the floor, getting an early 3-point bucket from Prentiss Nixon before going inside for six straight points. J.D. Paige pushed the CSU lead to double digits with three free throws — the result of George King‘s third foul — and the deficit grew to 14 on a fast-break slam dunk, then as high as 17.

Colorado, though, rallied to cut the margin to five, 65-60. An 11-0 CU run — all from McKinley Wright — sparked the burst before a King 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:41 to go pulled the Buffs to within five.

The Rams — who went without a field goal for nearly seven minutes — pushed the margin back to seen on a pair of Deon James free throws before Dominique Collier brought CU back to within five with a driving layup with 1:05 to go.

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: Colorado returns to the Coors Events Center for a 7 p.m. home game Wednesday with New Mexico.

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December 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs ready for Saturday morning showdown against Colorado State

From CUBuffs.com … As much as Colorado coach Tad Boyle would love to see his Buffs get up and down the Moby Arena floor in a hurry Saturday, it’s not what he is expecting to transpire.

Rather, when the 6-0 Buffs and 3-4 Colorado State tip it off at 11 a.m. (AT&T SportsNet), Boyle expects a much slower pace. That’s the kind of game Larry Eustachy’s Rams love to play, and they will no doubt try to engage the Buffs in a halfcourt battle.

“We have to be able to execute in halfcourt,” Boyle said. “It’s much easier to slow the game down than it is to speed it up. Hopefully if we’re getting stops we can run and get in transition a little bit, but we have to be ready for a knock-down, drag-out, grind-it-out game.”

The Buffs have been there before with the Rams, with differing degrees of success. Two years ago, they survived a hot-shooting Rams team in the first half and overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to collect an 88-77 win in Fort Collins.

But last year, the Buffs put forth what Boyle termed a “god-awful” offensive performance and dropped a 72-58 decision in Boulder, despite holding a plus-nine rebound advantage and holding CSU to just 38.5 percent shooting from the field.

The difference in that game was Colorado’s shooting. CU hit just 32.2 percent of its shots (19-for-59), which included a 3-for-19 effort from 3-point range.

“CSU will bait you into early ‘threes’,” Boyle said. “They want you to shoot the ball early in the shot clock. They showed great patience against us offensively. … We told our guys we can’t settle for early 3s. That’s what they want. If you take those early 3s and they don’t go in, it’s a tough deal.”

Continue reading story here

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3 Responses to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. ep

    LaMelo Ball??? puhleeeeze
    makes sense though for one of the most arrogant little league dad’s on the planet. Never was a “Melo” fan and I will be shocked if the real Melo ever wins a title. Not very many ball hogs do.
    I just hope all of LaVar’s kids keep their heads on straight throughout their parenting nightmare…..and of course LaVar will never look at his parenting when it comes to the shoplifting incident.
    oh yeah
    and Kudos to Alford for providing some discipline where it is absent in the Ball family. I wonder how that would have played out at AZ and their little rabid coach.

  2. Chirality

    @ep: Agree.

    Was at the CSU game. They just got outmuscled in the paint. But it wasn’t just Tory Miller-Stewart’s unexpected absence (we were trying to figure out why he wasn’t on the floor when the Buffs came out, it wasn’t until ~5 minutes into the game we found an article indicating he broke his foot).

    Even when both teams were playing small, CU was getting out-rebounded. Giving up offensive rebounds by not blocking out properly, or just getting flat-out out-jumped and out-hustled. Multiple examples of rebounds-turned-turnovers when CU players failed to secure rebounds with no CSU player nearby. Tons of examples of guys trying to drive into the paint and just getting pushed out of the way.

    That said, this game would have been very different is the officiating wasn’t atrocious. At one point in the game the fouls were like 7-1 against CU, and a lot of those were highly questionable. Made me wish for PAC-12 refs! But refs in college are always bad, so that’s not a great excuse for losing.

  3. ep

    Knew this was going to happen. Tad has the same problem as MM. No big guys…especially with Miller being hurt. Walton must still be a project. Tad only had him in for 16 minutes and he only had 3 rebounds

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