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Colorado Basketball

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Colorado Basketball

January 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU v. Washington (Sat., 4:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … “Senior Collier Continues To Provide Significant Minutes For Buffs” … from CUBuffs.com

Game Notes … Colorado is 12-7 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after its 82-73 win over Washington State on Jan. 18. After dropping its first two Pac-12 games, the Buffaloes have won four of five. At 4-3, Colorado is above .500 in conference play for the first time since the end of the 2015-16 season (10-8). The Buffaloes didn’t win their fourth league game until the 12th contest last year.

Colorado is averaging 74.7 points per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and five averaging between six and 15 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.3 points per game while holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting and 34.5 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado is second in defensive rebounds (28.4 drpg), third in overall rebounds (38.8 rpg) and fourth in field goal defense (.419) and rebounding margin (+4.5) on the Pac-12 charts.

THE HUSKIES … Washington is 13-6 overall and an even 3-3 in the Pac-12 after falling at Utah 70-62 on Jan. 18. The Huskies have lost their last two and three of their last five. Washington averages 76.3 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 33 percent from the 3-point line.

Defensively Washington gives up 74 points per game on 45 percent shooting. Washington leads the Pac-12 in both blocked shots (5.6 bpg) and steals (8.9 spg). Freshman guard Jaylen Nowell leads the Huskies at 16.7 points per
game while shooting 49 percent from the field. He is the second-leading scorer among freshmen in the Pac-12 behind Arizona’s Deandre Ayton. Junior forward Noah Dickerson tops the Huskies in both rebounding (7.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (.590) while averaging 14.5 points an outing. Junior guard David Crisp averages 11.8 points while leading Washington in both 3-pointers (31) and assists (3.2 apg). Junior guard Matisse Thybulle leads the Pac-12
in steals (3.1 spg) while averaging 10.6 points an outing.

Mike Hopkins is in his first season as the head coach at Washington with a record of 13-6.

THE SERIES … This will be the 24th meeting between Colorado and Washington with the Huskies holding a slim 12-11 series edge. The teams have split their home-and-home series each of the last four seasons. Three of those years the home team held serve (the exception was 2015 where the road team won both). The series is tied 5-5 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Colorado is 7-3 all-time against Washington in Boulder.

Tad Boyle is 5-5 against Washington as a head coach. Mike Hopkins has never faced Colorado as a head coach.

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January 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado takes care of Washington State, 82-73

Related … “Washington State comeback bid denied as CU Buffs pull away late” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Prosperity was almost too much for the Colorado Buffaloes to handle Thursday night.

But when push came to shove, the Buffs had enough push to claim an 82-73 win over Washington State at the Coors Events Center. Colorado built a 26-point lead early in the second half, then held off a furious WSU rally before finally regaining control to come away with its fourth win in the last five games and fourth straight win at home.

The Buffs improved to 12-7 overall and 4-3 in Pac-12 play — their first time over .500 in Pac-12 play since late in the 2015-16 season — while the Cougars fell to 9-9, 1-5.

Junior Namon Wright led Colorado with his first double-double as a Buff, a 16-point, 10-rebound effort. CU freshman McKinley Wright IV scored 17 points — 13 in the second half — to go with five assists and four rebounds.

CU senior George King, meanwhile, continued his stretch of solid play with 16 points and nine rebounds, Dominique Collier contributed 13 points and five boards and Lucas Siewert had 11 points and four rebounds.

Viont’e Daniels led WSU with 18 points on six of the Cougars’ 15 3-pointers.

“That was a good win,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “We made it interesting there in the second half, but hopefully we can learn from the lapses we had both offensively and defensively. We got a little complacent there in the second half, but we got the game back under control.”

Continue reading story here

… Up next: Washington, 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Pac-12 Networks …

Buffs need to hold off one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation

Related … “Shift to zone has powered defensive turnaround for CU men’s basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Over the last two weeks, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have played some of their best defense of the season, particularly against the 3-point shot.

That wasn’t a strong suit of the Buffs early in the year. But since conference play began — particularly over the last two weeks, a stretch in which the Buffs have won three of four games — CU has throttled opponents from the outside with a newfound penchant for employing a zone defense.

In six Pac-12 games, Colorado is second in the league in overall field goal defense, limiting opponents to just 42 percent shooting. The Buffs are also second in the conference in 3-point defense, allowing opponents to hit just 31.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.

That defense was particularly noticeable in their wins over No. 4 Arizona State, No. 14 Arizona and at UCLA. Those three teams combined to shoot just 21-for-84 (25 percent) from 3-point range.

“I think our zone has helped us a little bit,” Boyle said after Wednesday’s practice. “I think the second thing that has helped us is our guys have really dialed into scouting reports. We’ve really understood who are shooters, who aren’t shooters, and we’ve gotten to the guys that are shooters and made it difficult for them. It’s a combination of things.”

The Buffs will have that defense tested Thursday when 11-7 Colorado (3-3 Pac-12) plays host to Washington State (9-8, 1-4) in a 6 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center. The Cougars currently lead the Pac-12 and are third in the nation (first among Power 5 teams) in made 3-pointers per game, averaging nearly 12 per contest.

Continue reading story here

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January 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs taking on Washington State (Thursday, 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Network)

From CUBuffs.com …

Game Notes …  Colorado is 11-7 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after splitting its Southern California trip last week. The Buffaloes fell 70-58 at USC on Jan. 10, before rebounding for their first win at UCLA, 68-59, on Jan. 13. After dropping its first two Pac-12 games, the Buffaloes have won three of four. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak in true road contests.

Colorado is averaging 74.3 points per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and five averaging between six and 15 points an outing.

Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.3 points per game while holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting and 33.7 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is second in overall rebounding (38.8 rpg) and defensive rebounds (28.3 drpg), third in 3-point defense and overall field goal defense, fourth in rebounding margin (+4.2) and fifth in free throw percentage (.720) on the Pac-12 charts.

THE COUGARS …  Washington State is 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12. The Cougars snapped a four-game skid by defeating California 78-53 on Jan. 13. Washington State will be looking for its first true road win of the season in its fifth try. The Cougars average 75.6 points on 45 percent shooting. Washington State leads the Pac-12 and ranks third in the nation in 3-pointers with 11.9 per game. The Cougars are second in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 39 percent.

Defensively, Washington State allows 74.2 points per game while opponents shot 43 percent. The Cougars top the conference in 3-point defense allowing opponents just 32 percent. Junior forward Robert Franks leads Washington State at 18.2 points an 7.0 rebounds per game. Franks is coming off a historic outing, hitting a school-record 10 3-point field goals and finishing with 34 points. Sophomore guard Malachi Flynn averages 15.4 points and tops the team in assists at 4.0 per game. Sophomore guard Carter Skaggs averages 8.8 points off the bench and is shooting 48 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Viont’e Daniels averages 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds an outing.

Ernie Kent is in his fourth season as the head coach of Washington State with a record of 45-65. He is in his 23rd season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 369-319.

THE SERIES … This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and Washington State with the Buffaloes holding an 11-3 series edge. The Buffaloes won two of three last season with each team winning at home and then Colorado claiming the rubber match in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Colorado has won 10 of 12 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. The Buffaloes are 6-0 all time against  Washington State in Boulder. Tad Boyle is 10-2 against Washington State as a head coach. Ernie Kent is 3-6 against Colorado as a head coach, one of those wins coming as the head coach at Oregon in the 2004 NIT.

Jon Wilner: CU jumps from No. 7 to No. 3 in Pac-12 Power Rankings

From the San Jose Mercury News… We’re not going to play, How bad is the Pac-12?

We could play it — a team that lost to Portland State, Long Beach State and Eastern Washington is tied for first place — but we won’t.

Nope. Not this week.

(But we could: A team that lost to Princeton is a half-game out of first place.)

It just doesn’t seem right.

(Seriously, we could: A team that lost at home to Gonzaga by 27 is one game out of first place.)

Instead, we’ll focus on everything the conference has going for it …

3. Colorado (11-7/3-3)
Last week: 7
Results: Lost at USC 70-58, won at UCLA 68-59
Next up: vs. Washington State (Thursday)
Comment: Edge to the Buffaloes over Stanford on the strength of their conference wins (UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State) and avoidance of a loss to a particular team in the cellar.

Continue reading story here

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January 15th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs to face Washington schools this weekend looking to improve Pac-12 ranking

From CUBuffs.com … With a 3-3 conference record to show after perhaps the most difficult stretch of their Pac-12 schedule, the 11-7 Colorado Buffaloes are in good shape as they return to the Coors Events Center this week for a pair of games.

For the second straight year, the Buffs’ opening three weeks of the Pac-12 were not built for a fast start. This year’s slate included four road games and two home contests against top-15 opponents.

But unlike a year ago, when the Buffs opened 0-7 in conference play, Tad Boyle‘s crew bounced back from an 0-2 start this year to win three of the next four. All three wins came against top-50 RPI teams (Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA).

Now Colorado returns to Boulder for a much more friendly stretch. Five of CU’s next seven games are at home, beginning with this week’s contests against Washington State (6 p.m. Thursday) and Washington (4 p.m. Saturday).

It’s an important week for the Buffs, who have clawed their way back into sixth place in the Pac-12 standings. A pair of wins this week would help them move up at least into fifth and possibly higher.

“We have to take care of our home court,” Boyle said after Saturday’s big road win at UCLA. “We need our fans out next week against Washington State and Washington.”

Continue reading story here

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January 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Andy Katz: CU up to No. 30 in Power 36

Considering most bracketology predictions don’t mention Colorado, this is pretty high praise

From NCAA.com … The week proved two things: Villanova is clearly going to enter the NCAA tournament as one of the favorites and Purdue may end up joining the Wildcats as one of the four No. 1 seeds.

From the Pac-12:

No. 10 – Arizona (13)

No. 26 – Arizona State (14)

30. Colorado (33): Just when it looked like the Buffaloes couldn’t sustain their good fortune in the Pac-12 — they win at UCLA. The Buffs got the split they needed in LA, losing at USC but winning at Pauley to go to 3-3 in the conference. Colorado is going to be on the edge all season and has to sweep the opportunities at home, like Washington State Thursday and Washington Saturday. The 53 RPI and the three wins in quadrant 1 and one and quadrant 2 put the Buffs in the ballpark for a bid.

Can the Buffs turn the 2017-18 season into something special?

Related … “First road win could be start of bigger things for CU men’s basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … One year after one of the more frustrating seasons in his head coaching career, a rejuvenated Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is putting forth one of his best coaching efforts yet.

Youth — more accurately the presence of such — can have such an effect.

Not to say this Colorado team will be Boyle’s best. That designation will almost certainly still belong to either of Boyle’s first two CU teams: the 2010-2011 crew that was snubbed by the NCAA and then advanced to the NIT Final Four; or the 2011-12 team that won four Pac-12 tourney games in four days, then beat UNLV in the NCAA Tournament opener.

But what these current Buffs are accomplishing in the face of youth, some key roster hits and some early season bumps is nothing short of outstanding — and Boyle deserves plenty of credit for guiding this bunch to this point.

These Buffs were not a team predicted to have any impact on the Pac-12 standings. The preseason media poll picked Colorado to finish ninth in the conference — and that is before news broke that freshman Evan Battey would be ineligible for the season, and before senior big man Tory Miller-Stewart suffered a season-ending foot injury.

Continue reading story here

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January 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs pick up first-ever win on the road against UCLA

Related … “George King leads Buffs to first win at Pauley Pavilion” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Colorado stuns UCLA for its first road victory” … from the Los Angeles Times

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes ended their road woes in the most unlikely of places Saturday night.

Senior George King recorded a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double and CU’s defense smothered UCLA all night, leading the Buffs to a 68-59 win over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, the Buffs’ first-ever win on the Bruins’ home floor.

The win ended a seven-game road skid that stretched back to last February as well as an all-time eight-game losing streak on the Bruins’ home floor — including four in Pac-12 play.

CU improved to 11-7 overall and 3-3 in Pac-12 play while the Bruins, who entered the day in first place in the Pac-12,  dropped to 13-5, 4-2.

“Just a great win for our program,” Boyle said. “These young guys are growing up before your eyes. … I’m just so proud of these guys. The road hasn’t been good to us and we needed this first one to start believing. I told them it’s our first road win, it better not be our last.”

King, who had a career-high six 3-pointers, recorded his fifth double-double of the season and 12th of his career. Junior Namon Wright added nine points, freshman Tyler Bey had seven points and seven rebounds and freshman McKinley Wright IV dished out seven assists.

Continue reading story here

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January 12th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado at UCLA (8:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … “CU Buffs attempt to break winless spell at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion” … from the Daily Camera 

Game Notes … Colorado is 10-7 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after falling to USC 70-58 on Jan. 10 on the first game of its Southern California trip. The Buffaloes have lost their last seven true road contests dating back to the end of the 2016-17 season.

The Buffaloes are coming off a sweep of No. 4 (AP)/6 (Coaches) Arizona State and No. 14/16 Arizona State last week. Colorado claimed wins over ranked teams in back-to-back outings for the first time since defeating No.9 Missouri in Boulder and No. 21 Kansas State in Manhattan Jan 8 & 12, 2011. It’s the first time in program history Colorado has defeated AP Top 15 teams in back-to-back games.

Colorado is averaging 74.6 points per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and five averaging between six and 16 points an outing.

Defensively, Colorado is allowing 74.1 points per game while holding opponents to 42.2 percent shooting and 34.5 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is second in rebounding (39.1 rpg) and defensive rebounds (28.4 drpg), third in rebounding margin (+4.8) and fifth in field goal defense and offensive rebounds (10.8 orgp) on the Pac-12 charts.

THE BRUINS … UCLA is 13-4 overall and sits alone in first place in the Pac-12 at 4-1. The Bruins have won two straight and six of their last seven games, with the lone loss a 107-99 double-overtime setback at Stanford on Jan. 4. UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 85.5 points per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. Beyond the arc, UCLA is the league’s second-best 3-point shooting team at 38.2 percent. Defensively, the Bruins give up 76.7
points, ranking 11th on the league charts. UCLA tops the Pac-12 in rebounding at 40.2 per game.

Junior guard Aaron Holiday leads UCLA at 19.4 points and 5.3 assists per game. Holiday is shooting 48 percent from the field and 80 percent from the 3-point line. Freshman guard Kris Wilkes is averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. Senior center Thomas Welsh sports the season double-double at 12.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Jaylen Hands averages 11.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Steve Alford is in his fifth year at UCLA with a record of 109-49. He is in his 27th overall season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 572-284.

THE SERIES …  This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 11-2 edge. The Bruins have won the last three and 7 of 8 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Colorado will be looking for its first win at UCLA in its ninth try. Both of Colorado’s wins in the series have come in Boulder, most recently a 62-57 decision on Jan. 2, 2015.

Basketball future for freshman Evan Battey in jeopardy after “medical emergency”

From the Daily Camera … The personal trials for Colorado men’s basketball freshman Evan Battey have grown deeper and far more frightening.

Over the holiday break, Battey suffered a significant medical emergency that, for the time being, leaves his basketball future in limbo.

Battey is going through a number of medical tests to determine if he suffered a type of stroke, seizure, or some other affliction. A native of View Park in southern California, Battey was allowed to remain at home during the semester break since he is redshirting this season. He suffered the medical emergency shortly after Christmas. Battey visited his teammates Wednesday night during the Buffaloes’ game at USC and still was dealing with nerve issues in his facial muscles.

Continue reading story here

Buffs look for first-ever win over UCLA at Pauley Pavillion

From CUBuffs.com … Still searching for their first road win of the season, the Colorado Buffaloes head to UCLA on Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. matchup with the Bruins (Pac-12 Networks) at Pauley Pavilion.

It is not the optimal place for the 10-7 Buffs (2-3 Pac-12) to end a skid. Colorado has never won at UCLA, an 0-8 streak that includes four losses at Pauley since CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Equally disconcerting is the margin of defeat in those losses, an average of 18 points.

Neither is this a good time to catch the Bruins (13-4, 4-1), who are are among the hottest teams in the Pac-12 at the moment. UCLA has won six of its last seven games, including an 83-64 win over Utah on Thursday, with the only loss in the stretch a double-overtime defeat at Stanford last week.

Still, the Buffs figure they have to end the streak at some point, and getting the program’s first-ever win at UCLA would be a nice way to do it.

The question is whether they can cure the ills that have plagued them on the road this year, particularly in Pac-12 play.

In three conference road games, the Buffs have averaged 20 turnovers per game, with opponents reaping an average of 23.6 points off those miscues. That includes a 22-turnover effort in Wednesday’s 70-58 loss at USC, when the Trojans scored 25 points off of CU’s turnovers.

The issue has been especially vexing for head coach Tad Boyle and his team because they know what the issue is — zone defenses. Opponents have settled back into zone defenses and forced CU turnovers by the handful.

“The good thing is we know what our problem is,” Boyle said after Wednesday’s game. “The bad thing is we haven’t been able to fix it. We’d better be able to fix it because UCLA is going to watch this film, they’re going to play zone on Saturday and we have to be ready to handle it. We have two days of practice to figure that out and get better.”

Continue reading story here

Tad Boyle v. Andy Enfield feud receiving national attention

From NBC Sports … Last week, Colorado knocked off Arizona in Boulder, completing a sweep of the only two good teams in the Pac-12.

As you might imagine, Colorado head coach Tad Boyle was pretty jacked up about it, leading to one of the more entertaining quotes we’ve seen in a press conference this season

“Absolutely there is,” Boyle said when asked if there was any extra satisfaction in beating Arizona given what happened in the offseason with the FBI investigation; both Arizona and USC were linked to potential NCAA violations. USC has yet to play with De’anthony Melton this season while Arizona has lost a 2018 point guard commitment. Both programs had an assistant coach arrested and fired. “I’ve got great respect for Sean Miller and the kind of coach he is. They recreuit very well. USC has recruited very, very well. The two most talented teams in our league from top to bottom are USC and Arizona. So hell yes, there’s extra satisfaction. Hell yes. I’ve got great respect for Sean. Hell of a coach. I’ve got great respect for Andy Enfield. But to answer your question: Hell. Yes.”

This did not sit well with Enfield, who is still in the process of trying to get Melton cleared to play this season.

He read a statement of his own to a pair of reporters prior to the game against Colorado.

“We are disappointed in Tad Boyle’s comments, and what they imply,” Enfield said, according to the OC Register. “Not only is it unfair for someone to comment who doesn’t have all the facts, but those comments are unfair to those of us involved in the USC men’s basketball program, most importantly to our student-athletes and their families.”

Boyle released a statement of his own saying that it was “never my intention for this to escalate” prior to Wednesday night’s game in Los Angeles against the Trojans, but if you thought that Enfield was going to leave this alone, you were wrong.

With just over 20 seconds left in the game and USC up 70-58, Enfield called a timeout. He then proceeded to clap and yell at the final buzzer and blew right by the Colorado coaching staff in the handshake line:

“I just had some things to say to my team,” Enfield said of the timeout, to which Boyle responded, “I will say this, that was a very strategic timeout from Andy Enfield and I’m not going to forget about it, and neither will our players.”

It will be interesting to see what happens from here.

For starters, USC is arguably the most underachieving team in college basketball this season. They have the talent to win the Pac-12 in a year where both Arizona and UCLA have their own issues, yet they are just 12-6 after Wednesday night’s win. Was this the spark they needed to wake up?

On another note, we have to wait until Feb. 21st for USC’s trip to Colorado.

That should be quite a bit of fun.

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January 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle in line for one year contract extension

From the Daily Camera … Chances are Tad Boyle won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

University of Colorado athletic director Rick George confirmed that per terms of Boyle’s contract, the leader of the CU men’s basketball team will receive his automatic one-year contract extension this spring. If past scenarios hold form, the extension will be finalized at the Board of Regents meeting in Denver on Feb. 8-9.

The terms for Boyle’s contract calls for either side — Boyle and his representatives, or the university — to give notice by Dec. 31 that they plan to opt out of the automatic one-year extension. George confirmed that neither side gave such notice.

The one-year addition extends Boyle’s deal through the 2022-23 season. The terms of the contract do not change, meaning Boyle’s annual salary remains at about $1.5 million (base salary plus benefits).

Continue reading story here

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January 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to USC, 70-58

Related … “CU Buffs can’t get out of their own way in road loss to USC” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado couldn’t shake the turnover bug on the road Wednesday night and the Buffs’ miscues paved the way for a 70-58 Southern California win at the Galen Center.

The loss, Colorado’s fifth in as many tries on the road this year, dropped the Buffs to 10-7 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12. USC improved to 12-6, 3-2.

The Buffs committed 22 turnovers, which led to 25 USC points.

George King led Colorado with 21 points, 15 coming in the first half, and Namon Wright added 10. Tyler Bey added eight points and seven rebounds for the Buffs.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by one, 34-33, late in the first half before USC closed the period with a 5-0 burst to take a 38-34 lead at halftime.

The Trojans then slowly built the lead into double digits in the second half as Colorado went cold from the field. The Buffs shot just 7-for-26 from the field in the second half while the Trojans hit 10 of their 26 field goal tries.

Colorado managed to cut USC’s lead to nine, 59-50, with 5:45 still to go on a McKinley Wright IV 3-pointer, but the Buffs could never come any closer down the stretch.

Jordan McLaughlin scored 20 points for USC and Chimezie Metu scored 14 points and had six blocked shots.

Colorado trailed by four at the half, 38-34, despite shooting 6-for-11 from 3-point range as turnovers once again plagued the Buffs on the road. Colorado committed 13 miscues in the first half and the Trojans turned them into 16 points, including a basket in an 8-2 run to end the half.

King had 15 of his points in the first period and Namon Wright added eight for Colorado.

NEXT UP: The Buffs finish their swing through Los Angeles on Saturday with an 8:30 p.m. game at UCLA.

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January 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU trying for first road win v. USC (Wednesday, 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1)

Related … “Buffs Head To Los Angeles Seeking Road Win, Face USC Wednesday” … from CUBuffs.com

From CUBuffs.com

Game Notes … Colorado is 10-6 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12 Conference after sweeping No. 4 (AP)/6 Coaches) Arizona State and No. 14/16 Arizona State last week. Colorado claimed wins over ranked teams in back-to-back outings for the first time since defeating No. 9 Missouri in Boulder and No. 21 Kansas State in Manhattan Jan 8 & 12, 2011.

It’s the first time in program history Colorado has defeated AP Top 15 teams in back-to-back games. Colorado’s thrilling 90-81 overtime win Arizona State snapped a three-game skid and was Colorado’s highest AP ranked win since defeating No. 3 Texas, 93-80, in Boulder on Feb. 4, 2003.

Colorado is averaging 75.7 points per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and five averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 74.4 points per game while holding opponents to 42.1 percent shooting and 33.7 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado is second in rebounding (39.1 rpg) and defensive rebounds (28.6 drpg), fourth in 3-point defense and fifth in rebounding margin (+4.6) on the Pac-12 charts.

THE TROJANS … USC is 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12 after splitting at the Bay Area schools last week. The Trojans soundly defeated California 80-62 on Jan. 4 before falling at Stanford 77-76 on Jan. 7 on a last second half-court shot. USC averages 81.5 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. The Trojans rank third in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 38 percent. Defensively, the Trojans allow 73.4 points on 43.8 percent from the field. USC ranks fourth in both rebounding margin (+4.7) and rebounding defense (32.5 rpg).

Junior forward Chimezie Metu leads USC at 17.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while hitting 56 percent from the field. Classmate Bennie Boatright is averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Jordan McLaughlin leads the Pac-12 in assists at 7.9 per game while scoring at 12.7 points an outing. Elijah Stewart is USC’s fourth leading scorer at 11.5 points per game and has 34 3-point field goals on the season.

THE SERIES … This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding a 9-5 lead. USC has won the last two in the series. The Buffaloes are 7-2 against USC since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.

Boyle: Upperclassmen setting the tone

Related … “CU men’s basketball hits halfway point with momentum on Buffs’ side” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … One of the main storylines surrounding the Colorado Buffaloes all season has been the development of CU’s freshman class.

That development found the spotlight Monday when point guard McKinley Wright IV was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading the 10-6 Buffs to wins over No. 4 Arizona State and No. 14 Arizona last week.

Wright’s play last week — he averaged 17.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds — was no doubt a key to Colorado’s head-turning victories.

But the performance of CU’s freshman wasn’t the biggest difference between the Buffs who beat ASU and UA and the Buffs who lost at Oregon State and Oregon just a week earlier.

Rather, the biggest difference in Boulder was the performance of Buffs seniors George King and Dominique Collier and junior Namon Wright. After sub-par performances on the road, CU’s upperclassmen bounced back and delivered in a big way at home.

“They played extremely well this weekend,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “I wouldn’t say they carried us but they certainly set the tone in terms of their consistent nature on both ends of the floor. When you have that and you add talented freshmen to that, you can have weekends like we just had.”

Continue reading story here

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January 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

Andy Katz: Colorado in at No. 33 in the nation

From NCAA.com … During Selection Week in March, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee will select the best 36 at-large teams to join the 32 automatic qualifiers to play in the Division I men’s basketball championship. Each week, Andy will rank his best 36 teams based on results to date. These rankings are his own and are in no way affiliated with the committee.

Ohio State made sure there was going to be a new No. 1 in the Power 36, but the blue blood-letting from Saturday indicated the shakeup was going to be from top to bottom. Remember, these are the hottest teams right now. Some will get in as automatic qualifiers, others with at-large bids. But everyone needs more work with the regular-season countdown clock hitting the two-month mark. Two down, two to go.

The Pac-12:

No. 13 – Arizona

No. 14 – Arizona State

No. 28 – UCLA

No. 33 – Colorado

The Buffs made a cameo in the Power 36 after winning the Paradise Jam. Then the skid occurred, as they lost to an elite team in Xavier, and then to teams that they should have beaten in San Diego, Iowa, and maybe getting a split on the Oregon trip. But then came the Arizona schools at home and it was all on. Colorado outlasted Arizona State in overtime and then took out Arizona to officially announce the Buffs are back.

Up next: at USC, Wednesday; at UCLA, Saturday.

 

McKinley Wright IV named Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week

Press release from the Pac-12 … Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week (1/8/18) – McKinley Wright IV, Fr., G, COLORADO

• COLORADO’s McKinley Wright IV earns his first Pac-12 Player of the Week award for the week of Jan. 1-7 as voted on by media who cover the league. Wright led the Buffs to upsets over No. 4 Arizona State and No. 14 Arizona for the program’s first-ever back-to-back wins against AP Top 15 opponents.

• The true freshman averaged 17.5 points (13-26 FG, 9-11 FT) and 7.5 assists to lead CU to the pair of upsets. He led the team with 19 points, five assists and three rebounds in Friday’s 90-81 overtime victory over No. 4 Arizona State for the Buffaloes’ highest ranked victory since 2003 (No. 3 Texas). He recorded his third career double-double and second of the points-assists variety as CU knocked off No. 17 Arizona, 80-77, on Sunday.

• Wright is the first Colorado freshman to win the Pac-12 weekly honor and only the second underclassman to win the award (Askia Booker) among the Buffs’ nine all-time weekly nods.

• The North Robbinsdale, Minn. native is tied for second in the Pac-12 with 5.3 assists per game. His 84 assists through 16 games are already in the top 10 for a freshman in CU history, and he is on pace to surpass Chauncey Billups’ rookie record of 143 set in 1995-96.

• Colorado (10-6, 2-2) will travel to face USC (11-6, 2-2) on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. PT on FS1 and league-leading UCLA (12-4, 3-1) on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network.

ALSO NOMINATED: Deandre Ayton, ARIZONA; Tres Tinkle, OREGON STATE; Daejon Davis, STANFORD; Aaron Holiday, UCLA; Matisse Thybulle, WASHINGTON; Robert Franks, WASHINGTON STATE.

2017-18 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Week of Player
Nov. 13 Allonzo Trier, Arizona
Nov. 20 Tra Holder, Arizona State
Nov. 27 Tra Holder, Arizona State
Dec. 4 Deandre Ayton, Arizona
Dec. 11 Shannon Evans II, Arizona State
Dec. 18 Jordan McLaughlin, USC
Dec. 25 Aaron Holiday, UCLA
Jan. 1 Deandre Ayton, Arizona
Jan. 8 McKinley Wright IV, Colorado

NCAA national “Team of the Week”: Colorado

From the NCAA … It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the weekly honors. The best of yet another eventful week in college basketball:

Team of the Week: Colorado 

The Buffs turned their season around by sweeping Arizona State and Arizona in Boulder. No team in the country had as many significant wins this week as Colorado. Both games were late possession wins with point guard McKinley Wright starring in both. Colorado was run off the court at Xavier and then lost to Iowa on a neutral court and got swept at the Oregon schools. But now suddenly the Buffs can restart their season anew. Colorado has to show well against the LA schools this week to prove that this was not a hometown fluke. Colorado was the better team in both games and deserved to win each. But the Buffs need to make sure these wins matter in March.

Continue reading story here

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January 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Can CU take momentum forward … and pick up the Buffs’ first win on the road?

Related … “Plenty Of Positives From Back-to-back Buffs Wins” … from CUBuffs.com

From the Daily Camera … In a span of about 42 hours the Colorado men’s basketball pulled off the unthinkable, putting together a pair of eye-popping victories that have the potential of changing the entire complexion of the season.

The key word there is potential. If the Buffaloes intend to prove they are destined for some type of postseason berth instead of falling into a competition for the basement in the Pac-12 Conference — a fate that appeared more likely just a few days ago — CU must find a way to take their impressive home show on the road.

Rebounding from a pair of mistake-heavy losses to open Pac-12 play in Oregon, the Buffs looked like a completely different team while knocking off No. 4 Arizona State and No. 14 Arizona over the course of just three days. It was a monumental step forward for CU and its freshman-heavy rotation. Now a Buffs team that has struggled mightily on the road will be challenged to take the same sort of step this week in Los Angeles against USC and UCLA.

“If we play like we’re capable of playing, we can play with anybody in this league,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We still have to prove that on the road. That’s the next challenge for this team. We get an opportunity to do that in L.A. against USC on Wednesday night.”

Continue reading story here

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January 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs knock off consecutive ranked teams, taking out No. 14 Arizona, 80-77

Related … “CU Buffs top Arizona for second top-15 win in three days” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Arizona coach Sean Miller after loss: ‘I can’t reach’ players” … from ESPN

From CUBuffs.com … New year, new team.

2018 seems to suit the the Colorado Buffaloes quite well.

Saturday, for the second time in as many games, Tad Boyle‘s Buffs knocked off a top-20 team at the Coors Events Center, sending No. 14 Arizona back to Tucson with an 80-77 loss. The win, coming on the heels of Thursday’s 90-81 win over No. 4 Arizona State, improved the Buffs to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play while Arizona fell to 12-4, 2-1.

Just like the win over ASU, Saturday’s win was a complete team effort. Five Buffs scored in double figures. Freshman McKinley Wright IV led CU with 16 points and 10 assists (his third double-double this year), Dallas Walton added 15 points, Namon Wright and Dominique Colliereach scored 14 and D’Shawn Schwartz added 10. George King, meanwhile, led CU on the boards with 11 rebounds.

Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton led all scorers with 26 points. Arizona’s Allonzo Trier finished with just eight points, 12 under his season average.

“The difference between our team now and a week ago (when CU lost at Oregon State and Oregon) is number one that we believe,” Boyle said. “Number two, we’re playing together and we’re playing with great energy. We have good moments, we have bad moments. We showed that today but we have a toughness that we didn’t show in Corvallis. … At some point when you’re on a slide, your players have to see that they’re sick and tired of this and it’s time to turn it up. Players win games. I haven’t changed anything other than my little bit of zone between the Oregon trip and this trip.”

But that “little bit of zone” has definitely made a difference. The Buffs stymied ASU on Thursday with their new-look defense and appeared to catch Arizona by surprise as well. The Wildcats shot just 38.4 percent from the floor (28-for-73), including just 7-for-25 from 3-point range. Colorado, meanwhile, once again found its shooting eye, hitting 54.7 percent of its field goal tries (29-for-53), including a respectable 7-for-16 afternoon from 3-point range.

“The key with talented teams is that you want to keep them off balance,” said Boyle, who celebrated his 55th birthday Saturday. “We wanted to try to keep them off balance and I thought the zone helped do that.”

The wins over ranked teams in back-to-back games were the first for Colorado  since Boyle’s first Colorado team beat Missouri (No. 9) and Kansas State (No. 21) in consecutive games in 2011.

“If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can play with anybody in this league,” Boyle said. “We still have to prove that on the road. That’s the next challenge for this team.”

Continue reading story here

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January 5th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs hope to continue momentum against No. 14 Arizona (Sat., noon, MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … “CU men’s basketball shooting for successful encore against No. 14 Arizona” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Arizona Wildcats basketball faces up-and-coming Colorado team” … from the Arizona Republic

From CUBuffs.com … For much of the season, Colorado coach Tad Boyle has maintained that his Buffs could play with anyone in the Pac-12 — if they could maintain long stretches of consistency.

Thursday night, the 9-6 Buffs backed up Boyle’s belief in a big way with a 90-81 overtime win over fourth-ranked Arizona State. After yet another slow start — one that resulted in an early 13-1 deficit — the Buffs then put together their best 40 minutes of basketball this season.

It was a quality win over a quality team. Arizona State’s only previous loss came at Arizona, and the Sun Devils have wins at Kansas, and over Kansas State and Xavier (currently the fifth-ranked Musketeers’ only loss) on a neutral floor.

You will hear more from the Sun Devils in March.

Of course, the question now is whether the Buffs can maintain that level of play from game to game and week to week.

CU fans won’t have to wait long for an answer, as Colorado will be back on the Coors Events Center floor Saturday for a noon matchup with No. 14 Arizona (Pac-12 Networks).

What we saw Thursday night is how good the Buffs can be if everyone in the lineup contributes. The Buffs produced balanced scoring, tenacious rebounding and defense with an edge.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 9-6 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12 Conference after a thrilling 90-81 overtime win over No. 4 (AP)/6 (Coaches) ranked Arizona State on Jan. 4. The win snapped a three-game skid and was Colorado’s highest AP ranked win since defeating No. 3 Texas, 93-80, in Boulder on Feb. 4, 2003.

Colorado is averaging 75.4 points per game while shooting 44.6 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.

THE WILDCATS … Arizona is 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12 after its 94-82 win at Utah on Jan. 4. The Wildcats entered the week ranked No. 14 in the latest Associated Press Poll while coming in at No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. Arizona has won nine straight since a three-game losing skid back in November.

Arizona is averaging 84.2 points on a Pac-12 best 51.4 percent from the field. The Wildcats are also a league-best 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Defensively, Arizona allows 72.2 points while opponents shoot 42.2 percent. The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+7.3) after doubling up Utah, 46-23.

Arizona’s inside-out duo of junior guard Allonzo Trier and freshman forward Deandre Ayton are combining for over 40 points per game. Trier has a slight edge averaging 20.3 points on 54 percent shooting and a team best 31 3-point field goals. Ayton averages 20 points per game while leading the Pac-12 in rebounding at 12.1 per contest. Ayton is coming off a 24-point, 14-rebound performance at Utah. Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins is averaging 15.5 points on 52 percent shooting. Senior center Dusan Ristic is averaging 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 56 percent.

Sean Miller is in his ninth year at Arizona with a record of 232-69. He is in his 14th year overall as a collegiate head coach with a record of 352-116.

SERIES RECORDS … This will be the 29th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 16-12 series lead. Arizona has won the last three, including a 92-78 decision in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Pac-12 Tournament. The Buffaloes are 8-4 against the Wildcats in Boulder and won the last meeting at the Coors Events Center where Colorado topped No. 9 ranked Arizona 75-72 on Feb. 24, 2016. Arizona has won 11 of 14 meetings since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12.

Tad Boyle is 4-11 against Arizona as a head coach. Sean Miller is 12-4 against Colorado as a head coach.

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS … Colorado is 1-1 against ranked opponents this season after its 90-81 overtime win over No. 4/6 Arizona State. It was Colorado’s first win over a Top 5 opponent since defeating No. 5 Texas in February 2011 and highest ranked AP opponent since defeating No. 3 Texas in February 2003.

Colorado’s 16 wins over ranked opponents in Boyle’s seven-plus seasons is by far the best streak in team history. In fact Boyle coached teams, with a record of 16-29, have accounted for 27 percent of wins over ranked opponents (60) since 1949-50.

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January 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs upset No. 4 Arizona State in overtime, 90-81

RelatedGame stats … CU’s 60th win over a ranked team (16 of those coming under Tad Boyle) …

Related … “CU Buffs overcome slow start to knock off fourth-ranked Arizona State” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “No. 4 Arizona State basketball upset by Colorado” … from the Arizona Republic (including criticism of officiating by ASU head coach Bobby Hurley)

From CUBuffs.com … Thursday afternoon, Colorado coach Tad Boyle showed his team highlight clips of the program’s 15 wins over nationally ranked teams in his tenure in Boulder.

He then told the Buffs it was their turn to add the next chapter — and that’s exactly what they did.

Spurred on by a raucous Coors Events Center crowd, the Buffs rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit to knock off fourth-ranked Arizona State in overtime, 90-81, outscoring the visitors 16-7 in the extra period for the victory. The Sun Devils were the highest-ranked team beaten by Colorado in the Boyle era, and the highest-ranked team beaten by the Buffs since CU knocked off No. 3 Texas in February 2003.

The win also ended a three-game CU losing streak and improved Colorado’s record to 9-6 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play. The Sun Devils lost their second in a row to fall to 12-2 and 0-2.

The win was a team effort in every regard as the Buffs battled back from big deficits in the first and second half to collect the win. Freshman McKinley Wright IV and junior Namon Wright each scored 19 points for Colorado while senior George King added 18 points and nine rebounds and senior Dominique Collier had 11 points and a team-high six assists.

Tra Holder led ASU with 24 points

“What a resilient group we had,” Boyle said. “Our guys were a little bit down, felt like maybe we should have finished a little stronger in regulation. But they didn’t stay down. We came out in overtime and made winning plays. …. I’m just really proud of them.”

Continue reading story here

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs halted a three-game losing streak in the best possible fashion, by knocking off the nation’s fourth-ranked team. The win should give them some momentum as they continue a brutal Pac-12 stretch that includes Saturday’s home game against No. 14 Arizona.

KEY STATISTICS: The Buffs held ASU to just 35.5 percent shooting from the floor (27-for-76), including a 9-for-34 night from 3-point range. Colorado also had a 48-41 rebound edge and outscored the Sun Devils 17-9 on second-chance points.

NOTEWORTHY:  The win was Colorado’s 60th all-time against ranked teams, with Boyle’s squad responsible for 16 of those. … The Buffs are now 7-1 against ASU in Boulder. … CU is 2-0 in overtime games this season (the Buffs beat South Dakota State in double-overtime earlier this year). … CU shot 46 percent from the field after shooting just 39 percent in its first two Pac-12 games.

QUOTEWORTHY“We can turn this thing around quick. A game plan is a game plan and we have to put it in and execute it. That presents a whole different challenge because Arizona comes with completely different problems than Arizona State.” — CU head coach Tad Boyle on Saturday’s game against 14th-ranked Arizona.

“Nobody expected us to win this game. Nobody believed in us except us and our fans. We don’t care what anybody thinks, we’re here to prove people wrong.” — CU freshman McKinley Wright.

NEXT UP: The Buffs play host to No. 14 Arizona on Saturday in a noon game at the Coors Events Center. The Wildcats beat Utah, 94-82, Thursday.

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January 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

CU taking on surprising No. 4 Arizona State (Thurs., 6:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com

Game Notes … Colorado dropped a pair of road games at Oregon State (76-57) and Oregon (77-62) last week to open the Pac-12 Conference season. The Buffaloes opened Pac-12 play on the road for the third straight year and fourth time in the last six seasons.

The Buffaloes finished off the nonconference portion of their schedule at 8-4 after falling to Iowa 80-73 in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Dec. 22. After a 6-0 start, the Buffaloes have dropped three straight and six of their last eight.

Colorado is averaging 74.4 points per game while shooting 44.4 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 73.7 points per game while holding opponents to 43.1 percent shooting and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.

THE SUN DEVILS … Arizona State is 12-1 overall after dropping its Pac-12 Conference opener to rival Arizona on Dec. 30. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Arizona State sports the top scoring offense in the Pac-12 at 90.7 points per game and ranks second in field goal shooting at 49.7 percent. The Sun Devils rank second in the Pac-12 in assists (15.8 apg), turnover margin (+4.6) and 3-point percentage (.393). Defensively, Arizona State allows 72.6 points per game on 41.3 percent from the field.

Senior guard Tra Holder leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 22.0 pointsper game. He is third in the Pac-12 in steals (1.8 spg) and 3-pointers made (2.8 3mpg). Senior guard Shannon Evans II is second on the team in scoring at 17.0 points per game while leading the Sun Devils in assists (61) and 3-pointers made (38). Freshman forward Romello White tops Arizona State in rebounding at 8.6 per game while scoring 13.8 points on 69 percent shooting. Senior guard
Kodi Justice is averaging 13.0 points and ranks third on the teamin 3-pointers with 34.

SERIES RECORDS … This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and Arizona State with the series tied at 7-7. The teams met just once last year, a 78-77 Sun Devils victory in Tempe on Jan. 5. Colorado has won three of the last five overall in the series and holds a 6-1 advantage in Boulder. ASU’s lone win at the Coors Events Center was a 63-62 overtime decision on Feb. 16, 2013.

Tad Boyle is 5-6 against Arizona State as a head coach. Bobby Hurley is 1-1 against Colorado as a head coach.

Dallas Walton showing improvement in CU’s middle

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado redshirt freshman Dallas Walton is steadily developing into the player the Buffaloes need him to be.

It is a need that has become far more important since the season began.

The Buffs opened the season figuring Walton would be a key reserve, providing relief inside for senior starter Tory Miller-Stewart. But when Miller suffered a season-ending foot injury after the sixth game of the season, Walton’s role changed — and he is developing into the type of big man who should be able to hold his own in the Pac-12, particularly as he gains more experience.

In his first two Pac-12 games last weekend, Walton had just five points against Oregon State and three against Oregon. But he did make his presence known on the boards, collecting five rebounds against the Beavers and six against the Ducks, as well as a pair of blocked shots against OSU. While the rebound totals weren’t a career high — he had eight earlier this year against New Mexico — his performance nevertheless provided him with some reassurance that he can play in the Pac-12.

“You don’t really know what kind of level your body needs to be at until you’re down there bumping with the big guys like (OSU’s Drew) Eubanks, one of the best big guys in the Pac-12,” Walton said. “Oregon had some big strong bigs as well. Holding my own against them, bumping with them — it opened my eyes. I realized I belong here. In my mind I was preparing myself for the absolute worst and the worst didn’t happen.”

Continue reading story here

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January 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs have to “turn the page”, with two ranked teams coming to town this weekend

From CUBuffs.com … A few minutes after the Colorado Buffaloes had suffered their second Pac-12 loss Sunday in as many tries this season, coach Tad Boyle told his team they had to look ahead.

“I told our team we’re turning the page,” Boyle said after a 77-62 loss at Oregon, CU’s last game in 2017. “We have 16 games left and we have to approach this kind of like it’s a new season. We’re on a little bit of a slide right now and we have to correct that.”

The 8-6 Buffs are indeed currently mired in a slide. After a 6-0 run to start the season in November, the Buffs lost six of eight in December, including the last three.

Now, with the calendar showing not only a new month but a new year, Colorado would love to start 2018 on the right note.

The good news is the Buffs get a pair of home games this week, always a good place to look for a win. But Colorado’s first Pac-12 homestand of the year is by no means one designed to provide a cure for what has been ailing the Buffs for the last month.

Rather, it has the appearance of a “frying pan into the fire” type of weekend, one that begins Thursday with a visit from fourth-ranked Arizona State (12-1), followed by a noon tipoff Saturday against No. 14 Arizona (11-3).

But Boyle, ever the optimist, sees the Buffs’ first conference homestand as a chance to build confidence and momentum early in the Pac-12 season.

“What an opportunity we have next week,” Boyle said. “Two top programs coming into Boulder and the Coors Events Center. We need to turn the page and get ready for those guys. We have to strap it on.”

Continue reading story here

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44 Responses to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. 96Buff

    Tad deserves a lot of credit for righting the ship after going 2-6 during one stretch after the disaster in Oregon. I confess I didn’t think he would be flexible enough to play zone and make other changes but he has. I’m glad I was wrong. Go Buffs.

    • VKBerlin

      Ya him going to zone was a big surprise. But he did and he is seeing the impact after all these years of being against it.

      The ol dog is teachable

      Go Big Tad

  2. VKBerlin

    This team………..this damn ol (I mean young) team.

    The kids are pretty good. Play with a lot of moxie, but man they do play in a fearless manner. A little group of gunslingers banded together in the wild west to show em what for in the mountains and lay down the law.

    Nice little run.

    Just shocking the mighty Buffs play so much zone. Finally. Egos a side maybe eh?
    Good ol Tad-Ball has evolved………..still play D……….Still rebound………..but dang nab it he is letting the kids

    SHOOOT
    and
    PLAY ZONE

    and the youngsters are thriving
    and so is King……..Doing a great job

    But I am most happy for Dom. He has smiled more in the first half of this season than he did the previous 3 years. Really want him to have a year.

    Okay good win by the kids.

    Buffs.

    Note: Tad waited to long to sub out that crew when WSU went on the big run toward the end. Almost cost em. But a great finish.

  3. buffnaustin

    I have only seen one Buff basketball game so far this year. There is not enough information in my brain to even make an educated guess as to whether we have the talent to win 9 out of the next 12 games to hit the 20 win magic number. What do y’all think our win total will be this year as we are half way through the season. And do we have a chance at the Tourny?

    • WarBuff

      Challenging question because this team has been up and down so much. They certainly are getting better as the season has progressed, and hopefully will continue to improve.

      Is this recent winning a trend, or an anomaly? I think that is what everyone is waiting to see play out.

  4. VK Berlin

    I am convinced the Mighty Buffs will take care of their homecourt. Need it and gonna get it.

    Buffs

  5. Bufftrax

    1). KING GEORGE…… what else can one say. Ohhhh……..

    2). DEFENSE…… ZONE’S FINALLY WORKIN’ ISN’T IT TAD ? You’re finally learning. (Where’d that come from ? ASSISTANTS ? How many years did it take to catch on ? Started listening to VK, EP, AZ and the boys ? )

    3). Play like that more down the road and you’ll have a big following and the Event Center will be JAMMED. Ya Boy !

    Go BUFFS !

  6. 96Buff

    Great win. I’ve been critical of Tad (perhaps too much) but I give him and his staff credit for having a nice turnaround from the USC stink bomb and having the Buffs ready to play. George King was a beast. M. Wright struggled shooting the ball, but his assist to turnover ratio was great, decision making much better and he played very good defense on Holiday, and those 7 assists in the first half was huge. Much better offensively and just a nick short of reaching the 70 point total on the road which is key. Even though they were outrebounded they still won because they played very good defense and were efficient on offense (George King take a bow).
    On to the Washington schools. Two winnable games. Go Buffs.

  7. ep

    From all I have read about Evan Battey, he should be the last person to deserve some kind of medical emergency. Get well Evan. With your positive attitude it should be easier to do than for most of the rest of us.

  8. 83buff

    Free Battey! There are players named in the FBI scandal laying, but Battey has to sit? It’s bullcr@p!

  9. VKBerlin

    USC is a cheating.

  10. 96Buff

    A few thoughts on the game:

    1. Pretty simple formula: If McKinley Wright struggles (which he did) and Colorado plays poorly on offense (24 second half points) and can’t get in the 70s, Colorado had almost no chance at a Pac-12 win, especially on the road. The USC point guard (McGlaughlin) clearly outplayed CUs point guards. Tough lesson for the frosh, but he is going to be a great player.

    2. Opposing teams are going to throw waves of pressure at McKinley Wright and until Colorado proves they can handle the on ball pressure placed three quarters the length of the Court on them then it will be a long night for CU. This is where Dom Collier could help but he absolutley stunk tonight.

    3. Colorado’s half-court offense is woeful. If George King doesn’t have a big night then the game is a rout. Endless dribbling on the perimeter and bad passes into traffic due to the shot clock winding down which lead to a turnover fest. Twice the Buffs came out of a timeout and couldn’t get a shot off before the shot clock expired. Inept half-court offense.

    4. Colorado outrebounded USC by 8. And lost. Three Pac-12 road games the Buffs have outrebounded the opponent and lost. Meanwhile, Villanova crushed Xavier by 24 and was outrebounded by 3. Yes rebounding is important, but Tad’s manical devotion to outrebounding the other team seems to blind him of the importnace of effective half-court offense.

    5. Tyler Bey is going to be a nice player. L. Nikolic should be redshirting but is forced to play because of a thin upperclass. D. Walton is still a work in process but needs minutes to develop.

    6. That last time-out by Enfield to rub it in Tad’s face was bush league.

    On to UCLA. Go Buffs.

    • VKBerlin

      The halfcourt offense has been woefull for a while………Against AZ in the first half it was a different type of half court deal. No weave. Excellent movement with some penetration then kickouts and open shots. In the 2nd half it was dribble dribble penetrate, lose the ballAKYAZILI or throw a bad pass or take a forced shot. Just terrible. Reminded me of akazeelee and Talton played. Out of control with a bit of cluelessness.

      McKinley started trying to do to much in the 2nd half (Tad left him in the whole half) of the AZ game. Maybe reading his own clippings and believes he can/should do it all. That first AZ half he was brilliant.

      Anyway Go Buffs

      Note: Tad get some real offense eh?

      • VKBerlin

        Tag on Note:
        And someone said when USC shows up here in February, the whole crowd should be dressed up in FBI garb.

        Whatever that should be an interesting night.

      • 96Buff

        I concur. I’m hoping L. Siewert isn’t lost. He looked visibly frustrated when Tad yanked him. He’s a pick and pop guy (think Don McLean of UCLA yore) who could be a good player if used right but Tad wants to turn him into Dennis Rodman. I could see him transferring at year end.

  11. VKBerlin

    And furthermore

    Recruiting rankings

    ……………..az…………….ucla
    2014…………..3……………….7
    2015…………..3………………24
    2016…………..9………………11
    2017…………..3……………….5
    2018…………..33…………..23

    I was gonna put the Buffs rankings in there but other than 2017, where they were 25 it wasn’t worth the effort.

    Go look at this roster.

    This year they have 2 seniors who can play and a junior who can play.
    And too bad Tory got hurt and looks like he is done. He could stay but it ain’t looking like it.

    So next year it is gonna be who will play
    1 senior
    2 juniors
    6 sophmores
    1 rsf (Battey)
    2-3 frosh

    So one could say a “young experienced team”

    Should be nice and fun………..

    NOW GET THOSE 10 PAC-12 WINS.

    Buffalo Up

    • WarBuff

      The whole Tory thing is confusing VK, what is going on there? Seems like there is some lingering issue from the last couple of years when the team turned in disappointing results.

      • VKBerlin

        Hey War bud,,,,,,,,,,,Happy New year.

        I will say all this is true and Battey would have a big impact on his playing time. Always seemed to me he was “just a little bit on the outside” here.
        I will say niwotj has info on this.

        From my ol Buddy Rooney:
        After starting the first six games of the year, Miller-Stewart suffered an injury that will rob the 6-foot-9 forward of the remainder of his senior season. Boyle previously stated any discussions regarding Miller-Stewart’s future wouldn’t happen until after the first semester final exams, but any final decision regarding whether Miller-Stewart returns to the Buffs for a fifth season or moves on to pursue other options may not occur until February.

        “We visited a little before he left and we’ll visit again when he comes back,” Boyle said. “We’ll see where that’s at. He doesn’t have to make a decision soon, but I’m hoping by February or March.”

        Given he played only six games, Miller-Stewart remains eligible to apply for a a fifth season of eligibility, a process that would not begin until the 2017-18 season is complete. Additionally, Boyle signed only two players for the projected three scholarships available for the 2018-19 season — Elijah Parquet and Denver East’s Daylen Kountz — so there still is a scholarship available for Miller-Stewart if he opts to return.

        I am mixed on him returning. It’s a new deal now.

        Buffs

  12. VKBerlin

    In reviewing that game Saturday. The Buffs have some really good young talent. Really good. Walton has just grown up and will put on some more muscle still.

    And when that kid who got screwed on his academics is here next year there will be some size up front. Can’t wait.

    Now these kids? They are shooters. All of em. Tad lets em play on the offensive end they can bring the heat. Get in that circle around the key and not as good. Man they were playing free and easy in the first half and shooting the lights out of the basket. In the second half it was playing not to lose. You can believe it or not, but the free spirit team ball in the front half was great to see.

    Now just gotta get over the Road-hump and it starts this weekend. Gotta get 1

    After this coming weekend 12 left

    7 at home
    5 on the road

    Gotta double dip the wash schools at home
    Those 2 in AZ are gonna be tough……….Hmmmmm maybe mr. ol az can help em out
    Then 3 at home utah and the nor cal school. Have to get all 3 no excuses
    then up to wash………get 1 maybe 2
    The so cal punks in town………….get 1 but I would love 2
    Utah away……..gonna be important very important

    So therefore because…………..

    10-8 or 11-7

    Buffs

    I say they finish out strong

    Buffs

    Win 2 or 3 in the pac tourney

    Win 2 in the ncaa………..on to the sweet 16

  13. BuffStamp80

    We will no doubt see a lot of ups and downs from this team this year – hopefully, the trend is toward more solid and consistent play. Their overall increased talent level was on display over the weekend, and I hope the success they had helps their confidence level as they head out on the road.

    One thing that came out of Saturday’s press conference after the UA game was Coach Tad’s response about there being extra satisfaction in beating UA in light of the FBI recruiting investigation. His nailed his response! Go to the 10-minute press conference video – the last question of the conference.

  14. 96 Buff

    The Buffs got outrebounded by Arizona and won. The Buffs outrebounded Oregon and Oregon State and lost. The key to the two wins are McKineley Wright having a good to great game and the Buffs playinf effectively on offense and scoring in the high 70s and 80s. Dallas Walton had 15 points and one (1!) rebound. Thank god Tad didn’t yank him because he wasn’t Bill Russell like in rebounds and defense. Let the kid play loose and free (the other young guys too) and maybe Colorado can do some damage. I’ll gladly do a mea culpa at year end. Just don’t give us the rebound/defense mantra every five minutes.

    Offense wins too Tad….you just saw it back to back… Go Buffs

  15. ep

    any time there are 5 players in double figures it is usually a win. McKinley is not only a scoring machine he is an assist machine……..and the point guard the Buffs have sorely needed for years.
    The good news always comes with some bad. If he keeps this up is he a one and done?
    And Walton….7 for 7? get some rebounds from him commensurate with his size and he could be Tad’s second best recruiting steal.
    Now please keep this up on the road guys.
    I wasnt there VK. How many gallons would you estimate were coming off Miller on to the floor?

    • VKBerlin

      Hmmm. It was hot in there. He must be wearing a new kind of shirt. Never took his coat off so don’t know. He looked thinner actually. And the ball boys weren’t over there with the mops……..but…he……….is Tough on those kids though and the refs. He calls timeouts. Gets the kids in a circle then gives the refs a 4 minute lecture with that puffy red face.

      note. AZ you woulda missed that eh……….damn commercials

  16. I have to give the coaching staff and players credit. After losing at home to San Diego, sweeping the Arizona schools seemed impossible. Great job!

  17. AZBuff

    I’ve watched all of UofA’s games this year. The Buffs did the best job of keeping AZ off the boards particularly on AZ’s offensive board. They were able to block out those two bigs of CU and although Ayton ended up scoring 26 points, he only was in single digits in rebounds and that is where he can really hurt you. The zone that Tad hates to play sure did work well, also, and between the AZ guards Cartwright and Trier they threw up something like 23-25 3’s and only made 3 between the two of them.

    Great Buff win. Now if they can keep it up they look to have a good future yet this year and beyond. Walton, not Bill played probably the best big game of his so far short career.

  18. VK Berlin

    And I will say the halftime adjustments by Tad, almost cost them the game

    Buffs.

    And Miller is a Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad

    • AZBuff

      Cmon’ VK, it was Miller that adjusted at halftime. Can you ever enjoy anything that CU does without criticizing the coaches? Tad did a masterful job keeping this very young team together all through the 2nd half with some timely timeouts and substitutions. Enjoy this one and give the coaches some credit for gosh sakes.

      • VK Berlin

        Hey AZ

        The Buffs O was decidedly different in the 2nd half and not because of Miller.

        They ran that weave over and over and Wright was a dribbling machine and not that good. Drove the lane constantly and had turnovers up the yingyang and had plenty of shots blocked or re adjusted.

        In the first half they hardly did that. A much better O and got open shots.

        Cause in person is not as real as on the tube.

        But man what a great win.

        Buffs

        • AZBuff

          WRONG!!!!! You are overlooking the fact that the AZ team which I am very familiar with played a pretty bad first half, not near as well as they could play, and CU took advantage which a well coached team does. In the second half AZ which usually does come out and play much better did just that.

          Whether I was there or not if you have watched AZ since they went and after they came back from their disastrous trip to the Bahamas have really tightened up their D. In the first half against the Buffs there was no energy and no D from the Cats. Second half totally different and I suppose you are blaming all the turnovers on Tad as he surely must have told the guys to go out there and turn it over as much as possible, let the visitors back in the game. Wright was a dribbling machine first half because AZ wasn’t getting off ball screens.

          And again, how do you know I wasn’t there? You also are as usual blaming the coach for having a team made up of Frosh and 1 senior playing against a team that has a very experienced four starters plus a freshman that will probably be the Number #1 pick of this years NBA draft, and young but very talented kids coming off the bench.

          Those kids on the CU team haven’t been in the position they were in in the second half with the possibility of knocking off the team picked to win the conference. They were bound to have some pressure get to them. But they didn’t crack down the stretch against a superior talented team, and a lot of that has to be because their coach didn’t let it happen. Coaches can only do so much and I think that Tad Boyle was able to get a heck of a lot more out of his kids today then Miller was. So there you have it. Take some advice for a change from someone who knows more about this, and consider that this someone also has mastered the most difficult hole in golf………..the windmill hole.

          • VKBerlin

            Wow.

            Just gonna leave this here.

            Don’t care how Millers mealymouths played. The Buffs played a totally different game in the first have. Minimal wheeling crap. Mckinley had 1 turnover in the 1st half cause he wasn’t doing that dribble crap he was doing in the 2nd have where he had 6 tournovers.

            The Ball was moving in the first half. In the second half that was the tad special offense. The ol play not to lose………..We seen that on the football field

            He has got to let em play.

            welp thats about it.

            And yup the kids played great. And won.

            So there.

            Congrats on your mastery of that ol hole. That is the toughest.

            Go Buffs.

            Note: And i am glad you got the tinfoil updated on your antennas so that the snow was minimal.

            Note 2: I know you weren’t there cause your review was so tv like.

            Note 3: Have a great New Year Bud. Get your arse back here in the summer………..there are couple of your type of courses near by. Ya can drive some go carts too.

          • VKBerlin

            Tad said this:

            “Whether you’re behind or ahead, when the other team makes a run, you have to have the intestinal fortitude to stop that run,” Boyle said. “You have to stop it on defense, you have to stop it with good offense. As simple as it sounds, our offensive game plan tonight was to attack them and get great shots and we did that in the first half. We did that for the second part of the second half but we had a stretch there where we turned the dang thing over. It was the same offense, the same players , the same defense, the same game but you just hit that spot offensively and we need to get rid of that.”

            I believe it to be true. But, the difference is that the PG and King were now dribbling dribbling at the top of the key and then making the move. That was not the case in the first half.

            Buffs

          • AZ, I’m increasingly feeling like VK is a lot like LaVar Ball.

            Lots of opinions, spouting incessantly, but with only a modicum of knowledge.

            The only difference is that LaVar is LaVar, a self-promoter, who hasn’t really ever done much, other than build a brand about boisterousness, and proud of it. A lot like a Kardashian, really. VK? Nobody really knows. He likes to present himself as all knowing, with deep, deep insider insight, but really just hides behind the anonymity of these here message boards.

            Go Buffs.

        • VKBerlin

          Yo loan shark. You are clearly looking in the mirror.

      • Old Codger

        Hey, AZ, you ever see the job description for “ArmChair Quarterback” position for which VK is now NO. 1 in the entire country??? (His capabilities of being an actual coach, being totally NON-EXISTANT!)

        First on the list:

        “Whine, piss and moan about every in-game mistake your team makes even in a big win; blaming the head coach for all of them, if at all possible; while ignoring the fact that the other team has professional coaches and scholarship players who are highly skilled and also want to win.”

        The rest of the job description goes downhill from there and believe me, VK checks every other box on that bull-crap description, including “King-sized butt groove on sofa”!!!

        No. 1 ACQB gonna ACQB!

        • VKBerlin

          Happy New Year.

          Your value add is zero

          • AZBuff

            It’s amazing how age is so much more perceptive, Old Codger. Every publication here in Tucson and the TV quoted Miller as saying that the team didn’t play well enough in the first half. He gave all credit to Tad for coaching a great game and did say that while AZ played better in the 2nd half that they had dug themselves too big a hole and really didn’t deserve to win. His statement was that; “he just couldn’t reach them.” It was most obvious to most who watch basketball except for those that want to always blame the coach even when they win. Tad Boyle did a better job of coaching yesterday then Sean Miller, end of story.

          • Old Codger

            Sooo, what in your ACQB widdle brain were Tad’s half time instructions?

            “Stop shooting so well!” “Turn the ball over more!” “Rebound less!”
            “Play softer defense!”

            Yeah, right! Actually, Tad likely said three words: “Keep it up!”

            If I’m at zero, that still exceeds your negative!

          • VKBerlin

            Yup he did. Didn’t say he didn’t

            Did say he almost blew it in the second half when he had them go back to that goofy tad-offense.

            Pay attention.

          • VKBerlin

            Ol DEEK,

            You didn’t see the game live so you wouldn’t understand. And even if you saw it on TV, demonstrated cluelessness would reign.

            I would try to give you more detail, but it would be wasted. Suffice to say the offense they implmented in the first half was not the same as the second. And yes it was implemented poorly.

            It looked like the offense say against Iowa. Forget the execution. It was what they were running.

            So for you.,…nap time

  19. VK Berlin

    Great game actuall

    Lots of AU supporters there and at times they with the loud. But they went away all acting like Miller…WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    BUFFS

  20. ep

    Dang….speechless

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