Buff Basketball – February, 2015

 

February 27th

… CU in the Arena …

The Booker File … Senior guard Askia Booker

– Booker is a 6’2″, 175-pound senior from Los Angeles … A Communications major, interested in creative writing

– Askia Booker is one of three players in school history (Donnie Boyce and Cory Higgins being the others) to reach 1,600 points, 400 rebounds, 300 assists, and 140 steals in his career.

Booker CU career watch list:

– Games played, 129 – 3rd

– Points, 1,648 – 8th

– Steals, 148 – 8th

– Assists, 318 – 12th

– Rebounds, 427 – 40th

– Booker has scored in double figures 19 times this season, and 83 times in his career … Booker has led the Buffs in scoring in 14 games this season, and 40 times in his career … Booker has been named the Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week three times … Booker has led the team in assists 47 times, and in steals 43 times … Booker’s 43 points against USC is a high in the Pac-12 this season,

2014-15 – Senior year: Started 23 of 26 games has played in … Leads the team in scoring, with 16.9 points per game … Leads the team in assists, with 3.2 per game … Leads the team in steals, with 1.4 per game … The Buffs’ best free-throw shooter, Booker has made 102-of-123 (.821), with team highs in attempts, made free throws, and free throw percentage.

2013-14 – Junior year: Started all 35 games • Helped CU make the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, a school-first • Finished second on the team in points per game (13.7); first in in assists (116) and steals (45) • Averaged 14.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals per game without an injured Spencer Dinwiddie in the lineup (last 18 games of the season).

2013-14 Awards: 2014 All-Pac 12 Conference All-Tournament Team • 2014 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention • 2014 All-District VIII (WY, UT, ID, NM, CO, NV, MT) • Two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week (Jan. 6 and Dec. 9), becoming only the sixth CU player since 1996-97 to earn a pair of weekly honors in the same season, and first CU player since Alec Burks (2010-11).

2012-13 – Sophomore year …  One of two players to start all 33 games (Dinwiddie) • First in field goals (152) and 3-pointers made (49) • Second in team scoring (12.4 ppg.) and assists (71, 2.2 apg.) • Third in steals (40, 1.2) and free throw percentage (70.4) • Leading scorer eight times (one shared); assists 10 times (two shared); steals 8 times (2 shared)

2012-13 Awards: Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week (Nov. 11-17) • Charleston Classic Most Valuable Player honors leading the Buffaloes to a 3-0 record and to the classic title

2011-12 – Freshman year … Helped Colorado earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2002-03 season (nine years) and only the third NCAA Tournament appearance since 1968-69 (43 years) • Member of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament Championship team and the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament winning four games in four days at the Staples Center in Los Angeles • Played in 35 games with one start, missed one game flu) • Averaged 21.5 minutes, 9.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game • Collaborated with fellow teammate Spencer Dinwiddie (360 pts.) forming the best 1-2 freshman scoring pair in school history with 677 points • Only CU freshmen pair to score over 250 or more points

High school … Helped the Price high Knights (Los Angeles) to a 23-8 record advancing to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division 3AA championship game • Named All-CIF Southern Section Team Division 3AA • ESPN.com ranked him No. 30 nationally at his position • Three-star prospect by Rivals.com

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Getting to Know: Arizona State

Colorado vs. Arizona State … Sunday, 6:30 p.m., MT (ESPNU) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Sun Devils’ 2014-15 Record:  15-13, 7-8 in Pac-12 play (7th)

Coach: Herb Sendek, 9th year at ASU, 156-134

Series: With a 78-72 win over the Buffs back on January 17th, Arizona took a 6-5 lead in the all-time series. Colorado has a 4-1 advantage in games played in Boulder, including a 61-52 win last February.

Arizona State’s record last season: 21-12 overall; 10-8 in Pac-12 play (tied/3rd) … Arizona State was a No. 10 in the NCAA tournament, and lost its first game to No. 7 seed Texas, 87-85.

Players to watch … Junior guard Gerry Blakes leads the team in scoring, at 11.3 points per game, followed closely by senior guard Shaquille McKissic, at 10.9 points per game. When the teams met in Tempe, McKissic led the Sun Devils with 16 points. The Sun Devils shot 71 percent (15 for 21) in a 49-point second half.

“Before the game,” McKissic said, “we came to grips with ourselves that we’re going to shoot every shot that was open. We passed up a few last time so, you know, just relax”.

Arizona State so far in 2014-15 … The Sun Devils were the only winless team in Pac-12 play (0-4) before beating the Buffs, but at the time they were also the only team other than the Buffs to have faced both of the conference’s top ten teams, Arizona and Utah. The Sun Devils played to a mediocre 8-5 record in non-conference play, with decent wins over UNLV and Harvard, but also suffered losses to Maryland, Alabama, Texas A&M, Marquette and Lehigh.

After playing the Buffs, Arizona State alternated wins and losses, with one of those wins being an 81-78 upset win over No. 6 Arizona. The Sun Devils then split games on the road in Washington (win over the Huskies after a loss to the Cougars) before taking out both L.A. schools last weekend.

Then, on Thursday night, the Sun Devils had their hats handed to them, falling 83-41 to No. 13 Utah. The halftime score in the rout … 41-9.

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February 26th – Boulder          No. 7 Arizona 82, Colorado 54

Colorado fell to 12-15, 5-10 with a blowout home loss to No. 7 Arizona, 82-54. The Wildcats shot a blistering 52.9% from the field (27-of-51), 50% from three point range (5-of-10) and 92% from the line (23-of-25) in making it look easy against CU’s non-existent defense. The Buffs, meanwhile, hit only 20-of-52 shots on the night, failing even to hit free throws (12-of-21) in a game in which the final result was never in doubt.

The Buffs were led by Askia Booker, with 14 points (on 5-of-16 shooting), with Josh Scott contributing nine points, six rebounds, and four blocked shots. CU’s other three starters – Wesley Gordon, Jaron Hopkins and Xavier Johnson – scored exactly zero points in the first half, settling for six total points well after the game was out of hand.

“It’s extremely frustrating”, said Tad Boyle. “It’s February 26th and we’re not executing offensively. We’re not doing the things we’re supposed to do, we’re not making plays and we haven’t gotten any better. If you look at the teams that I’ve had here as a head coach, I feel that each team, outside of my first year, had progress and got better throughout the year. I don’t feel like that with this team. I don’t feel like we’ve gotten any better. We’re still making the same mistakes that we did in November and we’re not any better, offensively or defensively.”

On his technical foul, coming with less than a minute left to play in a game which had long since gotten out of hand, Boyle had this to say:

“I don’t want our players to quit, don’t ever quit. I felt like that was a foul on a baseline drive with the body check on Dustin [Thomas]. I think that sometimes officials can check out and I just wanted them to know that we weren’t checking out and that I didn’t expect them to check out. I probably deserved the tech, but I’m tired of this, I am. I want our players to know it, our fans to know it and our officials to know it. I want to fight somebody, I really do, but I know you can’t do that and I won’t do that in the locker room. I’m sick of the way we’re playing. The world doesn’t owe us anything, we have to go out and get what we earn. Right now we’re not earning the scholarships we’re on or the paychecks we get. We have to go out. It’s our pride, intensity, will to win, will to prepare to win and the will to do whatever it takes to get it done. If we play well, play hard, execute and get beat I’ll be the first one to shake our opponents hand and say, ‘You beat us tonight.’ I don’t like teams that beat themselves and we beat ourselves tonight.”

Game Notes …

– The Buffs have now lost five home games this season, the most since losing nine in 2008-09;

– The sixth straight loss to Arizona (two in Pac-12 tournament play) gives the Wildcats a 13-11 lead in the all-time series;

– CU is now 0-8 in games in which the Buffs have been held below 60 points;

– Josh Scott tied a career-high with four blocks, giving him 101 for his career (8th on the CU all-time list);

– Scott is now the fifth player in CU history with at least 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, and 100 blocks, joining Donnie Boyce, Cliff Meely, David Harrison and Andre Roberson

Game recap …

Colorado needed a fast start if the Buffs were to stay with No. 7 Arizona, and the Buffs got it … for the first three minutes anyway.

After Josh Scott tied the score at 4-4 with a layup, the Wildcats scored the next seven points, with missed Askia Booker jumpers and missed Xavier Johnson free throws leading to an 11-4 game, while lending an air of inevitability of an impending Arizona blowout.

Dustin Thomas then scored the Buffs’ next three points, coming on a jumper … and one made free throw in three attempts, as Arizona built a 17-7 lead seven minutes in. A Dominique Collier three-pointer got the Buffs into double figures in points, but the Wildcats posted a three-pointer of their own to double up the Buffs, 20-10.

The doubling up continued over the next few minutes, with Arizona building a 13-point lead, at 25-12, at the midway point of the first half. Over a five minute span, the only points scored by the Buffs came on a Josh Scott jumper, with the Wildcats pushing the advantage to 28-14 at the six minute mark.

Then, for a few minutes, the Buffs hit their stride. Two Askia Booker free throws, together with jumpers by Josh Scott, Booker, and Tre’Shaun Fletcher in three straight possessions cutting the lead back to single digits, at 31-22, at the under four media timeout.

Just when it looked like the Buffs could make a run, though, the Wildcats answered with a 6-2 run, making it 37-24. When Josh Scott hit one of two free throws – making CU 4-for-10 from the line at the half – in the final minute, the teams went into the break with CU facing a 12-point deficit.

Halftime score: No. 7 Arizona 37, Colorado 25

The halftime stats reflected the score. Colorado was 10-of-30 from the field (1-of-6 from behind the arc), and only 4-of-10 from the free throw line. Arizona, meanwhile, after starting 7-of-10 from the field to open the game, settled for 48% (13-of-27) for the half, hitting 4-of-7 three-pointers and 7-of-8 free throws.

The Buffs were led by Askia Booker, who had eight points (hitting only 3-of-12 shots to get there), with Josh Scott going for seven points, five rebounds, and three blocks. CU’s other three starters, meanwhile – Xavier Johnson, Wesley Gordon, and Jaron Hopkins – were all held scoreless.

Colorado opened the second half in much the same manner as the first … marginally competitive. Xavier Johnson scored his first points on a three-point play and Askia Booker posted a jumper to give CU a 5-4 run to start the half.

And that was about it for the CU highlights.

With the score 41-30, Xavier Johnson then missed two more free throws (to make him 1-for-5 from the line for the night), with Askia Booker, Josh Scott and Dominique Collier taking turns turning the ball over. The result was a 10-2 Arizona run and a 51-32 game six minutes into the second half.

Askia Booker then pushed his point total out to 14 with a pair of free throws and a jumper, but then two more Buff turnovers led to two quick Arizona baskets. Timeout, Colorado, with exactly ten minutes to play in the game. Arizona 57, Colorado 36, as the Buff faithful began making their way to the exits.

Over the next few minutes, Dustin Thomas made a pair of free throws (will wonders never cease?), while Xavier Talton and Tory Miller got into the scoring column with baskets of their own. Sadly for the Buff cause, the six points posted on the CU side of the ledger was more than offset by free throws and a three-pointer by the Wildcats. 64-42, Arizona, with six minutes still left to play.

Wesley Gordon’s first point of the game came at the 5:46 mark, with one of two free throws. Xavier Talton then hit only CU’s second three-pointer of the game, followed by Jaron Hopkins’ first points of the game … but those six points were no match by free throws and jumpers by the Wildcats. Arizona 71, Colorado 48, at the last media timeout.

Tory Miller then got into the act, with a pair of free throws and a dunk, but every point scored by the Buffs was matched by points from the Wildcats. As had been the case the entire night, every action by Colorado was met by a more than equal reaction by Arizona. The final score represented the Wildcats’ biggest lead of the night.

Final Score: No. 7 Arizona 82, Colorado 54

 

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… CU in the Arena …

Buffs trying to find some home-court magic in nationally televised battle with Arizona

From B.G. Brooks at  cubuffs.com … Back in the day (that day really wasn’t too far back, but it seems like it) Colorado and Arizona played some fairly heated, highly competitive basketball games. There was a time (again, it seems like long ago but really wasn’t) when Buffs-Wildcats games ended with differences of one or two points, or the occasional overtime was required.

But after winning three of their first five meetings with the Wildcats as members of the Pac-12 Conference, the Buffs have lost five straight – with none of the losses closer than 10 points and the average margin a shade under 17 points. From its first Pac-12 season (2012) until now, CU has dipped while Arizona hasn’t deviated. The Wildcats have posted 20 or more wins in five straight seasons and in 26 of the last 28.

Of course, Buffs coach Tad Boyle has noticed: “Since we’ve been in the league, there’s no question Arizona is the most consistent team in our league, year in and year out, game in and game out. Home, road it doesn’t matter. They’re a good basketball team.”

Good as in No. 7 nationally, 24-3 overall, 12-2 in the Pac-12 and – if the loud and learned ones who occupy the seats in front of the cameras are to be believed – a serious contender to challenge otherworldly Kentucky if March Madness finally comes to that.

Although his focus is elsewhere – namely on his sub-.500 team – Boyle believes these Wildcats are big enough, athletic enough, talented enough and tenacious enough to hang with those Wildcats. And, he adds, Arizona gets a boost in everything (including most intangibles) from senior guard T.J. McConnell – Boyle’s choice for the Pac-12 player-of-the-year.

The Buffs get their second look of the season at McConnell & Crew on Thursday night at the Coors Events Center (7 p.m., ESPN). CU is 0-3 this season against Top 25 opponents and 0-2 against Top 10 foes. But in Boyle’s first four seasons, the Buffs defeated at least one nationally ranked team.

CU’s fifth straight loss to Arizona (68-54) occurred last month in Tucson at a time when Boyle didn’t have his two of his “bigs” – post Josh Scott, wing Xavier Johnson – because of injuries and was forced to use a guard-heavy lineup.

That didn’t work, and there’s no assurance that having Scott (back) and Johnson (ankle) back and relatively healthy will make a difference in the second meeting. The Buffs’ shooting of late has been somewhere south of frigid, and Scott continues to battle the back ailments that cost him January almost in its entirety.

FOR BOOKER, WINNING THE PAC-12 TOURNAMENT IS THE LAST hope of competing in a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament. He was a freshman in 2011-12 when CU defeated Arizona 53-51 and won the Pac-12 Tournament, but he sees a huge difference in that team and this one. “There were four seniors on that team,” he said, “that knew their time was running out. They were going to play with their backs against the wall, no matter who it was against.

“This year it’s not like that. Me (talking) from experience, it’s frustrating to be the only one who knows what that feels like. I was told by those guys when I was a freshman that you don’t understand it until you’re a senior, until you’re actually going to be leaving. So yeah, it’s just rough, man. You can’t put somebody in your shoes with the time running out.”

Of Booker’s four years, the last has been the least fulfilling. And yes, it will shade the memories of his CU career. “Yeah, of course,” he said. “My senior year was crap. That’s just reality. (But) I’m so thankful still no matter what. If we lost all our games this season I’d still be thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had to play for this wonderful school, this wonderful coaching staff.

“And I thank Tad Boyle for giving me the opportunity. We still have four games; I’m not going to say our season is in the hole yet. We’re not done. I still have a lot of confidence in this team that they can pull it out. We just have to come together and be willing to fight for one another.”

As for Boyle, it’s the right thing to say as his most disenchanting season draws to a close, but he says it the right way: “I believe in this team as much today as I did at beginning of the season – I really, truly do. I know what we’re capable of. Now, am I disappointed in where we are today? Absolutely.

“But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my belief . . . for this year or for next year or for the players in the program. The one thing we’re not going to do is feel sorry for ourselves and make excuses. Our record is what it is; the only people we can look at or blame is the person in the mirror. That’s true for coaches, players. We’re all in this thing together.”

Togetherness hasn’t been a strong suit this season, but Arizona’s visit on Thursday night offers a chance for it to surface. Booker and the Buffs know there are not many chances left.

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February 25th

… CU in the Arena …

Colorado vs. No. 7 Arizona … Thursday, 7:00 p.m., MT (ESPN) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Wildcats’ 2014-15 Record: 24-3, 12-2 in Pac-12 play (1st)

Coach: Sean Miller, 153-51, sixth season at Arizona

Series: Arizona has finally taken the lead in the all-time series, 12-11, needing a five game winning streak to get there. The Wildcats run of five games includes games played in the past two Pac-12 conference tournaments. In the first matchup this season, Arizona defeated Colorado, 68-54, in Tucson. The last win for CU in the series was the home conference game in the 2012-13 season.

Arizona’s record last season: 33-5 overall; 15-3 in Pac-12 play (1st); the Wildcats made it into the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA tournament

Players to watch … Freshman Stanley Johnson leads the Wildcats in scoring (14.2 ppg.) and rebounding (6.8), with sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is right behind Johnson (11.1 ppg.; 6.6 rpg.) in both categories. The two 6’7″ forwards present matchup problems for most teams, and that will be the case for Colorado as well. The real threat, though, is senior guard T.J. McConnell. The Pac-12 Player-of-the-Year candidate is averaging 9.9 points per game, leads the team with six assists per contest, and is averaging two steals per game. A floor general and a great ball-handler, McConnell represents a real problem for the “ball-defender” deprived Colorado defense.

Arizona so far in 2014-15 … When the preseason magazines came out this past fall, there was some speculation – not unwarranted – that Arizona might run through the Pac-12 conference season undefeated. The Wildcats were an almost unanimous pick by the media writers to win the conference (one writer picked UCLA), and Arizona opened the season as the No. 2 team in the nation. The Wildcats ran out to a 12-0 record, including wins over No. 9 Gonzaga and No. 15 San Diego State, as well as Missouri, Kansas State, and Michigan. Then Arizona hit a bump in the road, falling to UNLV in the final preseason game, 71-67, to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten.

In conference play, Arizona opened with a dominant 73-49 win over rival Arizona State before hitting the Oregon trail. The Wildcats had little trouble dispatching Oregon (80-62), but then were surprised by Oregon State, 58-56, the weekend before playing the Buffs. Since the Colorado game, has won nine of ten games, with the only loss coming on the road against Arizona State on February 7th, 81-78. The Wildcats have posted four straight wins since, taking down both Washington teams on the road, and the L.A. schools at home.

The best hope for the Buffs? That Arizona is looking past Colorado, focusing instead on the showdown Saturday night against No. 13 Utah, a game which could decide the Pac-12 regular season champion.

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Storming the Court … A practice which should be discontinued?

Discussion on the topic was renewed after Kansas State fans rushed the court Monday after an upset win over Kansas

From ESPN … Nathan Power, the fan who threw an elbow at Kansas forward Jamari Traylor as he was walking off the court after Kansas State’s 70-63 victory Monday night, apologized Tuesday in a “letter to the editor” posted online by the KSU school newspaper, The Collegian.

The Kansas State police department had said earlier in the day — when Power had yet to be identified — that it was looking for help in its pursuit of him. They later released an update via Twitter and said their search had ended.

“I want to take this moment to share a sincere apology in breaking from the Wildcat way and stepping outside what is acceptable in the spirit of the game,” Power wrote. “Following the basketball game, I simply let my emotions get the best of me in all of the chaos.”

It wasn’t clear if Power would face discipline by the school or charges by the police.

During the postgame chain of events, in which a swarm of students and fans stormed the court after the win over their main rival and eighth-ranked Jayhawks, Power can be seen running across the floor and slamming into Traylor with a hard shoulder to the junior’s shoulder, thereby knocking him off-balance before the fan is quickly grabbed by someone else.

Arizona’s Sean Miller wants penalties for storming the court

From the Arizona Daily Star … Sean Miller has a simple solution for protecting players and coaches from what happened Monday night at Kansas State.

Fine each school $100,000 when a court-storming happens on its homecourt, he said. The SEC has a tiered penalty for court storming of up to $50,000 but Miller said a flat 100K would really do the trick.

“If you penalize a program $100,000 for a court storming I bet you last night Bill Self wouldn’t have gotten jammed into the scorers table like he did,” Miller said today at his weekly news conference.

Miller has experience about these things. Each of the three times Arizona has lost this season, opposing fans have stormed the court – and if the Wildcats happen to lose at either Colorado or Utah this weekend, those fans probably will too.

Miller says court storming is “really unnecessary,” and troubling on a number of levels, one of which is how losers are expected to be good sports while winners can behave “like a complete ass.”

“I hate to say it like that but if you just say to yourself does the winning team shakes the losing team’s hand?” Miller said. “Fundamentally, there’s so many things wrong with it.”

Miller was able to prod several of his players to head toward the locker room in the final seconds during the Wildcats’ Feb. 7 loss at ASU – because that game was already in the Sun Devils’ hands and the doorway was near the Wildcats’ bench – but he said each situation is different.

Forward Brandon Ashley said the worst in his experience was the Wildcats’ loss at Colorado during the 2012-13 season, because they had to cross the length of the court to get to their locker rooms, and said a Kansas-Kansas State type of situation could develop during one of their games.

“It’s definitely possible,” Ashley said. “When you have so many people in a tight spot, it can definitely be problematic at times.”

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February 22nd

… CU in the Arena …

Three CU seniors play well as Buffs go out winners on Senior Day

From cubuffs.com … The Colorado women’s basketball team used double-figure scoring by its three seniors on Senior Day and rolled past Oregon 84-69 on Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events Center.

Seniors Lexy Kresl (16), Jen Reese (15) and Jasmine Sborov (13) accounted for 44 points as the Buffs overcame a slow start and won their final regular-season home game. Sborov also contributed nine rebounds, while junior Jamee Swan added 15 points and seven rebounds.

CU (12-15, 5-11) closes out the regular season with games this week at Arizona (Friday, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and at Arizona State (Sunday, 2 p.m., Live Stream). The Pac-12 Tournament begins Thursday, March 5 in Seattle.

Oregon (12-15, 5-11) got a game-high 21 points from post Jillian Alleyne.

The Buffs took a 2-0 lead on a put-back by Reese, then didn’t lead again until Sborov hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put CU ahead 38-36 at halftime.

In between those baskets, the Ducks led by as many as 13 points on two occasions before the Buffs finally discovered their shooting touches and realized playing some defense would be of help.

Down by 11 points (33-22), a Reese jump shot started what would be a 16-3 run over the half’s final 4:30 and give CU its two-point advantage at intermission. Meantime, the Buffs were holding the Ducks without a field goal over the final 4:50.

After hitting only one of its first seven field goal attempts, CU quickly fell behind by 10 points (14-4) as Oregon went uncharacteristically hot and shot 77 percent for the game’s first 10 minutes. That percentage might have unnerved the Ducks; they entered the afternoon shooting 41 percent from the field.

But the first half was a night-and-day shooting experience for both teams. Over the first 9:30, Oregon hit 9 of 12 shots (75 percent) for 24 points while CU was 5-for-18 (27.8 percent) for 11 points. In the last 11:30, the Ducks checked out at 4-for-12 (33.3 percent) for 12 points while the Buffs scored 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting (60 percent).

Kresl scored six points in the first half, but she matched that total with a pair of treys in the second half’s opening 2:38. That pair of triples gave the Buffs their largest lead of the afternoon – 45-40 – to that point.

It wouldn’t last. By the 14:22 mark, the Ducks had tied the score at 45-45 with a 5-0 run. But after a 50-50 tie, the Buffs used a 10-2 run – it was capped by a three-point play from Sborov – to take a 60-52 lead with 9:54 to play.

CU began to pull away. Back-to-back baskets by Swan put the Buffs up by double digits – 64-54 – with less than eight minutes remaining. After extending the run to 18-4 on field goals by Sborov and Reese, the Buffs led 68-54 – and the Ducks needed a lift.

They got it after Reese and Sborov missed layups, with Oregon parlaying those into a 6-0 run and pulling to within 69-61. But the Ducks never got closer than eight points as Reese scored seven consecutive points to give the Buffs an 80-65 lead.

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February 21st – at Oregon State          Oregon State 72, Colorado 58

Buffs’ embarrassing first half quickly ends hopes of a road victory

From cubuffs.com … A scenario the Colorado Buffaloes became all too familiar with on Wednesday night at Oregon repeated itself here Saturday night. This one didn’t end well for the Buffs either.

Cutting a 22-point halftime deficit to eight points with 3:44 to play, CU once again fell embarrassingly short in a 72-58 Pac-12 loss to Oregon State.

The Buffs (12-14, 5-9) fell to 1-9 on the road this season and now have lost five of their last six games. Meanwhile, the surprising Beavers (17-10, 8-7) improved to 15-1 in Gill Coliseum, with their 15 wins setting a school record.

With the exception of the worst first half of CU’s Tad Boyle era, Saturday night was a not so instant replay of the game the Buffs lost four nights earlier. In that one, they trimmed a 20-point second-half deficit to five points before falling 73-60 to the Ducks.

But in this one, the Buffs probably had no business being within eight points of the Beavers that late in the game. In addition to committing a season-high 22 turnovers that cost them 28 points, the Buffs again shot dismally, finishing at 35 percent (18-of-52) from the field.

“This team when it comes time to make that turn, that push, we just don’t have it,” Boyle said. “Our guys, I think would know by late February what a good shot and what a bad shot is. This team just doesn’t believe in themselves right now, they’re very fragile.”

CU shot 35.5 percent from the field (22-of-62) Wednesday night at Oregon, and for five games now have not been above 37 percent.

Neither did the Buffs defend particularly well. Oregon State shot 49 percent from the field and had three players in double figures, led by Gary Payton II with 24 points. And the 6-2 guard was pretty close to a one-man wrecking crew, blocking a school single-game record seven shots, making four steals and collecting five rebounds.

Payton leads OSU in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounding (7.8 rebs) and steals (77 entering Saturday night).

When he hit a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer, the Beavers went up 34-12 and capped the Buffs’ worst half of the Boyle era in points scored and field goal percentage. CU’s previous low point total under Boyle was 18 points against Pittsburgh in last spring’s NCAA Tournament.

Continue reading here

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… CU in the Arena …

Oregon State looking to bounce back from three-game losing streak

From the Corvallis-Gazette Times … Wayne Tinkle is ready to see what kind of character his team has after losing three straight games for the first time this season.

The Oregon State men’s basketball coach saw his team drop a 47-37 Pac-12 decision to No. 9 Utah on Thursday night at Gill Coliseum, ending the Beavers’ 14-game home winning streak, the best in program history to start a year.

Coming into Gill on Saturday is Colorado (12-13, 5-8), which is still in the hunt for a top-half finish in the conference despite losing four of its last five. The Beavers (16-10, 7-7) are clinging to sixth entering the day.

“We’re going to find out a lot about ourselves in the next 48 hours, because we lost two on the road, we came home, lost the streak,” Tinkle said after Thursday’s game. “We’re going to find out what we’re made of. Who’s going to step up and show up?”

Beavers sophomore guard Malcolm Duvivier downplayed the 14 wins. Only three OSU men’s teams have gone undefeated at home in the past 50 years.

“I don’t really think it means that much. We play every game and we come out our hardest,” said Duvivier, who had a team-high 12 points Thursday. “We just need to come out here and start another streak. We can’t really let that get to us. We just have to bounce back for Saturday.”

Looking for scoring

OSU is looking for anyone to be a consistent offensive contributor, and right now that looks to be Duvivier.

Guard Gary Payton II, the team’s leading scorer at 12.8 points per game, has drawn added defensive attention as the season has gone on, leaving the Beavers to look elsewhere. Guard Langston Morris-Walker got up a combined 31 field goal attempts and scored 36 points in the previous two games but had just three points on 1-of-3 shooting Thursday.

Forward Olaf Schaftenaar was averaging in double digits most of the season but has dropped to 8.0 after scoring a combined 20 points in the last seven games. He hit his first 3-pointer in Thursday’s second half following 18 straight misses from deep.

Duvivier has scored in double figures in four of the past five games and has picked up his aggressive play to get to the basket.

“I was just coming off and taking the shots that I felt were there, just trying to get a spark on the offensive end that we needed,” he said of Thursday’s game, in which he was 5 of 12 from the floor.

Rebounding concerns

Rebounding continues to be a problem for the Beavers. Utah’s 33-25 advantage Thursday marked the ninth straight game that OSU has been outrebounded, and in six of the past seven contests it’s been by eight or more.

Among the Beavers big men, Daniel Gomis is the leading rebounder at 3.7. Payton continues to lead the team at 7.8.

Strong on defense

Despite a few lapses in the second half Thursday, defense continues to be OSU’s overwhelming strength.

The Beavers are first in the Pac-12 in steals (7.65 per game) and 3-point percentage defense (29.7) and second in scoring defense (57.1 points).

By percentage points, OSU has slipped slightly behind Utah in field goal percentage defense, with both teams at 37.7. The Beavers held the Utes to a season low in points and their lowest shooting percentage (.425) in the past eight games and their second-lowest mark in Pac-12 play.

—–

 

February 20th

Getting to Know: Oregon State

Colorado at Oregon State … Saturday, 9:00 p.m., MT (Pac-12 Networks) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Beavers’ 2014-15 Record: 16-10, 7-7 in Pac-12 play (6th)

Series: Colorado leads the all-time series, 10-4, including a 4-2 record in Pac-12 play. The Buffs are 2-3 in games played in Corvallis, including a 72-68 win in 2013, the last time the teams played on OSU’s home court.

Coach: Wayne Tinkle, first season at OSU (158-91 in seven seasons at Montana)

Oregon State’s record last season: 16-16, 8-10 in Pac-12 play (10th) … Oregon State hasn’t played in the NCAA tournament since 1990.

Player to Watch …  The name Gary Payton is familiar to most basketball fans, with Gary Payton II a very familiar name to Pac-12 fans. The 6’3″ junior guard leads the Beavers in scoring, with 12.8 points per game, first in rebounds at 7.8 per game, and second in assists (3.0).

Oregon State so far in 2014-15 … The Beavers started out the non-conference season well, but did not have many top-rated opponents. Oregon State lost to Oklahoma State and Auburn (the team the Buffs beat), while taking down the likes of Oral Roberts, Mississippi Valley State, and Portland (in overtime). A 9-3 non-conference record was good, especially for a team being rebuilt from scratch by new coach Wayne Tinkle, but not especially impressive.

Then, after opening Pac-12 play with a loss to Oregon and a home win over Arizona State, Oregon State shocked the nation with a 58-56 win over No. 7 Arizona. Wins in three of their next four games, including a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools, gave the Beavers a surprising 5-2 conference record.

Since then, reality has crept back into Corvallis. Oregon State has lost five of its last seven, including three in a row. The Beavers lost their last game to No. 9 Utah, 47-37, in a game which was 16-14 at halftime.

—–

 

February 18th – at Oregon          Oregon 73, Colorado 60

For the first four minutes of the game against the Ducks Wednesday night, the Buffs looked like the team CU fans expected in 2014-15 – they rebounded well, played good defense, and made key shots. The result: an 11-4 opening lead.

Then, the team which Buff fans have watched for much of the season returned, with turnovers and missed shots the order of the day. The Ducks responded to the Buffs’ 11-4 run with a 24-4 run of their own, racing out to a double digit lead they held for most of the remainder of the game, taking out the Buffs, 73-60.

Game story from cubuffs.com

Colorado, which has lost four of its last five games, shot 35.5 percent from the field (22-of-62) Wednesday night. In their last four games the Buffs have not been above 37 percent.

“We’re having trouble putting the ball in the basket,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “When you do that, it’s tough, it just makes it really hard to win games . . . . Consistency continues to be an issue with this team. When we put it together for 40 minutes like we did against Stanford (a 64-58 win) we can win. It’s hard to win even when you play well defensively because our margin for error is so small.”

CU outrebounded Oregon 45-37, including 20-12 on the offensive glass. But two defensive rebounds that the Buffs lost might have been the most costly of the night. After Xavier Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:10 to play and brought CU to within 63-58, Oregon’s next possession started with two missed shots. But the Ducks scrapped to get both rebounds and benefitted from their aggressiveness when Dillon Brooks drained a trey from the right wing.

It also drained the Buffs. They fell behind 66-58 and saw their momentum trickle away – especially when their shooting again tailed off. Their last basket was by Josh Scott and brought them to within 66-60 with 2:24 remaining, but they didn’t score again, missing their last six field goal attempts.

Boyle agreed that poor shooting might be contagious: “I think there is something to that, because for some reason it’s not there. We got the ball to the rim, we got stripped quite a few times in the lane, we just weren’t strong with the ball. Oregon is giving up 75 points a game and yet we score 60; I just don’t understand it. It’s frustrating for me as a coach and I know it’s frustrating for our players.”

CU was led by Askia Booker’s 20 points – 10 of his total coming on free throws (10-of-12) as he went 5-for-17 from the field. Wes Gordon added 14 and Scott had 10 points and a career-best 17 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and 19th of his career.

Oregon had four players in double figures, topped by Joseph Young’s 23 points.

The Buffs started impressively but didn’t finish the half that way. Hitting five of their first nine shots – two of them length of the court layups by Booker – they took an 11-4 lead not quite just four minutes in.

But just as quickly, their night soured.

Young, the Pac-12’s No. scorer at 20.1 points a game, reeled off seven consecutive points – and CU was reeling. Young’s spree launched a 24-4 Oregon run, and by the time the Buffs blinked again they were trailing 28-15.

By halftime, it was 39-22 – CU’s largest halftime road deficit of the season – after the Buffs managed only 11 points in the half’s final 16:13.

Game Notes …

– CU falls to 5-8 in conference play. With five conference games remaining, the Buffs have matched their Pac-12 loss totals from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

– The Buffs still lead the all-time series with the Ducks, 8-4, with the loss breaking a four-game winning streak in the series. CU is now 5-2 against Oregon as a member of the Pac-12;

– Josh Scott had ten points and 17 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season, and 23rd of his career;

– Scott’s 17 rebounds were a career high.

—–

 

February 17th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Oregon

Colorado at Oregon … Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., MT (ESPNU) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Ducks’ 2014-15 Record: 18-8, 8-5 in Pac-12 play (t-3rd)

Series: Colorado leads the all-time series, 8-3. The Buffs have won four straight from the Ducks, including a 63-62 Pac-12 tournament victory in the Buffs’ 2012 run to the conference title. Colorado is 2-3 all-time in games played in Eugene, including a 48-47 win two seasons ago, the last time the Buffs played at Oregon.

Coach: Dana Altman, 115-55, fifth season

Oregon’s record last season: 24-10, 10-8 in Pac-12 play (t-3rd) … Oregon was a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, defeating No. 10 BYU before falling, 85-77, to No. 2 seed Wisconsin.

Player to Watch … Colorado was able to defeat Stanford on Sunday by shutting down the Pac-12’s leading scorer, Chasson Randle. The Cardinal guard was averaging just shy of 20 points per game, but was held to 14 against the Buffs … needing 16 shots (making four) to get to that total. With Randle’s “low” of 14 points on Sunday, the new leading scorer in the Pac-12 is Joseph Young, who just happens to play for Oregon. One key to the game: stop Young, and you have a chance.

The other key to Colorado ending its road woes (1-7, with only a triple-overtime win over cellar-dweller USC) is better production on offense. “Shots are not going in right now, that’s just the bottom line,” said Tad Boyle. “The last couple of games have been tough. I mean, we’ve gotten good shots, we just haven’t made them. Again, that’s why you have to rely on other parts of your game to have a chance to win.”

As for this year, to break free of their slump and find more nylon than iron, “The main thing is confidence,” said Dustin Thomas. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can score the ball. It’s just everybody figuring out what their role is right now, what they can do to help the team. But I think we’ve got a lot of good shooters; it’s just about going up there and doing it.”

Oregon so far in 2014-15 … With Oregon’s annual swapping of transfers and junior college additions, the Ducks were a question mark heading into the season. Oregon got off to a quiet 5-3 start, but two of those losses were to ranked teams (No. 19 Michigan; No. 14 VCU). The Ducks won their next five non-conference games, but that was still shaky, with the last two games being overtime wins over UC-Santa Barbara and UC-Irvine.

Oregon opened Pac-12 play with a 2-3 record, with an expected loss to Arizona, and two unexpected losses on the road against the Washington schools. Since then, however, the Ducks have gone 6-2, with the only losses being to Arizona (for the second time) and to UCLA last weekend in Los Angeles. For Oregon to make the NCAA tournament, they must be the Buffs, as the Ducks final home game will be against No. 9 Utah, before finishing the regular season on the road against the Bay Area schools and Oregon State.

—–

 

Josh Scott on watch list for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award

From cubuffs.com … The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday the Top 15 watch list members for the 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its inaugural year recognizes the top centers in men’s college basketball.  The watch list of 15 candidates was determined by a national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel.

University of Colorado junior forward Josh Scott is one of three Pac-12 Conference players named to the list. Jakob Poeltl of Utah and Stefan Nastic of Stanford were also named.

Scott is second on the Buffaloes in scoring with a 13.4 points per game average. He’s also second in blocks (32), rebounds (7.4) and field goal percentage (.500).

“For many years the Basketball Hall of Fame has recognized the top collegiate point guards in the nation with the Bob Cousy Award. We are excited to expand upon these awards by now recognizing the top players at each position,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “When it comes to collegiate centers, none have accomplished more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and we are pleased to include him in this celebration of the best in the game today.”

Colorado at Oregon (Thurs., 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU) … from the Ducks’ perspective

From the Daily Emerald … Colorado has a fairly mediocre offense. The Buffs are in the bottom half of the Pac-12 in effective field goal percentage and turnover rate, but rebound well on the offensive glass and draw a good amount of fouls.

Most of the Colorado offense is generated by Booker, who is used on a whopping 32.5 percent of Colorado’s possessions. Booker has averaged 17.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 per game this season and has really carried the Buffs through a rough season.

Xavier Johnson is Colorado’s next-biggest statistical contributor. Johnson (11.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) has made his biggest impact down low this year, although he has the skill set to attack from the perimeter as well.

Scott, on the other hand, has missed eight Pac-12 games this season because of injuries, and just returned to the lineup for the team’s past two games. Scott (13.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) almost never commits turnovers, rebounds extremely well and has a decent amount of skill on the block to score with.

Oregon’s offense continues to exploit its shooting totals. With an effective field goal percentage of 53.5 percent in Pac-12 play, the Ducks have the second-best offense in the conference by that metric.

Colorado owns several advantages on the defensive end. The Buffs have a middle-of-the-pack defense in terms of effective field goal percentage, but force turnovers and rebounds noticeably better than Oregon does. Colorado avoids sending teams to the free throw line better than most teams in the conference as well.

The Ducks have the worst interior defense in the Pac-12 as they allow a 53.1 percent shooting mark on two point shots and 32.6 percent of potential offensive rebounds to conference opponents.

Those two statistics will be key factors in this game, especially with Scott back in the Colorado lineup.

As the Buffs transition back into an interior team for the final portion of the season, Oregon must prevent the points-in-the-paint total and lock down the Colorado forwards to have success in this game.

Although advanced metrics say this should be an easy game for Oregon, the presence of Josh Scott is enough to make this game interesting. The Ducks should win, but it will be tough sledding against a decent Colorado defense.

 

—–

February 15th – Boulder           Colorado 64, Stanford 58

Colorado led for the entire first half, built a ten-point second half lead, but had to hang on in the final minute to defeat Stanford, 64-58. Askia Booker had 14 first half points to lead the Buffs early, then hit a key three-pointer late to finish with 17 points. Xavier Johnson posted a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, with Josh Scott contributing seven points and ten rebounds. Five other Buffs – Dominique Collier, Wesley Gordon, Jaron Hopkins, Xavier Talton and Tre’Shaun Fletcher –  contributed five points apiece.

The Buffs were able to handle Stanford’s top two players, Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown, with Randle hitting only 4-of-16 shots and Brown 2-of-11. What kept the Cardinal in the game was the play of center Stefan Nastic, who had 24 of Stanford’s 58 points.

“That was a relief. We needed that win bad”, said Tad Boyle. “We got a chance to take a deep breath. What I liked about it is that I thought it was really a terrific team victory. Our bench played well. We had a lot of guys contribute. It’s nice, when your team’s been struggling, to see them rewarded for their hard work. Up until this point, this year, a lot of times we’ve been finding ways to lose games and tonight we found a way to win one.

“The reason that our whole team is predicated on defense and rebounding is for games like this, when you shoot under 33 percent and you win the game. You find a way to win the game and that’s what they did. It showed great resolve. I really challenged them at halftime and the media timeouts in the second half about defense, defense, and defense. They just take that upon themselves to be a constant. Our offense will get better. I thought we got good shots. We just didn’t make them, but we’re not going to shoot 33 percent every time out.”

With the win, Colorado evened its season record at 12-12, 5-7 in Pac-12 play. Up next: at Oregon (Wed., 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU).

Game Notes …

– Colorado has now won four straight games in the series against Stanford; but still trails the overall series, 9-7;

– The Buffs are now 10-4 at home, the sixth straight season with at least ten home victories;

– Stanford’s bench scored zero points in the game;

– Xavier Johnson posted his sixth career double-double (10 points; 13 rebounds), but the first of the 2014-15 season.

Game Recap

The Buffs came into the game against the Cardinal understanding that perimeter defense would be the key against Stanford stars Chasson Randle and Anthony Brown … and, for a change, CU was successful.

Askia Booker opened the scoring with a jumper 90 seconds into the game, with the Buffs going up 4-0 on a Wesley Gordon layup. Stanford came right back, though, with a pair of baskets from center Kevin Nastic. The Buffs retook the lead on a Josh Scott dunk off of a Jaron Hopkins steal, with an Askia Booker three-pointer on CU’s next possession prompting a Stanford timeout. 9-4, Colorado, at the 14:22 mark of the first half.

The Colorado run continued over the next few minutes of play, with an Askia Booker free throw, followed by a Booker jumper, giving the Buffs an 8-0 run, and a 12-4 lead at the under 12 minute media break.

A dunk put back of a missed jumper by the Cardinal ended the Buff run, making it a 12-6 game at the midway point of the first half. Stanford made it a 3-0 run with a made free throw, with Josh Scott taking a seat with his second foul on the play. Xavier Johnson answered on the other end, putting back Askia Booker’s first miss, making it 14-7, Colorado, at the seven minute mark.

Chasson Randle finally got into the scoring column with a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 14-10, with Askia Booker hitting two free throws on a technical foul (hanging on the rim), to give Booker ten points, and CU a 16-10 advantage. Kevin Nastic posted his third basket to cut the lead to four, with Dustin Thomas next getting into the scoring column on the other end with a tip-in of a Booker miss. A Booker layup off of a Xavier Talton steal briefly gave the Buffs an eight point advantage, but Chasson Randle quickly quieted the crowd with a three-pointer. 20-15, Buffs, at the under four timeout.

Tory Miller got his first points on a short jumper out of the break, but the Cardinal got the ball into Nastic again for a layup to make it 22-17. On Stanford’s next possession, Nastic got to the line, making a pair of free throws to give him 12 of Stanford’s 19 first half points. Askia Booker next posted a pair of free throws, giving him 14 of CU’s 24 points. A layup off of a loose ball again cut the lead to three, but Xavier Johnson got a layup to make it a five point game again. The Buffs then pushed the lead back up to eight on a Tre’Shaun Fletcher three-pointer, but the Cardinal got the last dose of momentum, with Nastic putting back a missed layup right before the first half buzzer.

Halftime Score: Colorado 29, Stanford 23

The Buffs never trailed in the first half, and the perimeter defense game plan worked well, with the Cardinal hitting only one-of-ten in three-point attempts, and only 32.1%  (9-of-28) overall. Stars Randle and Brown were held to 1-of-7 shooting and six combined points, but center Stefan Nastic went 5-of-7, scoring 13 first half points.

For Colorado, Booker hit 4-of-8 free throws and 5-of-6 free throws to post 14 first half points, with only Xavier Johnson (four) and Tre’Shaun Fletcher (three), scoring more than two first half points.

Sloppy play by the Cardinal in the first minute of the second half led to two baskets for the Buffs, with Josh Scott getting a layup in transition before Dominique Collier stole the ball near midcourt, going in for an uncontested layup. Timeout, Stanford, with the Buffs enjoying their first double-digit lead, at 33-23.

Anthony Brown got his first points out of the timeout with a three-pointer, but Dominique Collier hit a three-pointer to make it 36-26. Stefan Nastic then got his first basket of the second half on Stanford’s next possession, with Nastic then getting a putback to give him 17 of the Cardinal’s 30 points. After a Booker turnover, Nastic made a pair of free throws to give him a personal 6-0 run, making it a four point game, at 36-32. The Buffs continued to play one-on-one basketball on their end, with the Cardinal getting another putback to cut the lead to two. Jaron Hopkins missed a wide open three-pointer on CU’s next possession, leaving it a 36-34 game at the under 16 break.

A three-point play by Xavier Johnson stopped the 8-0 Stanford run, making it a 39-34 game, but Anthony Brown connected on a three-pointer for the Cardinal to again make it a two point game. Dustin Thomas then hit one of two free throws, but Chasson Randle hit a three for Stanford, tying the game for the first time since 4-4. Tied at 40-40, at the under 12 minute media timeout.

Colorado had several opportunities to break the tie, but kept missing. After a Wesley Gordon turnover, Nastic got a three-point play to give him 22 points, and give Stanford its first lead of the game, at 43-40, at the midway point of the second half. The Buffs then missed their sixth consecutive shot from the field, but a free throw by Gordon cut the lead to two, 43-41. After Stanford made one of two free throws on their end, Xavier Johnson made a layup … collecting a rebound off of his own missed free throw attempt. Wesley Gordon then hit a pair of free throws to give CU the lead back, at 45-44, with 8:27 to play.

An offensive foul on Stefan Nastic gave him his fourth foul at the eight minute mark, with a Josh Scott putback of a Xavier Johnson missed dunk giving CU a 47-44 lead … until Chasson Randle, heating up in the second half, tied the score at 47-all. Not to be outdone, Xavier Talton hit a three-pointer, giving CU a 50-47 at the under eight timeout (6:45 remaining).

The Cardinal had a pair of opportunities to cut into the Buffs’ slim lead, but couldn’t cash in on consecutive possessions. Jaron Hopkins then got into the scoring column at the six minute mark, making it a 52-47 game. A Xavier Talton turnover next led to a Stanford layup, but Jaron Hopkins answered for the Buffs, giving CU a 54-49 lead at the final media timeout.

Two free throws by Anthony Brown out of the break cut the lead back to three points, with Xavier Johnson hitting one of two free throws to give him a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds), and give CU a four-point lead, 55-51. After a missed jumper by the Cardinal, Askia Booker – scoreless in the second half – hit a three-pointer to push the lead back out to seven. Timeout, Stanford, with the Buffs up 58-51, with 2:20 to play.

Both teams missed jumpers out of the timeout, with Nastic hitting a pair of free throws at the 1:26 mark to cut the lead to five, at 58-53. Tre’Shaun Fletcher was fouled at the 1:11 mark, hitting a pair of free throws, but Stanford quickly followed with a three-pointer to make it a four point game, at 60-56. On CU’s next possession, the Buffs ran the clock down before Askia Booker missed a jumper with only 30 seconds left in the game. Jaron Hopkins got the offensive rebound, and was fouled on the putback attempt. Hopkins made one of two free throws, making it a 61-56 game. Stanford drove to the basket quickly and was fouled, with Chasson Randle hitting both free throws to make it a three point game, at 61-58.

The Buffs then threw the ball away on the inbounds pass, but – amazingly – Chasson Randle turned the ball back over to Colorado. The Buffs were again unable to get the ball inbounds, calling timeout with 19 seconds remaining. The Buffs finally got the ball in, with Xavier Talton being fouled with 16 seconds left. Talton hit both, making it 63-58. Randle again drove in for a layup, but the ball hung on the rim and fell out. Josh Scott got the rebound, hitting one of two free throws with nine seconds remaining, sealing the win.

Final Score: Colorado 64, Stanford 58

 

 

… CU in the Arena …

Xavier Johnson: “I need to be a junior and lead”

A good article in the Daily Camera this morning with an interview of CU junior forward Xavier Johnson. Entitled, “CU men’s basketball: Johnson frustrated with personal, team struggles”, the full article can be found here.

Some quotes from Johnson:

“It’s frustrating when you can’t do things you’re used to doing,” he said. “I feel like with ankle sprains at this point, I just need to rest it, but there’s no time to rest it, because we’re practicing every day and if I don’t practice it means I can’t play.”

…. “At this point, I can’t really blame the coaches, because if I was a coach, I wouldn’t know what to do, either. It’s not like it’s their fault or anything. I’m just saying we’re in a struggling period right now, so coach is just trying to figure out new things and just trying everything. He’s starting different lineups and trying different things.”

… “Before I got hurt, I was killing it,” he said. “Now I have to get that back. It’s mostly mental. If I get back to that mental aspect of domination and kill, I should be all right.

“I just have to do my part. I need to get back to my leadership role and playing for the team and not myself. People (on the team) react to how I react, and if I react negatively they might do the same.

“I need to be a junior and lead.”

—–

 

February 14th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Stanford

Colorado vs. Stanford … Sunday, 2:00 p.m., MT (Fox Sports1) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Cardinal 2014-15 Record: 16-8, 7-5 in Pac-12 play (t-4th)

Series: Stanford leads the all-time series, 9-6, though Colorado has won the last three games played between the two teams. In the 2012-13 season, the Buffs swept the season series. Last season, the teams met only once, with Colorado coming away with a 59-56 win in Palo Alto.

Coach: Johnny Dawkins, 133-95, seventh year

Stanford’s record last season: 23-13, 10-8 in Pac-12 play (t-3rd) … A No. 10 in the NCAA tournament, the Cardinal took out No. 7 seed New Mexico, 58-53, and No. 2 seed Kansas, 60-57, before falling to No. 11 seed Dayton, 82-72, in the Sweet Sixteen.

Players to Watch … Colorado has had a difficult time this year with talented guards, and Stanford senior Chasson Randle is a good one. Randle leads the team with 19.9 points per game, though Utah held him to 11 points on 2-11 shooting last time out. Senior G/F Anthony Brown is second on the team with 15.8 points per game, while leading the team in rebounds (7.8) and assists (2.8).

Stanford so far in 2014-15 … It has been a mixed bag for the Cardinal this season, both in non-conference play as well as in Pac-12 games. Stanford won its first three games of the season, including an impressive win over UNLV, before falling to No. 4 Duke in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament. The Cardinal then lost games on the road to DePaul (one of the few quality teams CU was able to beat in non-conference play) and BYU, before rebounding to take down No. 9 Texas, completing non-conference play with a 8-3 record (Stanford also defeated UConn in January, in an odd bit of scheduling).

Stanford opened Pac-12 play with home wins over Washington State and No. 21 Washington before falling to UCLA in double-overtime on the road. The Cardinal then won five of six games, falling only to No. 7 Arizona. The last four games, though, have seen losses in three games, including close losses to Washington State (89-88) and UCLA (69-67). On Thursday, Stanford fell to No. 11 Utah, 77-59.

 

CU Women pick up impressive win over Washington State

From cubuffs.com Colorado’s second game against Washington State Friday night followed much of the blueprint that the first battle laid out. In that late-January matchup — a 73-68 Cougars victory in Pullman — the Buffs held Washington State to 25 percent shooting, including a combined 10-of-34 from Cougars star guards Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira.

But Colorado committed 27 turnovers, gave up 20 offensive rebounds and allowed Washington State to shoot an unreal 33-of-39 from the free-throw line. In the rematch, the Buffs again stifled the Cougars’ offense, and this time they took care of the little things on the way to a 72-51 win at the Coors Events Center.

“We won that game because we defended and rebounded,” Buffs coach Linda Lappe said. “I think the rebounding piece of it is something that we lacked up at their place.”

Colorado (11-13, 4-9 Pac-12) held Washington State (13-11, 4-9) to 32 percent shooting, committed only 15 turnovers, out-rebounded the Cougars by 19 and sent them to the line for just nine foul shots. The Buffs’ guards suffocated Presley and Galdeira into an almost identical combined shooting performance from the first game; they made just 10-of-35 together.

“Sometimes we’re very predictable on defense,” Lappe said. “Tonight we weren’t that predictable and I thought we helped each other really well.”

Colorado didn’t have its best shooting night, either — the Buffs shot 41 percent, but Lexy Kresl was only 4-of-16 and Jamee Swan just 2-of-11. Jen Reese paced Colorado with 14 points on an efficient 6-of-9 shooting and pulled in nine rebounds. The Buffs also got a career-high 11 points and four rebounds from freshman guard Alina Hartmann.

—–

 

February 12th – Boulder           California 68, Colorado 61

Colorado had not lost back-to-back home games under Tad Boyle (9-0), and Cal had not won in Boulder since 1974 … until Thursday night. The Buffs were able to cut a double-digit second half deficit to two points, but were not able to make a final push, falling to the Bears at home, 68-61.

Josh Scott led the Buffs with 17 points and eight rebounds, but the Buffs were a cold 22-for-60 (36.7%) from the field overall. Cal hit 10-of-22 three point attempts (45.5%), keeping the Buffs at bay. Askia Booker had 11 points, with Wesley Gordon collecting ten rebounds to go with six points.

“Tough loss for our guys”, said Tad Boyle. “There’s no doubt about it after what we went through last weekend. I thought we had a good week of practice and thought we were prepared. The bottom line in a game like this is that we didn’t play well enough in the second half to win this game, both offensively and defensively.

“There were some good things that came from this game though, we put forth the old Colorado rebounding effort. We had eight offensive rebounds at halftime and finished with 16 for the game, but we couldn’t finish at the rim or when we needed to. Cal made plays down the stretch. [Cal G] Tyrone Wallace made a big-time play on a drive, [Cal F] David Kravish had a nice post move and I think they scored on five of their last seven possessions. We couldn’t get critical stops and couldn’t finish when we needed to finish. So it’s a disappointing loss, but there were some positive things that came out of it and we just have to go back to the drawing board and try to get better. We are where we are, we’re here for a reason and the only way we can change it is by the way we play. We weren’t quite good enough tonight.”

With the loss, Colorado falls to 11-12 overall, with a 4-7 record in Pac-12 play.

Game Notes …

– CU, at 11-12, falls below .500 for the first time under Tad Boyle this late into a season;

– First back-to-back home losses since 2009-10;

– Cal now leads the all-time series, 13-12, winning in Boulder for the first time since 1974;

– Buffs fall to 3-7 in single-digit games this season;

– Freshman Dominique Collier earned his first career start

Game Recap …

With the Buffs’ big three – Josh Scott, Xavier Johnson, and Askia Booker – in the starting lineup together for the first time in a month, Colorado fans had reason to hope for a better start than the 17-3 embarrassing start to the Utah game five days earlier. A pair of Xavier Johnson free throws and a Wesley Gordon jumper put the Buffs up early, 4-3, but that lead was quickly erased with a pair of three-pointers by the Bears, making it an 8-4 lead for Cal.

The Buffs were able to tie the game at 8-all with two Askia Booker free throws an a Xavier Johnson jumper, but Cal continued to hold the Buffs at bay. A Dustin Thomas three-pointer tied the score at 12-12, with teams trading the lead back and forth down to the six minute mark of the first half. At that point, however, the Bears started to pull away. Nursing a 17-16 lead, Cal hit a pair of three-pointers in consecutive possessions, pushing the lead out to 23-16.

A Josh Scott dunk got the Buffs back into the game, with a Jaron Hopkins layup making it a 23-20 game. Another three-pointer by the Bears,, though made it a 26-20 game at the last media timeout of the first half.

Josh Scott hit one of two free throws after the timeout before layups by the Buffs’ two freshmen, Dominique Collier and Tory Miller, cut the lead to one, at 26-25. The teams swapped points in the final minute, with Josh Scott picking up a pair of free throws to keep it close at the break.

Halftime score: California 28, Colorado 27

The Buffs had some positive stats on their side of the sheet at the break, with a 22-14 advantage on the boards, and nine of ten players having scored. A 32% half of shooting (9-of-28), though, while giving up 50% from behind the arc to the Bears (5-of-10), kept Cal in the lead.

The second half opened with a thud for the Buffs, with Xavier Johnson missing a pair of free throws. An Askia Booker layup on CU’s next possession gave the Buffs their first lead of the second half, at 29-28, but that advantage was quickly erased with the Bears’ sixth three-pointer of the game. The teams again traded a two-for-a-three, with a Josh Scott basket followed by three-pointer number seven for Cal, making it a 34-31 game.

A pair of free throws by the Bears pushed the lead out to five points before Wesley Gordon tipped in a Xavier Johnson miss to cut the lead to 36-33. Cal’s eighth three-pointer of the game – and third in the first five minutes of the second half – made it a six point game again, with the Bears taking their biggest lead of the night, at 41-33, after posting a made jumper before the first media timeout of the second half.

A Xavier Johnson layup briefly stopped the bleeding, but two more baskets by the Bears made it a ten-point game, at 45-35, with 13 minutes to play. The teams then traded baskets before the Buffs turned the ball over on successive possessions. A Dustin Thomas jumper cut the lead to eight, with the teams trading three-pointers – the ninth for Cal; the Buffs’ coming from Xavier Talton. A Josh Scott jumper gave him nine points, making it 50-44 with nine minutes still left to play.

Two free throws – unfortunately only one-of-two from Jaron Hopkins and one-of-two from Dustin Thomas – gave CU a 7-0 run. Thomas had several chances to cut the lead even more, but missed a layup and a three-point attempt. Cal took advantage of the CU drought, pushing the lead back out to seven, at 53-46, with seven minutes to play.

Cal’s tenth three-pointer – in 21 attempts – gave the Bears a 7-0 run of their own, making a ten-point game again, at 56-46. Josh Scott became the Buffs’ first double-digit scorer, with 11, on CU’s next possession, with the teams trading baskets as the clock slipped below five minutes. A Dustin Thomas layup cut the lead to six, at 58-52, at the final media timeout of the game.

The Buffs stayed close, with Josh Scott hitting a pair of free throws, but it was still a six point game, at 60-54, with three minutes to play. One of two free throws by the Bears, offset by a dunk by Josh Scott, made it a five-point game, at 61-56. Each team then hit a pair of free throws, but now only two minutes remained.

After the Bears missed the front end of a one-and-one, Askia Booker connected on a three-pointer, making it a one possession game, at 63-61, with 1:43 to play. A missed three-point attempt by Cal gave CU a chance to tie the game, but a Josh Scott jumper with 54 seconds remaining failed to connect.

Cal drained the clock down to 21 seconds, with Bear star guard Tyrone Wallace hitting a jumper to push the lead back out to four points, at 65-61. An Askia Booker turnover with 15 seconds then ended the Buffs’ chances, with Cal hitting free throws down the stretch to close out the game on a 5-0 run.

Final Score: California 68, Colorado 61 

 

—-

… CU in the Arena …

Boyle: Buffs need “More time in the gym, less time playing video games”

From cubuffs.com … When Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle gathered his team after practice Wednesday, his message to them was simple, yet complex:

“It’s time to start making sacrifices.”

He elaborated later: “Spend more time in the gym, less time playing video games. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep, taking care of your body. On the court, we gotta sacrifice for each other. Think about making plays for your teammates, and not just think about what you’re doing, how you’re playing. Think about the guy to your right and the guy to your left.”

Colorado (11-11, 4-6) did not make those sacrifices against Utah Saturday night, and it suffered the worst home loss of Boyle’s tenure. So the Buffs, their bodies recharged and their confidence repaired, prepare to sacrifice and grind and fight through Thursday night’s matchup against the surging California Bears (7 p.m., Coors Events Center, Fox Sports 1).

“I was pleased,” Boyle said of his team’s performance in practice. “As disappointing as Saturday night was, I think our mindset is pretty good. One thing I’ve learned in 27 years of coaching is kids are resilient.”

Two weeks ago, the Bears (15-9, 5-6) would have been a more attractive prospect for a rebound — Cal ended January on a six-game losing streak, capped with a homestead against Arizona and Arizona State that the Bears blew by a combined 53 points.

Since then, though, Cal has won four straight games, two of them blowouts, and the Bears are rapidly climbing up the Pac-12 leaderboard in coach Cuonzo Martin’s first season in Berkeley. Cal is an unspectacular statistical team; the Bears are 11th in the conference in scoring, eighth in field goal percentage and ninth in points allowed, but they have three guards — Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Matthews and Jabari Bird — who are legitimate threats to drop 20 points on a given night, and all three have stepped up during Cal’s streak.

Continue reading here

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February 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Askia Booker says he will play against Cal Thursday night

From the Daily Camera … “I know I can run, I can jump, I can do everything,” said Booker, who leads the team with 17.6 points and 3.3 assists per game. “It’s the fact that your hip gets hit so much in basketball and when it gets hit, it’s excruciating. But, excruciating turns into mild when you feel what I feel (mentally).”

Booker, who hadn’t missed a game in more than three years, returned to practice on Tuesday and afterward said he felt “fine.”

“I’m still playing through some injuries and pain, but I don’t really care now,” he said. “My team needs me. They need me to perform and they need me on the court, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

… “Deep down inside at the USC game I knew that something was wrong instantly,” Booker said. “The first or second day, the pain is not so bad. You can work through it because you’re still fresh and you’ve been running on it already.

“Once I sat out for a while, things clogged up it seemed like, and blood rushed to that spot and it got swollen and it got stiff.”

Booker tried ice, hot tub and massage treatments, but couldn’t get the pain to go away last week, so he skipped the game.

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February 10th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: California

Colorado vs. California … Thursday, 7:00 p.m.,, MT (Fox Sports1) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Bears’ 2014-15 Record: 15-9, 5-6 in Pac-12 play (7th)

Series: The series is tied, 12-12, with Colorado holding a 5-3 edge in games played since joining the Pac-12 – including an NIT victory in 2011 and a 59-56 win in last year’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. The only regular season game played between the two teams last season was five days earlier, a 66-65 overtime win by Cal in a game played in Berkeley.

California’s record last season: 21-14, 10-8 in Pac-12 play … The Bears won two games at home in the NIT before losing to SMU on the road in the quarter-finals, 67-65.

Player to Watch … Junior guard Tyrone Wallace leads the Bears in scoring (17.4 points per game), assists per game (3.8), and even in rebounds (7.9 per game). In the last four games, all victories, Wallace has played 37 minutes or more in each contest, and has averaged 18.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

California so far in 2014-15 … The Bears’ opened the season with an impressive 10-1 record. Included in that run was a Thanksgiving tournament win over No. 23 Syracuse in a game played in New York. The following night, Cal fell to No. 10 Texas, but that was the Bears’ only non-conference loss until a December 22nd loss to No. 6 Wisconsin.

In their final non-conference game, the Bears fell to Cal-Bakersfield, limping into Pac-12 play with a 10-3 record … but with back-to-back losses. Cal quickly rebounded, though, upsetting No. 21 Washington, 81-75, at home. That was a high-point for Cal, however, as the Bears went on to lose their next six games. A home loss to Washington State was quickly followed by road losses to the Los Angeles schools and home losses to Stanford and the Arizona schools.

Since then, however, the Bears’ fortunes have turned 180-degrees yet again. Cal comes to Boulder riding a four-game winning streak, including road wins against both Washington schools, and a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools. The most recent victim was UCLA, with the Bears taking away a 64-62 win last Saturday.

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February 7th

… CU in the Arena …

No. 13 Utah 79, Colorado 51

Utah raced out to a 17-3 advantage in the first seven minutes and never looked back, humbling Colorado at home, 79-51. The Buffs were never closer than six points after the Utes’ initial run, and were never within double digits in the entire second half as the Utes completely dominated the Buffs.

With leading scorer Askia Booker out (hip-pointer), and CU’s other stars Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson still not at 100%, Colorado was unable to produce any offense. Freshman Dominique Collier led the Buffs in scoring for the first time in his career, with all of 11 points, with Josh Scott making his return to the lineup with ten points and seven rebounds.

The Buffs shot a putrid 29.8% from the field (14-for-47), hit exactly one three-pointer (one-of-nine), and missed 14 free throws. Utah, meanwhile, shot 57.8% from the field (26-of-45), were even more accurate from range (13-of-22, 59%), and had 20 assists on its 26 made baskets.

“I’d like to start by saying that you have to give Utah some credit”, said Tad Boyle, who was swept in the regular season by Utah for the first time. “Those guys were really good tonight. I told our guys in the locker room that’s what a top-15 team looks like. They played like it tonight; they took it to us in every single way. They made every open shot. We weren’t good enough defensively; we weren’t good enough offensively. It was just a good old-fashioned ass-whooping. We’ve got to take it, we’ve got to learn from it, we’ve got to get better from it, and that’s what we plan to do.”

Utah embarrassed Colorado 74-49 on January 7th in Salt Lake City, but in that game Josh Scott was already hurt, and Xavier Johnson went out early with an ankle injury. Colorado had never lost to Utah at home in Pac-12 play, so the rout in January was written off as an anomaly, with the Buffs prepared to take care of business at home.

Instead, the Utes took care of business, leaving Colorado with an 11-11 overall record, 4-6 in Pac-12 play.

Game Notes … 

– Utah has now won three straight in the series, which last happened in three games played between 1947 and 1950;

– CU still leads the series, 25-19, with a 5-4 advantage since the inception of the Pac-12;

– The 28-point loss was the worst for CU under Tad Boyle in a game played in the Coors Events Center;

– Askia Booker’s streak of 114 straight games played came to an end (hip-pointer);

– Freshmen Tory Miller and Dominique Collier set new marks. Miller earned his first career start, while Collier 11 points were a career-high. Collier also led the team in scoring for the first time in his career.

Game recap

Colorado opened the game against No. 13 Utah without its three leading scorers in the starting lineup. Askia Booker was out with a hip-pointer, Xavier Johnson was still rounding his game back into form after hurting his ankle against the Utes a month earlier, and Josh Scott was coming along slowly, playing in his first game in four weeks.

So, the starting lineup for the Utah game was Dustin Thomas, Tory Miller, Xavier Talton, Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Jaron Hopkins … four sophomores and a freshman.

The Buffs were over-matched in a game against the No. 13 Utes … and it showed.

By the time the Buffs scored for the first time, with Xavier Johnson coming off the bench to hit a jumper four minutes into the game … it was 9-2, Utah.

By the time a starter scored a point (on a Dustin Thomas free throw), only nine minutes remained in the first half … with the score 18-9.

Down 17-3, the Buffs made their only run of the game. Dominique Collier hit a pair of free throws, Josh Scott posted a pair of layups, Thomas hit his single free throw, and Wesley Gordon hit a pair of free throws. A 9-1 run made it an 18-12 game at the eight minute mark of the first half, but that was as close as the Buffs would get.

Another mini-run, after the Utes had pushed their advantage to 23-12, gave the Buff fans some modicum of hope. Dominique Collier and Josh Scott hit a pair of jumpers, Jaron Hopkins posted a layup, and Xavier Talton hit a pair of free throws. With 90 seconds left before the break, it was a game again, at 28-20.

Unfortunately, the CU defense failed, with Utah hitting a pair of three-pointers in the final minute, including one with just two seconds left.

Halftime score: No. 13 Utah 35, Colorado 23

Any hopes of a Colorado comeback were quickly squashed early in the second half. In the first two minutes, Colorado missed three shots, with the Utes hitting all three of theirs … all three pointers. Timeout, Colorado, with the score 44-23.

The only real drama thereafter was whether Colorado would extend its streak of games with a made three-pointer. Down by the ridiculous score of 70-34, the Buffs finally were able to extend the streak, with Xavier Johnson hitting a three-pointer with 5:36 to play. It would prove to be the only made three point attempt of the game for the Buffs, who finished one-for-nine from behind the arc.

Final score: No. 13 Utah 79, Colorado 51

 

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February 6th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: No. 13 Utah

Colorado vs. No. 13 Utah … Saturday, 8:00 p.m.,, MT (Pac-12 Networks) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197

Utes’ 2014-15 Record: 17-4, 7-2 in Pac-12 play

Coach: Larry Krystkowiak, 4th year; 59-59 … A win over Colorado would finally put Krystkowiak over .500 at Utah …

Series: Colorado leads the all-time series against Utah, 25-18. Since the inception of the Pac-12, Colorado holds a 5-3 edge, with all three losses coming when the Buffs have ventured into the Huntsman Center. Last season, the teams split, with each team defending their home court. On January 7th, Utah handed Colorado its first Pac-12 loss of the season, dominating 74-49 in a game in which Xavier Johnson went down early with an ankle injury.

Utah’s record last season: 21-12; 9-9 in Pac-12 play (tied-8th). Despite a 21-win season, the Utes did not earn an invitation to the NCAA tournament (largely due to a soft non-conference schedule). Utah was bounced by St. Mary’s in the first round of the NIT … This season, the Utes are looking for their first NCAA bid since 2009.

Last time … January 7th, at Utah … No. 9 Utah 74, Colorado 49 … From ESPN … “We got in the passing lanes,” senior point guard Delon Wright said. “We made smart decisions on offense.” Brandon Taylor scored 14 points and Wright added 13 points, six assists and four steals to help Utah. Dakarai Tucker added 11 off the bench for the Utes.

Utah blew the game open early after clamping down defensively on the Buffaloes. The Utes scored 41 points off turnovers or second-chance baskets.

That number didn’t sit well with Colorado coach Tad Boyle.

“You got to fight human nature in this business,” Boyle said. “Human nature is to get your head down. What we got to do is we got to strap it up and keep fighting. Not let that get our heads down. Not let that bother us. It’s easier said than done.”

Asika Booker and Jaron Hopkins each scored 12 points for Colorado, which was held to its second lowest point total this season. The Buffaloes shot just 39.5 percent from the field (17-of-43).

Utah so far in 2014-15 … When the Pac-12 preseason media poll came out, Arizona was the over-whelming favorite to win the conference. Closely bunched at 2-3-4 in the poll were Utah, Colorado and UCLA. While the Buffs and Bruins have been a disappointment so far this season, the Utes have exceeded expectations. Even without Jordan Loveridge in the lineup for the early part of the season, Utah racked up impressive wins and only a pair of close defeats. Utah is 17-4, 7-2, ranked No. 13 in the nation, with the only non-conference losses coming on the road against No. 16 San Diego State (53-49) and No. 10 Kansas (63-60). Meanwhile, the Utes posted wins over teams like No. 8 Wichita State and UNLV (which took down Arizona). In Pac-12 play, Utah’s only losses have been to Arizona and UCLA, with both losses coming on the road.

CU Notes of Note

Josh Scott practicing, active for Utah game

From cubuffs.com … Josh Scott’s last night in a Colorado basketball uniform wasn’t a memorable one for him or the Buffaloes. It was Jan. 7 in Salt Lake City, and although CU’s 6-10 junior forward tried his best to run the court in Utah’s uproarious Huntsman Center the 28-minute experiment – and that’s what it was – returned him and his ailing back to square one.

“I was hurting, I think that’s kind of obvious,” Scott said Thursday after a two-plus hour practice that left him and coach Tad Boyle highly encouraged. “It’s not my favorite game; it was kind of a ‘figure this thing out’ type of deal. And that’s what we did.”

What Scott, Boyle and CU’s medical staff figured out in the Buffs’ 74-49 clubbing by then-No. 9 Utah was that Scott simply wasn’t ready to return; his back problems, which included but weren’t limited to spasms, needed more evaluation, more treatment, more rest.

He has practiced with no restrictions since Monday, with Boyle noting on Thursday that Scott “looks great . . . I feel good about him playing; how much I don’t know. We’ll see how he is (Friday); every day is a new day, a new adventure here.”

If the decision is made to play him, Boyle and Scott will confer about how much. Boyle says he likely will “ease him back in rather than throw him in the fire. But when it’s game on, it’s game on. You can’t be a little bit pregnant; you’re either in or you’re out. He’s going to have to play or not play. I think he’s going to want to, but how much and at what capacity we’ll figure out.”

And Scott is on board with that.

“He’s the coach, I’m the player,” he said. “If I’m healthy and can play, it’s his job to tell me how much I’m going to play or not play. But I have to be healthy and he knows that. He’s been very supportive of that . . . he can tell me how many minutes and I’m accepting of that.”

… For Scott, it is simply his first chance to return. “Anyone who really knows me knows that I don’t stay up here in Boulder just to work out, sit on the bench and be injured,” he said. “It was tough watching games from home while my teammates (played). That was probably the toughest thing. I’m not built for it. So I’d say I’m pretty damn excited – I’ll even say damn. I’m pretty damn excited about it.”

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February 3rd

… CU in the Arena …

“There’s a chance” Josh Scott will be able to play against Utah

From the Daily Camera … As has been the case in each of the past few weeks, Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle said “there’s a chance” junior Josh Scott will play this week.

The difference is that Scott appears to be doing more physically.

The 6-foot-10 Scott, who is second on the team in scoring (13.8 points per game) and rebounding (7.2), has missed eight of the last nine games because of back spasms. He has not played since Jan. 7 at Utah.

The Buffs (11-10, 4-5 Pac-12) host No. 13 Utah (17-4, 7-2) on Saturday at the Coors Events Center.

“He’s starting to work out now and we’ll see how the back responds,” Boyle said Tuesday during Pac-12 coaches’ teleconference. “I’m encouraged. I don’t know whether he’ll be ready Saturday or not. It’s too early to say.”

Scott’s back began hurting prior to CU’s trip to the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, from Dec. 22-25. He fought through it to play all three games in that tournament, but struggled with two of his strengths — rebounding and free-throw shooting.

Continuing reading here

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February 2nd

Booker named second-team All-Pac-12

Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News has listed his mid-season All-Pac-12 basketball team.

The full article can be found here.

Best coach: Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle. The Beavers (5-4) have more wins through nine games than I projected for them over the full 18. Only a late season collapse will prevent Tinkle from winning Coach of the Year.

Best player: Utah’s Delon Wright. The top player on the No. 2 team and the best all-around player in the conference. Wright averages 13 points (again: conference-only stats) while leading the league in assists (6.6) and ranking third in steals. Has been as good as advertised.

First team

G Utah’s Delon Wright
G Stanford’s Chasson Randle
G Oregon State’s Gary Payton II
F Arizona’s Stanley Johnson
C Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson

Second team

G Colorado’s Askia Booker
G UCLA’s Norman Powell
G Arizona’s T.J. McConnell
F UCLA’s Kevon Looney
F Stanford’s Anthony Brown

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5 Replies to “Buff Basketball – February, 2015”

  1. Looking for Coach Boyle’s bunch to grab a win on the road in Corvallis. Very well may need this win to have puncher’s chance of getting through regular season at .500 or better.

  2. Watching on TV back here in NJ, the CEC looked fairly sparsely-populated. Good year to be an orthopedist in Boulder County it appears. Lots of sprained and broken ankles to treat for folks injured while jumping off of the Buffs’ bandwagon.

  3. I’m going with the premise that Coach is doing what he needs to do because there is no voice in the locker room taking care of these player issues. All four are contributors and he’s probably disappointed with the behavior, embarrassed even!
    Coach B knows what it is going to take to set the course. Tonight, we’ll see it. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Josh Scott get vocal?
    Go Buffs!

  4. I’m concerned about the number of games this year that players haven’t started due to discipline measures. Collier, Johnson, Gordon, Booker…. Have all missed at least 1 start for discipline issues. Has Boyle lost control of these guys?.

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