Colorado Basketball – January, 2016

January 31st – Boulder         Colorado 70, California 62

Game recap … from cubuffs.com

Colorado overcame a terrible start (three points in the first ten minutes), streaked out to a 17-point lead, then held on with made free throws (13-of-16) down the stretch to defeat Cal, 70-62.

Josh Scott led the Buffs with 18 points, but Scott was far from his usual dominating self. Scott was held to five rebounds, and went 5-for-17 from the field. Joining Scott in double figures was Dominique Collier, with 14 points, and George King, with 13.

Quotable Tad Boyle“Well it was a great win for Colorado, we don’t make it easy on ourselves that’s for sure.  That’s two games in a row that we had a convincing lead, and we haven’t been finishing like we should.  But with that being said, we did what we needed to do.  Cal’s a good team and we knew that they weren’t going to go away.  We did some positive things and we did what we need to do”.

… “We would love to have that Utah game back, but life doesn’t work like that.  Nine games under the belt and we’re 6-3 so it’s a good time to reflect.  But not for very long since we have nine more games left.  And we have to consider the tall task at hand of going to Eugene and playing Oregon.”

Game recap … The re-match with Cal opened much like Pac-12 opener had 30 days earlier. Here are the opening lines from cubuffs.com story on the January 1st game:

Things started badly for the Colorado Buffaloes against Cal on Friday — and then got worse.

The Buffs shot poorly, struggled on defense and were soundly dominated on the boards, and as a result took a 79-65 defeat on the chin in their Pac-12 opener.

Things started badly – very badly – for Colorado in the rematch. When the first media timeout came at the 15:31 mark, the CU student section still had confetti in their hands, as the Buffs had yet to score. Josh Scott finally broke the ice with a put back at the 14:41 mark, but that only made it an 8-2 game. Scott’s basket was the only made field goal in CU’s first 19 attempts, and the Buffs had all of three points with nearly half of the first half in the books.

Down 12-3, though, the Buffs didn’t quit. Over the next four minutes, the Buffs out-scored the Bears, 13-3, to take their first lead of the game, at 16-15, with 6:49 to play. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but Colorado would not trail again the remainder of the game.

George King went on a 7-1 run of his own down the stretch of the first half to help the Buffs build a lead. Josh Fortune’s three-pointer in the final seconds gave CU a 37-23 lead at the break.

The teams traded baskets early in the second half before George King followed up a jumper with a three-pointer to give the Buffs a 46-29 advantage.

From there, however, the Bears slowly whittled away at the Colorado lead. A 10-1 run by California made it a 53-46 game … with 6:30 still to play. A Jaylen Brown three-pointer with 1:56 remaining cut the lead to four, at 62-58, but the Bears would get no closer. The Buffs held without a field goal for the final 4:55 of the contest, made 13-of-16 free throws to hold off the Bears and post the big win.

– Game Notes …

– The Buffaloes are 17-5 overall. Colorado has won five of their last six and improve to 12-1 at home.

– Colorado is 9-2 against the Bears when playing at Coors Events Center. Cal still holds the overall series lead 14-13.

– CU has started 6-3 or better in league play for just the third time in the last 43 seasons.

– Colorado has outrebounded its opponent in 19 of 22 games.

– The Buffs forced 15 turnovers, the second most this year, but they only led to seven points.

– Colorado only had two turnovers in the first half.

– In the first half, California made 4 of its first 8 (50%) but finished to 4-18 (22.2%). Colorado started out 1-19 (5.3%) and went on a run to improve to 12-17 (70.6%).

– Colorado started the game 8-14 FT but made 13-16 in the last 4:30.

Up next for Colorado … A battle for first place in the Pac-12 with Oregon in Eugene … Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1

 

January 30th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: California Bears  

Game … Sunday, 3:00 p.m., MT … Fox Sports 1 … KOA 850 radio

– “Buffs’ Scott Still Among Abdul-Jabbar Award Leaders” … from cubuffs.com

– “Tyrone Wallace injury removes key component from Cal lineup” … from the Daily Camera

“Boyle’s Buffs Building Strong Resume´” … from cubuffs.com

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Bears’ 2014-15 Record: 18-15, 7-11 in Pac-12 play … As is the case this year, Cal opened the 2014-15 season with a 10-3 non-conference record. The Bears had some confidence heading into Pac-12 play, with wins over No. 23 Syracuse, Wyoming, and Princeton on its resume. The momentum didn’t last, however, as the Bears lost six of their first seven Pac-12 games. A five-game winning streak, including a 68-61 win over Colorado in Boulder, made Cal a 16-9, 6-6 team, with aspirations of post-season play. The Bears, however, went 1-5 to finish with a 7-11 Pac-12 record.

California was the No. 8 seed in the Pac-12 tournament last spring, and won its first Pac-12 tournament game against Washington State, but then fell, 73-51, to No. 1 seed (and 5th-ranked Arizona) in the quarterfinals. Cal did not play in any post-season tournaments.

Bears’ 2015-16 record: 14-7, 4-4 in Pac-12 play. In non-conference play, Cal defeated Seattle (the teams which handed the Buffs their season-ending loss last spring) and Wyoming. Two of the Bears’ losses came in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament in Las Vegas, with Cal falling in successive games to San Diego State and Richmond.

The teams met in the Pac-12 conference opener on January 1st, with Cal taking a 79-65 home win (ESPN game recap).

From the cubuffs.com game story Things started badly for the Colorado Buffaloes against Cal on Friday — and then got worse.

The Buffs shot poorly, struggled on defense and were soundly dominated on the boards, and as a result took a 79-65 defeat on the chin in their Pac-12 opener.

Friday’s game wasn’t a matter of the Buffs not playing hard. They just didn’t play well. CU shot a season-low 32 percent from the field (21-for-66), recorded a season-low six assists (only two Buffs had assists) and hit just 27 percent of their 3-point tries, also a season low …

Series: California leads the all-time series, 14-12, including the aforementioned wins against Colorado last February and in the Pac-12 2015-16 conference opener. The win in Boulder last season was just the second for the Bears in 10 tries (CU leads, 3-2, in neutral site games). The teams are tied, 5-5, since Colorado joined the Pac-12 (including a 2011 CU win in an NIT game), but Cal has won four of the last five in the series.

California – Players to watch:  Here is what Tad Boyle had to say about Jordan Mathews before the January 1st matchup: “Jordan Mathews is one of the most underrated players in our league. Mathews is sneaky, sneaky good. Every time he has an open shot, it seems like it goes in”. That proved prophetic, as Mathews went for 22 points against the Buffs, including five-of-nine from three-point range … Forward Jaylen Brown had a double-double against Colorado, with 17 points and 11 rebounds …

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January 28th

CU in the Arena …

Tom Apke era players to be honored at Cal game on Sunday

From cubuffs.com … If you’re a longtime Colorado basketball fan, names such as Jay Humphries, Jacques Tuz, Torin Williams, Scott Wilke and Billy Houston will ring a bell — as will the name Tom Apke.

Apke coached at Colorado for five seasons (1981-86), a stretch that included a 16-13 record and fourth-place finish in the Big Eight in 1984. Apke’s teams also recorded three wins over Kansas in his tenure, including a 75-74 win in Lawrence in 1983 — the last time a Colorado team won on the Jayhawks’ home floor.

This weekend, the CU Athletic Department will host an “Apke Era” reunion, with a number of activities on tap, including attending a Buffs practice on Saturday and Sunday’s 3 p.m. matchup with Cal at the CU Events Center.

Apke and three of his CU assistants — Randy Eccker, Bob Hofman and Ralph Patterson — are slated to attend (former assistant Alvin Gentry is now head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans and won’t be in attendance).

Players and staffers from the era who have confirmed that they will be at the weekend’s activities include Kevin Cornish (1981-83), Ken Countryman (1985-88), Brad Helms (1980-83), Graham Hill, Billy Houston (1981-83), Dave Kuosman (1985-89), Todd Lovrien, Curtis Rayford (1980-82), Russ Tearney (1980-84), Bill Thompson (1981-83), Jacques Tuz (1977-82), Brent Vaughan (1986-90), Joe Washington (1978-82), Torin Williams (1984-87), Scott Wilke (1984-88) and Don Yowell (1982-86).

Those attending this weekend’s activities will be introduced at halftime of Sunday’s Colorado-Cal game.

 

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January 27th – Boulder          Colorado 91, Stanford 75

Game recapfrom cubuffs.com

– “Hot shooting performance lifts Buffs past Stanford” … from the Daily Camera

– “Stanford was buried under a barrage of early 3-pointers on Wednesday night and never recovered” … from the San Jose Mercury News

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We played well as a team.  We hit three of our four numbers that we talk about all the time.  The only thing we didn’t hit is our turnovers.  We had 15 rather than less than 12.  Great performance sand some subpar performances.  Some guys battled through some things.  It was really good to get the bench in at the end because people don’t realize how hard those guys work at practice and scout team. It was nice to get them some minutes. I’m proud of all of our guys tonight. It was a step in the right direction. We talked on Monday at practice about this being a week of separation and this is a step in that separation. We have to continue that on Sunday so we can’t get too high off of this win.  We took care of business, were a good solid team.  I mentioned on Monday and Tuesday that Roscoe Allen is a good player, which we saw tonight.  We knew we dodged a bullet in Palo Alto when he didn’t play really well.  We were able to overcome that with some really good performances ourselves.  Overall, a great win.”

Colorado went on a three-point barrage – hitting 13-of-19 three-point attempts (68.4%) – leading to a wire-to-wire 91-75 win over Stanford.

Josh Fortune and George King were a combined 10-for-12 from behind the arc, with King finishing with 23 points and Fortune 21. Josh Scott came up short of a double-double, with 14 points and eight rebounds, but hit shots when the Cardinal tried to mount comebacks. The other Buff in double figures was Tory Miller, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Josh Fortune got the Buffs started, hitting three three-pointers in the first four minutes to stake Colorado to a 9-4 lead. With the score 15-11, George King got into the act, hitting three three-pointers of his own. King’s personal 9-0 run gave the Buffs a 24-11 lead at the 11 minute mark. At the half, Colorado had a 42-24 lead, hitting 12-of-27 three-pointers (to one-of-ten for the Cardinal).

Josh Scott – held without a field goal in the first half – got his first basket on a traditional three-point play to get the Buffs off to a good start in the second half. Two more three-pointers from Josh Fortune and one by Dominique Collier staked Colorado to its first 20-point lead. The bulge was up to 23, at 64-41 at the 12:57 mark, and the game looked to be well in hand …

… but then Stanford went on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes. Timeout, Colorado, with the score 64-54 and 9:40 still remaining.

The Buffs could have been on the brink of an epic meltdown, but Josh Scott restored order. Out of the timeout, Josh Scott recorded another traditional three-point play, blocked two shots and brought down a rebound to lead the Buffs to a 10-0 run of their own, doubling the lead back to 20, at 74-54, and ending any realistic chance for a Stanford comeback.

Game Notes …

Colorado improves to 16-5, matching its win total from 2014-15 (16-18).

The series between the two teams is now tied at nine a piece – the Buffs winning the last six meetings

Colorado began the game shooting 7-of-8 beyond the 3-point line (Tip-off to 10:23) and started a perfect 5-of-5 in the second half (20:00-4:33). The Buffaloes finished the game 68.4 percent from beyond the arc the team’s best since hitting 62.2 percent (9-of-13) against Kansas on Jan. 25, 2011.

Colorado’s 13 3-pointers tied a season high (Air Force) and marks the fifth time the Buffs have reached double-digits. In those five games, the Buffs are shooting 49.2 percent from long range (58-of-118).

Together the starting combination of Collier, Fortune, Fletcher, Gordon, Scott is 5-1 this season.

Stanford started off shooting 0-9 from 3-point range before finally making their first on their 10th attempt

Colorado led the entire games and led by as much as 23 late in the second half.

Up next for the Buffs … California Bears, Sunday, 3:00 p.m., FoxSports1 …

 

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January 26th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Stanford Cardinal

Game … Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … 760 AM KDSP … Sirius 83; XM 201

– “Buffs Know It’s ‘Separation Time’ In Jammed Pac-12” … from cubuffs.com

– “Josh Fortune looks to regain long-range touch against Stanford” … from the Daily Camera

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Cardinal 2014-15 Record: 24-13, including a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play. A No. 6 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford was routed, 80-56, by Utah, being out-scored by the Utes, 46-17, in the second half.

Invited to play in the NIT, Stanford took full advantage. A No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Cardinal made it to Madison Square Garden, taking out Old Dominion in the semi-finals and Miami – in overtime – in the NIT Finals to finish the season on a five game winning streak.

Cardinal 2015-16 record: 11-7, 4-3 in Pac-12 play. After opening the season with a pair of victories, the Cardinal dropped three straight, including 59-45 loss to No. 8 Villanova. Stanford then righted the ship with a three-game winning streak, including a win over DePaul from the Big East and a come-from-behind win over Arkansas from the SEC. A home loss to Texas dropped Stanford to 5-4, but the Cardinal won all of its remaining non-conference games.

On January 3rd, Colorado won in Palo Alto, 56-55.  From the game story: For roughly 23 minutes Sunday, the Buffs appeared to be on the verge of a comfortable win. Just three minutes into the second half, they had pushed a 10-point halftime lead to 16, 46-30, on a Josh Scott putback.

But from that point on, CU’s offense went dormant. The Buffs committed 10 turnovers in the second half (18 for the game), and the Cardinal were more than happy to convert those miscues into points. The 16 point lead dwindled to 10 by the halfway point of the half — 52-42 — and was down to three, 54-51, with 4:14 remaining.

Series: Stanford leads the all-time series, 9-8, though Colorado has a 5-3 advantage in games played in Boulder. After the Cardinal won the first two games played between the two teams as members of the Pac-12, the Buffs have won five straight.

Buff Notes … Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.739) and 3-point percentage (.396) while ranking second in rebounding margin (+9.8), defensive rebounds (29.5 drpg) and 3-pointers made (7.93 mpg) and third in overall rebounding (42.5 rpg), rebounding defense (32.7 rpg) and offensive boards (13.0).

Cardinal Notes … The Cardinal have won 3-of-5 since their 56-55 loss to Colorado on Jan. 3. Stanford averages 70.6 points per game ranking last in the Pac-12, but counters with the league’s second-best scoring defense allowing just 66.7 an outing. Stanford is shooting 43 percent on the season, but that number has dropped to 39 percent during league games. The Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in turnover margin at plus-2.1. Stanford will play just its fourth true road game of the season Wednesday, having lost two of its three.

Players to Watch … Stanford has a balanced scoring attack with four active players averaging between 10-15 points. Senior forward Rosco Allen averages 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Dorian Pickens averages 11.4 points and has 29 three-point field goals.

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January 25th

… CU in the Arena …

Tad Boyle: “It’s time to separate ourselves”

From cubuffs.com … With just one game separating eight teams at the top of the Pac-12 standings, Tad Boyle’s message to the Colorado Buffaloes on Monday was a simple one.

“It’s separation time,” Boyle said. “The one thing we know, on Thursday morning when we wake up we’re going to be one game ahead of Stanford, or Stanford’s going to be one game ahead of us. It’s time to separate ourselves.”

Indeed, 15-5 Colorado and 11-7 Stanford are two of the six teams that are currently 4-3 in conference play and one game behind co-leaders Washington and Oregon. Also at 4-3 are USC, Cal, Arizona and Utah. The Buffs and Cardinal meet Wednesday in a 7 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center, with the winner assured of staying directly on the league leaders’ tails while the loser falls one game farther back.

Wednesday’s game is the first of two at home this week for the Buffs, with a 3 p.m. Sunday matchup with Cal next on the docket.

Both are rematches from the Buffs’ conference opening weekend in early January. The opener is not one the Buffs remember fondly, a 79-65 loss to Cal. But they bounced back to take a 56-55 win over the Cardinal two days later, giving them a split of the road trip — something they matched last weekend with a loss at Washington and a win at Washington State.

Continue reading story here

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January 24th

CU in the Arena …

Buffs back amongst “others receiving votes” in Associated Press poll

IN THE POLLS: For the first time since late December, the Buffs received a vote in the Associated Press top 25 poll Monday. Arizona checked in at No. 18; Oregon moved back into the rankings at No. 23; and USC and Utah also received votes. In the coaches’ poll, Arizona was No. 15 and Oregon 24th, with USC, Cal, Washington, Utah and Oregon State all receiving at least one vote.

CONFERENCE LEADERS: CU’s Josh Scott continues to hold a place in the conference leaders in both scoring and rebounding. For all games, Scott is second in scoring (17.5 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (9.8). In conference games, the CU senior is ninth in scoring (15.9 ppg) and tied for second in rebounding (10.6).

CU’s Tre’Shaun Fletcher, meanwhile, leads the Pac-12 in conference games in free throw shooting percentage at .938; Dominique Collier is eighth in 3-point percentage (.476); and the Buffs lead in conference game free throw percentage (.765). CU is also second in conference games rebounding margin, averaging 6.7 more boards per game than their opponents.

Four-star power forward from Australia gives verbal to SMU

Harry Froling, who took an official visit to Colorado ten days ago, tweeted today that he is going to sign with Southern Methodist University.  (Rivals bio) … The tweet:

“Happy to announce I am committed to SMU !!!! Excited to feel the moody magic and now I can officially !!!

Buffs up to No. 7 seed in latest Bracketology

In the latest Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports, Colorado has moved up one spot, to a No. 7 seed. That’s up three spots in the past two weeks, with the Buffs continuing to move up despite the loss last weekend to Washington.

The Pac-12 (and change from last Monday):

No. 4 – Oregon (up two from last week)

No. 5 – Arizona (down one from last week)

No. 6 – USC (down one from last week)

No. 6 – Utah (up one from last week)

No. 8 – California (up three from last week)

No. 7 – Colorado (up one from last week)

No. 9 – Oregon State (up one from last week)

First four out … Washington, UCLA, Kansas State, Cincinnati

In the RPI …

In the all-important (at least on Selection Sunday) RPI rankings, Colorado is at No. 23. That ranks CU third in the Pac-12, behind only No. 7 Oregon and No. 17 USC. Utah is right behind the Buffs, at No. 24, with Arizona in at No. 26. In all, every Pac-12 school is in the top 60, except for Washington State (No. 150).

Pac-12 Standings …

… Represent craziness.

Glass half full? Colorado is in a tie for third place in the conference, and could, with a sweep of Stanford and Cal this weekend, be in first place come Sunday.

Glass half empty? The Buffs are a pair of home losses away from being in 10th place …

TEAMCONFOVERALL
Oregon5-216-4
Washington5-213-6
Arizona4-316-4
USC4-315-5
Colorado4-315-5
Utah4-315-5
California4-314-6
Stanford4-311-7
Oregon State3-412-6
UCLA3-412-8
Arizona State1-611-9
Washington State1-69-10

 

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January 23rd – at Washington State           Colorado 75, Washington State 70

– “Neill Woelk: Forget Style Points, Buffs Get Important Road Win” … from cubuffs.com

– “Cougars keep up with Colorado, except at free-throw line” … from the Spokane Spokesman-Review

Game recap from cubuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes got their Pacific Northwest split here Saturday night, but nothing about it was easy. CU held off embattled Washington State and escaped with a 75-70 Pac-12 Conference win.

The Buffs (14-5, 3-3) made 6-of-6 free throws in the final 1:06, two each by Josh Fortune, Xavier Talton and George King to deal the Cougars (9-10, 1-6) their fifth consecutive loss.

WSU had pulled to 71-70 before Talton’s and King’s trips to the line.

“We made free throws, you have to do that to win on the road,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “And they missed free throws – that’s probably the difference in the game. They definitely let us off the hook there.”

The Buffs finished 22-of-26 at the line, the Cougars 16-of-27.

King led CU with 22 points and Josh Scott added 11. They were the only two Buffs in double figures. Scott, who missed almost half of the opening half with foul problems, was two rebounds short of his sixth consecutive double-double.

“It was huge; we had a lot riding on this one,” said King, who hit four of his six 3-point attempts and was 6-of-6 shooting free throws. “We didn’t get the first one (a 95-83 loss Wednesday at Washington) and you never want to go oh-and-two. Period, especially at a pivotal moment like this.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … With the win, Colorado has surpassed its regular season win total from 2014-15 (14-16) in 10 fewer games. The Buffaloes will look to win their overall win total from last season (16-18) Wednesday vs. Stanford.

Colorado improves its series lead over Washington State to 7-2; 6-1 as a member of the Pac-12.

Colorado, the top free throw shooting team in the Pac-12, showed why against Washington State. The Buffaloes hit 22-of-26 from the line (.846) including 12-of-13 in the second half (.923). It marked the sixth time this year Colorado had made 80 percent or better from the charity stripe. By contrast, Washington State made just 16-of-27 from the line (.593).

Colorado held the advantage on the boards, 37-33, marking the 17th time in 20 games the Buffaloes have won the rebounding battle.

Colorado tied its season low with six turnovers. The Buffs had just one turnover in the first 20 minutes, their best mark in any half this season.

Up next for Colorado … Stanford at the CEC on Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks …

 

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January 22nd

CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Washington State Cougars

Game … Saturday, 7:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 108

– “B.G. Brooks: Boyle Says Buffs’ Identity Is There – Just Reclaim It” … from cubuffs.com

– “B.G. Brooks: Buffs Look For Northwest Split Against Slumping Cougars” … from cubuffs.com

– “Ike Iroegbu has become a force for WSU Cougars” … from the Spokane Spokesman-Review

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Cougars’ 2014-15 Record: 13-18, 7-11 in Pac-12 play. Washington State opened with a 6-6 non-conference schedule, including a 71-43 thumping by UC Santa Barbara, and an embarrassing 77-71 home loss to just-across-the-neighbor Idaho (the first win for the Vandals in 11 tries).

Washington State opened Pac-12 with a 3-1 record, including road victories at Cal and Washington. The Cougars then lost six of their next seven, including a 90-58 loss to Colorado in Boulder. Washington State limped home in March, losing three of its final four (including a Pac-12 tournament first round loss to Cal), with the only March win coming at home against Colorado, a 96-91 overtime thriller.

Cougars’ 2015-16 record: 9-9, 1-5 in Pac-12 play. Washington State took no chances at a slow start, winning its first four games of the season over the likes of Northern Arizona and Cal-State Los Angeles. The Cougars did play tough against No. 13 Gonzaga, falling at home, 69-60. The final non-conference record was 8-4, a step up from the 2014-15 campaign.

The Pac-12 season opened with a home loss to USC before an 85-78 home win over No. 25 UCLA. The Cougars had their chances in an overtime home loss to Washington, but that 99-95 loss precipitated a four-game losing streak. The latest loss came Thursday night, a 92-71 home loss to Utah.

Series: This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools, with Colorado holding a 6-2 advantage. The Cougars’ home overtime win last season was the first for WSU in the series since a 1969 win, with the Buffs taking the first five games between the two teams since CU joined the Pac-12.

The last two games between the two teams in the state of Washington have gone to overtime, with the Buffs posting a 71-70 win in Spokane in 2014.

Player to Watch: The Cougars have an inside presence in 6-10 junior Josh Hawkinson, who leads the Pac-12 in rebounding (11.8 in conference) and is No. 7 in scoring (17.2 in conference). Scott has 11 double-doubles this season, but Hawkinson has a league-leading 13 and came close to another Thursday night (16 points, 8 rebounds).

Notes: Boyle said the Cougars under head coach Ernie Kent this season are “a little bit more familiar with what they want to do. They’re trying to play fast, which is what Ernie likes to do. They’re better in transition than they’ve been in the past.”

… One reason for the Utes’ dominance Thursday night, noted Boyle, “They got the ball inside and (Jakob) Poeltl was very effective. They play through him and when you play through him and he’s seven-for-nine, when they do double-down on him he’s kicking it out and they’re getting wide open shots. And they made them.

“When you have that inside-out presence, you’re pretty good. When you’re making jump shots and your post guy is scoring, you’re really good. We’ve got the ability to do that. We’ve done it at times. So hopefully we do the same thing. We want to establish our presence inside.”

 

Pac-12 Roundup

Washington State (CU’s next opponent) dominated at home by Utah, 92-71

– “Utah dominates interior in 92-71 win over WSU” … from the Spokane Spokesman-Review

… Quotable … ““I think the whole team’s defensive effort was soft,” Washington State head coach Ernie Kent said. “I would definitely agree with that and we talked about it. What you continue to do is give other teams the tape. And until you change the tape, other teams will come in here with the same mentality: Drive this team, rebound against this team, out-tough this team.”

– “Utah basketball: Utes bowl over Washington State” … from the Salt Lake City Tribune

Oregon upsets No. 21 USC

– “Dwayne Benjamin and Elgin Cook turn disappointment into success as Ducks down No. 21 USC” … from the Oregonian

– “No. 21 USC still can’t solve Oregon, drops 11th straight to Ducks, 89-81” … from the Orange County Register

 

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January 20th – at Washington          Washington 95, Colorado 83

– “B. G. Brooks: Horrid First Half Sinks Buffs In 95-83 Loss To Huskies” … from cubuffs.com

– Game recap from ESPN

Quotable … “Tale of two halves,” said CU coach Tad Boyle. “You turn it over 12 times in the first half and dig a 14-point hole then you come out and have four turnovers in the second half and handle it pretty good and score 50 points … Our guys competed, they scratched, they clawed. You score 83 points it’s good enough to win. Bottom line is we weren’t good enough on defense and Washington was terrific on offense.”

“Where’s the consistency?” Boyle asked. “I don’t get it, and that’s the part that’s frustrating as a coach. It’s something we have to work on, get better at and understand. Each player has to learn it individually and we as a group have to learn it collectively.”

Colorado dug itself an early hole against Washington, and never recovered, falling 95-83 in Seattle. The Buffs knew they had to stop the Pac-12’s leading scorer, Andrew Andrews, in order to compete … and they failed. Andrews had 33 points, including 16 free throws, to lead the Huskies to a 5-1 record in conference play.

The Buffs stayed with the Huskies for most of the first half, with the teams tied at 17-all midway through. Washington, though, went on a 30-16 run to finish with a comfortable 47-33 lead at the break. Josh Scott, who came into the game with four-straight double-doubles, was held to just three points in the first half.

In the second half, Washington opened up a 22-point lead, at 64-42. The Buffs were still down 20, at 81-61, with eight minutes remaining before a 9-0 run over the next three minutes made it interesting again. Colorado, though, could never close the gap closer than seven points down the stretch, with Washington making its free throws to preserve a

Dominique Collier led the Buffs with 21 points on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Josh Scott did post another double-double in the end, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds. George King added 18 points, the only other Buff in double figures.

Up next for the Buffs … at Washington State – Saturday, 7:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

 

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January 19th

CU in the Arena

Getting to Know: Washington Huskies

Game … Wednesday, 8:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 108

Buffs’ Akyazili Earning More Playing Time In Crunch Time” … from cubuffs.com

UW’s Dejounte Murray reaping rewards from hard work” … from the Seattle Times

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Huskies’ 2014-15 Record: 16-15, 5-13 in Pac-12 play. The season started out well for Washington, with the Huskies opening with an 11-0 non-conference record. A home loss to Stony Brook took the wind out of the 13th-ranked Huskies’ sales, with Washington dropping their next four games. A three-game winning streak – including a 52-50 win over Colorado in Boulder (with an Andrew Andrews’ buzzer-beater) – gave Washington a 14-4 record. Then the season fell apart, with the Huskies losing ten of their next 11 games, including a 64-47 home loss to Colorado. An upset of No. 13 Utah in the Pac-12 tournament was quickly followed by a loss to Stanford, leaving Washington with a final record of 16-15.

Huskies’ 2015-16 record: 12-5, 4-1 in Pac-12 play. Washington opened the season with a modest 8-4 non-conference record, but the Huskies, with a lineup made up mostly of freshmen, has since hit its stride. Washington opened Pac-12 play with a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools (in double-overtime over UCLA; by two points over USC). An overtime win over Washington State on the road followed, with the Huskies earning a split in the desert last weekend, falling hard to Arizona (99-67) before earning an 89-85 win over Arizona State.

Series: This will be the 20th meeting between the two schools, with Washington holding a 10-9 edge overall. The two teams split in 2014-15, both winning on the road. In fact, the series is an even 3-3 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffaloes are 2-7 against the Huskies in Seattle.

Player to Watch: Senior guard Andrew Andrews is the Pac-12’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game. He also ranks third in free throw percentage (.828), fifth in assists (5.0) and seventh in steals (1.5 spg.). We’re not going to eliminate his points,” Boyle said. “He’s a good player. He’s very aggressive offensively. He’s going to get his shots. We’ve just got to make sure he works for everything.”

Notes: Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.736), overall rebounding (43.3 rpg) and defensive rebounds (30.4 drpg) while ranking second in 3-pointers made (8.0 3mpg), rebounding defense (32.3 rpg), rebound margin (+10.9) and 3-point percentage (.399).

Washington averages 84.4 points per game, shooting 42 percent from the field. The Huskies have the second-ranked scoring offense in the Pac-12 and lead the conference in blocked shots (6.8 bpg) and steals (8.1 spg). Washington gives up nearly 79 points per game, ranking last in the Pac-12.

 

 

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January 18th

CU in the Arena …

Josh Scott named Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week

From cubuffs.com … University of Colorado senior forward Josh Scott was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 11-17 the league office announced on Monday.

The weekly honor from the Pac-12 is Scott’s first and Colorado’s sixth since joining the conference in 2011-12.

A 6-10 senior, Scott averaged 21.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 assists helping the Buffaloes to a home weekend sweep of Oregon State (71-54) and Oregon (91-87).  The Monument, Colo., native shot 61 percent from the floor (14-of-23) while helping Colorado move to 14-4 overall, 3-2 in the Pac-12, good for third place in the league standings, and one game back of the top spot.

Scott had a season-high 25 points in the win over Oregon State on Jan. 13 hitting identical 8-of-11 marks from the field and free throw line (.727). He grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots, recording his fourth 20-point, 10-rebound effort of the season.

In a highly anticipated match up with Oregon on Jan. 17, Scott again had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds while tying a season-high three assists. Scott hit 50 percent from the field (6-of-12) and also had a pair of blocked shots. He also became the 10th player in Colorado history to reach 1,500 points during the win over Oregon and moved into fifth place in career rebounds (868).

A Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award candidate, as the nation’s best big man, Scott has recorded double-doubles in each of his last four games, a personal-best string during conference games. He’s second in the Pac-12 with 10 double-doubles and also ranks in the league’s top 5 in scoring  (17.8 ppg), rebounds (9.8 rpg) and field goal percentage (.575).

 

—–

January 17th – Boulder          Colorado 91, Oregon 87

… Game story from ESPN

… Game story from cubuffs.comstats sheet

The stats sheet will show that Josh Scott led the Buffs with yet another double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

What really led Colorado to a 91-87 victory over Oregon, however, was the Buff bench. The players on the Buff bench out-scored the Duck bench, 45 to 16. Three non-starters scored in double digits, led by Tre’Shaun Fletcher, with 14. Xavier Talton added 13, with Tory Miller chipping in 12 points.

Thomas Akyazili was the only non-starter not to score in double figures, finishing with six points. But the freshman guard seemed to make key plays throughout the night, contributing four steals, three rebounds, and three assists.

The Buffs dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Ducks, 39-25. Colorado also made 25 of 32 free throws (78.1%), gaining just enough benefit to offset the Ducks’ hot-shooting from behind the arc (12-of-21 three-point attempts).

Quotable … Tad Boyle opening statement: “That was a big time win for our program, against a quality team and a team I have a lot of respect for.  When you put this one in the win column you feel like you’ve done something.  I’ve been telling the team all year that I didn’t think we’ve beaten a legitimate NCAA tournament team yet, but tonight we did.  Now we have to take our show on the road, but we will enjoy this one to at least midnight tonight.”

On the play of the bench … ““It was the difference in the game.  Not only did the bench play well in the first half, but they played well in the second half.  Those guys have proven that they can, but they haven’t done it yet for a full game this year.  We had some guys tonight, George King and Josh Fortune, that didn’t have their best night, but are capable of playing better.  Thomas (Akyazili), Tre’Shaun (Fletcher), and Xavier (Talton) came in and gave us great minutes and really played well.  I look at the numbers our three guards put up tonight, combined they had 12 assists and two turnovers.  When it’s that way, good things happen for us.  We had to grind this one out, Oregon is a good team and they weren’t going to go away.  We had some defensive lapses, which we can’t let happen.  Our guys were gritty enough to win this game, but the bench was the key.”

… Up next for Colorado … a road trip to the Pacific northwest. On Wednesday, the Buffs will take on Pac-12 leading Washington (12-5, 4-1, 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks).

 

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January 16th

CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Oregon Ducks

Game … Sunday, 5:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 81

Oregon men’s basketball team looks for its first win at Colorado” … from the Eugene Register-Guard

Josh Fortune looks to regain touch against Oregon State” … from the Daily Camera

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Ducks’ 2014-15 Record: 26-10, 13-5 in Pac-12 play. In late January last winter, Oregon was 14-7, 4-4 in Pac-12 play, with the Ducks’ post-season future in doubt. The Ducks, however, then ran off nine wins in their final ten regular season games, including a 73-60 win over Colorado in Eugene.

A No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon fell behind No. 10 seed, Colorado, 37-34, at halftime, before racing to a 93-85 win over the Buffs. A semi-final win over Utah set up the finals against Arizona, where the Ducks lost to the Wildcats for the third time, being humbled, 80-52, by Arizona.

In the NCAA tournament, Oregon was made a No. 8 seed. The Ducks took out No. 9 seed, Oklahoma State, 79-73, before falling in the next round to No. 1 seed Wisconsin, 72-65.

Ducks’ 2015-16 record: 14-3, 3-1 in Pac-12 play. Oregon ran out to a 6-0 record (and a No. 15 ranking nationally) before falling to UNLV in December. A loss to Boise State two games later dropped the Ducks out of the rankings, and Oregon opened Pac-12 play with a road loss to in-state rival Oregon State, 70-57. The Ducks have since run off three straight wins, taking down Stanford and Cal at home before embarrassing Utah Thursday night in Salt Lake City, 77-59.

Series: This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and Oregon. The Buffs hold an 8-5 advantage against the Ducks, including a 5-0 record against Oregon at home. Colorado had a four-game winning streak against Oregon snapped last year, when, as noted above, the Ducks beat the Buffs both at home and in the Pac-12 tournament.

Player to Watch: Dillon Brooks had his second straight strong performance Thursday at Utah, scoring 21 points with eight rebounds. That game came after he neared a triple-double in last Sunday’s win over Stanford with 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, as he continues to emerge as one of the Pac-12’s top players. He’s currently ninth in scoring (15.5 points per game) and second in free throw percentage (.828).

Notes: Steals and defending have been keys to success in the first half of the season for Oregon, as UO leads the league in scoring defense (64.9 ppg). It is no coincidence that the Ducks are 12-0 when holding opponents under 70 points, and 12-0 when forcing more steals than the opposition.

The Ducks are among the Pac-12 and national leaders in several “hustle board” stats. Oregon is seventh nationally and third in the Pac-12 in blocks per game (6.3), second in the league and 40th nationally in steals per game (8.0) and second in the Pac-12 in turnover margin (plus 2.1).

 

Xavier Johnson returns to live action … return this spring still to be determined

From cubuffs.com … Colorado forward Xavier Johnson returned to live drills Friday with the Buffaloes, the first time he’s participated in full-contact work since tearing his Achilles tendon last summer.

“It was good to get back out there and compete a little bit,” Johnson said. “I didn’t do every drill, but I did a live drill. It’s good to compete.”

Johnson won’t, however, be playing Sunday when the Buffs play host to Oregon in a 5 p.m. game (Pac-12 Networks) at the Coors Events Center — and the decision on whether he’ll return at all this year has yet to be made.

Johnson has one year of eligibility remaining. If he returns this season, it would be his last at Colorado. If he chooses to redshirt, he would be able to return for a full season next year.

Johnson said the medical staff has cleared him for full participation.

“The doctors told me that my Achilles won’t tear again,” Johnson said. “So now it’s just a matter of getting my strength up in my calf.”

Colorado coach Tad Boyle has said the decision on whether to return is completely up to Johnson — and Johnson said he hasn’t reached a decision yet.

“It’s all up in the air still,” Johnson said. “The best thing is getting back in game flow and getting back in shape. I just have to keep doing that — get in game shape, keep practicing now. No going back, keep pushing forward.”

Continue reading story here

 

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January 15th

CU trying to avoid losing fans to NFL playoffs

NFL playoffs … Pittsburgh at Denver … Sunday, 2:40 p.m., MT, CBS

College basketball … Oregon at Colorado … Sunday, 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

See the problem?

The Buffs will be facing off against one of its toughest opponents of the season, and will likely tip off the game with a half-empty Coors Events Center.

In order to try and lure some of the Bronco faithful to not stay home Sunday night, the CU athletic department has made plans to open the Coors Events Center three hours before tip off, in hopes of luring fans:

Buffs Fans!

You can have your Buffs AND your Broncos, too! Come watch the Broncos game with your favorite Buffs pals, then head into the CEC for the hoops!

Chip’s Corral Watch Party Opens at 2 p.m.
Food and Drink Specials
Orange Crush Combo: Colorado Native Brat, chips and a Blue Moon with an orange slice: $9.50
Playoff Packages: 4 hot dogs, 2 sides of macaroni salad and chips and 4 Blue Moons: $24
QB Sampler Pack: 2 hot dogs, popcorn, chips and 2 Blue Moons: $18
AND $4 16oz Coors Light from 2-4 p.m.

 

—–

January 13th – Boulder           Colorado 71, Oregon State 54

Josh Scott, Wesley Gordon lead Buffs over Oregon State and Gary Payton’s career night

Quotable Tad Boyle … “That was a great effort. The way we defended, the way we rebounded in the first half; we didn’t rebound the ball exceptionally well. We were up one in rebounding margin in the first half and we ended up out rebounding them 15 so we were plus 14 in the second half. I thought Wesley Gordon’s offensive rebounding combined with Josh Scot’s defensive rebounding was the difference in the game. Wes got us extra possessions. Our defensive effort the entire night was pretty good. Gary Payton II is obviously a special player. He has 26 points and 15 rebounds with three steals. He’s the real deal. Our guys did a good job of making him work for everything. We broke down a few times but for the most part I’m was pleased with our defensive effort.”

… “We never lost confidence. I think there are going to be a lot of games that come down to the last possession. Arizona were 1-2, they lost two on the road, one by an unbelievable shot and one in quadruple overtime. They’re that close from being 3-0 to 1-2. That’s how this league is. We didn’t finish the Utah game, we didn’t win. It’s not because of any magical thing. We just didn’t win the game. We won tonight. Trends are one thing. But it’s all about what you’re going to do to win the next game. If we can gain confidence from tonight then that’s great. But, Oregon on Sunday is going to be a dog fight. Those guys are good.”

Game story from cubuffs.com … After a five-game stretch when his Buffaloes struggled in the final six minutes of games, Tad Boyle wanted his Colorado team to concentrate on finishing.

The Buffs did so with an exclamation point Wednesday night. Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon put up double-doubles and Colorado blew open a tight game in the final seven minutes to record a 71-54 win over Oregon State in front of the largest Coors Events Center crowd of the season (9,190).

The Buffs improved to 13-4 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play while the Beavers, who got a 26-point, 15-rebound effort from Gary Payton II, dropped to 11-4, 2-2.

Scott finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season and 32nd of his career. Gordon scored 12 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had six blocks for his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career.

But the key was how the Buffs did it down the stretch. Scott had 12 of the Buffs’ 25 points in the final 7:33 as the Buffs outscored the Beavers 25-12 and turned a 46-42 lead into their 17-point winning margin.

“That was a great effort,” Boyle said. “Wesley Gordon’s offensive rebounding combined with Josh Scott’s defensive rebounding was the difference in the game.”

Gordon finished with seven of CU’s 13 offensive rebounds, and the Buffs converted those second chances into 18 points. Scott had 10 defensive boards, and together, they combined for nine blocks.

Continue reading story here

Player notes

Josh Scott (25pts, 12rbs) recorded his ninth double-double this season, third in a row, and 32nd of his career (8th all-time). He has blocked a shot in four straight games. He also made his third 3-point field goal this season. After attempting no free throws last game, Scott bounces back by shooting 8-of-11 from the line tonight. He has snagged 36 rebounds the last three games. His 25 points were a season high.

Wesley Gordon (12pts, 14rbs, 6blks) gets his second double-double this season and seventh of his career. Made his fourth 3-point field goal this season. Half of his rebound total tonight came on the offensive side (7). That is now a total of 18 offensive rebounds the last three games and 21 in the last four. He is now averaging 10.3 rebounds since the start of Pac-12 play. Gordon’s six blocks put him at 40 for his season total for the third straight year. He had 47 in 34 games in 2014-15. Gordon moved into sixth in career blocks with 128, passing Cliff Meely who had 123 from 1968-71

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January 12th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Oregon State Beavers

Game … Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., MT … ESPNU … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 81

Game Notes from cubuffs.com

Beavers’ 2014-15 Record: 17-14, 8-10 in Pac-12 play … The No. 7 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, Oregon State’s season came to an end with a first round 78-71 upset loss to Colorado.  The 2014-15 season looked promising for the Beavers, who at one point were 16-7, 7-4. Oregon State finished the year, though, by losing seven of its last eight games. The lone victory? A 72-58 win over Colorado, in a game in which Gary Payton II had 24 points, four steals, and a school record seven blocks.

Beavers’ 2015-16 record: 11-3, 2-1 in Pac-12 play …. Oregon State did not play a monster non-conference schedule, but won most of the games it was supposed to win. The only ranked team on the Beavers’ schedule to date has been Kansas, with Oregon State falling, 82-67, on December 12th in Lawrence.

Oregon State opened Pac-12 play with an impressive home win over Oregon, taking out the Ducks, 70-57. This past weekend, the Beavers had the opposite set of results against the Bay area schools than did the Buffs the weekend before, beating Cal but falling to Stanford.

Wednesday’s game is the first Pac-12 game on the road for Oregon State. The Beavers haven’t played a true road game in almost a month.

Series: This will be the 17th meeting between the two teams. Colorado has an 11-5 advantage overall, including a 7-1 record in games played in Boulder. This past season, as noted above, the two teams split, with Oregon State winning at home, and Colorado winning in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.

Player to Watch: Colorado’s issues begin and end with Gary Payton II. The OSU senior has been one of the Pac-12’s most productive players for the Beavers for years. He is fifth in the league in scoring (17.3 ppg) so far this season, eighth in rebounding (8.3 rpg), second in assists (5.4 apg) and first in steals (2.5 spg).

Quotes: “He’s an exceptional rebounder, he’s a great athlete, he’s got good feel,” Tad Boyle said of Payton. “He’s one of those guys who’s a potential triple-double guy. He can score, he can rebound and he can pass, too. He’s a much improved passer from years past … His game continues to evolve and he’s as good of a guard as there is in our league.

“I don’t expect to shut him out,” Boyle said. “He’s going to get his points. We just want to make him work for everything he gets and make sure that he’s making tough shots.”

Notes:  The Buffs have the No. 1 scoring defense in the conference in Pac-12 play, yielding just 63.3 points per game. … Thomas Akyazili is tied for second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio in league games, with 10 assists and just two turnovers. … The Buffs are tied for ninth in conference play in steals, averaging just 4.7 per game. In those games, Scott leads the Buffs with four.

 

——

January 11th

CU in the Arena …

Bracketology … Jerry Palm has seven Pac-12 teams making the NCAA tournament

From CBS Sports … The Pac-12 is shaping up to be the most interesting conference to watch this season. Already, every team in the league has at least three losses on the season. Just two weeks into conference play, the only remaining undefeated team is Washington, which is why the Huskies are in the bracket.

Washington is one of seven Pac-12 teams in today’s bracket, but none are seeded higher than fifth. UCLA also shows up among the first four out. It could be that kind of year for the Pac-12. League favorite Arizona has been dealing with some injury issues this season. USC is playing above expectations and had a great week with a win over the Arizona schools. The only team in the league that has no realistic chance of making the NCAA tournament as an at-large team is Washington State. The other 11 won’t all get in, but it should be fun watching them try over the next couple of months.

Pac-12 seeds:

Arizona No. 5 (down two); Utah No. 5 (up two); USC No. 6 (up three); Oregon No. 7 (up two); Oregon State No. 7; California No. 9; Washington No. 11

… First four out: UCLA No. 4 on the list … no mention of Colorado

Buffs not ready to panic … just yet

From cubuffs.com … With 15 Pac-12 games to go — including a pair at home this week — the Colorado Buffaloes aren’t ready to panic over a 1-2 start.

The way they see it, there’s plenty of basketball yet to be played, especially in a conference that is giving every indication of being one that won’t be decided until the final weeks, and one that is currently making a mockery of the preseason predictions.

“Arizona was picked to win the league and they’re 1-2,”  Buffs coach Tad Boyle said after Sunday’s workout. “They lost a four-overtime game (Saturday at USC). How many chances did they have to win that game? Their season’s not over at 1-2. We’re not going to press the panic button.”

Indeed, after the first two weekends of play, the Pac-12 is by no means following the predicted form.

The only team unbeaten in conference play — 3-0 Washington — was picked 11th in the media preseason poll. Meanwhile, as Boyle note, preseason favorite Arizona is off to a 1-2 start and USC, picked 11th, is off to a 3-1 conference start.

In fact, none of the five teams that received at least one first-place vote in the preseason poll — Arizona, Cal, Utah, Oregon and UCLA — has a winning conference record after the first two weeks of play.

As Boyle has reminded his team, it’s early. What’s important now is learning from the last game — Friday’s narrow 56-54 loss to Utah — and concentrating on winning the next one, Wednesday night’s 9 p.m. home contest against Oregon State (ESPNU).

Continue reading story here

—–

January 8th – Boulder           Utah 56, Colorado 54

Neill Woelk column … “Buffs Must Learn How To Finish Tight Games

Quotable – from cubuffs.com:

– Tad Boyle: “You can blame this loss on the coach, for not calling a timeout at the end and making sure we get a great shot.  I’m kicking myself for it since we had one left.  This was a heck of a basketball game and was won by the team that made plays down the stretch.  Utah made the plays and we didn’t.”

– “I think everybody needs to understand that when they’re in a position to make a play they have to make the play.  It’s not just one guy, we aren’t a one man team.  The beauty of our team is that we have good balance.  Scott is a guy we will go to in critical situations, but people double team him so now it’s up to others to make the play.”

– Josh Scott: “They’re a good defensive team. I think right now we’re in a little bit of a cold spell. The stats would probably support that. Those happen and you get out of them. Defensively we’re doing really well. I think offensively, I don’t think any of us are really worried, because we all know we’re good offensive players. It’s going to pick back up; we’re just in a little bit of a slump right now.”

Game story from cubuffs.com … A basketball team’s shots are supposed to fall more frequently on its home court. And by that same theory, the home team allegedly should own any late advantage.

But try telling that to the Colorado Buffaloes, whose poor shooting and shoddy execution down the stretch Friday night doomed them in their Pac-12 Conference home opener.

Lorenzo Bonam’s layup with 1.1 seconds left completed a late 11-2 Utah run and gave the Utes a 56-54 Pac-12 win – their first of the season – at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs (12-4, 1-2) led by as many nine points in the second half and were up 52-45 with 5:25 remaining. But they made only one field goal and committed three of their 12 turnovers during that final stretch. Desperate for their first conference win, the Utes (12-4, 1-2) took full advantage and defeated CU for the fourth consecutive time and the fifth time in the last seven meetings.

“This was a heck of a basketball game (and) it was won by the team that made plays down the stretch,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We have to execute (down the stretch) and finish better.”

Boyle said he blamed himself for the loss “for not calling time out at the end and making sure we got a great shot. I’m kicking myself for it because we had one left.”

He was referring to his team’s final full possession when a Josh Fortune baseline pass off a drive to the basket was stolen by Bonam, who finished with 17 points, with 24 seconds to play.

Utah called timeout with 13.1 seconds left, and if Bonam’s layup wasn’t what was drawn up by coach Larry Krystkowiak it was all the Utes needed. Bonam’s winning basket gave Utah 19 points off of CU’s dozen turnovers while the Buffs managed only 4 points off of the Utes’ 11 errors.

“I tip my hat to (Bonam), he made a big-time play at the end,” Boyle said. “I thought our defense was great, but he made a tough shot.”

The Buffs were left with time for only an almost full court heave. There were no miracles on this night.

Continue reading story here

Up next for Colorado … home game against Oregon State, 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 13th, 9:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

 

For Utes, bouncing back from 0-2 start all about toughness

From the Salt Lake City TribuneWhile he cited player safety in canceling the BYU series this week, Krystkowiak said he actually planned to make Utah practices more physical in his comments on Tuesday. The Utes are now working 20-30 minutes daily with a lid on the basket, practicing rebounding and getting a score on the other end. Four players try to crash the boards on offense.

The set-up is meant to encourage them to establish position and box out, rebound with two hands and simply outwork others for the ball.

“Every single person on the team is crashing, fouls and all types of things,” Brekkott Chapman said. “You just gotta get in there, be tough and get the ball.”

Krystkowiak acknowledged on Tuesday that drills of this nature do potentially put athletes more at risk. Even a practice scrum can leave a bruise or twist an ankle.

But the Utes will have to scratch and claw for their season at this point, which could start in a pretty significant hole if they lose in Boulder. While Krystkowiak downplayed the urgency of the situation, a 0-3 hole would be a significant disadvantage for a team that began the year with hopes of a possible conference championship.

If anything, Colorado represents toughness. Under Tad Boyle, the Buffs have established a culture of physical defense and playing hard on the glass. As Krystkowiak said, playing a single game in a weekend against Colorado “counts for a double.”

The Utes will pay close attention to how they can match up in some hustle plays: going after boards, running the floor, diving for loose balls and generally being tougher than they’ve been. Many of the Utes are slender — more finesse than fortitude — but Krystkowiak recognizes a need to create some additional toughness to get where the team wants to go.

“That may not be the way we play, it’s not in our DNA, but we’ve got to manufacture it in practice to get a little better at rebounding,” Krystkowiak said. “I think that is something you can coach. I’ve always believed I can coach toughness and get guys to believe in themselves.”

Continue reading story here

 

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January 7th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Utah Utes

Game … Friday, 7:00 p.m., MT … FoxSports1 … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 81

Utes’ 2014-15 Record: 26-9, 13-5 in Pac-12 play … Utah lost on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, 67-64, to Oregon in the Pac-12 semi-finals. A No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Utes defeated No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin and No. 4 seed, Georgetown, before falling to No. 1 seed, Duke, 63-57, in the Sweet Sixteen.

Utes’ 2015-16 record: 11-4, 0-2 in Pac-12 play. Utah has had several significant victories, including non-conference wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, BYU and No. 7 Duke. The Utes, though, have also suffered losses to Miami (by a score of 90-66), and Wichita State.

The CU travel partner, Utah was also on the road in the Bay area last weekend. Unlike the Buffs, though, the Utes did not come away with a victory. Missed free throws at the end of regulation and in overtime cost the Utes dearly in a 70-68 loss to Stanford. Utah then lost to Cal, 71-58, to drop the No. 21 Utes out of the Associated Press poll.

Series: This will be the 44th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 26-17 series lead. Utah has won the last three in the series and four of the last six. Colorado holds a 5-4 edge since both programs joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffaloes have a 17-4 all-time lead in Boulder. Tad Boyle is 5-4 in his career against Utah. Larry Krystowiak is 4-5 against Colorado as a collegiate head coach.

Notes: Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.729) and defensive rebounds (30.8) while ranking second in 3-pointers made (8.3 3mpg), overall rebounding (43.7 rpg), rebound margin (+10.8) and three-point percentage (.397).

Utah averages 81.9 points per game and leads the Pac-12 in field goal shooting at 49.8 percent. The Utes also top the conference in assists (16.6 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3). Utah falls just behind Colorado in defensive rebounds per game (30.8) and ranks fourth in rebounding margin (+8.3).

Quotes: “We’ve got to make sure we hold serve at home,” said Tad Boyle, “and it starts Friday night against Utah. The sense of urgency is there … These guys know. They’re smart guys. They know if we want to compete for a championship, we’ve got to win at home, and that’s what we want to do.

“Utah is a top 25 team with top 25 talent and they’re 0-2 in our league,” Boyle said. “They’re like a wounded animal … they’ve got a lot of life in them and they’re a little angry, mad right now. We’ve got to be ready to handle that.”

“Look around the scores in the league,” Josh Scott said. “It’s going to be a battle every night. You need to hold your home court, otherwise it’s going to be tough to win in this league.”

Players to watch: Sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl averages 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting a Pac-12 leading 68.7 percent from the field. A Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award candidate, Poeltl is third in the league in scoring and fifth in rebounds and blocked shots (2.1 bpg). Senior forward Jordan Loveridge averages 12.0 points and 3.9 rebounds and is Utah’s top 3-point shooter with 35 on the season. Sophomore forward Kyle Kuma is Utah’s third double-digit scorer at 11.5 per game, while ranking second in rebounds at 6.1 per contest. Senior guard Brandon Taylor tops the Utes in assists (3.7 apg) while pitching in 8.7 points per outing.

 

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January 6th

CU in the Arena …

George King: “There’s a lot more in me”

Story from Neill Woelk at cubuffs.com … As part of head coach Tad Boyle’s rotation at the wing position, George King has started 10 of CU’s 15 games thus far and is fourth on the team in minutes played (a scant three minutes by third-place Josh Fortune). He and fellow wings Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Josh Fortune have said they’re not not bothered by the rotation, as it affords each of them the opportunity to start, and also the chance to come off the bench and provide a spark.

But King has also had his struggles as he adjusts once again to playing on a regular basis after sitting out a year. He is just eighth on the team in assists (10 for the season) and second in turnovers (34). He’s also recently hit a shooting slump — he’s shooting just 11-for-37 over his last three games (30 percent), dropping him to 46 percent for the season (still the second-best percentage of any of CU’s starters).

“I’m still not playing to the best of my ability,” King said. “I know there’s a lot of things in my game I could do better. I’m missing shots I could make in my sleep. There’s a lot to my game I haven’t shown, and I’m frustrating myself because I’m not making it happen.”

Along with his recent shooting, King said he needs to improve his rebounding numbers.

“I’m only averaging about four rebounds per game —  that’s pathetic for my size and my athleticism and my strength,” King said. “That’s on me. I’ve got to go get the ball and come down with it.”

He also knows he needs to continue to improve his defense and cut down on his assist-turnover margin — and while he’s at it, rediscover his shooting eye.

“There’s a lot more in me,” King said. “There’s a lot more to my game. It’s a little frustrating right now, but I just have to keep working, keep pushing. It will come. I’m confident of that.”

Continue reading story here

Utah will not play BYU for the first time since World War II

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … The last year without a Utah-BYU basketball game was marked by World War II.

In 2016, there will be another break after Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak decided that the annual matchps with the rival Cougars were becoming too contentious for his liking.

Both BYU and Utah announced Wednesday that the Utes have cancelled next season’s in Provo, the last meeting under the current contract.

Krystkowiak cited extracurricular incidents in two of the last three meetings between the two teams — most recently, BYU’s Nick Emery punching Utah guard Brandon Taylor in the late stages of the Utes’ 83-75 victory over the Cougars at the Huntsman Center last month.

“The events that have occurred in our recent games with BYU led me to ask Dr. Hill several weeks ago if we could take a cooling off period and put the rivalry on hold,” Krystkowiak said in the statement. “The level of emotions has escalated to the point where there is the potential for serious injury.”

Neither Krystkowiak nor Hill were available to take questions from the media after acknowledging that Utah’s most-played rivalry and the seventh-most played rivalry in college basketball will be on hiatus.

BYU coach Dave Rose, clearly unhappy about the cancellation, called Krystkowiak’s cancellation request a first in his coaching career.

“I was very surprised. Shocked, actually,” he said. “I have been doing this for 32 years in high school, and junior college, and now the Division I level, and we’ve had hundreds of agreements on games — verbal agreements, handshake agreements, contractual, written contracts. And this is the first time that I’ve had one not fully executed.”

 

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January 5th

CU in the Arena …

XJ … back soon??

Colorado forward Xavier Johnson has been out since tearing his left Achilles tendon in June. There has been speculation ever since his surgery as to whether XJ would be able to return to play at any time during the 2015-16 season.

In September, a December return was not ruled out … but December has come and gone.

In late December, head coach Tad Boyle still did not have an answer: “Yeah, I don’t know that right now. I don’t know that. Yeah, I don’t know.”

Last we heard, Johnson was going to join the team for the Bay area weekend, with an announcement forthcoming. But … nothing.

On Tuesday, this tweet from Xavier Johnson: “Today was by far my best day or workouts. Foot feels real good. Feeling blessed to be able to get back to my old ways. Should be back soon”.

Take from that what you will … and stay tuned.

 

Bracketology … early January edition

Yes, yes. It is far too soon to worry about where CU might be placed in the NCAA tournament. On Friday night, after the Buffs’ loss to Cal, it seemed like Colorado was heading for the NIT. Two nights later, after CU became one of only three teams in the Pac-12 to post an opening weekend road win (Arizona and USC being the others), it was time to get excited the Buffs finishing in the top four in the conference, and being a shoo-in for a bid.

So, being the first week of January, it is folly to try and project where – or if – Colorado will make the NCAA tournament. With 16 Pac-12 games (and the Pac-12 tournament) to go, the 12-3 Buffs are just now reaching the midway point of their season.

Still, it’s interesting to see how the rest of the nation perceives the Buffs (actually, it’s just nice to be back in the conversation once again).

Here are some early returns:

– The all-important RPI rankings … a solid rank of No. 23

– Current Pac-12 RPIs:
21. Oregon
23. Colorado
25. Arizona
26. Oregon State
32. Utah
33. USC
36. Arizona State
41. California
72. UCLA
78. Stanford
99. Washington
134. Washington State

– Strength of schedule … 31

Jerry Palm (CBS Sports) … CU a No. 10 seed, pitted against No. 7 seed Gonzaga, the 7th of nine teams from the Pac-12 which would be in the tournament today

– Palm’s other Pac-12 seeds … No. 3 Arizona; No. 7 Utah; No. 7 Oregon State; No. 9 USC; No. 9 Cal; No. 9 Oregon; No. 12 Arizona State (bubble team); No. 12 UCLA (bubble team)

– According to TeamRankings.com, which uses “thousands of computer simulations of the college basketball season”, the Pac-12 is looking at 5.7 projected bids, the third highest projection (ACC 6.8; Big Ten 6.2).  Colorado is seen as a bubble team, a potential No. 13 seed (locked in a battle with Arizona State and Oregon State for Pac-12’s sixth bid.

Other Team Rankings projections for Colorado – overall record: 20-11 (9-9 in Pac-12 play); No. 13 seed, with a 44% chance at a bid.

Other Team Rankings projections for the Pac-12 … No. 3 Arizona; No. 6 USC; No. 7 California; No. 9 Utah; No. 11 Oregon; No. 13 Arizona State; No. 13 Oregon Stat.

 

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January 4th

CU in the Arena …

CU still getting votes in polls … Arizona lone Pac-12 remaining in top 25

Colorado was able to obtain a split on its road trip this past weekend, one of only three Pac-12 teams to win on the road (USC at Washington State; Arizona at Arizona State). As a reward, the Buffs remained in the “others receiving votes” list, earning four votes and a tie with Oregon State for the 32nd position in the AP poll. The Buffs also received four votes in the USA Today coaches poll, good enough for 36th place overall.

With Utah (formerly No. 21) and UCLA (formerly No. 25) both being swept over the weekend, the Pac-12 only has one ranked team – No.  Arizona – in this week’s poll. No fewer than five teams, however, received votes, including CU’s next opponent, Utah, in at No. 36.

The full Associated Press poll:

1Kansas (44)12-11,5982
2Oklahoma (21)12-01,5743
3Maryland13-11,4594
4Virginia12-11,4095
5Michigan State14-11,4001
6North Carolina14-21,2757
7Arizona13-11,1268
8Providence14-11,10812
9Kentucky11-21,03910
10Xavier13-11,0016
11Villanova12-297916
12Miami (Fla.)12-192113
13Iowa State11-284411
14Duke12-283015
15SMU13-073117
16Louisville12-256818
17West Virginia12-155819
18Butler11-35169
19Iowa11-3456NR
20Purdue13-245020
21Texas A&M11-242020
22South Carolina13-028624
23Connecticut10-3107NR
24Pittsburgh12-1103NR
25Dayton11-2100NR

Gonzaga 61, California 54, Texas Tech 40, George Washington 38, Saint Mary’s 23, Baylor 22, Oregon State 4, Colorado 4, Seton Hall 4, Saint Joseph’s 3, Wichita St 3, Utah 3, Cincinnati 2, Indiana 2, Michigan 2, Akron 1, Oregon 1.

 

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January 3rd – Palo Alto           Colorado 56, Stanford 55

Colorado escapes Palo Alto with a one-point victory

Game story from cubuffs.com … Above all else, Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle is a believer in defense and rebounding. Boyle’s philosophy is simple: when your offense goes stagnant, your defense can make the difference.

Boyle’s philosophy was tested to its limits Sunday night. His Buffaloes scored 10 points in the final 17 minutes against Stanford — just four in the final 10 minutes — but still somehow, some way managed to escape Maples Pavilion with a heart-stopping 56-55 win over the Cardinal.

“The positive is our program is built for nights like this, when you’re on the road and things go dormant for you offensively,” Boyle said. “We don’t want to have it happen; we’re going to get better at that and we’re going to learn from that. But we got out of it because we defended. We held them to 31 percent (shooting) and we rebounded enough at the end.”

Indeed, the Buffs did enough of everything — barely — to escape with the win and improve to 12-3 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play. Most importantly, they head back to Boulder for a three-game home stretch with a very valuable conference road win in their duffel bags.

“We’re going to have play better on the road in the future to win games like this,” Boyle said, “but any win is a good win.”

Continue reading story here

NOTABLE: Colorado has now won five straight against Stanford, with the Cardinal holding a 9-8 all-time edge in the series. CU has also won its last three games in Maples Pavilion. … CU has outrebounded its opponent 13 times in 15 games this season. … The Buffs’ 56 points were the fewest in a conference win since CU beat Oregon 48-47 in Eugene in 2013. … Colorado’s 37-27 halftime lead was the first time the Buffs have been ahead at intermission away from the Coors Events Center this season.

GREAT SCOTT: With his seventh double-double of the season and 30th of his career, Scott is now ninth on CU’s all-time double-double list. He also tied his season highs in assists (three) and steals (two), and is now sixth on CU’s all-time list of games started (104).

 

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January 2nd

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Stanford Cardinal

Game … Sunday, 8:00 p.m., MT … ESPNU … KOA 850 radio

Cardinal 2014-15 Record: 24-13, including a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play. A No. 6 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford was routed, 80-56, by Utah, being out-scored by the Utes, 46-17, in the second half.

Invited to play in the NIT, Stanford took full advantage. A No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Cardinal made it to Madison Square Garden, taking out Old Dominion in the semi-finals and Miami – in overtime – in the NIT Finals to finish the season on a five game winning streak.

Cardinal 2015-16 record: 8-4, 1-0 in Pac-12 play. After opening the season with a pair of victories, the Cardinal dropped three straight, including 59-45 loss to No. 8 Villanova. Stanford then righted the ship with a three-game winning streak, including a win over DePaul from the Big East and a come-from-behind win over Arkansas from the SEC. A home loss to Texas dropped Stanford to 5-4, but the Cardinal has not lost since.

On Friday night, Stanford opened Pac-12 play with an overtime 70-68 upset win over No. 21 Utah. The Cardinal rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit, taking advantage of missed free throws by Utah down the stretch to send the game into extra time.

Series: Stanford leads the all-time series, 9-7, including a 4-2 record in games played in Palo Alto. After the Cardinal won the first two games played between the two teams as members of the Pac-12, the Buffs have won four straight, including a 64-58 win by the Buffs last February in Boulder.

Notes … Stanford has four players averaging in double figures in scoring … Rosco Allen (14.2 ppg.); Marcus Allen (13.1); Reid Travis (12.8); Dorian Pickens (12.7) … Travis, though, has missed four straight games with an injury, including Friday night’s game against Utah … Against Utah, freshman Marcus Sheffield scored a career-high 17 points, with Marcus Allen contributing 14 points.

 

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January 1st – at California           California 78, Colorado 65

… poor shooting dooms Buffs to a long evening in Berkeley … Boyle calls it: Mathews was the player to watch

Game story from cubuffs.com … Things started badly for the Colorado Buffaloes against Cal on Friday — and then got worse.

The Buffs shot poorly, struggled on defense and were soundly dominated on the boards, and as a result took a 79-65 defeat on the chin in their Pac-12 opener.

The loss was the 11-3 Buffs’ second in a row while Cal improved to 11-3. Colorado will attempt to get back on the right track Sunday when the Buffs play at Stanford in an 8 p.m. contest (ESPNU).

Friday’s game wasn’t a matter of the Buffs not playing hard. They just didn’t play well. CU shot a season-low 32 percent from the field (21-for-66), recorded a season-low six assists (only two Buffs had assists) and hit just 27 percent of their 3-point tries, also a season low.

“The effort wasn’t the issue, it was the execution,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “The intensity level went up and we didn’t answer the bell tonight. It’s the first time I felt all year where we got out-toughed and really got out-scrapped and outplayed. We didn’t give up, which is a good sign. But a very, very disappointing first game of conference play.”

In their two previous road games this season, the Buffs fell behind by double digits and managed to come back to win both of them.

They had no such magic against the Bears. Colorado fell behind early 10-0, and needed more than six minutes to get its first points, a pair of free throws. CU missed its first 10 shots from the field and didn’t record its first field goal until the 12-minute mark.

Continue reading story here

 

Stanford (CU next opponent – Sunday, 8:00 p.m., ESPNU) upsets Utah in overtime

From ESPN … The Pac-12’s top free-throw shooting team entering Friday missed its final seven chances from the stripe — and No. 21 Utah lost the game because of it.

Perhaps its place in the Top 25, too.

Rosco Allen scored five of his 17 points in overtime after banking in the tying basket with 10.5 seconds left in regulation, and Stanford took advantage of all those missed free throws to beat the Utes 70-68 on Friday night in the conference opener for both schools.

“We missed shots, missed free throws. That’s what happened,” said Jordan Loveridge, who missed two free throws with 18.9 seconds left in regulation and another two in OT. “Can’t win like that.”

Utah shot free throws for 15 minutes during its shootaround earlier in the day, just as it does during every practice.

The Utes (11-3, 0-1) got one final play with 7 seconds left and Lorenzo Bonam drove into traffic and traveled.

Utah, shooting 73.2 percent from the line coming in, missed four free throws in the final 18.9 seconds of regulation.

Brandon Taylor missed two with 1.8 seconds left after the two misses by Loveridge, who missed two more with 2:27 to go in overtime.

Allen then drove the baseline for a dunk and his long jumper with 1:31 left in the extra period put Stanford ahead again.

“There are a million different elements to the game,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “Free throws might be the one most glaring, but there are a lot of plays along the way.”

 

Tad Boyle on Cal: “They’re deep and they’re talent”

From cubuffs.com … The Buffs will be tested in a hurry. The Golden Bears bring a talented mix of players to the table, ranging from senior point guard Tyrone Wallace (15.5 ppg) to freshman forward Ivan Rabb (12.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg) and freshman forward Jaylen Brown (14.5 ppg). Wallace was a strong candidate for conference player of the year last season and was a first-team all-conference pick; Rabb and Brown were members of one of the most highly ranked recruiting classes in the nation last year.

But the player who worries Boyle the most is junior guard Jordan Matthews (13.1 ppg), the Bears’ leading 3-point shooter.

“Jordan Matthews is one of the most underrated players in our league,” Boyle said. “Obviously you know about Tyrone Wallace and Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, everybody talks about them and they’re good players. But Jordan Matthews is a guy who’s sneaky, sneaky good. Every time he has an open shot, it goes in it seems like.”

Cuonzo Martin’s 10-3 Bears have won five of their last six, with the only loss in the stretch an overtime defeat at No. 5 Virginia. They lead the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense, and are outrebounding opponents by more than 10 per game.

“They’ve got a lot of weapons,” Boyle said. “They’re deep and they’re talented.”

The Buffs will counter with Scott — their leading scorer (18.4 ppg) and rebounder (9.4 rpg) — and a perimeter shooting game that leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting (.413) and  3-pointers made (8.9 per game). Although he’s cooled off in the last couple of weeks, Buffs sophomore George King is still second on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg), followed by junior Josh Fortune (11.8 ppg). Point guard Dominique Collier leads the team in assists at 3.5 per game, followed closely by Fortune with 3.3.

In the preseason media poll, the Buffs were picked to finish seventh in the league. But if nonconference play proved anything, it’s that there are a half-dozen teams capable of finishing at or near the top of the standings.

“We’ve put ourselves in great position to accomplish our goal of winning a championship as well as making it back to the NCAA Tournament,” Scott said. “Those were our main goals going into this season and still our main goals now.”

 

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December 31st

CU in the Arena …

Pac-12 coaches’ conference call … Coaches agree: Pac-12 one of the nation’s toughest conferences

From cubuffs.com … When the Colorado Buffaloes open Pac-12 play Friday night at Cal, it will be the start of an 18-game trek that will take them through one of the toughest and deepest conferences in the nation.

That, at least, is what the computers are saying. The latest CBSSports.Com Conference RPI has the Pac-12 ranked as the No. 2 league in the land, trailing only the Big 12.

You won’t find any conference coaches disagreeing with the assessment.

“I think the league is better than it’s been since we’ve been in it, from top to bottom,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said Wednesday.

“It’s the deepest conference we’ve competed in as a coaching staff,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said earlier this week.

“There’s not just depth, there’s quality depth in this conference,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.

“If you look at it from top to bottom, there’s not an easy team,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

Get the idea? As Boyle said Wednesday, just before he and his Buffs departed for California for their first conference games of the season (at Cal on Friday; at Stanford on Sunday), “Every team that steps on the floor is going to be ready. We all know it’s anybody’s game.”

Continue reading story here

 

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December 30th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: California Bears  

Game … Sunday, 3:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KOA 850 radio

Bears’ 2014-15 Record: 18-15, 7-11 in Pac-12 play … As is the case this year, Cal opened the 2014-15 season with a 10-3 non-conference record. The Bears had some confidence heading into Pac-12 play, with wins over No. 23 Syracuse, Wyoming, and Princeton on its resume. The momentum didn’t last, however, as the Bears lost six of their first seven Pac-12 games. A five-game winning streak, including a 68-61 win over Colorado in Boulder, made Cal a 16-9, 6-6 team, with aspirations of post-season play. The Bears, however, went 1-5 to finish with a 7-11 Pac-12 record.

California was the No. 8 seed in the Pac-12 tournament last spring, and won its first Pac-12 tournament game against Washington State, but then fell, 73-51, to No. 1 seed (and 5th-ranked Arizona) in the quarterfinals. Cal did not play in any post-season tournaments.

Bears’ 2015-16 record: 14-7, 4-4 in Pac-12 play. In non-conference play, Cal defeated Seattle (the teams which handed the Buffs their season-ending loss last spring) and Wyoming. Two of the Bears’ losses came in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament in Las Vegas, with Cal falling in successive games to San Diego State and Richmond.

The teams met in the Pac-12 conference opener on January 1st, with Cal taking a 79-65 home win (ESPN game recap).

From the cubuffs.com game story Things started badly for the Colorado Buffaloes against Cal on Friday — and then got worse.

The Buffs shot poorly, struggled on defense and were soundly dominated on the boards, and as a result took a 79-65 defeat on the chin in their Pac-12 opener.

Friday’s game wasn’t a matter of the Buffs not playing hard. They just didn’t play well. CU shot a season-low 32 percent from the field (21-for-66), recorded a season-low six assists (only two Buffs had assists) and hit just 27 percent of their 3-point tries, also a season low …

Series: California leads the all-time series, 14-12, including the aforementioned wins against Colorado last February and in the Pac-12 2015-16 conference opener. The win in Boulder last season was just the second for the Bears in 10 tries (CU leads, 3-2, in neutral site games). The teams are tied, 5-5, since Colorado joined the Pac-12 (including a 2011 CU win in an NIT game), but Cal has won four of the last five in the series.

California – Players to watch:  Here is what Tad Boyle had to say about Jordan Mathews before the January 1st matchup: “Jordan Mathews is one of the most underrated players in our league. Mathews is sneaky, sneaky good. Every time he has an open shot, it seems like it goes in”. That proved prophetic, as Mathews went for 22 points against the Buffs, including five-of-nine from three-point range … Forward Jalen Brown had a double-double against Colorado, with 17 points and 11 rebounds …

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December 29th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs ready to start “second season” Friday against Cal

From cubuffs.com … When the Colorado Buffaloes reported for their first post-Christmas break practice Monday, Tad Boyle’s message was simple:

“The second season starts today.”

That season, of course, is Pac-12 play, a stretch of 18 games in the league that currently owns the second-highest RPI in the nation (trailing only the Big 12), and is considered to be one of the deepest conferences in the country. Games start this weekend, when the Buffs play at Cal on Friday (9 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and at Stanford on Sunday (8 p.m., ESPNU).

The “first” season, of course, was a solid if not resounding success. The 11-2 Buffs put together an 11-game win streak, won two road games and beat three teams currently ranked in the nation’s top 100 RPI.

Continue reading story here

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2 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – January, 2016”

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  2. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling. Harry Froling.

    Might keep this name in mind. It’s the first time since Big-12 days that I’ve linked the moniker “Big Red” with anything….This one I LIKE. Like what I’ve seen of him on YouTube.

    Stuart, his video seemed a bit short. Would love to see a more extended version. Do you have any suggestions ?

    Any recruiting news on this big man? I know a lot of programs (and some from the PAC-12) would like to see his smile on campus.

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