Colorado Basketball

February 29th

… CU in the Arena …

Josh Scott picks up second Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week honors

From cubuffs.com … University of Colorado senior forward Josh Scott was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 22-28 the league office announced on Monday.

The weekly honor from the Pac-12 is Scott’s second of the season and Colorado’s seventh since joining the conference in 2011-12. Scott also won on Jan. 17 after home wins over Oregon and Oregon State.

A 6-10 senior, Scott averaged 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 assists helping the Buffaloes to a home weekend sweep of No. 9/10 Arizona (75-72) and Arizona State (79-69).  The Monument, Colo., native shot 57 percent from the floor (16-of-28) helping Colorado reach 21 regular season wins, tying for the most in program history (1996-97, 2013-14).

Scott had a season-high 26 points in the win over Arizona helping the Buffaloes beat a top 10 ranked team for the first time since January 2014. The win also snapped CU’s 11-game slide against ranked teams overall. Scott made 10-of-18 from the floor and also tallied nine rebounds and three blocks. He was clutch in the second half, hitting 8-of-12 from the field including a stretch of six in a row, cementing his 24th career 20-point game.

On Senior Day against Arizona State, Scott had a “workman-like” 15 points, six rebounds and two assists, connecting on 6-of-10 from the field.

A Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award finalist, as the nation’s best big man, Scott leads the Buffaloes at 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while hitting 55 percent. He’s one of only two players in the Pac-12 to rank among the league’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage.

 

Bracketology … Buffs appear to be a solid pick for the NCAA tournament

It has been a hard sell at times, but it appears that even Joe Lunardi at ESPN has come around to the idea that the University of Colorado will be a participant in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

The Buffs gained one spot on Jerry Palm’s list at CBS, up to a No. 7 seed. Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Colorado as a No. 8 seed, up two spots from a week ago.

With only a road game at Utah and the Pac-12 tournament to go before Selection Sunday, it would appear that only a loss to Utah and an upset in the first round of the tournament (say, to a No. 12 seeded Washington State) would give Buff fans reason to be nervous on Selection Sunday, March 13th.

Here is the Pac-12 … from CBS Sports:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 2 – Oregon – same as last week

No. 3 – Utah – same as last week

No. 6 – Arizona – same as last week despite losing to both of the mountain schools

No. 6 – California – same as last week

No. 7 – Colorado – to play the winner of a play-in game between Michigan and St. Bonaventure (in St. Louis)

No. 8 – USC – down one sport after falling to both Bay area schools

No. 9 – Oregon State – same as last week, even after beating both Washington schools

Washington … off the table after losing to both Oregon schools

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, the Buffs moved up two spots this week, back to a No. 8 seed

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon – same as last week

No. 4 – Utah – up two spots from last week

No. 4 – Arizona – down two spots from last week

No. 6 – California – up one spot from last week

No. 8  – USC – same as last week, despite being swept by the Bay area schools

No. 8 – Colorado – to play No. 9 seed Providence (in Raleigh, North Carolina)

No. 11 – Oregon State – up from the “Next Four Out” list from last week, now one of the “Last Four In”

– Washington – hanging on in the “Next Four Out” list … seven teams away from being in the tournament

 

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February 28th – Boulder          Colorado 79, Arizona State 69

It wasn’t easy, but Colorado pushed its record to 21-9, 10-7 with a hard-fought win over Arizona State. The Buffs led by 14 in the first half, but didn’t enjoy a double-digit lead in the second half until the final minute.

On Senior day, Josh Scott posted 15 points and six rebounds. Josh Fortune (17 points, 3-5 three-pointers) and Tre’Shaun Fletcher (13 points, 3-3 three-pointers) did the damage from the outside, while Wesley Gordon (11 rebounds, including six offensive) took care of business on the inside. As usual, George King (nine points, four rebounds) hit the timely shot and pulled down the timely rebounds late.

The Buffs finished the regular season with a 16-1 home record, with the only home loss coming against Utah. The Buffs will get their shot at redemption next Saturday in Salt Lake City (7:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU).

– “Buffs Celebrate Senior Day With Win Over ASU” … from cubuffs.com

– “With More To Go, CU Seniors Vow To ‘Go Out As Winners’ ” … from cubuffs.com

Game recap … No one expected the Sun Devils to lay an egg like they did against Utah (falling behind 30-2 in the first half), but the Buff Nation certainly hoped that the Buffs would be able to put Arizona State away early on Senior Day.

No such luck.

A pair of three-pointers gave ASU an 8-7 lead early on, but the Buffs seemed to take control on a Tre’Shaun Fletcher three-pointer after a missed dunk by the Sun Devils. Fletcher’s trey gave the Buffs a 16-10 lead, a lead which went to 26-12 on a Josh Fortune three-pointer midway through the first half.

Instead of pulling away, however, the Buffs went cold. Arizona State, with the Buffs up 30-19, went on 13-1 run to take a 32-31 lead with just under three minutes remaining before the break. The Buffs then scored the next seven points before giving up a free throw and a tip-in at the buzzer. Colorado 38, Arizona State 35, at the half.

Colorado opened up the second half with an 7-2 run, taking a 45-38 lead. Time to pull away? No. ASU went on a 7-0 run to tie it.

Colorado then went on an 8-0 behind a trey and a fade-away jumper by Josh Fortune. 53-45, Colorado. Time to pull away? No. Arizona State scored the next five points to make it a 53-50 game at the midway point of the second half.

The Buffs then slowly, ever so slowly, pushed the lead up. George King hit a key three-pointer and pulled down three key rebounds as Colorado pushed the lead to nine, at 73-64, at the under four time out. A three-pointer by ASU cut the lead to six, at 73-67, but the Sun Devils would get no closer.

After a Josh Scott layup and a Sun Devil miss, the Buffs just needed to hit their free throws down the stretch. With the game still in doubt, Wesley Gordon and Xavier Talton each hit a pair of free throws to give CU its first double-digit lead of the second half.

Final: Colorado 79, Arizona State 69

Still to come … Locker room notes and Game Notes …

 

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February 27th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Arizona State

Game … Sunday, 2:30 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 84; XM channel 84

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs To Honor Seniors At Sunday’s Home Finale” … from cubuffs.com

– “Josh Fortune the unsung hero of Arizona win” … from the Daily Camera

– “Emotional farewell arrives for Josh Scott” … from the Daily Camera

– “Twitter not kind to ASU during lackluster effort at Utah” … from the Arizona Republic

Quotable Tad Boyle … “You’re talking about a really monster class,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said of the senior class. “It’s been a great class and they’ve done some things that haven’t been done before — but there’s still more that can be done.”

Sun Devils’ 2014-15 Record: 18-16, 9-9 in Pac-12 play. Arizona State opened the 2014-15 season modestly, with an 8-5 non-conference record and an 0-4 Pac-12 record. The first conference win for the Sun Devils? A 78-72 home win over Colorado. The Buffs were able to exact a measure of revenge in Boulder with an 87-81 win behind a 29-point effort from Askia Booker. Arizona State earned an NIT bid in March, falling to Richmond in the second round.

Sun Devils’ 2015-16 record: 14-14, 4-11 in Pac-12 play. Arizona State went 10-4 in non-conference play, including a 67-54 win over No. 18 Texas A&M. In Pac-12 play, little has gone right for the Sun Devils, as ASU has suffered three three-game losing streaks. Arizona State did beat No. 23 USC two weeks ago, but hasn’t won since. On Thursday, the Sun Devils fell behind Utah 30-2, trailed 44-10 at halftime, ultimately falling 81-46.

Series: This will be the 13th meeting between Colorado and  Arizona State with the series even at 6-6. The series is also and even 4-4 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12, The Buffaloes have won 2-of-3 including a 87-81 decision in Boulder on March 1, 2015. Colorado has won 5-of-6 all-time meetings in Boulder.

Colorado Notes … The Buffaloes continue to hold a strong NCAA RPI coming it at 29 as of Feb. 27. The Pac-12, having a phenomenal season as a whole, has seven teams currently ranked in the top 40 and 11 in the top 80. Colorado is 9-9 against NCAA RPI top 100 teams and 4-7 against the top 50.

Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.733), 3-point percentage (.392) and overall rebounding (42.4 rpg) while ranking second in defensive rebounds (29.1 drpg), rebounding margin (+8.9) and offensive rebounds (13.3 orpg) and fourth in 3-pointers made(7.5 3mpg).

Arizona State Notes … The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers, making 8.0 per game and have more attempts (668) than any other league school. Defensively, the Sun Devils give up 74.3 points an outing and rank last in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents 46 percent shooting.

Sophomore guard Tra Holder leads Arizona State at 14.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Senior guard Gerry Blakes is ASU’s second-leading scorer 10.6 points an outing.

 

Boyle fine with court-storming … just wishes beating top ten teams would not be such a rare event

From the Daily Camera … Tad Boyle expresses genuine empathy for the stance taken by Arizona coach Sean Miller in regard to court-storming in college basketball.

Nevertheless, if the potential of making a lifelong memory by surging onto the floor after a marquee win is what helps fill the student section at the Coors Events Center on a regular basis, Boyle is all for it.

“I certainly understand where Sean is coming from. I think he’s got some really valid points,” Boyle said. “He’s right — Arizona is the one school in our league that gets stormed when they lose on the road. I’m not a security expert. I understand where he is coming from and there are two sides to every coin. And I certainly see his side and there is part of me that really agrees with it.

“On the other hand, I’m the coach of Colorado. We’re challenging our fans and students especially to fill the student section. If they have to storm the court to get themselves energized to come back for the next game, I’m all for it as long as nobody gets hurt.”

… at the same time … “If our student section on Sunday is half full, I’m totally against court-storming because it was a one-time deal and it’s about Arizona. It’s not about Colorado,” Boyle said. “That’s my challenge to our students. I love it, but I’d like to get to the point with this program — and I said this two years ago when we did it against Kansas and my stance hasn’t changed — is I want to get our program to the point where we beat Arizona or any top-ranked team we don’t storm the court because we expect it. It’s not an upset.”

 

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February 24th – Boulder          Colorado 75, No. 9 Arizona 72

Colorado was held scoreless for the final 3:30 of the game, but still managed to hold to defeat No. 9 Arizona, 75-72. Josh Scott had a season-high 26 points to lead the Buffs, also contributing nine rebounds and three blocks. George King scored 14 points, including 3-of-6 three-pointers, while Josh Fortune posted 13 points. Wesley Gordon collected 12 rebounds and scored eight points as the Buffs stayed with the taller Wildcats, with each team grabbing 38 rebounds.

– “Scott Leads Buffs Past No. 9 Arizona, 75-72” … from cubuffs.com

– “No. 9 UA men’s basketball comes up short at Colorado” … from the Arizona Republic

– “Colorado ends skid vs ninth-ranked Arizona, 75-72” … from ESPN

– Game statistics … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I can’t begin to tell you how important this win was.  Number one it gets us to 20 wins, number two it gives us a great win in terms of RPI and top ten.  So as you go into the stretch run in February you need to be able to show that you can beat top teams and we showed tonight that we can beat a top team.  This game was NCAA tournament atmosphere, and these were two NCAA tournament teams playing tonight.”

Boyle calls out Buff Nation … “If you didn’t come to watch this game tonight, you missed a hell of a college basketball game.  I have two questions after a night like this, and that is why can’t the Coors Events Center be like this every night?  And why can’t we bring that kind of energy and concentration as a team every night.  I think they are both valid questions, it should be like this every night.  And if we want to get this program where we want it, which is a top 25 program, one like Arizona, we have to do this every night.  It’s up to our fans to come out, and it’s up to us as coaches and players to play with the passion, toughness and energy that we played with tonight.  It doesn’t guarantee that we’re going to win every game, but it makes for a hell of a lot of fun.  I don’t understand why it can’t be like that every night.  Look we have to do our part, but what a great win and I’m so proud of our team.  We’re not the finished product by any means, but the whole message to the team before the game was to compete for 40 minutes and our guys answered the bell against a really good team.”

Game Recap … The Buffs led throughout much of the game, overcoming an early 5-0 deficit to take a 9-5 lead. Arizona took its last lead of the game at 17-16 midway through the first half, with Colorado taking a 37-33 lead at the break.

Colorado built a double digit lead early in the second half, and held it together until the late going. Josh Scott dominated, scoring 10 of CU’s 12 points as the clock started to work in the Buffs’ favor. When Scott put back a missed jumper by George King with 3:31 remaining, the Buffs were up, 75-65, and it looked like it would be CU’s night.

But then, as in Los Angeles against USC last week, the Buffs went cold, failing to score the remainder of the game. Arizona chipped away at the lead, and got to within a score, at 75-72, with a dunk with 51 seconds left. On the Buffs’ next possession, Josh Scott, the hero of the night, turned the ball over. Arizona then turned the ball back (on a controversial call), giving CU the ball and the lead with 13 seconds remaining.

The ball came into Scott, one of CU’s better free throw shooters. Waiting to get fouled, Scott instead turned the ball over, giving Arizona one last chance with nine seconds remaining. With no time out remaining (Arizona head coach Sean Miller used up his last time out with nine minutes still left in the game), the Wildcats had to try for a three to tie the game. Allonzo Trier’s effort was off the mark, with Dominique Collier hauling in the rebound to seal the win.

Game Notes …

– Colorado won its 20th game of the season. The 2015-16 season represents only the ninth time in CU history the Buffs have won 20 or more games … but the fifth time in six years under Tad Boyle. It’s just the fifth time Colorado has reached 20 wins in the regular season and third time in the last four years.

– The game was played before a sell-out crowd of 11,309, the third-largest crowd in CU history.

– The Buffaloes are 20-9 overall and 9-7 in the Pac-12. Colorado now has a home mark of 15-1.

– The victory against Arizona was the 400th Colorado win at the Coors Events Center.

– The Buffs’ victory over Arizona snaps an 11 game losing streak against ranked teams. The last time the Buffs beat a ranked team was Jan. 5, 2014 against No. 10/9 Oregon, 100-91. It’s the highest Associated Press ranked opponent CU has beaten since defeating No. 6 Kansas, 75-72, on Dec. 7, 2013.

– Colorado is now 15-1 when leading at the half.

– The win snaps a six game losing streak against Arizona. CU is now 4-8 v. Arizona since joining the Pac-12. Arizona leads the all-time series, 13-12, with the Buffs owning an 8-4 record in games played in Boulder.

Up next for Colorado … Arizona State, Sunday, 2:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks …

 

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February 23rd

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: No. 9 Arizona Wildcats

Game … Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., MT … ESPN2 … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 81; XM channel 81

… The game is designated as a “Blackout Game“, so dress accordingly … Tickets still available

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs Know They Need Quality Wins Down Stretch” … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs still in control of NCAA tournament destiny” … from the Daily Camera

– “Look out, here come the big, improving Wildcats” … from the Arizona Republic

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We put ourselves in good position, but we’re in a position where we need some quality wins down the stretch,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said after Monday afternoon’s practice. “Wednesday night, you can’t ask for a more quality win than Arizona. It’s not going to be easy. Arizona is playing at a high level. They’ve got good players, a good coach and they are the most consistent team in our league.”

Wildcats’ 2014-15 Record: 34-4, 16-2 in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats had only three blemishes in the regular season, falling only to UNLV, Oregon State, and Arizona State … all on the road. Arizona swept Colorado, with a 68-54 win at home, and an 82-54 thumping of the Buffs in Boulder. A No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, Arizona defeated No. 15 seed Texas Southern, No. 10 seed Ohio State, and No. 6 seed Xavier before falling to No. 1 seed Wisconsin in the Elite Eight.

Wildcats’ 2015-16 record: 22-5, 10-4 in Pac-12 play. While Arizona’s record isn’t quite as good as last season, the Wildcats are still poised to claim the Pac-12 regular season title once again (currently tied with Oregon). Since falling to the Ducks on January 28th, the Wildcats have run off six straight wins, including a 99-61 rout of Arizona State last Wednesday night (yes, Arizona has had a full week to rest up and prepare for the Colorado game).

Series: This will be the 25th meeting between the two schools. Surprisingly enough, Arizona’s lead in the series is only 13-11, with CU holding a 7-4 advantage in games played in Boulder. Arizona, however, is 8-3 against Colorado since the Buffs joined the Pac-12, including a run of six straight. The last time Colorado defeated Arizona was on Valentine’s Day, 2013.

Colorado Notes … This week marks the final conference homestand for CU’s four seniors: Josh Scott, Xavier Talton, Eli Stalzer and Brett Brady. They will be honored at Sunday’s home finale vs. Arizona State (2:30 p.m. tipoff).

“We want to send them out on a great note,” Boyle said. “To win two games the last week when you have an opportunity to do that would be awesome, but you can’t win both of them unless you win the first one.”

Arizona Notes … The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in scoring margin (+14.0) and rebound margin (+11.4) while ranking second in field goal percentage, scoring defense (68.0 ppg) and free throw percentage (.725).

Senior forward Ryan Anderson leads Arizona at 15.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. Freshman guard Allonzo Trier is second on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per contest. Senior guard Gabe York tops the Wildcats in 3-pointers made with 74 while pitching in 14.7 points an outing. Senior center Kaleb Tarczewski is second on the team in rebounding at 9.0 per game while pitching in 9.5 points per contest.

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February 22nd

… CU in the Arena …

Bracketology … Buffs slipping into Bubble Watch territory

It was to be expected, as Colorado had a bad weekend in Los Angeles, but the Buffs are slipping in the latest Bracketology estimates.

The Buffs lost one spot on Jerry Palm’s list at CBS, down one spot to a No. 8 seed. Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Colorado as a No. 10 seed, down two spots from a week ago.

Here is the Pac-12 … from CBS Sports:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 2 – Oregon – up one spot from a week ago after completing season sweep over Oregon State

No. 3 – Utah – up one spot after sweeping Los Angeles schools

No. 6 – Arizona – down one spot from last Monday

No. 6 – California – up one spot from last week after sweeping Washington schools

No. 7 – USC – down one sport after losing to Utah Sunday

No. 8 – Colorado

No. 9 – Oregon State – down one spot after falling to Oregon

Washington … Remain in “First Four Out” limbo

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, the Buffs moved down two spots this week, back to a No. 10 seed

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon – same as last week

No. 4 – Arizona – up two spots from last week

No. 6 – Utah – same as last week

No. 7 – California – up one spot from last week

No. 8  – USC – lost a spot despite beating Colorado … the Trojans lost to Utah Sunday

No. 10 – Colorado – Buffs receiving one of the “last four byes”

– Washington and Oregon State are both on the “Next Four Out” list, No. 5 and No. 9, respectively, on the waiting list for the tournament

 

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February 21st

CU in the Arena …

CU women send seniors out with a victory over Cal

From cubuffs.com Jamee Swan probably didn’t mind a bit, but Sunday’s Senior Day for the Colorado women’s basketball team came very close to being a freshmen showcase.

CU’s Kennedy Leonard and California’s Kristine Anigwe, a pair of first-year players, showed why they appear to be locks for the Pac-12’s All-Freshman team, with Leonard leading the Buffaloes to a desperately needed 78-57 win at the Coors Events Center.

It was the fluid Leonard’s ability to counter Anigwe’s first half scoring and Leonard’s overall floor leadership that provided the edge for the Buffs, who snapped a five-game losing streak and compensated for their worst loss of the season – an 80-49 rout on Friday night by No. 15 Stanford.

Leonard finished with a career-best 23 points – 19 in the first half – and a career-high 13 assists while Anigwe scored 30 for Cal, which remained winless in Pac-12 road games (0-11) and lost for the sixth time in its last seven games. Leonard became the first CU women’s player to have a 20/10 (points/assists) game, with her 13 assists the fourth most in school history.

… Swan did her part in her final home game, scoring 18 points and gathering 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. She left the game with 57.7 remaining to a standing ovation and the crowd chanting “Jamee Swan, Jamee Swan, Jamee Swan.”

Said Swan of her final home ‘W’: “It feels amazing. It’s hard to put into words. It’s nice to get a win, but on Senior Night it’s even better.”

 

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February 20th – at Los Angeles        UCLA 77, Colorado 53

Quotable Tad Boyle … “Really disappointing road trip,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We had the USC game and we gave it away, and then tonight we just roll over like a wet noodle. They opened up a can of whoop on us and they gave it to us in every way.”

… “This stuff doesn’t happen by accident,” Boyle said. “UCLA executed and we didn’t. We’ve got to be tougher than we are right now. Our toughness factor is not very good. That concerns me as a coach because that’s how you have to win some games on the road, when you’re not at your best, and we haven’t been at our best for a while … We’d better figure it out, because we’ve got Arizona coming up and Arizona State and then at Utah.”

Game story  from cubuffs.com … A Colorado Buffaloes road trip that started out on a sour note Wednesday with a loss at USC turned into a nightmare on Saturday.

The Buffs went west searching for at least one win and hopefully two on their foray into Los Angeles. Instead, UCLA sent Colorado home empty, carving out a 77-53 win over the lethargic Buffs at Pauley Pavilion. It was CU’s largest margin of defeat this season, as the Buffs finished with their lowest point total and their worst shooting percentage of the year.

“Really disappointing road trip,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We had the USC game and we gave it away, and then tonight we just roll over like a wet noodle. They opened up a can of whoop on us and they gave it to us in every way.”

Now, the Buffs return to Boulder for their final two conference home games with a 19-9 overall record and an 8-7 Pac-12 mark. The team that one week ago was in position to perhaps be playing for a share of the conference lead now sits in a tie for sixth in the Pac-12 standings with just three games remaining.

Colorado fell behind early in this one and never recovered. The Buffs trailed by only five, 30-25, with 4:23 left in the first half, but the Bruins put together a quick 9-0 run with three straight 3-pointers and finished the half on a 14-3 surge to take a 44-28 lead into the locker room at intermission.

The Buffs never came closer again.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

Xavier Talton led the Buffs in scoring for the first time this season, finishing with 12 points. Josh Fortune added 10 for CU and Josh Scott had nine points and 10 rebounds.

– UCLA had four players in double figures, led by Isaac Hamilton with 22 and Tony Parker with 16

– Colorado has dropped four of its last six and four straight on the road

– Colorado used its seventh different starting lineup of the season featuring Thomas Akyazili, Josh Fortune, Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Wesley Gordon and Josh Scott. For Akyazili, it was his first career start.

– UCLA improves its series lead to 10-2 over Colorado. The Buffaloes fall to 0-8 against UCLA in Los Angeles.

– Colorado scored a season-low 53 points and shot a season-low 31.1 percent from the field (19-of-61).

– Colorado had nine 3-point field goals, increasing its season total to 213, fifth on the team’s single season list. The school record is 240 set in 2005-06.

– Colorado was outrebounded (39-37) for just the fifth time in 28 games.

– Colorado made 6-of-11 from 3-point range in the first 15 minutes (.545) but made just 3 of its final 14 (.214).

Up next for the Buffs … Colorado returns home next week for a pair of games, facing Arizona on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and Arizona State on Sunday (2:30 p.m.).

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February 19th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: UCLA Bruins

Game … Saturday, 9:00 p.m., MT … Fox Sports 1 … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 83; XM channel 197

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs Aim To Bounce Back vs. UCLA” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We can’t worry about big-picture stuff,” Boyle said. “We have to figure out how to get back on the horse and get a win. All that other stuff doesn’t matter. For us, it’s the next game.”

On the Bruins … “They’re a very, very talented offensive team that can score points in a hurry,” Boyle said. “They’ve  got multiple guys that can score. Alford is a guy who has the green light and Hamilton can fill it up. When they get it rolling, they’re an offensive juggernaut.”

Bruins’ 2014-15 Record: 22-14, 11-7 in Pac-12 play, including a split with Colorado. UCLA was a bubble team for the NCAA tournament, but made the committee look good, turning a No. 11 seeding into a Sweet Sixteen run. The Bruins’ season came to a close with a 74-62 loss to No. 2 seed Gonzaga.

Bruins’ 2015-16 record: 14-12, 5-8 in Pac-12 play. The season started ominously, with a home loss to Monmouth (which is not a bad team. The Hawks will likely make the tournament). Wins over No. 1 Kentucky and No. 20 Gonzaga were offset by losses to Wake Forest, No. 5 Kansas and No. 11 North Carolina.

UCLA opened Pac-12 play with road losses to the Washington schools, but bounced back again, taking out No. 7 Arizona. The Bruins were swept in the regular season for the first time in six years, and come into the game against Colorado having lost three of their last four. On Thursday night, UCLA trailed Utah by 14 points before making a furious comeback, ultimately falling, 75-73.

Series: This will be the 12th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 9-2 edge. The teams split their two meetings last season, both winning at home. Colorado is 0-7 against UCLA in Los Angeles. Tad Boyle is 1-5 against UCLA as a head coach. Steve Alford is 3-1 against Colorado as a head coach.

Players to Watch: UCLA has five of its players averaging double-digits in scoring, led by junior guard Isaac Hamilton at 16.8 points per game. Junior guard Bryce Alford averages 16.2 points per game and leads UCLA in assists (5.4 apg.) and three-point field goals (55). Senior forward Tony Parker tops the Bruins in rebounds at 8.9 per contest while averaging 12.5 points an outing. Sophomore center Thomas Welsh averages 11.5 points on a team-best 59 percent from the field.

 

Tad Boyle one year contract extension approved by the Board of Regents

From the Daily Camera … University of Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle received a one-year contract extension Thursday.

CU’s elected Board of Regents approved the extension without discussion at its regular meeting in Colorado Springs.

Boyle’s contract now ends June 30, 2021. He did not get a salary boost or extra incentives with the change.

Boyle is in his sixth season with the Buffs this year and earns roughly $1.5 million in salary and other benefits.

… In his sixth season leading the program, the Greeley native holds a record of 127-76. Of the nine seasons in program history in which the team has recorded 19 or more regular season wins, five have come under Coach Boyle. He lead his team to the PAC-12 Tournament championship in 2012 and in his five full seasons the team has made the NCAA Tournament three times.

 

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February 17th – at Los Angeles           USC 79, Colorado 72

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I did an absolute terrible job of coaching this team tonight,” Boyle said. “I have confidence in them. I really believe in these guys, but I think that belief is sometimes a little bit misguided because obviously we can’t handle situations like I think we can. I should have called some timeouts that I didn’t call.”

… “We’re just not mentally quite there yet on the road,” Boyle said. “People always ask about why you can’t win on the road … it’s all between the ears. We play this game at Coors, we blow them out. We’re not mentally tough enough to handle the crowd when things get loud and adversity hits.”

– Game recap … from ESPN

– “Buffs give it away at USC” … from the Daily Camera

– “Jordan McLaughlin sparks USC’s big rally in 79-72 win over Colorado” … from the Los Angles Times

Game story from cubuffs.com … What could have been the Colorado Buffaloes’ biggest road win of the season Wednesday night instead turned into one of their most disappointing defeats.

A stunning late-game collapse saw the Buffs lose a 15-point second-half lead as Southern California rallied to snatch a 79-72 win at the Galen Center, dealing a major blow to any hopes the Buffs had of claiming a conference championship.

A win would have moved the Buffs into third place in the league standings with a game at UCLA on Saturday and a chance to be playing for the Pac-12 lead a week from now when Arizona visits Boulder.

Instead, Colorado dropped to 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the Pac-12, good enough for only a tie for fifth in the conference standings. USC, meanwhile, improved to 19-7 and 8-5, a half-game ahead of Colorado.

“We had them on the ropes,” an obviously disappointed CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We had them where we wanted ‘em but we weren’t good enough down the stretch. I take responsibility. I’m the head coach and I’ve got to do a better job.”

Boyle may have been ready to take the blame, but the players on the floor had a share of the responsibility in a stunning 31-10 USC run over the final eight minutes of the game.

Continue reading story here

—–

February 16th

CU in the Arena

Getting to Know: USC Trojans

Game … Wednesday, 9:00 p.m., MT … ESPNU … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 84; XM channel 84

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Boyle’s Buffs Still In Conference Title Hunt” … from cubuffs.com

– “CU men’s basketball: Buffs bracing for balanced USC” … from the Daily Camera

– “Wesley Gordon thriving without Josh Scott” … from the Daily Camera

– “For first time in a long time, USC is in NCAA tournament conversation” … from the Los Angeles Times

Quotable Tad Boyle … “They don’t have any weaknesses,” Boyle said of a team that boasts six players averaging double-digit scoring. “That’s what makes USC so dangerous. They’ve got a lot of guys that can hurt you.”

Trojans’ 2014-15 Record: 12-20, 3-15 in Pac-12 play. A very long season for the Trojan fans included an 86-65 loss to Colorado in early January in Boulder, then a tough, 98-94 loss to the Buffs in triple overtime in Los Angeles.

Trojans’ 2015-16 record: 18-7, 7-5 in Pac-12 play. Picked to finish 10th in the conference standings by the media, USC has been a surprise contender for the Pac-12 conference title and an NCAA tournament bid. The Trojans defeated No. 20 Wichita State in non-conference play (albeit without the Shockers’ best player in the lineup), and racing out to a 4-1 Pac-12 record. In the early wins was a 103-101 4OT thriller over No. 7 Arizona on January 9th. Since then, USC has gone 3-4, being swept on the road in both Oregon and Arizona.

Series: This will be the 13th meeting between the two schools. Colorado holds a 9-3 advantage overall, including a 3-2 edge in games played in Los Angeles.

 

Tad Boyle: “It’s about taking care of the next one and putting yourself in position”

From cubuffs.com … The current Pac-12 logjam has Oregon and Arizona atop the conference with 9-4 marks. Right behind are Colorado and Utah at 8-5, with USC and Cal just another half-game back at 7-5. The first four teams have five conference games remaining; the next two have six.

“It’s still right there,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said Monday. “We don’t get a crack at Oregon, but we get a crack at Arizona, we get a crack at USC. We’ve got five games left; it’s about taking care of the next one and putting yourself in position,””

Three of Colorado’s five remaining games are on the road, beginning with Wednesday’s 9 p.m. game at USC (ESPNU) followed by another 9 p.m. game Saturday, at UCLA (Fox Sports 1). After that, it’s the final homestand of the year, with Arizona and Arizona State visiting Boulder, before the final week of play, when CU’s only game is a road trip to Utah.

Continue reading story here

 

—–

February 15th

… CU in the Arena …

Josh Scott: “He will play as soon as he’s ready to play physically”

From the Daily Camera … “Hopefully we can get the big fella back next week,” Boyle said after the Washington game Saturday. “That’s the plan, but you don’t know until Josh comes to me and says, ‘Coach, I’m ready to go.’ I know this — he’s going to be back as soon as he can get back. I said this before the game with Mark Johnson on the radio: Josh Scott’s toughness is unquestionable. He will play as soon as he’s ready to play physically. I know that. He knows that.

“Hopefully it’s Wednesday, but I won’t know that until Wednesday.”

Continue reading story here

 

Colorado solidifies tournament status with sweep of Washington schools

It wasn’t pretty, but Colorado managed to get past both Washington State and Washington over the weekend, improving to 19-7, 8-5. In Jerry Palm’s Bracketology at CBS Sports, the Buffs are down one spot to a No. 7 seed, while Joe Lunardi’s bracket at ESPN has CU as a No. 8 seed, up one spot from last week.

Three of CU’s final regular season games are on the road – at USC and UCLA this weekend; at Utah to close out the regular season – with a pair of games against the Arizona schools in between. There remains plenty of opportunity for the Buffs to make (or break) their season.

Here is the Pac-12 … from CBS Sports:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon – down one spot from a week ago after being swept by the Bay area schools

No. 4 – Utah – up one spot after sweeping Washington schools

No. 5 – Arizona – up one spot after sweeping the Los Angeles schools

No. 6 – USC – down one sport after being swept by the Arizona schools

No. 7 – Colorado

No. 7 – California – up two spots from last week after sweeping the Oregon schools

No. 8 – Oregon State – up four spots. Still a bubble team, but the Beavers weren’t even in the bracket two weeks ago

Washington … A No. 9 seed last week, the Huskies fell to “First Four Out” status after falling to both Utah and Colorado

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, the Buffs moved up one spot this week, back to a No. 8 seed (where they were two weeks ago)

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon – same as last week

No. 6 – Arizona – down one spot from last week

No. 6 – Utah – up one spot from last week

No. 7  – USC – down two spots from last week

No. 8 – Colorado

No. 8 – California – up three spots from last week

– Washington, a No. 10 seed last week, is now second on the list of “First Four Out”. Oregon State is fourth on the list of “Next Four Out”.

 

—–

February 13th – Boulder           Colorado 81, Washington 80

Quotable Tad Boyle … “Another nail biter. That game didn’t have to be as close as it was. You do have to give Washington credit. Anyone that’s watched them play or saw them live today knows that they have a lot of talented players on that team. I thought our defense for the most part for the game was good but for the last five minutes and 11 seconds, it wasn’t very good. That timeout, I remember distinctly was 72-57, we were up 15 and they were at the line. I looked at the clock and said, ‘guys if we hold them to less than 72, we win the game, they can not beat us if we do that.’ That has to be our mindset, defense and rebounding down the stretch, but they come out and score 24 points in that 5:11. We didn’t get that done. We got stops when we needed to. The difference in the game is us out rebounding them by 20, without a doubt. With this team, when we put together a defense and rebounding effort like we did tonight, with a turnover effort like we did against Washington State, we’re going to beat everybody in this league. If we continue to turn it over and guarding and rebounding, we’re going to have close games. If we don’t guard and rebound and we don’t t turn it over, we’re going to be in close games. We have to figure this out as a team and get better. That’s our challenge as coaches and the challenge for our players to get it done.”

– Game recap … from ESPN

– Game story … from cubuffs.com –  Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes had just enough in the tank to hold off the Washington Huskies — twice — on Saturday.

The Buffs saw double-digit leads slip away at two different junctures, but came up with some big defensive stops when absolutely necessary and claimed an 81-80 win at the Coors Events Center.

The final big stop came when UW’s Andrew Andrews missed a jumper with 2.4 seconds left and CU’s Wesley Gordon rebounded. Gordon then missed two free throws, but with one second remaining, UW’s Dejounte Murray threw the ball the length of the floor out of bounds and CU inbounded under its own basket with one second left to seal the win.

The victory improved CU’s record to 19-7 overall and 8-5 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies dropped to 15-10, 7-6.

Gordon finished with 17 points, Josh Fortune added 13 and Dominique Collier, George King and Tre’Shaun Fletcher had 10 each. Gordon also had 13 rebounds for his third straight double-double, the last two coming with Josh Scott in street clothes because of an ankle injury.

Andrews and Marquese Chriss had 18 each for the Huskies.

Colorado led by 12 at the half but the Huskies came back to close within one, 48-47, five minutes into the half. The Buffs, though, put together a 24-10 run to go back up by 15 with 7:37 to go, then held off another Washington rally down the stretch.

Continue reading story here

– Game Notes …

– Colorado picked up its 19th win of the regular season, tying for the fifth most in team history. The Buffaloes have won at least 19 games during regular season play nine times, five under head coach Tad Boyle.

– Today’s game attendance was 9,476

– Colorado is a perfect 14-0 when leading at halftime this season. Colorado improved to 17-2 when the Buffs shoot 20+ free-throws

– Eight offensive rebounds led to nine of the Colorado’s first 17 points to start the afternoon.

– This was the 7th time this season Colorado has led by 10+ points at the half

Colorado was active on the glass in the first half, outrebounding Washington 33 to 18. This sets a team record for most rebounds in a half of conference play (previously held vs Iowa state on March 5, 1970 with a total of 32) The Buffs only had 36 rebounds all of last game against Washington State

– Bench production from Colorado got them off to a great start, 22 first half points compared to the Huskies six. The game ended with a 33 to 11 edge.

– CU did however have eight turnovers in the first half (8 total the previous game against Washington State)

– Total of 20 offensive rebounds, eight coming from Wesley Gordon

Up next for Colorado … at No. 23 USC, Wednesday, February 17th, 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU ….

—–

February 12th

CU in the Arena

Getting to Know: Washington Huskies

Game … Saturday, noon, MT … Pac-12 Networks … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 137

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “The key against Washington is you have to guard and you have to keep them off the boards,” Boyle said. “You’ve got to box them out because you cannot give them second-chance opportunities, and you have to take care of the ball. They’re a very athletic team, very active. You turn it over and it turns into dunks pretty quick.”

Josh Scott and Tre’Shaun Fletcher are still listed officially as “day-to-day” for the Washington game …

– “Up next for UW’s men’s basketball: Colorado” … from the Seattle Times

– “Buffs Set For Noon Tipoff With Huskies” … from cubuffs.com

Huskies’ 2014-15 Record: 16-15, 5-13 in Pac-12 play. The 2014-15 season started out well for Washington, with the Huskies opening with an 11-0 non-conference record. A home loss to Stony Brook, however, 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: 15-9, 7-5 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, hit its stride early on in Pac-12 play. Washington opened conference action 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 was followed by a split in Arizona, giving Washington a 4-1 conference record.

A 95-83 win over Colorado, a game which was never as close as the final score indicated, put the Huskies on top of the Pac-12 with a 5-1 mark. Since then, however, Washington has gone 2-4 in Pac-12 play, including a pair of losses to Utah. On Wednesday, the Huskies fell in Salt Lake City, 90-82.

Series: This will be the 21st meeting between the two schools, with Washington holding an 11-9 advantage overall. The two teams split in 2014-15, both winning on the road. The Buffs are 6-2 against the Huskies in games played in Boulder.

Player to Watch: Senior guard Andrew Andrews is the Pac-12’s leading scorer at 20.6 points per game. He also ranks second in free throw percentage (.837), fifth in assists (4.7 apg.) and sixth in steals (1.5 spg.). In the 95-83 win over Colorado in January, Andrews scored 33 points – including 16-of-17 from the free throw line.

“Andrew Andrews is special,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said after the dominating performance last month. Point guard Dominque Collier added, “He’s really good, we knew he was good going into the game. He’s just a really good player.”

Colorado Notes … Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.732), 3-point percentage (.399), overall rebounding (42.5 rpg) and defensive rebounds (29.4 drpg) while ranking second in rebounding margin (+9.0) and third in offensive rebounds (13.1 orpg) and 3-pointers made (7.7 3mpg).

 

 

—–

February 11th – Boulder           Colorado 88, Washington State 81 – 2OT

Quotable Tad Boyle … “That was a big time win for us, and we needed it.  We showed great toughness through the overtimes.  We didn’t play our best game.  But I think it’s a testament about how good this league is.  You’ve got a guy like Que Johnson who hasn’t done a whole lot, comes in and scores 25.  It was a good win, and we’ll take it.  We’re not real happy with the way we played, and I thought our defensive rebounding let us down.  But we made just enough shots and we toughed it out.”

On playing without Josh Scott … ““What everyone needed to do was get one or two extra rebounds for us.  We got out rebounded tonight, and that’s not acceptable.  We didn’t guard well tonight, they came into our building and shot 50 percent, and that’s also not acceptable.  What this team needs to do is get better at what they’re capable of doing.  We’ve got to be more consistent and I think that gets back to concentration and execution.”

Here is a link to the video of George King’s three-pointer sending the game into double overtime …

– “George King buzzer-beater saves Buffs against Washington State” … from the Daily Camera

– “Washington State men lose a heartbreaker to Colorado in double overtime” … from the Seattle Times

 

Game recap … from cubuffs.com:

George King hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime Thursday night and the Colorado Buffaloes outscored Washington State 10-3 in the second extra period to take an 88-81 win.

WSU came close to winning the game in the first overtime when Que Johnson hit one of two free throws with 10.5 seconds left to give the Cougars a 78-75 lead. King, though, dribbled down the floor and hit a fadeaway 3-pointer over the outstretched hands of Josh Hawkinson at the buzzer to send the game into a second overtime.

King finished with 21 points and nine rebounds while CU big man Wesley Gordon had a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double. Gordon scored four of his points in the second overtime before Xavier Talton clinched the win with four free throws down the stretch. Talton also had an assist on a Gordon bucket that gave the Buffs the lead for good, 82-80, with 2:05 to go

The Buffs secured the win without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Josh Scott, who missed the game because of a sprained ankle.

CU improved to 18-7 overall and 7-5 in Pac-12 play while the Cougars dropped to 9-15, 1-11.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

– This was the 10th meeting between Colorado and Washington State. The Buffs are 8-2 in the series and have won all five all-time meetings in Boulder, including a 90-58 decision on Jan. 24, 2015.

– Thursday night’s game was the Buffs’ first overtime game this season. The last overtime game Colorado played was also against Washington State, last season in Corvallis (a 96-91 WSU win).

– The Buffs are now 8-5 all-time in double overtime.

– Colorado has used six different starting lineups this season.

– Colorado is 13-0 when leading at the half.

– The 18 wins tie for the ninth most in regular season games, just three off the record of 21

– The Buffaloes improved from shooting 33.0 percent in the first half of the last three games to 48.3 percent against Washington State. On Thursday Colorado hit 10 of its first 15 shots.

– CU hit 77.5 percent from the line, bouncing back from hitting 54.8 percent in the two road games last week.

– Attendance at Coors Events Center was 7,330.

Up next … Washington – Saturday, noon

 

—–

February 10th

CU in the Arena …

Bubble Watch: Colorado

ESPN has posted its “Bubble Watch“, with a breakdown by conference, with teams listed either as “a lock” to make the tournament; “Teams that should be in”; and teams with “Work left to do”.

Only ten teams are currently listed as “locks” right now, with Oregon the only lock from the Pac-12.

In the “Teams that should be in”, only USC from the Pac-12 is on the verge of making the locked-in list.

Most of the rest of the Pac-12 – at least here in early February – fits into the “Work left to do”. ESPN lists Pac-12 teams, in order, as: Utah; Colorado; Arizona; Oregon State; California; Washington; and UCLA (only Washington State, Arizona State, and Stanford are not included).

What ESPN has to say about the Buffs:

Colorado [17-7 (6-5), RPI: 28, SOS: 44] As is custom, Colorado followed Utah on up to Oregon (this is starting to sound like a folk song) last weekend and, just like Utah, took back-to-back losses in Eugene and Corvallis. Not the worst thing ever, sure, but for a resume that’s merely solid, and whose best road wins are over Stanford and Auburn, taking at least one of two, even at Oregon State, would have been nice.

 

Getting to Know: Washington State Cougars

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

– “Neill Woelk: Buffs Must Find Consistency Down Stretch” … from cubuffs.com

– “Boyle’s Buffs Prepare For Pac-12 Stretch Run” … from cubuffs.com

– “CU men’s basketball: Tre’Shaun Fletcher hoping to build momentum” … from the Daily Camera

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Notable … Boyle said CU senior Josh Scott, who missed the second half of Saturday’s game vs. OSU with a sprained ankle, is “getting better every day.” Washington State’s big man, Josh Hawkinson, is also nursing a sprained ankle. Hawkinson missed WSU’s last game, a 67-55 loss to Arizona State. Scott and Hawkinson are both finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

Cougars’ 2014-15 Record: 13-18, 7-11 in Pac-12 play. 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: 9-14, 1-10 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 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 nine game losing streak – including a 75-70 home loss to Colorado – which Washington State carries into Boulder.

Series: This will be the tenth meeting between the two schools, with Colorado holding a 7-2 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.

Players to Watch: The Cougars have an inside presence in 6-10 junior Josh Hawkinson, who is averaging 15.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game (although, as noted, Hawkinson missed the Cougars’ last game with a sprained ankle). The other Washington State player having a good season is 6-2 junior guard Ike Iroegbu, who is averaging 14.9 points per game.

 

—–

February 9th

CU in the Arena …

Josh Scott wants to play Thursday against Washington State

– “Neill Woelk: Buffs Must Find Consistency Down Stretch” … from cubuffs.com

From cubuffs.com … CU big man Josh Scott, who missed the second half of the Oregon State game with an ankle injury, said Monday he planned to play Thursday vs. Washington State.

“In my mind, I’m playing Thursday,” Scott said. “I’ll see how my body is, but it’s not really a choice for me. It’s a big game for us.”

Scott, though, may be more optimistic than realistic. Boyle was more guarded in his assessment, calling Scott’s status “day to day. … It’s better than it was yesterday.”

Scott missed eight games of last season’s Pac-12 schedule with a back injury, but he’s been healthy all of this season — until now.

“It’s frustrating,” Scott said. “Obviously it being my senior year I don’t want to miss any games, especially after last year. But right now, it’s one of those things I want to get healthy for Thursday.”

—–

February 8th

CU in the Arena …

Ambush on the Oregon trail doesn’t hurt Buffs in CBS Bracketology … but Buffs do lose a spot at ESPN

Colorado lost two consecutive Pac-12 games for the first time this season, falling on the road to both Oregon State and Oregon. The losses, though, did not harm the Buffs in the eyes of Bracketologist Jerry Palm at CBS Sports. Colorado remains a No. 6 seed, the same as last week.

Here is the Pac-12 … from CBS Sports:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 2 – Oregon – up one spot from a week ago after sweeping Utah and Colorado

No. 5 – Utah – unchanged despite (like Colorado) losing to both Oregon State and Oregon on the road

No. 5 – USC – up one spot after defeating UCLA

No. 6 – Colorado

No. 6 – Arizona – up one spot after sweeping the Washington schools on the road

No. 9 – Washington – unchanged after defeating Arizona State and falling to Arizona at home

No. 9 – California – up two spots after defeating Stanford

No. 12 – Oregon State – jumps into the bracket after defeating both Utah and Colorado at home

UCLA – no longer listed. The Bruins were amongst the “First four out” last week, but lost to USC this past week

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Colorado as No. 9 seed, down from a No. 8 seed last week.

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon – same as last week

No. 5 – Arizona – up from a No. 6 seed last week

No. 5  – USC – up from a No. 6 seed last week

No. 7 – Utah – same as last week

No. 9 – Colorado

No. 10 – Washington – same as last week (one of the last four byes)

No. 11 – California – same as last week (one of the last four byes)

UCLA and Oregon State – No. 5 and No. 6 on the teams outside the bracket

 

 

—–

February 6th – at Corvallis           Oregon State 60, Colorado 56

Quotable … “The first half — that’s when we lost the game,” said CU head coach Tad Boyle, who watched his team drop to 17-7 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play. “You don’t turn the ball over 24 times and win.”

“Basketball’s a simple game,” said guard Xavier Talton, who earned his first start of the season. “We have to quit making it hard on ourselves.”

Game recap … from cubuffs.com

After a horrendous first half, the Colorado Buffaloes still gave themselves a chance to win Saturday.

But after rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit to take the lead late in the game, they couldn’t hold the edge and Oregon State claimed a 60-56 win.

The difference in the game was simple to deduce: the Buffs turned the ball over 24 times — 13 in the first half — and the Beavers were more than happy to convert those miscues into 21 points.

“The first half — that’s when we lost the game,” said CU head coach Tad Boyle, who watched his team drop to 17-7 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play. “You don’t turn the ball over 24 times and win.”

That the Buffs were even in the game down the stretch was a minor miracle, especially after losing senior Josh Scott to an ankle injury late in the first half. Throw in the fact that CU got just two points — total — from their two leading scorers (Scott and George King), and it made CU’s second-half comeback even harder to fathom.

But in the end, the comeback wasn’t enough to secure a win.

“Basketball’s a simple game,” said guard Xavier Talton, who earned his first start of the season. “We have to quit making it hard on ourselves.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

– Colorado’s lead in the series is trimmed to 12-6. The Beavers have won 5-of-7 all-time meetings in Corvallis. The loss drops the Buffaloes to 17-7, 6-5 in the Pac-12; their first two-game losing streak in conference games this year.

– Colorado won the battle of the boards 47-29, marking the 21st time in 24 games the Buffs have outrebounded their opponent (17-4 record in those games). Colorado’s plus-18 rebound margin is its highest in Pac-12 play this year and fourth-best overall. Colorado’s 18 offensive rebounds was a Pac-12 season high and tied for its overall season best.

– The Buffaloes have shot just 33.0 percent in the first half the last three games (30-of-91). Colorado’s 19 first half points was its lowest this season in the first 20 minutes and ties for the lowest half overall (19 at Stanford in the second half).

– Colorado lost for the first time this year when shooting  a better percentage from the field than its opponent (12-1).

– Colorado’s 24 turnovers were a season high and the team’s most since committing 24 at Kansas State on March 7, 2009.

– Colorado featured the starting lineup of Dominique Collier, Xavier Talton, George King, Wesley Gordon and Josh Scott for the first time this season. This is the fifth different starting lineup for the Buffs.

 

—–

February 5th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Oregon State Beavers

Game … Saturday, 6:30 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 81

… Reserve guard Thomas Akyazili missed Thursday’s Oregon game and remains questionable due to a leg injury …

Game Notes from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs Aim For Road Trip Split At Oregon State” … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs seek another road split at Oregon State” … from the Daily Camera

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.

Beavers’ 2015-16 record: 13-8, 4-6 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’ preseason schedule was 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. The Beavers have two other impressive conference wins – an 85-70 win over No. 21 USC, and Thursday night’s 71-69 win over Utah – on their resume.

In the January 13th matchup against CU in Boulder, Josh Scott (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Wesley Gordon (12 points, 14 rebounds) had double-doubles to lead the Buffs to a 71-54 win.

Series: This will be the 18th meeting between the two teams. Colorado has an 12-5 advantage overall, including a 6-3 advantage since joining the Pac-12. Oregon State does have a 4-2 record against the Buffs in games played in Corvallis.

CU Notes … Colorado leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.731), 3-point percentage (.407), overall rebounding (42.6 rpg) and defensive rebounds (29.5 drpg) while ranking second in rebounding margin (+9.1) and 3-pointers made (7.9 3mpg) and third in offensive rebounds (13.0 orpg).

Players to Watch … Senior guard Gary Payton II leads Oregon State in nearly every major statistical category, averaging 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He ranks in the Top 10 in the Pac-12 in all four of those categories and paces all league players in steals. Freshman forward Tres Tinkle is Oregon State’s second-leading scorer at 12.0 points while grabbing 5.2 rebounds per contest.

 

Josh Scott one of the ten finalists for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award

CU Press Release:

BOULDER –University of Colorado senior Josh Scott has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Scott made the group of finalists, pared down from 20 on the initial preseason watch list. The award is named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played for John Wooden at UCLA from 1966-69.

Scott leads Colorado at 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. He is second on the team in blocked shots (43) and third in assists (46). Scott has 11 double-doubles, tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference, and has scored in double figures in all 23 games.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Scott is currently third in both scoring and rebounding, fourth in blocked shots and seventh in field goal percentage. He joins fellow Kareem Abdul-Jabbar finalists Josh Hawkinson of Washington State and Jakob Poeltl as the only three players in the Pac-12 to rank in the top 10 in those four categories.

In March, five players will be presented to Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles on Friday, April 8, 2016.

For more information on the award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.

2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalists

Josh Scott, Colorado
Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga
Zach Auguste, Notre Dame
AJ Hammons, Purdue
Jakob Poeltl, Utah
Ben Bentil, Providence
Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
Joel Bolomboy, Weber State

 

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February 4th – at Eugene           No. 16 Oregon 76, Colorado 56

… Well, at least the Buffs led 2-0 …

Quotable Tad Boyle … “Tonight was the biggest game we’ve had all year and we laid an egg,” Boyle said. “That’s disappointing. … We were not good enough tonight on a big stage, the biggest game of the year. For that, we’ve got to live with ourselves.”

… “They had 33 points in those two categories (turnovers and second-chance points),” Boyle said. “Thirty-three and we lose by 20. Those are things we can control. We can box out. We can take care of the ball. But we get four points off their turnovers and they get 21 off ours, it’s the ballgame.”

Game recap from cubuffs.com … This time around, the Colorado Buffaloes dug a hole from which they couldn’t extricate themselves.

Matched against 16th-ranked Oregon, the Buffs needed a near-perfect game Thursday night to produce a win on the Ducks’ home court. Instead, they endured a poor-shooting first half, compounded their woes with a host of turnovers and came out on the short end of a long night, 76-56.

Thus, instead of heading off to Oregon State with a share of the Pac-12 lead, the Buffs left Matthew Knight Arena with a 17-6 record, 6-4 in the Pac-12.  The Ducks, meanwhile, improved to 19-4 and 8-2 to maintain their conference lead.

Josh Scott finished with 17 points for the Buffs, George King added 16 and Tory Miller scored 10 — but the rest of the Buffs combined for just 13 points. CU shot just 33.8 percent from the field (22 for 65) while finishing with 14 turnovers, which the Ducks converted into 21 points.

After trailing by 19 at the half, CU managed to narrow the gap to 10 midway through the half, but the Ducks answered with a 7-0 run and the Buffs never seriously threatened again.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

– Colorado’s series lead over Oregon is narrowed to 9-6 with the teams splitting the season series (Colorado won in Boulder, 91-87 on Jan. 17). The Ducks have won 5-of-7 all-time meetings in Eugene.

– Colorado entered the game as the Pac-12’s best free throw and 3-point shooting team and had sub-par nights in both categories. The Buffaloes shot a season-low 42.9 percent from the foul line (6-of-14) and 30 percent from 3-point range (6-of-20).

– Colorado won the battle of the boards 42-38, marking the 20th time in 23 games the Buffs have outrebounded their opponent (17-3 record in those games).

The Buffaloes have shot just 33.8 percent in the first half the last two games (22-of-65).

 

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February 3rd

CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Oregon Ducks

Game … Thursday, 7:00 p.m., MT … Fox Sports 1 … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 134 … XM channel 197

Quotable Tad Boyle: “You have to take them out of transition as best you can. If you take bad shots and if you turn the ball over, it fuels their fire. it’s like throwing gasoline on the thing because they’re so good in transition. If we score, they’re still going to get it out quick and run it, so we’ve got to sprint back even after makes, but that slows them down a little bit. They’re a terrific basketball team.”

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Boyle’s Buffs Have Answered Preseason Questions” … from cubuffs.com

– “Colorado-Oregon Preview” … from ESPN

– “Oregon basketball looks to extend Pac-12 lead against Buffs” … from the Eugene Register-Guard

– “Backups providing big punch for Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

– “At Pac-12 Halfway Mark, Buffs Boast Strong NCAA Resume´” … 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: 18-4, 7-2 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. Since then, the only loss Oregon has suffered was a 91-87 loss to Colorado on January 17th.

Buffs Hold Off Oregon, 91-87, For Key Pac-12 Win” … from cubuffs.com

Series: This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and Oregon. The Buffs hold an 9-5 advantage against the Ducks, including a 6-0 record against Oregon at home. Colorado has won 6-of-9 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Oregon has won 4-of-6 all-time meetings in Eugene, including a 73-60 decision on Feb. 18, 2015.

Players to Watch: Dillon Brooks – the reigning National Player-of-the-Week – leads Oregon at 16.6 points per game while ranking second in both rebounds (6.2 rpg) and assists (3.0 apg). Freshman guard Tyler Dorsey averages 13.5 points and leads the Ducks in both 3-pointers made (37) and 3-point percentage (.435), the latter ranking seventh in the Pac-12. Senior forward Elgin Cook averages 13.5 points and tops Oregon with 32 steals. Senior forward Chris Boucher is the nation’s top shot-blocker (3.7 bpg) and leads Oregon in rebounding (7.8 rpg) while scoring 12.8 points an outing.

 

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February 1st

… CU in the Arena …

CU getting the love from the Bracketologists … but not from the pollsters

With a sweep of the Bay Area schools this past weekend, Colorado continues to move its way up in the eyes of the Bracketologists.

At CBS Sports, Jerry Palm has moved up to a No. 6 seed, up from a No. 8 seed a week ago.

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon

No. 5 – Utah

No. 6 – Colorado

No. 6 – USC

No. 7 – Arizona

No. 9 – Washington

No. 11 – California

First Four Out: UCLA

At ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Colorado as No. 8 seed, up from a No. 10 seed last week.

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 3 – Oregon

No. 6 – Arizona

No. 6  – USC

No. 7 – Utah

No. 8 – Colorado

No. 10 – Washington

No. 11 – California

No. 12 – UCLA

Meanwhile … no love for the Buffs in the polls

Colorado did not receive any votes in either the Associated Press poll or the USA Today coaches poll.

The only teams ranked from the Pac-12 are Oregon (16 in AP/17 in coaches) and Arizona (23/20).

Utah, which has the identical record of Colorado (but a win over the Buffs), is close to being ranked, in at No. 28 in both polls. USC, which as the identical record of Colorado, is in at No. 27 in the AP poll; No. 31 in the coaches poll.

California, which lost to Colorado Sunday, has three votes in the coaches poll, while Washington, which has a 14-7 record (CU is 17-5), received one vote.

 

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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 … Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Fox Sports 1 …

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9 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – February, 2016”

  1. I would say, Colorado held Colorado scoreless in the final 3:30. Must have decided Josh Scott didn’t need to touch the ball in the lane at that point. Great win, but horrible offensive possessions during that span of the game.

  2. Why is it that when these Buffs play the Bruins they always seem to think they are time warped back to the time when UCLA was the most dominant college team in any major sport? UCLA is horrible this year, and most of the teams in the conference have been smoking them regularly. But the Buffs show up like it’s somewhere between 1964 and 1975, and the Bruins are on their way to another national championship. UCLA will not make it to the Dance this year, and the way the Buffs looked they certainly don’t deserve to go either.

    Of course, who deserves to go is a complete joke this year. Texas has lost NINE games this year and they are ranked, and got DESTROYED at home. Every other conference besides the Pac-12 just puts every team in their conference on the coaches ballot. Maybe the Pac-12 can UCLA ranked now that they have finally won a conference game. 12 losses? No big deal! After all, they did beat Colorado, right?

    Until the Buffs start recruiting top tier players, it’s not going to get much better. Boyle is a great coach, but at the collegiate level you gotta recruit too. And until CU students start showing up again to support their team, it’s not going to get better either. The best players want to play in front of rowdy and rocking full houses, especially at home. The Events Center is not very big as it is, and to play in front of all those empty seats is not very enticing to high school players who have their choice of places to play.

    I fear the last remnants of hope for the Buffs died on the hallowed hardwood of Pauley Pavilion. Arizona is champing at the bit to get these Buffs on the floor. And Utah can’t wait to host this team.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

  3. I agree the USC loss is on the coaches. This team needs to learn how to finish. Quit playing not to lose and play to win. Develop a killer instinct and put teams away……SMU, Utah and USC all games they had leads late and should have won.

  4. I am not so concerned about being voted into the top 25. When we get to the tournament then we need to kick some butt to show the naysayers how wrong they were.

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