Colorado Basketball – March/April, 2016

April 6th

… CU in the Arena …

Year-end basketball awards presented

Here is a link  to a video of the highlights from the 2015-16 season (it’s worth checking out) …

From cubuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team celebrated the 2015-16 season at its annual Awards Banquet Tuesday night at the George Boedecker, Jr., Practice Gym at the Coors Events Center.

Senior forward Josh Scott earned his third straight Chauncey Billups Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player. The Chauncey Billups MVP Award is one of four voted on by Colorado men’s basketball student-athletes. Sophomore wing George King won the Most Improved Player Award, junior forward Wesley Gordon was awarded as the team’s Best Defender and senior guard Xavier Talton was voted Most Inspirational.

In addition, two statistical champion awards were handed out. Scott won the Stephane Pelle Rebounding Award while sophomore guard Dominique Collier earned the Jay Humphries Assist Award.

Scott, a 2016 All-Pac-12 First Team selection, led Buffaloes at 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds while hitting 53 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. He was one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given to the nation’s top big man.

On the Pac-12 charts Scott ranked fourth in double-doubles (13), fifth in scoring, rebounding, blocks (1.6 bpg) and defensive rebounds (6.1 drpg), seventh in offensive rebounds (2.7 orpg), 12th in field goal percentage and 14th in free throw percentage. Scott was a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week as a senior and a second team All-District pick.

… Head coach Tad Boyle took time to recognize Colorado’s senior class of Scott, Talton, Eli Stalzer and Brett Brady. The 2016 senior class won 82 games, the third best mark in team history. The quartet had three 20-win seasons and participated in four postseason events including three NCAA Tournaments.

Colorado finished the 2015-16 season at 22-12 overall and placed fifth in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-8. The Buffaloes advanced to their 14th NCAA Tournament and fourth in the past five seasons. Colorado won at least 20 games for the ninth time in team history, and fifth in the past six seasons.

—–

April 5th

… CU in the Arena …

Colorado finding its way into “way-too-early” Top 25 rankings

At least two “way-too-early” projections for the 2016-17 men’s basketball rankings have Colorado in the mix.

Jon Wilner at San Jose Mercury News has CU in at No. 22:

22. Colorado: Despite the departure of Josh Scott, the Buffs and George King should contend for top-tier finish in the Pac-12. (Sleeper #1.)

Wilner also has Oregon at No. 9; Arizona at No. 13; and UCLA at No. 19 (December opponent Xavier is No. 6)

Jon Rothstein at CBS Sports has Colorado as the No. 24 team in the nation.

Others … No. 4 Xavier; No. 8 Oregon; No. 9 UCLA; No. 10 Arizona; No. 14 USC

Another CBS Sports columnist, Gary Parrish, doesn’t list CU in his Top 25.

Others … No. 5 Xavier; No. 8 Oregon; No. 9 Arizona; No. 11 UCLA; No. 14 USC.

ESPN didn’t find a place for CU either, in its “way-too-early” Top 25 for 2016-17.

Others … No. 10 Oregon; No. 11 Xavier; No. 12 Arizona; No. 24 UCLA.

 

——

April 4th

… CU in the Arena …

Reports: CU in the running for transfer Jimmy Whitt

From the Daily Camera … Assuming Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle lands the post player that remains the only possible missing ingredient in the 2016-17 rotation, the second open scholarship afforded by the recent transfers of Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic is the gambler’s equivalent of free money.

Reports are surfacing that Boyle is toying with the idea of adding depth now for future use.

According to reports by Rivals.com and CBSSports.com, CU is emerging as a possible landing spot for Jimmy Whitt, who announced last week he is leaving Arkansas after just one season.

Regarded as a four-star recruit out of high school, Whitt appeared in all 32 games for Arkansas this season, making 10 starts while averaging 17.2 minutes and 6.1 points. The 6-foot-4 guard was recruited by CU out of Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., and was a club teammate of current Buffs Dom Collier and Tory Miller.

Whitt’s high school profile from ESPN:

Strengths:
Whitt is a combination guard who is very productive at the point guard position as well. He can knock down the open three and makes plays off the bounce. He can get to the rim where he is a crafty finisher. When at the point he does a nice job coming off on ball screens where he displayed the ability to hit the screener on the roll or pop. Whitt is an excellent open court passer and does an excellent job defending the ball. Whitt simply is a very complete guard that can help his team in a variety of ways.

Weaknesses:
Whitt will need to add strength and work to be a consistent high level performer something that he is more than capable of doing.

Bottom Line:
Whitt is a talented combination guard that can make scoring plays and get others involved whether he is playing on or off the ball. He is a good defender and has a great feel for the game. Whitt is a high major guard with terrific upside.

 

George King looking to build on “Comeback Player of the Year” season

From the Daily Camera … He unquestionably was the most pleasant surprise of the 2015-16 season for the Colorado men’s basketball team.

And the good news for the Buffs and their fans is that George King still has plenty of untapped potential he can mine and develop over the next two seasons.

A breakout star who was voted the Pac-12 Conference’s Most Improved Player by the league coaches, King recognizes the improvements he already has made while understanding the ceiling on his talents remains much higher.

“Obviously, I’m a versatile player and I need to show I’m a versatile player,” King said. “I need to rebound more. I shouldn’t average four rebounds a game, I should average more than that. I know I’m a decent scorer, and I know teams know that, so I think I can be a threat attacking and making the extra pass.”

Continue reading story here

 

—–

April 1st

CU in the Arena …

Bill Grier officially introduced as an assistant basketball coach

From cubuffs.com Bill Grier has been named an assistant coach for the University of Colorado men’s basketball team, head coach Tad Boyle announced on Friday.

Grier replaces Rodney Billups, who left Colorado after six seasons last month to become the head coach at Denver.

“It’s a great opportunity to work for, and with Tad,” Grier said. “I’ve watched what he’s done as a head coach, at Northern Colorado and now at Colorado. It’s very impressive what he’s done, and he does it the right way. Tad has really raised the level of the program and I look forward to the opportunity to help him continue to build it. And for me, to learn from him and his staff, a terrific staff, I’m excited to be part of the program to help it continue to grow.”

The addition of Grier gives Colorado an extra asset in West Coast recruiting. An Oregon native, Grier enters his 25th season as a collegiate head coach, with 23 years spent in Washington and Southern California.

Bill Grier

“We’re fortunate to be able to add a guy like Bill Grier to our coaching staff because he brings a wealth of experience,” Boyle said. “Most importantly he has recruiting contacts on the west coast, and internationally. He’s one of those guys that I knew if I ever had an opening on our staff, he was a guy that I wanted to go after…we’re lucky to have him.”

Grier won 117 games in eight seasons as the head coach at San Diego (2007-15) and played an integral role in Gonzaga’s rise to prominence in 15 years as an assistant with the Bulldogs (1992-2007). Most recently, Grier spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State.

—–

March 31st

… CU in the Arena …

CU heading to Brooklyn Thanksgiving week for the “Legends Classic”

CU press release … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team will join Texas, Notre Dame and Northwestern in the 2016 Legends Classic, Nov. 21-22, 2016, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The four teams in the “Championship Rounds” will each host a pair of regional round games on campus before facing off in Brooklyn, similar to the format Colorado played in this past season with the Las Vegas Classic. All four games at the Barclays Center will be televised on one of the ESPN networks.

Eastern Washington, Bryant, Louisiana Monroe and Seattle are the other four teams in the field. The complete schedule for the Legends Classic will be announced at a later date.

Texas was 20-13 overall in 2015-16 and finished fourth in the Big 12 Conference with a record of 11-7. The Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Tournament, dropping a first round game to Northern Iowa, 75-72, in Oklahoma City. Colorado is 9-14 against its former Big 12 rivals, last playing on Feb. 26, 2011, a 91-89 Buffaloes’ win in Boulder.

Notre Dame was 24-12 overall in 2015-16 and fifth in the ACC at 11-7. The Fighting Irish were the No. 6 seed in the East Region and made it all the way to the Elite Eight before falling to ACC Rival and No. 1 seed North Carolina, 88-74, in the final. The Buffaloes and Fighting Irish have never played on the hardwood.

Northwestern finished the 2015-16 campaign at 20-12 overall, placing ninth in the Big Ten at 8-10. Colorado holds a 6-3 all-time series lead over the Wildcats. The two teams last met in a home-and-home series in 2003 and 2004. The Buffaloes won a 67-56 decision on Nov. 21, 2003 in Evanston, Ill., and also took the game in Boulder, 66-57, on Nov. 28, 2004.

Tickets for the Championship Rounds at the Barclays Center will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, April 2, at 10 a.m. MDT, and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

 

Tre’Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic to transfer

From cubuffs.comTre’Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic will not return to the University of Colorado men’s basketball team for the 2016-17 season, head coach Tad Boyle announced Wednesday.

Both are in good standing with the university and the Colorado coaching staff, but have opted to transfer out of the program.

“After meeting with Kenan and Tre’Shaun individually, both felt they would be best served by finishing their collegiate careers elsewhere,” Boyle said. “We wish them nothing but the best moving forward in their careers.”

Fletcher, a 6-foot, 7-inch guard/forward, averaged 7.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 2015-16. He was fourth on the team with 35 3-point field goals as a junior and hit 83 percent from the free throw line. A native of Wilmar, Ark., Fletcher averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 88 career games.

Guzonjic, a 6-8 forward, played in 13 games as a first-year Buffalo, averaging just over four minutes an outing. Eight of his appearances came during the nonconference schedule, including an eight-point, five-rebound game against Hampton. A native of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guzonjic spent his first collegiate season at Midland Junior College in Texas.

Colorado finished the 2015-16 season at 22-12 overall and placed fifth in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-8. The Buffaloes advanced to their 14th NCAA Tournament and fourth in the past five seasons.

 

—–

March 29th

… CU in the Arena …

Details on the 2016-17 schedule released

From cubuffs.com … While the official schedule hasn’t been released, Boyle said next year’s schedule is complete and simply awaiting some contracts to be signed. It includes a two-game appearance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in late November that will also feature Notre Dame, Texas and Northwestern; as well as road games at BYU, Air Force and Portland and a home game vs. Colorado State, with other non-conference home games to be announced.

Update … CU will play a home-and-home with Xavier, with the Musketeers coming to Boulder this December, and the Buffs traveling to Cincinnati during the 2017-18 season.

The Pac-12 schedule, meanwhile, will include home games with UCLA and USC, road games at Arizona and Arizona State, and home-and-home games with the remaining seven conference schools.

Tad Boyle confirms that Xavier Johnson will return for 2016-17 season

From cubuffs.com … At his season-ending press conference, Tad Boyle confirmed Xavier Johnson will definitely be back next season: “XJ and I talked yesterday. I think he is excited about next year. He has both feet in. He is going to be a big part of next year’s team. We know he is a proven guy at the Pac-12 level. We know he can score, rebound. He is still in process of rounding back in shape. He is not 100 percent from the Achilles injury but he says he feels he is 80-85 percent. He has to drop some weight and get back in shape. Hopefully in April we can get him 100 percent going into the off-season.”

 

Tad Boyle’s season-ending press conference

Full transcript can be found here.

The opening:

On Reviewing the Season
“That situation in Des Moines was very hard for this year’s team to accept. We went to the NCAA Tournament expecting to advance and we didn’t. So it has taken some time to adjust. Right now we are in the process of having year-end meetings. I had a couple yesterday; I will have a couple more today and throughout the week with our players; both the outgoing seniors as well as the players that are returning. This is the time of year where you do reflect back on the season but now it’s about each individual player, what they need to get better at, what they need to work on as we go into next year, along with how I can help our seniors as they go out. Having those frank, honest discussions with every member of our team in terms of where they stand as we go forward. From a team stand point, when the season ends it ends abruptly and it does that for everybody, but as I look at next year’s team I am excited. We lose four good seniors, two guys that played a lot —obviously our leading scorer and leading rebounder Josh Scott — but we had two really good seniors sitting out, Xavier Johnson and Derrick White. So, I think we’re going to be able to replace our production that our senior class gave us with those two guys as well as Bryce Peters and Deleon Brown, and whoever we end up signing late. What I don’t know and what the unknown is; is how we are going to replace that leadership? As we look to last year’s team and this year’s team and even next year’s team, you guys all know how important leadership is. So that’s going to be the challenge I have with next year’s five seniors.”

On Foundation of the Team Moving Forward
“Our staff has been here for six years, and our biggest challenge, if you remember six years ago when I was introduced as the coach at Colorado, I said our goal is to build sustained success here. Six years later we have been to post season play every single year. We have been to four NCAA Tournaments; we have been to the final four of the NIT. We’re on the brink of that sustained success; and we have lost some really good players since the time we have been here. We lost Alec Burks and Cory Higgins our first year. We lost Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault, Nate Tomlinson; Spencer Dinwiddie to the NBA, and Andre Roberson to the NBA. We have lost some really good players and now we are losing Josh Scott and we have been able to continue on. And that’s why I say, ‘it’s not about replacing the production’ because Josh Scott’s rebounds and Josh Scott’s points we will be able to replace those. It may not be by just one guy but it will be by a combination of guys stepping their game up and that’s the challenge to our players, ‘what are you guys going to do to get better and to produce more next year than you did this year.’ Whether it’s George King, Wesley Gordon or Dominque Collier, you name the guy. But we all have to step up. Obviously having a guy like Xavier Johnson sitting out, who’s a proven player, Derrick White who’s a very talented guy; the production we will replace, the leadership that Josh Scott gave his team this year is the biggest concern I have as we move forward. How are we going to replace that? Who are the guys that are going to step into that role? We are going to figure that out in the next six to seven months. That’s the answer we have to have. I think we have sustained success, we want to continue to sustain success and we want to move forward and not only get into the NCAA Tournament bid, we want to get to the point where we are playing for an NCAA Tournament seed. I look at this year’s team and I look at the Utah game at home, the Utah game on the road, the USC game on the road — all of those missed opportunities. If we take care of business, instead of being an eight seed, maybe we’re a six seed, maybe we are a five seed and then maybe we are playing into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament and maybe beyond. That’s where this program, in terms of my vision, is going forward and I think next years’ team as all of the ingredients to be pretty special.”

On Possibility Of Attrition
“There very well could be. That’s why the discussions I’m having with our players are frank, honest, and I’m not holding back any punches. Every decision that I make as a head coach, especially starting in September and October through March, is strictly with our team’s best interests at heart. Sometimes our players have to make sacrifices during those months and I ask them to; to be team players and do what’s right for the program. Now that the season’s over with and I’m having these individual meetings it’s about what is best for that young man. They all came here, because they felt like this is a place for them to further their education and play college basketball. When it comes to playing time and where they fit in the program, I’m honest with them.  Where they are today isn’t necessarily where they’ll be tomorrow. They’re aware of the players around them; they’re smart kids. They have to make the decisions that are best for them. I’m going to support them in those decisions and I’m going to help them with those decisions. The ultimate decision will be with the young man. If a player ever leaves Colorado, he’s going to leave on his terms not on my terms. It’s very important that everybody knows that. Last year we lost Jaron Hopkins and Dustin Thomas. Those decisions those kids made to leave were their decisions. If we have attrition this year it’s because those players made those decisions not the coach making the decision for them. This time of year, you see it with every college team, men’s players or women’s players.”

The YouTube video of the press conference, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

—–

March 28th

CU in the Arena …

CU men’s basketball adds Bill Grier to coaching staff

From the Daily Camera … Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle is ready to add Bill Grier to his coaching staff.

Sources confirmed on Monday that Grier, most recently an assistant at Oklahoma State, will join CU’s staff. Grier takes the place of Rodney Billups, who left the Buffs following the NCAA Tournament to take the head coach position at the University of Denver.

Grier spent just one season at Oklahoma State and was let go alongside head coach Travis Ford after the 2015-16 season.

Prior to his season at OSU, Grier was a successful head coach at the University of San Diego, winning 117 games in eight seasons. That run was highlighted by a championship in the 2008 West Coast Conference tournament and a first-round win against fourth-seeded UConn in the NCAA Tournament. It remains the only NCAA tourney win in San Diego’s history.

Continue reading story here

 

—–

March 20th

… CU in the Arena …

Tad Boyle: “The future of Colorado basketball is bright”

From cubuffs.com … Thursday afternoon, with the wound from a 74-67 loss to Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament opener still painfully fresh, Colorado coach Tad Boyle wrapped up his postgame press conference with a simple promise.

“The future of Colorado basketball is bright,” Boyle said. “The future of Colorado basketball is in good hands in terms of the players we have in our program and the ones we have coming in. We will be back here.”

There’s no reason to think otherwise. While it did not produce the desired result, the Buffs nevertheless this season earned their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in the last five years. It’s an unprecedented stretch of success in program history and one that shows no signs of abating.

… Anyone who saw Wesley Gordon play when Scott was out with an ankle injury knows what Gordon is capable of producing. Gordon is a legitimate double-double threat on a nightly basis. Throw Tory Miller — a youngster who improved by leaps and bounds this year — into the mix and Colorado’s front line will be solid. Add Xavier Johnson to the equation and it has the potential to be among the Pac-12’s best.

On the wings, Colorado returns George King, Josh Fortune and Tre’Shaun Fletcher. At guard, Dominique Collier and Thomas Akyazili return. All were contributors this season; all should be better next year.

Then there’s Derrick White, the transfer from UCCS. White is a player with next-level potential on both ends of the floor. He can score, play defense and is an adept ball handler. White will likely step into the starting lineup immediately and be a significant factor from the outset.

And, CU has two incoming recruits — Deleon Brown and Bryce Peters — who Boyle has said more than once could come in and be impact players as true freshmen.

The cupboard is by no means bare. A team that was picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 this year and instead won 22 games, finished fifth in the conference and earned an NCAA berth, has the bulk of its lineup returning and two quality veterans to add to the mix.

Continue reading story here

Reinforcements

A look at the four newcomers set to join the CU men’s basketball team next season, from the Daily Camera.

Derrick White: After blossoming into a Division II All-American at UCCS, White opted to tackle the challenge of Division I basketball with his final year of eligibility. White practiced with the Buffs all season and is expected to make a significant impact at both ends of the floor next season.

Deleon Brown: A native of Michigan, Brown spent this past season at highly regarded Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. The left-hander averaged 11 points for Brewster and drew more than 30 charges on defense.

Bryce Peters: An explosive scorer with an impressive all-around game for Damien High in La Verne, Calif., Peters averaged 22 points, five rebounds, and four assists this year while shooting 49 percent from the field and 84 percent at the free throw line.

Dallas Walton: The 7-footer from Arvada West could be a candidate for a redshirt with his slight build and recent history of knee surgeries, but a CU team with only Wes Gordon and Tory Miller as proven commodities up front may not have that luxury. Walton averaged 16.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks for the Wildcats while hitting 59 percent of his shots

 

—–

March 18th

… CU in the Arena …

Post-mortem on CU’s loss to UConn – Josh Scott’s Legacy

– “CU Seniors End Careers With 3 NCAA Tourney Appearances” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Josh Scott … “I’m extremely proud of the teammates I’ve had, the experiences I’ve had,” said Scott, who capped his career with a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double, his 13th of the season and 36th of his career. “Been to three NCAA Tournaments, so I’m very proud of that. I came here to try to help this program be on the national radar and we made it to the NCAA Tournament. So I’m very proud.”

Quotable Xaver Talton … “It’s something we talked about (winning a game in the NCAA tournament), but just couldn’t finish,” Talton said. “We played well for a half (CU led by nine at intermission), but we just couldn’t finish. But we did play in three tournaments, and we left the program in good shape. They’ll be back next year, and it’s nice to know that we kind of set the stage for the success of this program.”

Quotable Tad Boyle  – on Josh Scott … “He’s grown in so many different ways, and that’s why you coach, is to see that transformation of these young men from freshman year to their senior year,” Boyle said. “He gives it everything he’s got. When a guy loves it that much and cares that much and has done so much to help the program and his teammates, Josh went through the locker room and gave every guy a hug. Not sure I’ve seen a senior do that. They were waiting for someone else to give them a hug, but he’s shown great leadership this year.”

– “CU men’s basketball: Josh Scott cements enduring legacy” … from the Daily Camera

– “The legacy of Josh Scott extends far beyond the basketball court ” … from BSN Denver

 

—–

March 17th – NCAA Tournament – Des Moines      No. 9 UConn 74, No. 8 Colorado 67

– “UConn rallies past Colorado behind Rodney Purvis’ big second half” … from ESPN

Quotable Tad Boyle … “It’s a bitter pill to swallow because we felt like we had this game in hand and we didn’t finish,” Boyle said. “It was a tale of two halves. Credit (the Huskies), they made their free throws and they made big threes when they had to make big threes.”

… “We knew the pressure was coming,” Boyle said. “”You have to attack the pressure and we didn’t attack the pressure. We wilted. We turned it over. We didn’t attack it and handle it like we needed to.”

Quotable Xavier Talton … “We just couldn’t come back all the way,” Talton said. “It’s disappointing. We didn’t want to go out like this. We couldn’t finish … we just couldn’t finish.”

Quotable Wesley Gordon … “They applied pressure on us and that really got us speeded up,” said junior Wesley Gordon. “We weren’t able to take care of the ball, and then it just went downhill from there. We couldn’t rebound. We couldn’t really do anything once they put the pressure on us.”

Game story from cubuffs.com … Once again, the Colorado Buffaloes couldn’t protect a second-half lead — but this time, the fatal flaw ended their season.

Colorado let a nine-point halftime lead slip away Thursday and UConn escaped with a  74-67 win in the NCAA South Region opener at Wells Fargo Arena.

The Buffs led 36-27 at the half, but the issues that plagued them in too many key stretches this year returned as a spate of early turnovers in the second half fueled the UConn comeback. The Huskies took their first lead of the game with 11:35 to go on a Sterling Gibbs 3-pointer, part of a 15-2 UConn run that produced a 57-48 lead with eight minutes to go.

The Huskies stretched the lead to as much 13, and while the Buffs made a late run and closed the gap to three in the final minute, they could never completely overcome the margin as the Huskies made eight free throws in the final minute.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

– Josh Scott leaves with his name scattered liberally throughout the CU record books, including in the top 10 in career scoring (8th), rebounding (3rd), field goals made (8th), free throws made (2nd), free throws attempted (4th), blocked shots (2nd), double-doubles (tied for 5th), games started (3rd) and games played (6th). He added one more record to his name Thursday when his 13 free throws made and 18 attempts broke CU’s NCAA Tournament single-game records.

– Colorado finished with 22 wins for the year, tied for its fourth‐most in its history:

24-12 – 2010-11 (3-1 NIT)

24-14 – 2011-12 (1-1 NCAA)

23-12 – 2013-14 (0-1 NCAA)

22-12 – 2015-16 (0-1 NCAA)

22-10 – 1996-97 (1-1 NCAA)

21- 7 – 1968-69 (1-1 NCAA)

21-12 – 2012-13 (0-1 NCAA)

Game recap … In 2014, the last time Colorado played in the NCAA tournament, they were a No. 9 seed, playing against No. 8 Pittsburgh. The halftime score of that game was Pitt 46, Colorado 18, with a final score of 77-48.

The Buffs were committed to changing their recent history in the Big Dance, and opened their game against No. 9 Connecticut playing well. Other than seeing Dominique Collier pick up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game (is it just me, or does Collier seem to roll out of bed each morning with two fouls already assessed?), the Buffs were solid in all facets of the game.

Colorado never trailed in the first half, slowly building up a 36-27 halftime advantage. Josh Scott, other than missing some free throws, was the story of the first twenty minutes, going into the break with 11 points and four rebounds.

The Buffs held their own through the first commercial break of the second half. At the 15:46 mark, the Buffs led, 42-33, with Wesley Gordon at the line to shoot two free throws. Rather than make the pair of bonus shots – which would have given Colorado an 11-point lead – Gordon missed both. After a pair of made free throws by the Huskies, Dominique Collier and Josh Fortune took turns turning the ball over in the front court. The result: a dunk and a three-point play for UConn. Just like that, it was 42-40.

After the Buffs restored some order, taking a 46-42 advantage, the Huskies went on another run. Three three-pointers in the span of three minutes were part of a 15-2 run to make it 57-48, UConn, with eight minutes remaining.

Three made free throws in four attempts (a rarity for the Buffs on the day) cut the lead to 57-51, with 7:22 still to play. The Huskies, though, responded with a 9-2 run of their own, pushing the lead to a game-high thirteen points, 66-53, with just over three minutes remaining.

The Buffs, though, were not quite done. A 10-0 run by Colorado over the next two minutes made it a game again. Free throws by Josh Scott (4), Xavier Talton and Dominique Collier and a jumper by Josh Fortune made it 63-60 with a minute to play.

UConn, the best free throw shooting team in the nation, proved it in the final minute. Eight consecutive free throws in the final 42 seconds sealed the Buffs’ 2015-16 fate.

Final score: No. 9 UConn 74, No. 8 Colorado 67

 

March 16th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Connecticut Huskies (updated)

Game … Thursday, 11: 30 a.m., MT … TNT (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson) … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 93; XM channel 203 … Watch online at NCAA.com

Game Notes … at cubuffs.com

– “George King’s breakout season sparks Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

– “To advance, the CU Buffs must contain UConn’s guards” … from BSN Denver

– “Buffalo Talk: Getting to know Colorado” … from the Daily Campus (UConn student newspaper)

– “Hamilton Has His Confidence Back; UConn Hopes For Another Historic March” … from the Hartford Courant

Colorado, a 3.5-point underdog despite the higher seed, features big men such as Josh Scott (6-10, 245 pounds), who averages 16.1 points and 8.7 rebounds, and Wesley Gordon, who blocked 66 shots. The Buffaloes outrebounded opponents by nearly nine a game.

“They start with, Scott down low,” Ollie said. “But he’s also a perimeter player, he’s so versatile. We’re going to have to do a great job of guarding him. [Guard Dominique] Collier is doing a great job running the team, and [George] King is an absolutely wonderful player. We’re going to have to rebound because that’s the one thing I know they do great.”

Colorado is turnover-prone, averaging nearly 14 a game, so that plays into UConn’s signature pressure defense, which could begin with Purvis hounding Collier. UConn is limiting opponents to 38.9 percent from the floor. Colorado, which plays mostly man-to-man defense, is holding opponents to 41.9 percent.

“They’re fourth in the country in shooting percentage defense,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “I think we’re a good defensive team, but we’re not fourth in the country. Before you can make shots, you’ve got to be able to get shots, and the way we have to get shots is to take care of the basketball.”

– “Neill Woelk: Five Keys For Buffs Vs. UConn In NCAA Opener” … from cubuffs.com

– “For Boyle’s Buffs, Next Step Is Tournament Wins” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “The good thing about this team and being an 8-9 game again is we’ve got a lot of guys that were playing against Pitt. Guys that were freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors. They understand what can happen if you’re not ready to play and we can draw on that experience. It wasn’t too long ago that we lived it. We don’t want to be in that situation again. We want to advance and play whoever awaits us that next game.”

– “Tad Boyle scripts quick Buffs turnaround” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “They understand how hard they have to practice and how hard they have to play every night. I look at the resiliency of this team. Pretty much every disappointment we’ve had, we’ve bounced back pretty quick. We just had a disappointment in the Pac-12 tournament against Arizona, and hopefully we can bounce back from that as well.”

– “Fortune’s Providence run adds to Buffs’ experience” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Xavier Talton … “We’re a veteran team and I think that because we’ve been there before we’ll be OK,” Talton said. “Any kind of experience in any kind of tournament I feel is really good for you. I think we’ve been battle-tested this year. We’ve been in some pretty tough games. And that’s what any game in the NCAA Tournament is supposed to be, so I think we’ll be OK.”

Drew Litton (from the Daily Camera):

Drew Litton - NCAA tournament

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tournament Notes on Buffs … from cubuffs.com … Colorado is making its 14th appearance in program history, and the fourth in the past five seasons … but also just the fifth since 1970. The Buffaloes are 10-15 all-time in the championship which includes two Final Fours (1942, 1955) and four Elite Eight’s (1942, 1955, 1962, 1963).

Colorado’s No. 8 seed matches its best since national seeding began in 1979. Prior to 1979, teams were seeded on a regional basis. The South Region is also the most common in that era for the Buffaloes marking the fourth time in six appearances.

1997 — No. 9 (South), beat Indiana, lost to North Carolina

2003 — No. 10 (East), lost to Michigan State

2012 — No. 11 (South), beat UNLV, lost to Baylor

2013 — No. 10 (South), lost to Illinois

2014 — No. 8 (East), lost to Pitt

Notes on Huskies … from cubuffs.com … The No. 9 seed Huskies bring the nation’s 12th-ranked scoring defense into the tournament, giving up just 63.1 points per game. The No. 8 Buffs, meanwhile, finished 147th in the nation in scoring defense, yielding an average of 70.7 points per game.

On the rebounding side, Colorado has the statistical edge. The Buffs finished eighth in the nation in rebounding margin, averaging 8.9 more rebounds than their opponents this year. The Huskies, meanwhile, were 108th in rebound margin at 2.3.

Kevin Ollie’s squad also has some NCAA Tournament-tested players. At least six players on the current roster were on the 2014 NCAA championship squad that knocked off Kentucky in the title game. The Huskies were a No. 7 seed that season.

“I think our style travels very, very well because we play defense,” Ollie said. “You play defense, and that allows us to win championships, and that’s what we hang our hats on. No matter where we’re at, we’re going to play defense, we’re going to give our offense an opportunity to step up.”

The Huskies have a balanced offense with four players averaging at least 12 points per game, led by Shonn Miller at 12.8 points per game and followed by Rodney Purvis with 12.5, Daniel Hamilton at 12.4 and Sterling Gibbs at 12.0. Hamilton, a 6-7 forward who had three straight double-doubles in the AAC tourney, also leads the team in rebounding with 12.4 boards per game.

The Huskies also shoot nearly 79 percent from the free throw line, and outscored opponents by more than 10 points per game this year.

Series: This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

 

—–

March 15th

… CU in the Arena …

Assistant coach Rodney Billups takes Denver University head coaching position

From cubuffs.com … The University of Denver made it official on Monday, announcing that CU assistant Rodney Billups had been hired as the Pioneers’ head coach. Billups played for the Pioneers and appeared at a Monday press conference at DU.

“Rodney is well-deserving,” Boyle said. “He’s worked hard. He’s a big reason for the success we’ve had here at Colorado the last six years. Anytime one of your assistants gets an opportunity to be a head coach, you take some pride in that. We wish him the best.”

Billups, though, will remain with the Buffs through the remainder of their season.

“That is a testament to the kind of person he is and the character he has,” Boyle said. “He’s not going to quit on these players. We’re excited for him, but we want to make a run and hopefully keep him on the staff for at least two or three more weeks. When it’s over with, he’ll be the DU head coach and we’ll wish him well and root for him.”

As for a replacement for Billups, Boyle said he’s like to have someone in place by the first or second week of April, as there are open recruiting periods then.

“I know what direction I want to go, it’s just we have to be able to execute the plan,” Boyle said. “If we could have someone on board first or second week of April, that would be ideal.”

 

Buffs getting ready for the Huskies

Stories

– “Buffs Return To Work, Begin Preparation For UConn” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We’re going to be ready,” Boyle said after Monday’s workout. “It wasn’t the best practice we’ve had, but the effort was good. It’s the middle of March, so I’m not sure their as in tune to practice as maybe I am … (but) we’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”

Quotable Josh Scott… “I’m not ready for Thursday to be my last game,” said CU senior Josh Scott, who will be participating in his third NCAA Tournament in his four years in Boulder. “I think of it as one of many to come.”

– “Defense never rests with Gordon on court” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Wesley Gordon … “”It’ll be felt, you know, because (UConn leading scorer Shonn Miller) is their best player, so I’m just going to make it really hard on him, for him to score,” Gordon said. “Hopefully, that makes him uncomfortable and it ruins their offensive flow so that we can get out and run.”

– “Similarities abound between Buffs, UConn” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I know that they’ve got very good players and they’re extremely talented,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “They have been inconsistent, like we have been inconsistent at times this year. They’re a team that can shoot the ball from three. They have some very dangerous 3-point shooters. Some really good guard play and they’ve got a shot-blocker inside (Amida Brimah) that really protects that rim.”

 

—–

March 14th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Connecticut Huskies

Game … Thursday, 11: 30 a.m., MT … TNT … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel TBA; XM channel TBA

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We know if we’re not ready to go, we’ll get rolled,” Boyle said. “We know UConn is a heck of a team. … The good thing about this team and being an 8-9 game again is we’ve got a lot of guys that were playing against Pitt. Guys that were freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors. They understand what can happen if you’re not ready to play and we can draw on that experience. It wasn’t too long ago that we lived it. We don’t want to be in that situation again. We want to advance and play whoever awaits us that next game.

“We’re to the point now where we’re not happy just to be in the tournament,” Boyle said. “Now we want to advance in the tournament. We want to make some noise. …. That’s what I want the message to be to our team.”

Huskies’ history … Connecticut has won the national championship four times … 1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014. UConn has more appearances in the Sweet Sixteen (17) than Colorado has all-time tournament appearances (14). When the Huskies won the title two seasons ago, they did it as a No. 7 seed.

Huskies’ 2015-16 record: 24-10, 11-7 in American Athletic Conference play. UConn went 9-3 in non-conference play, with wins over two tournament teams, Michigan and Texas. The three losses were all to teams which earned tournament bids: Maryland; Gonzaga; and Syracuse.

Once in AAC play, UConn had mixed results. The Huskies split with SMU – the one opponent the Buffs and Huskies have in common – with each team winning at home. UConn finished with an 11-7 AAC record, good enough for a No. 6 seed in the conference tournament.

According to the bracketologists, the game Friday against Cincinnati was tantamount to a play-in game between two bubble teams … and the teams played as if their tournament lives were at stake. UConn won an epic, four-overtime game, 104-97 (watch the highlights for the three-quarter court three-pointer by Jalen Adams which sent the game into a fourth overtime).

Spurred on by the huge win, UConn took out Temple in the semi-finals, 77-62, before handling Memphis, 72-58, to win the AAC championship and conference automatic bid.

Notes on Huskies … from cubuffs.com … The No. 9 seed Huskies bring the nation’s 12th-ranked scoring defense into the tournament, giving up just 63.1 points per game. The No. 8 Buffs, meanwhile, finished 147th in the nation in scoring defense, yielding an average of 70.7 points per game.

On the rebounding side, Colorado has the statistical edge. The Buffs finished eighth in the nation in rebounding margin, averaging 8.9 more rebounds than their opponents this year. The Huskies, meanwhile, were 108th in rebound margin at 2.3.

Kevin Ollie’s squad also has some NCAA Tournament-tested players. At least six players on the current roster were on the 2014 NCAA championship squad that knocked off Kentucky in the title game. The Huskies were a No. 7 seed that season.

“I think our style travels very, very well because we play defense,” Ollie said. “You play defense, and that allows us to win championships, and that’s what we hang our hats on. No matter where we’re at, we’re going to play defense, we’re going to give our offense an opportunity to step up.”

The Huskies have a balanced offense with four players averaging at least 12 points per game, led by Shonn Miller at 12.8 points per game and followed by Rodney Purvis with 12.5, Daniel Hamilton at 12.4 and Sterling Gibbs at 12.0. Hamilton, a 6-7 forward who had three straight double-doubles in the AAC tourney, also leads the team in rebounding with 12.4 boards per game.

The Huskies also shoot nearly 79 percent from the free throw line, and outscored opponents by more than 10 points per game this year.

Series: This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

 

—–

March 13th

… CU in the Arena …

CU a No. 8 seed, will play American Athletic Conference champion Connecticut

Tad Boyle talks with the media in his home after the NCAA Selection Show, courtesy of BuffStampede.com:

 

Since seeding began, Colorado has never been higher than a No. 8 seed. That held true this year, with the Buffs earning a No. 8 seed, pitted against Connecticut in a game to be played in Des Moines. Game Time: 11:30 a.m., MT, Thursday, TNT.

Colorado is in the South region, and, if the Buffs win on Thursday, they will earn a second round matchup against Kansas, the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament.

The Pac-12 received seven bids overall, and the argument could be made that Colorado, the No. 5 team in the regular season, was ranked the lowest. Oregon State, which finished below the Buffs in regular season standings, went from a bubble team to a No. 7 seed in just a few weeks. USC, which also finished below the Buffs in the regular season standings, was also a No. 8 seed. Depending on whether you seed Kansas or North Carolina as the No. 1 overall seed, CU was rated by the Selection Committee as either just above or just below the Trojans in the seeding.

Interested in going? Here is a link to the Iowa Events Center website, where the Thursday/Saturday NCAA games will be played.

If you want tickets, you should probably act quickly. The Thursday schedule in Des Moines: No. 8 Colorado v. No. 9 UConn, 11:30 a.m. (MT) … No. 1 Kansas v. No. 16 Austin Peay, 2:00 p.m. (MT) … No. 5 Indiana v. No. 12 Chattanooga, 5:10 p.m., (MT) … No. 4 Kentucky v. No. 13 Stony Brook, 7:40 p.m., (MT) … not sure about UConn, but Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky? Expect a sellout …

… No. 8 seeds have a 63-61 record all-time vs. No. 9 seeds …

 

CU and the NCAA tournament

The 2016 NCAA tournament marks the 14th appearance by the University of Colorado.

By the numbers:

– Colorado has an overall record of 10-15, with two appearances in the Final Four;

– Both seasons when the Buffs made it to the Final Four, they lost in the semi-finals to the eventual national champion (to the San Francisco Dons – and Bill Russell – in 1955; and to Stanford in 1942);

– In the 1955 tournament, the Buffs finished with a 3-1 record, beating Tulsa and Bradley to get to the Final Four, then beating Iowa in the consolation game (there was a third place game in the NCAA tournament until 1981). The 1955 season also represents the only time in school history in which Colorado has won more than one game in a tournament;

– Since seeding began in the tournament, the Buffs have been seeded 8th (once); 9th (once); 10th (twice); and 11th (twice);

– The most points Colorado has scored in an NCAA game? 97 (v. Texas A&M in 1969). The most points scored by a Buff in a single game? 32 by Cliff Meely (v. Colorado State, also in 1969).

 

Final Bracketology projections have CU easily in the field of 68

There will be some last minute adjustments before the NCAA Selection Committee announces the brackets for the 2016 NCAA tournament (most notably, whether Michigan State wins the Big Ten tournament and is awarded a No. 1 seed).

As for the Pac-12, the games are all in, with the final prognostications for the seven teams from the conference who are expected to make the field becoming solidified. At ESPN, Joe Lunardi can’t make up his mind about the Buffs, with Colorado going from a No. 9 seed to a No. 8 seed to a No. 7 seed and then back to a No. 8 seed … all while the Buffs were performing as expected (beating Washington State; losing to Arizona).’

CU’s current RPI ranking is No. 35 … which is a solid number. Should the Buffs not make the tournament, this ranking will be highlighted in years to come as “the highest Power Five conference RPI ranking for a school not making the tournament”. Not a distinction CU fans would like the school to have …

We’ll see this afternoon how close the experts got to getting it right …

Here is the Pac-12 … from CBS Sports:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 1 – Oregon – up one spot from a week ago

No. 3 – Utah – same as last week

No. 4 – Arizona – up one spot from a week ago

No. 5 – California – same as last week

No. 7 – Colorado – to play No. 10 seed Gonzaga (in Oklahoma City)

No. 8 – USC – same as last week

No. 10 – Oregon State – down a spot from a week ago

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, the Buffs are a No. 8 seed, playing Butler in St. Louis

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 2 – Oregon – same as a week ago

No. 3 – Utah – same as a week ago

No. 5 – California – same as a week ago

No. 5 – Arizona – same as a week ago

No. 8 – Colorado – same as a week ago

No. 9  – USC – up one spot from a week ago

No. 9 – Oregon State – up two spots from a week ago

 

—–

March 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Two days from Selection Sunday, Colorado considered to be a No. 7 seed

It’s been an interesting week for the Buffs on ESPN’s Bracketology page. According to Joe Lunardi’s reckoning, Colorado was a No. 8 seed on Monday, but dropped to a No. 9 seed on Tuesday. On Thursday, after defeating Washington State in the opening round of Pac-12 tournament, Colorado was up to a No. 8 seed again.

On Friday, after losing to Arizona in the quarterfinals, Colorado … moved up another spot to a No. 7 seed (and a possible rematch with Pittsburgh, which embarrassed the Buffs a few seasons ago in a first round game).

Over at CBS, bracketologist Jerry Palm also has Colorado as a No. 7 seed, pitting the Buffs against Temple.

One other thought, as Colorado seems to be waffling between being a No. 7 seed and a No. 8 or a No. 9 … the locations.

Locations where teams who will be seeded seventh will be sent: Providence, Rhode Island; St. Louis; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Spokane, Washington.

Locations where teams who will be seeded eighth or ninth will be sent: Des Moines; Oklahoma City; St. Louis; and Brooklyn.

 

—–

March 10th – Las Vegas – Pac-12 tournament           No. 4 Arizona 82, No. 5 Colorado 78

– “Buffs Rally Comes Up Short As CU Falls To Arizona” … from cubuffs.com

– “No. 15 Arizona holds on to beat Colorado 82-78 at Pac-12” … from ESPN

– “UA’s Miller Lauds CU Rebounding, Says Buffs In NCAA Tourney” … from cubuffs.com

Quotable Tad Boyle … “Yeah, obviously we’re extremely disappointed. We came here to win this tournament and felt like we were in a good place mentally and physically to do that, and we came up short tonight. It was a tale of two halves. I thought Arizona obviously outplayed us convincingly in the first half, and I thought that’s where we kind of lost the game, if you will.

But the one thing about our team is there is no give-up. They’ve got tremendous fight, tremendous resolve, and I’m really proud of the comeback that we staged to get ourselves back in the game”.

Quotable Sean Miller … “I’d like to congratulate Colorado on a terrific season. I know they’re going to be part of this year’s NCAA Tournament. Tad Boyle and his staff, to me, they’re some of college basketball’s best.

“They get the most out of their team,” Miller said of Boyle and his staff, “and they’re a hard team to defeat because of their effort level and togetherness and outstanding on the glass. They’re the best rebounding team in our conference.”

 

Game recap … A furious rally from a 21-point deficit got the Buffs close, but it was not enough, as No. 15 Arizona escaped with an 82-78 Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal victory over Colorado. The Buffs found themselves in a 13-2 hole early, and faced a deficit of 37-16 late in the first half before rallying in the second stanza.

Josh Scott had a double-double for the Buffs, going for 16 points and 13 rebounds. George King again led the Buffs, scoring 22 points. The only other Buff in double figures was Josh Fortune, who had ten points … on 4-of-15 shooting.

… Josh Scott matched his scoring total of six points from the Washington State contest in the first eight minutes of the game against No. 15 Arizona.

The bad news is by the time Scott posted his third basket, it was the entire offensive output for the Buffs. Colorado opened the game against Arizona hitting only three of its first fifteen shots, as the Wildcats raced to leads of 13-2 and 21-8. The Buffs didn’t get into double digits in points until the 6:09 mark of the first half, and faced a 37-20 deficit at the break.

Rather than folding, however, the Buffs continued to chip away at the Wildcat lead. Down 44-24 with 16 minutes remaining, the Buffs went on a modest 7-0 run, making it a game again. The Arizona lead was still at 15 points, at 61-46, at the under eight media timeout, but CU kept coming. A George King layup with six minutes to play made it a ten point game, cut down to seven after a three-point play from Josh Scott.

Down ten points, 71-61, with two minutes remaining, the Buffs made one last push. A pair of Josh Fortune three-pointers kept it interesting, with the second bringing Colorado back to within four, at 78-74, with 19 seconds remaining. A George King three-pointer cut the lead to two points, at 80-78 … but only two seconds remained. A quick foul and a pair of free throws from Gabe York ended the Buffs’ final threat.

Final score … No. 15 Arizona 82, Colorado 78

Game Notes …

– Colorado dominated the offensive glass, finishing with 25 offensive rebounds, a new season high. Before today, Arizona hadn’t allowed more than 18 offensive rebounds in one game. Colorado turned those 25 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points, which was 33% of its total points.

– The Buffs scored 58 second half points, the most allowed by the Wildcats in a half all season.

—–

Getting to Know: No. 15 Arizona Wildcats

Game … Wednesday, 3:40 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks… KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 106; XM channel 8197

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

– “Arizona eager for payback against Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I told the guys after the Utah game that it was the last road game they’d play,” Boyle said. “Tonight after the (Washington State) game, I told the I lied to them. We know there are going to be a lot of Arizona fans in the building. It may be a little bit more of a road-type feel for us, but if it is, we know how to handle that. We’ve just got to play for 40 minutes.”

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: 24-7, 12-6 in Pac-12 play. The preseason pick to win the Pac-12, the Wildcats finished with a No. 4 seeding in the Pac-12 tournament. Arizona lost at home to Oregon, but its other five losses – both L.A. schools, both mountain schools, and Cal – all came on the road.

Series: This will be the 26th meeting between the two schools. Surprisingly enough, Arizona’s lead in the series is only 13-12, with CU holding an 8-4 advantage in games played in Boulder. The Buffs ended a six-game winning streak by the Wildcats in the series with a 75-72 win in Boulder on February 24th.

Colorado Notes … “I always look forward to playing Arizona, but this is a completely new game,” Scott said. “They’re going to make adjustments, we’re going to make adjustments. It’s about being aggressive, figuring out how to attack them and rebounding. That’s always a focus for both of our teams. It’s about winning that battle, and then offensively making plays.”

 

—–

March 9th – Las Vegas – Pac-12 Tournament          No. 5 Colorado 80, No. 12 Washington State 56

– “Colorado rolls over Washington State 80-56 at Pac-12 tourney” … from ESPN

– “Buffs’ all-around effort too much for Washington State” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We came out with great intensity, and we really shared the ball well. We had 17 assists and ten turnovers, which when we do that we’re pretty hard to guard. The biggest challenge I issued to our guys yesterday and certainly today as we prepared for this game was to play 40 minutes of defense and not have any letups, because we’ve had some leads evaporate in the second half due to some defensive lapses, and we did that against Washington State both times we’ve played them before tonight”.

… “So great job. These guys played awful well. It was a great team victory. Lot of guys contributed, and I’m really proud of them. But now it’s no time to rejoice. It’s on to Arizona. We know what awaits us tomorrow”.

 

Game recap … from cubuffs.com … Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes might just be saving their best for the postseason.

The true test will come Thursday against Arizona.

But Wednesday, the Buffs were definitely at their best, running away with an 80-56 win over Washington State in their Pac-12 Tournament opener. The Buffs executed their offense with efficiency, took care of the ball, rebounded and played solid defense — and did it for 40 minutes.

Thursday, they’ll aim for the same type of effort when they meet fourth-seed Arizona in a 3:30 p.m. (MST) quarterfinal game at the MGM Garden Arena (Pac-12 Networks).

“The first game’s always the hardest in tournament play, and you never know if your guys are going to be ready,” Boyle said. “But we came out with great intensity. The biggest challenge I issued to our guys yesterday and certainly today as we prepared for this game was to play 40 minutes of defense and not have any letups, because we’ve had some leads evaporate in the second half.”

Indeed, in their two previous game against the Cougars, the Buffs saw second-half double-digit leads disappear, including a game in Boulder that saw CU escape with a win in double overtime.

The third meeting provided no such drama. The Buffs broke open a relatively tight game late in the first half, built a 19-point lead by intermission — the largest against any Pac-12 opponent this season for CU — and steadily added to the margin for most of the second half.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes …

– Colorado’s 22 wins is tied for fourth in school history (1996-97); the Buffs are 5-0 in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.

– Head coach Tad Boyle now has 11 of Colorado’s 22 total conference tournament victories (Big-8, Big-12, Pac-12).

– Josh Scott dished out five assists today, a career high. Scott had only six points today (third time this season he didn’t score double-digit points). His first made basket came at the 19:15 mark of the second half.

Up next … No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 4 Arizona … 3:30 p.m., MT, Thursday … Pac-12 Networks …

 

—–

March 8th

… CU in the Arena …

Getting to Know: Washington State Cougars

Game … Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … KDSP 760 radio … Sirius channel 106 … XM channel 197

– “Buffs’ King Earns Pac-12 ‘Most Improved’ Honor” … from cubuffs.com

– “Buffs hoping third time still a charm against WSU” … from the Daily Camera

– “Josh Hawkinson named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention” … from the Spokane Spokesman-Review

Game Notes … from cubuffs.com

Notable … Colorado enters its fifth Pac-12 Tournament holding an overall record of 8-3 in the championship. Colorado is the No. 5 seed for the third time in the last four seasons, which also represents the team’s highest seed. The Buffaloes have won at least one tournament game (advancing to the quarterfinal round) in each of its previous four appearances. Colorado is 3-0 as the higher seeded team.

Colorado is 43-62 in all-time postseason play a mark that includes a 21-38 record in conference tournaments. Tad Boyle owns nearly have of Colorado’s all-time conference tournament wins. He is 10-4 in conference tournament action, including a 2-1 record in CU’s final season in the Big 12.

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: 9-21, 1-17 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.

In Pac-12 play … not so much. Washington State beat No. 25 UCLA the first weekend of Pac-12 play in January, and hasn’t won since. The Cougars head to Las Vegas on a 16-game losing streak, including losses to Colorado in Pullman, 75-70, and in Boulder (in double overtime), 88-81, with George King being the offensive star for the Buffs in both games.

Series: This will be the eleventh meeting between the two schools, with Colorado holding a 8-2 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 six games between the two teams since CU joined the Pac-12, and both games this year.

Players to Watch: Junior forward Josh Hawkinson leads Washington State at 15.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field. He tops the Pac-12 in rebounds while ranking sixth in field goal percentage and 10th in scoring. Junior guard Ike Iroegbu averages 12.7 points and 3.6 assists per game. Junior guard Que Johnson averages 11.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

 

 

Is it hard to beat a team three times in a season? Not really …

As Colorado prepares to face Washington State for a third time, the old adage, “It’s hard to beat a team three times” is coming up?

But it is true?

Actually, no.

From CoachBobWalsh.com

According to STATS LLC., there have been 981 such matchups across Division I college basketball over the past 10 seasons. The teams entering the third game 2-0 are a combined 710-271 (.724 winning percentage) in the third meeting.

So over a 10-year period in college basketball including almost 1,000 games, the team that won the first 2 games won the third meeting 72% of the time.  So it clearly doesn’t follow that it is hard to beat a team 3 times.

In fact, it’s actually kind of easy.

 

ESPN Bubble Watch: CU now a “lock” for the NCAA tournament

Though filled with back-handed compliments, ESPN has finally conceded that Colorado is, even before the start of the Pac-12 tournament, a “lock” to get in. CU joins Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Cal in the lock category.

USC and Oregon State remain in the “work left to do” category. No. 6 seed Oregon State faces No. 11 Arizona State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, while No. 8 seed USC plays No. 9 seed UCLA.

The full “Bubble Watch” article can be found here.

Here’s what Eamonn Brennan had to say about your Buffs:

Colorado is a lock. We would feel even better about saying so were any of the following untrue: The Buffaloes’ RPI (30) is half its adjusted efficiency ranking (61). Their putrid offense and pretty good defense combined to average fewer points per trip (1.005) than its opponents (1.015) in Pac-12 play. They had a 14-point lead in the second half against Utah on Saturday but lost 57-55. Fortunately, the committee probably won’t care about much of that. What will they care about? Strong RPI and schedule numbers, wins over Oregon, Arizona and Cal, and 30 games with just two sub-top 50 losses, both of which (UCLA, Washington) came on the road. This is a good, old-fashioned, solid NCAA tournament resume. It’ll get Colorado in.

 

—–

March 7th

… CU in the Arena …

Comparing No. 5 seeds in Power Conference tournaments

Relevance? Little, if any. I was just curious …

– Pac-12 … Colorado … 21-10, 10-8 … CBS: No. 7 seed … ESPN: No. 8 seed … RPI No. 29

– Big 12 … Baylor … 21-10, 10-8 … CBS: No. 6 seed … ESPN: No. 6 seed … RPI No. 28

– Big Ten … Iowa … 21-9, 12-6 … CBS: No. 6 seed … ESPN: No. 5 seed … RPI No. 24

– ACC … Duke … 22-9, 11-7 … CBS: No. 3 seed … ESPN: No. 4 seed … RPI No. 18

– SEC … Vanderbilt … 19-12, 11-7 … CBS: No. 11 seed … ESPN: No. 9 seed … RPI No. 49

 

Josh Scott named first-team All-Pac-12 by the league … Scott and Wesley Gordon on All-Defensive Team

Press release from cubuffs.com … University of Colorado senior Josh Scott has been named to the 2016 All-Pac-12 Conference First Team the league office announced Monday.

In addition, Scott was named to the Pac-12’s All-Defensive team while frontcourt mate, junior Wesley Gordon, was given honorable mention to that squad.

Scott is one of 10 members of the All-Pac-12 First Team as voted on by league coaches. He also earned first team honors as a sophomore in 2013-14, making him one of two repeat recipients on this year’s squad, joining Oregon State’s Gary Payton II.

Scott is Colorado’s second two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, joining Andre Roberson who was named in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and ’13. Overall, Scott is the 13th Buffalo to earn multiple first team all-conference awards, dating back to the Big 7, Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences.

A 6-foot, 10-inch forward from Monument, Colo., Scott leads the Buffaloes at 16.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while hitting 54 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. He is one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given to the nation’s top big man.

A two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week in 2015-16, Scott ranks fourth in overall rebounding, defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg), double-doubles (11) and blocks (1.7 bpg), fifth in scoring, sixth in offensive rebounds (2.7 orpg), ninth in field goal percentage and 13th in free throw percentage on the league charts. He is one of only two players in the Pac-12 to rank in the league’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots.

Scott is Colorado’s fifth player to be named to a conference’s All-Defensive team, and first since Roberson took those same honors in 2012 and ’13. Gordon earns his second postseason Pac-12 recognition as he was an honorable mention to the 2014 All-Freshman team.

Gordon and Scott are two of the premier shot blockers in the Pac-12. Gordon ranks third in the Pac-12 at 2.1 per game with Scott in fourth at 1.7 a contest. The frontcourt duo has 115 of Colorado’s 158 blocked shots, a number that’s also better than 214 NCAA Division I teams as of March 6. Gordon’s 66 blocks are fifth most in a season at CU since 1977-78, while Scott’s 49 blocks are 10th in that same time frame.

Gordon, a 6-9 forward from Colorado Springs, is second on the team in overall rebounding at 7.6 per game, and led the Buffaloes during Pac-12 games at 8.3 per contest. Gordon’s 65 offensive rebounds led the Pac-12 in conference only games. On the overall Pac-12 charts, Gordon is third in blocks, fourth in offensive boards (3.0 orpg), eighth in overall rebounding, and 12th in defensive boards (4.6 drpg).

 

George King named Pac-12’s Most Improved Player

CU press release on George King

Press release from the Pac-12 … PAC-12 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: George King, COLORADO
KING is the second Colorado player to earn a major Pac-12 Conference award since the Buffaloes joined the league in 2011-12, along with 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year André Roberson. After averaging 1.5 points in 27 games as a freshman in 2013-14 and redshirting in 2014-15, the guard started 24 of Colorado’s 31 contests, averaged 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds and finished the Pac-12 regular season as the league leader in three-point percentage (.453). He helped the Buffaloes to 21 victories in the regular season, equaling the program mark also reached in 1996-97 and King’s rookie year of 2013-14.

Other Awards

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jakob Poeltl, UTAH

PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Jaylen Brown, CALIFORNIA

PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gary Payton II, OREGON STATE

PAC-12 JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR: Dana Altman, OREGON

PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Taylor, UTAH

 

Bracketology … Buffs remain a solid pick for the NCAA tournament despite loss to Utah

While a win on the road against the No. 13 team in the nation would have certainly helped CU’s seeding in the NCAA tournament, the loss to Utah (while painful) didn’t hurt the Buffs’ seeding … at least not yet.

According to the latest Bracketology, Colorado is in the same place it was last week. Jerry Palm at CBS Sports still has Colorado as a No. 7 seed, while Joe Lunardi at ESPN still has Colorado as a No. 8 seed.

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. 5 – Arizona – up one spot from last week

No. 5 – California – up one spot from last week

No. 7 – Colorado – to play No. 10 seed Syracuse (in St. Louis)

No. 8 – USC – same as last week

No. 9 – Oregon State – same as last week

 

Meanwhile, over at ESPN …

At ESPN, the Buffs are also playing Syracuse, but in an 8/9 game instead of a 7/10 game:

Pac-12 projected seedings:

No. 2 – Oregon – up one spot from last week

No. 3 – Utah – up one spot from last week

No. 5 – California – up one spot from last week

No. 5 – Arizona – down one spot from last week

No. 8 – Colorado – to play No. 9 seed St. Joseph’s (in Brooklyn)

No. 10  – USC – down two spots from last week

No. 11 – Oregon State – same as last week … one of the “Last Four In”

 

—–

March 6th

… CU in the Arena …

– “WSU to face Colorado in Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday” … from the Spokane Spokesman-Review

Washington State got just about the best opening matchup it could have hoped for. The Cougars will face the Colorado Buffaloes at 2:30 p.m. in Las Vegas.

… Initially, this would appear to be the most favorable matchup possible for the Cougars. Although the Buffaloes swept the Cougars in the regular season, both games were tightly contested. WSU likely would have beaten the Buffaloes in Pullman had it hit its free throws, and the Cougars only lost in Boulder because of a fade-away buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the game to double overtime (granted, Josh Scott, CU’s best player, missed that game).

– “Buffs attempt to regroup for Pac-12 tourney” … from the Daily Camera

“The challenge is that we have to have a short memory,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “This part of the season is over. The regular season is done. It’s behind us. There’s nothing we can do about it. There’s nothing we can do about the Utah loss at home. Nothing we can do about the loss at USC. Nothing we can do about the loss at Oregon State. There’s nothing we can do about the loss (at Utah).

“That’s four losses that really, conceivably, easily, could have been wins, if we handled it. This part of the season is over with, and now it’s about turning our attention to Las Vegas.”

– “Familiar shortcomings doom Buffs at Utah” … from the Daily Camera

“When you have an Achilles heel and you don’t take care of it, it’s going to come back to haunt you,” Boyle said. “Our two Achilles heels we’ve talked about all year are turnovers and free throw box outs. We talked about them back in November. And they both killed us tonight”.

 

—-

March 5th – Salt Lake City           No. 13 Utah 57, Colorado 55

Quotable Tad Boyle … “Very disappointing,” said CU coach Tad Boyle. “Free throw box outs and turnovers have been our Achilles heel. Until we figure that out, it’s going to continue to hurt us.”

… “We let it get away from us,” Boyle said. “We had this game won. It’s disappointing on a lot of fronts and I take responsibility. I’m the head coach. We’ve had two leads on the road and we haven’t handled it.”

Game recap from cubuffs.com … Saturday night proved to be deja vu of the worst possible kind for the Colorado Buffaloes.

For the second time in three weeks, the Buffs let a double-digit lead on the road slip away in the final eight minutes.

This time, it was a 14-point lead in Utah that melted into thin air. The Utes put together a 19-0 run immediately after a 16-0 Colorado run late in the second half, then held on to claim a 57-55 win in the regular season finale.

The 21-10 Buffs thus finish with a 10-8 Pac-12 record, good for the fifth seed in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament. They will open play Wednesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a 3:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) game against 12th seed Washington State. If they win Wednesday, they will play fourth-seeded Arizona on Thursday, also at 3:30 p.m.

Colorado swept the regular season series from Washington State, but neither game was easy. The Buffs won 75-70 in Pullman on Jan. 23, then took a heart-stopping 88-81 double overtime win in Boulder on Feb. 11.

Saturday’s game was starkly reminiscent of CU’s 79-72 loss at USC on Feb. 17. In that game, the Buffs saw a 15-point lead disappear in the final eight minutes.

The nightmare repeated itself at the sold-out Huntsman Center. Following a timeout after CU’s 16-0 run gave the Buffs a 45-41 lead with 8:10 to go, the Utes put together a 19-0 burst that gave them a 50-45 lead with 2:27 left.

Continue reading story here

Here is a link to the bracket for the Pac-12 tournament. CU plays Washington State at 3:40 p.m. (MT) on Wednesday. With a win, the Buffs will advance to play No. 4 seed Arizona at 3:40 p.m. (MT) on Thursday …

Game Notes …

– Colorado finishes the regular season at 21-10, 10-8 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes finish in sole possession of fifth place in the final league standings and will be the No. 5 seed at the 2016 Pac-12 Tournament, March 9-12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

– Colorado’s 21 regular season wins tie for the most in team history, matching the 1996-97 and 2013-14 teams.

– Colorado dropped its fifth straight road game and fell to 1-3 against ranked opponents in 2015-16.

– Utah narrows Colorado’s lead in the series to 26-19 and have won the last five and six of the last eight. The Utes take over the Pac-12 series lead (since 2011-12) at 6-5.

– Colorado shot a season-low 30.5 percent and matched a season low with 18 field goals made (also 18 against Penn State on Dec. 22). Utah’s 31.0 percent from the field and 18 field goals were both the second lowest by a CU opponent this season.

 

—–

March 4th

… CU in the Arena …

CU seeding possibilities

From cubuffs.com … With one game remaining in Pac-12 play, the Colorado Buffaloes could still end up anywhere from third to sixth in the final conference standings.

The Buffs play their regular season finale Saturday night at Utah (7:30 p.m., ESPNU). A third- or fourth-place finish would give Colorado a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, and the Buffs would open play Thursday. Fifth or sixth means the Buffs will play on Wednesday.

Here are the scenarios that still exist for the Buffs as the Pac-12 heads into its final weekend of conference play:

IF COLORADO BEATS UTAH:

— (no longer possible) Buffs will be the third seed if Arizona State beats Cal and Stanford beats Arizona. Colorado, Cal and Arizona would all be 11-7 and Colorado wins that tiebreaker by being 2-1 against those teams, Cal is 2-2 and Arizona 1-2.  First tiebreaker in a more-than-two team tiebreaker is combined winning percentage against the other teams in the tie.

— (no longer possible) Buffs will be fourth seed if Cal beats ASU and Stanford beats Arizona. Cal (12-6) would be third seed. That would leave Colorado and Arizona tied at 11-7 and Buffs would win tiebreaker on head-to-head win over Arizona.

— (no longer possible) Buffs will be fourth seed if ASU beats Cal and Arizona beats Stanford. Arizona (12-6) would be third seed. Colorado and Cal would both be 11-7 and Colorado wins tiebreaker by virtue of better winning percentage against Arizona (CU and Cal split season series; both teams also split with Oregon and Utah).

— (no longer possible) Colorado will be fifth seed if Cal beats ASU and Arizona beats Stanford. That leaves CU alone in fifth place.

IF BUFFS LOSE TO UTAH:

— Buffs will be fifth seed if Oregon beats USC, which would leave CU alone in fifth with 10-8 record.

— (no longer possible) Buffs will be sixth seed if USC beats Oregon. Buffs lose head-to-head tiebreaker with USC.

Getting to Know: Utah Utes

Game … Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MT … ESPNU … KOA 850 radio … Sirius channel 81

– “Buffs’ Scott Ready For Rematch With Utah’s Poeltl” … from cubuffs.com

– “Tre’Shaun Fletcher hoping to stay hot at Utah” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle: “Josh Scott is the most underrated post defender in the country. We do need to give some help and we did a good job of the perimeter players digging on the post when help was needed. We’re going to need to do that again this time. Josh is going to have to do a great job, Wesley (Gordon), Tory (Miller) — whoever is on him, and hopefully limit his touches and get his touches further away from the basket.”

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: 23-7, 12-5 in Pac-12 play. In non-conference play, Utah had several significant victories, including non-conference wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, BYU and No. 7 Duke. Utah handed Colorado the Buffs’ only home loss of the season, a 56-54 win, back in January. Utah comes into the game as the 13th-ranked team in the nation, and on a six-game winning streak, having taken out the Washington schools, the L.A. schools, and the Arizona schools in succession.

Series: This will be the 45th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 26-18 series lead. Utah has won the last four in the series and five of the last six. The teams are tied, 5-5, since both programs joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12.

—–

 

March 3rd

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs have plenty of reasons to want a win over Utah on Saturday

From cubuffs.com … There’s plenty riding on this weekend’s Colorado-Utah game for both teams. Pac-12 Tournament seeding, RPI ranking and other NCAA Tournament metrics are at stake.

But as far as CU coach Tad Boyle is concerned, there’s one overarching incentive: the chance for the 21-9 Buffs to become the winningest regular season team in CU history.

With one regular season game remaining, the Buffs are currently tied for the most ever regular season wins in CU’s 115-year basketball history. The only other teams to produce 21 regular season wins were the 1996-97 Buffs with Chauncey Billups and Boyle’s 2013-14 squad.

These Buffs have one chance at 22 — Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. contest at Utah.

“This team has an opportunity to establish themselves as the all-time winningest team in regular season history of Colorado basketball. What an opportunity,” Boyle said. “How often do you get a chance to break a record, something that’s never been done in 115 years? That’s pretty special. It’s about cementing this team’s legacy.”

Fact is, there’s all kinds of incentive for the Buffs in this affair. Along with the possibility of still squeezing out a top-four conference finish — and thus a first-round Pac-12 Tournament bye — Colorado players would also like to “return a favor” to the Utes.

That, of course, is Utah’s win on CU’s homecourt in early January, a 56-54 decision in that ended up as the only blemish on the Buffs’ home court this season.

“I think the word for us is ‘payback,’” CU senior Josh Scott said after the Buffs’ win Sunday over Arizona State. “They beat us on our home court and we would like to get them back.”

Continue reading story here

—–

March 1st

CU in the Arena …

ESPN finally – grudgingly – gives Colorado “should be in” status

At ESPN’s “Bubble Watch“, Eamonn Brennan has been reluctant to add Colorado to his list of teams which should be in the NCAA tournament.

Four Pac-12 teams – Oregon, Utah, Arizona and California – are considered to be “locks” for the tournament. Colorado has moved from “Work left to do” to the “Teams that should be in” in the latest update, with Oregon State and USC left in the “Work left to do” list.

What ESPN has to say about the Buffs:

Colorado [21-9 (10-7), RPI: 29, SOS: 46] Colorado moves to “Should Be In” this week. Rejoice, rejoice, so on and so forth. The move comes not only thanks to a 2-0 homestand against Arizona and Arizona State, but because the Buffaloes (which have a very similar profile to USC, all things considered) have only a road trip to Utah between them and the Pac-12 tournament. Barring a disaster — or a blowout loss at the hands of the Utes, which is even less likely — Tad Boyle’s team will get into the NCAA tournament having been outscored per-possession by its opponents. No small feat, that.

 

—–

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

—–

 

6 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – March, 2016”

  1. As a hpops-loving alum who lives in NJ, I am very happy to see that the Buffs shall be in Brooklyn in late November. I see a trip to the Barclay’s Center in my future. I also love the home-and-home with Xavier. You become better by challenging yourself to compete against the best. Xavier is nationally-ranked year in/year out.

  2. That was a disappointing finish to a really nice bounce back season. Last year at this time we finished the season with a lost to Seattle in the CBI and I did not believe that CU would have the talent to compete the way they did this year.

    Boyle is a good coach, but for the program to take the next step, he needs to recruit guys that are the next level up in talent. They need some of the same discipline on offense that they show on defense, and they need a floor leader that can take control of the game in the final minutes.

  3. It is hard to win with poor guard play. Two turnovers in less than 30 seconds and UConn scored 5 points. Each guard has limitations. Some can’t shoot, some cannot dribble, others are turnover prone. Others do not play hard defense. I hope Boyle has some new guards coming in because this group has reached their up side. Could we have won? Sure. Did we adjust to the press? Not really. A few winnable game squandered.

  4. Considering I was about ready to turn off the tube when Colorado was getting blown out by over 20 points just before half time in the Arizona game,when time expired at the end of the game I felt like I had just watched one of the greatest CU Basketball games of all time. That was a decent team CU battled back against and probably typical of what they will face in the NCAA’s. What a game. What an effort. I’m feeling pretty good about selection Sunday now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.