Colorado Basketball – December, 2016


December 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs face tough opening to the Pac-12 conference season

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado Buffaloes were unable to cement an identity in nonconference play.

Yet given the slate CU faces through the first seven games of the Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball schedule, the Buffaloes will learn in a hurry just how they stack up in the overall league picture.

The Buffs were set to reconvene Tuesday night after a holiday hiatus to begin preparations for their league opener at Utah on New Year’s Day. That matchup begins a conference-opening three-game run on the road for the Buffs, who then will open the home half of the league schedule against the two teams from Los Angeles who ran the table during the nonconference schedule — No. 2 UCLA and No. 22 USC.

The bright side to the early glut of road games is that CU will play five of its final seven league games at home. While that will provide a softer cushion of the Buffs falter early, winning two of the first three on the road would be a huge plus for a squad that endured an up-and-down run through the season’s first two months.

Continue reading story here



December 27th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women ranked No. 20 … one of a record seven Pac-12 teams which are ranked

From …  Colorado’s women’s basketball team slipped five spots to No. 20 in Monday’s AP top-25 poll, but nonetheless was part of history with the ranking. The Buffs are one of seven Pac-12 teams ranked in this week’s AP top 25, the first time the Pac-12 has ever had seven teams ranked in the AP poll at one time. This week’s ranked teams include No. 9 Washington, No. 10 UCLA, No. 13 Stanford, No. 18 Arizona State, No. 20 CU, No. 21 California and No. 22 Oregon State. Oregon, Southern California and Utah are also receiving votes.

The Buffs suffered their first setback of the season on Wednesday, falling 82-75 to Wyoming at the Coors Events Center. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak in head coach JR Payne‘s first season. Payne’s 10 wins to begin her career are the second most behind Sox Walseth’s 12 wins to open his 1980 season at CU.

Colorado is coming off a 7-23 season, making Payne’s team’s ranking even more impressive.

Colorado (10-1) will open Pac-12 play on Friday at Southern California at 7 p.m. MT in Los Angeles and will play at UCLA on Sunday.



December 22nd – Boulder         Colorado 76, Eastern Washington 68

From … Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes hoped to finish their non-conference season with a wire-to-wire consistent effort.

Instead, the Buffs had to battle back from a big early deficit, then hold on down the stretch to come away with a 76-68 win over visiting Eastern Washington on Thursday at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs, who erased an early 19-2 deficit, received 17 points from Derrick White and an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double from Wesley Gordon to improve to 10-3. Bogdan Bliznyuk led all scorers with 25 points for EWU.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After battling back from an early 19-2 deficit to close the gap to 35-32 by halftme, Colorado finally took the lead for the first time early in the second half. An 8-0 run, sparked by a pair of Josh Fortune 3-pointers, gave CU a 40-37 lead at the 17:16 mark.

But the Eagles didn’t go away, coming back to take a 47-43 lead on a pair of Jacob Wiley buckets, both off of offensive rebounds, and the lead see-sawed for the next five minutes.

Colorado finally began to take control with just under nine minutes to play, getting three assist and five points in a 17-3 CU run that turned a 55-53 deficit into a 70-58 lead.

Xavier Johnson started the roll with three of four free throws to give CU a 56-55 lead, followed by two Tory Miller buckets, both on assists from White. White then added a driving layup with just over six minutes to go before a beautiful feed to Johnson for a fast-break layup. A White free throw, followed by a layup at the four-minute mark stretched CU’s lead to 70-58.

Eastern Washington managed to cut the lead back to single digits with under three minutes to go, then cut it to four with 1:03 to go, but Colorado managed to hold on for the win.

Continue reading story here


December 21st  

… CU in the Arena … 

Getting to Know: Eastern Washington

Game … Thursday, 6:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

Game Notes … From

Colorado is 9-3 overall, claiming a pair of wins in a span of about 56 hours this last week after a week-long break from finals. The Buffaloes defeated Fort Hays State 81-71 on Dec. 17, turning around two days later with a 75-68 triumph at the Air Force Academy. The Buffaloes have won four of five and six of their last eight including victories over ranked Xavier and Texas squads.

Colorado is averaging 75.1 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are coming off their second-best shooting performance of the season hitting 54 percent at Air Force. Colorado hit double-digits in 3-point field goals for the second time this year, hitting 10-of-24 for 41.7 percent. The Buffaloes had been just 13-of-51 the previous two games from 3-point range (.255).


… “Collier’s Return Coincides With Improved Buffs Shooting” … From

… “CU Buffs men’s basketball looks to start holiday hiatus with a win against Eastern Washington” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “When your expectations are here,” Boyle said, holding his hand over his head, “and you don’t play to here, everybody is like ‘What the heck is wrong with Colorado?’ Well, guess what — the sky isn’t falling. It’s not like we’re a broken wheel that can’t be fixed. We have to get better, we know that. We have to get there, and that’s what our plan is.”

Indeed, despite that lack of consistency, the Buffs are still 9-3, still own two wins over ranked team and still have a relatively respectable RPI ranking of 75.

“I think that frustration can be a good thing if it’s channeled the right way, which is, ‘OK, let’s do what we’re supposed to do and do our jobs,'” Boyle said. “We’re frustrated, (but) it’s not the end of the world.”

Eastern Washington 2016-17 Season:  Eastern Washington is 8-4 overall and in the middle of a tough four-game road trip. The Eagles had won eight in a row before dropping their first two of this current road swing including Tuesday’s 85-56 setback at Xavier. Eastern Washington is averaging 77.0 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line. EWU is also an excellent shot blocking team, averaging 5.6 per game, ranking 28th in the nation. Defensively, Eastern Washington gives up 78.8 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.

Series:  This will be the third meeting between Colorado and Eastern Washington with the Buffaloes winning both previous contests; both in Boulder. Colorado defeated the Eagles 87-67 on Dec. 2, 1994 and 79-61 on Dec. 18, 1999. The Buffaloes are 37-25 all-time against teams that currently make up the Big Sky Conference with the bulk of those coming against Northern Colorado (CU leads 20-18).



November 19th – at Air Force           Colorado 75, Air Force 68

Related … “Despite plenty of mistakes CU Buffs men’s basketball prevails at Air Force” … from the Daily Camera

From … The Colorado Buffaloes began pulling away from Air Force in the final 10 minutes then faltered briefly before closing out the Falcons 75-68 on Monday night at Clune Arena.

CU (9-3) led by as many as 11 points before AFA (6-6) cut the margin to 71-66 with 2:33 to play. But the Buffs kept their composure and dispatched the Falcons to earn their second true road win of the season.

Five CU players scored in double figures, led by Xavier Johnson‘s 14 and George King‘s 13. Derrick White added 12 before fouling out, while Wesley Gordon and freshman Deleon Brown added 10 each.

Brown dished out a team-best four assists – the Buffs had 18 on 28 made baskets – while Gordon and King each collected nine rebounds and Johnson contributed six.

But the Buffs were out-boarded by the Falcons 38-33 and committed 16 turnovers to the Falcons’ 11. However, of CU’s turnover total, 12 came in the first half.

“We don’t make it easy on ourselves, that’s for sure,” Buffs coach Tad Boyle said. “We talk about three things – playing together, playing hard, playing smart . . . the smart part, the between-the-ears part, we’ve got a long way to go.

“We have to show improvement in our cerebral things – there’s a lot of room for improvement there. And it’s very frustrating.”

Continue reading story here



December 18th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Getting to Know: Air Force

Game … Monday, 7:00 p.m., MT, CBS Sports Network

Game Notes … From

Colorado is 8-3 overall, returning from its week-long break for finals with an 81-71 win over Fort Hays State on Dec. 17. The Buffaloes have won three of four and five of their last seven including victories over ranked Xavier and Texas squads. Colorado is averaging 75.1 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are outrebounding their opponents by five boards per game. Defensively, Colorado has held the opposition to 66.5 points per game. The Buffaloes are third in the Pac-12 Conference in 3-point defense (.298) and overall rebounding (41.2 rpg) while ranking fourth in overall field goal percentage defense (.384) and offensive rebounds (12.4 orpg).


… “Buffaloes Travel To Face Air Force Monday” … From

… “Tough Air Force squad another challenge for struggling CU Buffs men’s hoops” … from the Daily Camera

… “Boyle Says ‘Clock Ticking’ As Buffs Head To Air Force” …. From

Quotable Tad Boyle … “I told our team after the (Ft. Hays) game that our coaching staff, we’ve been here for seven years now…and this team has two things going for it now,” Boyle said. “Number one, they own the most disappointing loss in that seven-year span, the Colorado State game a few weeks ago. And now they also can add to that they own the most disappointing win, which is the Fort Hays State game here today.

“I need to apologize to everybody in the building or watching the game or fans of this team for the effort in the second half, because it was atrocious.”

Air Force 2015-16 Record: 14-18, 5-13 in Mountain West Conference play.

Air Force 2016-17 Season:  The Falcons are 6-5 on the season. Air Force opened with a 5-0 record, taking out teams like McPherson College and Jackson and Wales. The Falcons have dropped five of their last six, with the lone victory coming over Missouri State. Air Force has lost its last two games, including a 77-65 home loss to Denver on Saturday.

Air Force is averaging 79.8 points on 47 percent shooting. The Falcons rank eighth in the nation and lead the Mountain West Conference in 3-point shooting at 42.4 percent. Defensively, Air Force allows 72.1 points while opponents shoot 45 percent. The Falcons have been excellent taking care of the ball, committing just 10.7 turnovers per game, ranking 16th in NCAA Division I.

Air Force features a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging double-digits. Senior forward Hayden Graham leads the Falcons at 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Jacob Van averages 12.5 points on 52 percent shooting while leading Air Force in assists at 3.4 per game. Senior guard Zach Kocur averages 11.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 58 percent from the field. Junior center Frank Toohey averages 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds an outing.

Series:  This will be the 26th meeting between Colorado and Air Force with the Buffaloes holding a 22-3 series lead. The Buffaloes have won six straight in the series, including an 81-70 decision at the Coors Events Center on Nov. 25, 2015. Colorado has won 10 of 12 all-time meetings at Air Force with the last an 81-57 Buffaloes win on Nov. 30, 2013. This will be the sixth-straight season Colorado has met Air Force on the hardwood.

Tad Boyle is 6-2 against Air Force as a head coach, 5-0 with Colorado and 1-2 while at Northern Colorado. Dave Pilipovich is 0-4 against Colorado as a head coach.



December 17th – Boulder          Colorado 81, Ft. Hays State 71

Related … No. 15 CU women run record to 10-0 with 76-64 road win over Mississippi Valley State … from the Daily Camera

Colorado raced out to leads of 10-0 and 18-2 against Ft. Hays State, but then played to the level of its competition the remainder of the game, settling for an 81-71 victory. A trio of Buffs – Deleon Brown, Josh Fortune and Xavier Johnson – posted 15 points apiece, but the Colorado offense continued to play poorly (Recall … in their last game, on Wednesday, the Ft. Hays Tigers lost 102-63 … to Bethel College).

Ft. Hays State guard Rob Davis had three fouls and zero points in the first half, but set a Coors Events Center record for scoring in a half with 29 points in the second half. Tad Boyle sent a series of defenders at Davis, but to no avail, as the senior went 7-for-10 from three-point range.

CU head coach stated that this Buff team, his seventh, had already posted the most disappointing loss in his tenure (to Colorado State), adding that the victory over Ft. Hays State was his “most disappointing win”.

The game was supposed to be a coming out for the Buff shooters, but instead the team continued to struggle. For the game, Colorado went 6-for-22 from behind the arc (27.3%). The Buffs also committed 13 turnovers, and needed a sizeable advantage from the free throw line (31-41, compared to 9-13 for the Tigers) to post victory number eight.

The Buffs will take to the road on Monday night, heading down to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force (7:00 p.m., CBS Networks), before finishing off the non-conference part of the schedule against Eastern Washington on Wednesday (6:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Here are the YouTube highlights from the game:

And Tad Boyle’s post-game comments:



December 16th

… CU in the Arena …  

Getting to Know: Ft. Hays State

Game … Saturday, noon, MT, Pac-12 Networks

Game Notes … From

Colorado is 7-3 overall, returning to the court after a week-long break for finals at the university. The Buffaloes will be looking to bounce back from a 79-71 loss at BYU in their last outing.

Despite the loss, Colorado has won four of its last six including victories over ranked Xavier and Texas squads. Colorado is averaging 74.5 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are out-rebounding their opponents by just under five boards per game. Defensively, Colorado has held the opposition to 66.1 points per game.

The Buffaloes are third in the Pac-12 Conference in 3-point defense (.291) while ranking fourth in overall field goal percentage defense (.383), offensive rebounds (12.9 orpg) and overall boards (41.3 rpg).

Depth and balance have been a key for Colorado. Three Buffaloes are averaging double-digits in scoring while four more are averaging between five and eight an outing. Four players have at least four rebounds per game while five have at least eight assists.


… “Buffs Return To Action Saturday, Host Fort Hays State” … From

… “CU Buffs men’s basketball expecting 3-point barrage to return” … From the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “We had 17 wide-open threes against BYU. Shooting fish in a barrel type threes, like being in the gym by yourself type threes,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “We had 17 of them that we missed. I’ve got confidence in our guys. These are the same guys that led the league in 3-point shooting last year. We haven’t forgotten how to shoot. We just haven’t been making shots here recently.

“I thought our shot selection against BYU was good for the most part. We had three bad shots, which I can live with.”

Ft. Hays 2015-16 Record: 21-11, 13-9 in conference play. Fort Hays State is a NCAA Division II school located in Hays, Kan., and plays in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Ft. Hays 2016-17 Season:  The Tigers are 7-4 overall and have opened up their league season at 2-2. Fort Hays State is averaging 79.5 points per game shooting 49 percent from the field, including 43 percent from 3-point range. Defensively, the Tigers allow 71.7 points while opponents shoot 43.7 percent.

Ft. Hays has yet to play a Division 1 school this year (the Tigers played both Kansas State and Kansas last year). Last time out, on Wednesday, the Tigers lost 102-63 … to Bethel College.

Series:  This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Fort Hays State. The Buffaloes have played three other times against MIAA competition, winning all three, including the last match-up a 72-58 decision over Washburn (Mo.) on Dec. 16, 1981.


Tad Boyle post-practice talk with media (Friday)

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation:



December 15th

… CU in the Arena …

Tad Boyle: “There’s nobody to blame but ourselves, nowhere to look but in the mirror”

From … Mid-term exams are all but over, with fall semester grades due soon at the University of Colorado. Men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle already has posted the Buffs’ 10-game grade, which he’s hoping can be changed. Soon.

“If I gave our team a grade right now it would be a C-plus – slightly above average. And that ain’t going to get it down the stretch or in the Pac-12,” Boyle said after practice the other morning in his office.

He continued: “Now, we’re capable, and there’s times we’ve functioned very well offensively and defensively but we can’t do it consistently . . . to me, if there’s anything consistent about this basketball team it’s that we’ve been consistently inconsistent. That’s the best way to put it.”

That’s how Boyle is putting it for public consumption on a university website. The way he’s putting it to his team has a bit more of a sharp edge, and there’s good reason for it to be cutting.

Boyle isn’t an unreasonable coach who demands more of his players than they are capable of delivering. Fact is, he might demand more of himself. Outcomes such as the 79-71 loss last Saturday night at Brigham Young gnaw at him; he shouldered as much responsibility for it as was placed on his players.

Continue reading story here



December 12th

… CU in the Arena …

CU women up to No. 15 in latest Associated Press poll

RelatedThe Associated Press Top 25

RelatedBracketology: CU up to a No. 7 seed

From …  Colorado’s women’s basketball team climbed two more spots in this week’s AP top 25, rising to No. 15 on Monday. It is the highest ranking for the Buffs since 2013.

CU earned a convincing 74-56 win over Colorado State at home on Thursday in its only game of the week. The team was led by sophomore guard Kennedy Leonard, who scored a career-high 31 points and had seven assists. The win avenged a one-point loss to the Rams in Fort Collins last year.

CSU was the second opponent that reached the NCAA Tournament last season the Buffs have beaten so far this season. CU also defeated now-No. 19 Kentucky 79-69 in November. UK reached the Sweet Sixteen a year ago.

Colorado has yet to trail in the second half of a game this season and is 9-0 overall. The Buffs will travel to Mississippi Valley State for a game on Saturday and will wrap up non-conference play with Wyoming at home next Wednesday, Dec. 21.


Derrick White named Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week

From the Pac-12

Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week (12/12/16) – Derrick White, Sr., G, COLORADO

• Just 10 games into his NCAA Division I career, COLORADO senior guard Derrick White has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week as voted upon by media who cover the league.

• White averaged 22.0 points on 55 percent shooting (16-29 FG), including 50 percent beyond the arc (6-12), in two games last week, highlighted by a season-high 23 points in COLORADO’s 68-66 upset of No. 13 Xavier on Wednesday. That victory over the Musketeers marked the Buffaloes’ second over a ranked opponent this season.

• The 6-5 guard from Parker, Colo., currently paces the Buffaloes and is seventh among Pac-12 newcomers in scoring at 15.6 points per game. He also ranks in the top 10 in the league in assists (10th, 3.3 apg) and steals (T9th, 1.2 spg).

• White sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring to CU following three standout seasons at Division II University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He was twice named an All-American while leading the Mountain Lions to two NCAA Tournament appearances and becoming the UCCS program’s career scoring (1,912) and assists leader (343).


Tad Boyle: “This team has to become tougher mentally when things get tough”

From the Daily Camera … Final exams are approaching for the University of Colorado men’s basketball team.

Yet in order for the Buffaloes to achieve their goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six seasons, the mid-season exams CU will hold at practice over the next three weeks leading up to the Pac-12 Conference schedule could prove critical.

CU’s 79-71 loss at Brigham Young Saturday night left the Buffs with a 7-3 record and dimmed some of the leverage the team gained with its victory earlier in the week against No. 13 Xavier.

The Buffs play just three more games ahead of the league opener on New Year’s Day at Utah, all against opponents they should defeat handily. During these three crucial weeks, head coach Tad Boyle expects to address a laundry list of issues for a team that has struggled to consistently put together solid 40-minute games.

“We’ve got to play 40 minutes of basketball, and we’re not quite tough enough mentally to do that yet against anybody,” Boyle said. “This team has to become tougher mentally when things get tough. We have to become more consistent from one half to the next, from one possession to the next. And we have to have everybody do their job. It doesn’t mean guys aren’t going to miss shots and have off nights. But if they have an off-night shooting the ball, they’ve got to be able to help us in some other area.

“We have to get better in areas that don’t have to do with shooting the ball. We have to get better in every phase of the game.”

Continue reading story here



December 10th

Poor shooting costs the Buffs again, this time in a 79-71 road loss to BYU

Related … “Defensive work on BYU’s Eric Mika not enough for CU Buffs men’s basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From .. Suffering from frigid shooting and being bludgeoned on the boards, the Colorado Buffaloes succumbed to Brigham Young 79-71 on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.

The Buffs (7-3) scored only one field goal in the final 8:52, shot only 38.7 percent from the field (24-of-62) for the night and hit just 7 of their 29 3-point attempts.

Making matters worse, BYU (7-3) outrebounded CU 46-31 in an area that Buffs coach Tad Boyle emphasizes nightly.

“We got our tails kicked on the backboard – that was the key to the game,” Boyle said. “We’re not there yet mentally . . . that’s what’s frustrating; this was a winnable game.”

After battling back from a 10-point second-half deficit to take a 61-58 lead on Thomas Akyazili‘s 3-pointer, the Buffs didn’t get another field goal until Derrick White hit a trey with 44 seconds to play.

“We got back in it, made some shots, then our offensive execution went south,” Boyle said. “We have to be better than we were tonight down the stretch and I take responsibility for that.”

White, who sat out almost 8 minutes in the second half with four fouls, led CU with 21 points – 16 of them in the first half. Xavier Johnson added 17 points and George King recorded his fourth double-double in seven games – 14 points and 12 rebounds.

But beyond that threesome, the Buffs suffered. Josh Fortune went 0-for-8 from the field, including 0-for-6 from long range. Wesley Gordon took only three shots, making one, made one of two free throws and added five rebounds.

Continue reading story here



December 9th

… CU in the Arena …  

Getting to Know: BYU Cougars

Game … Saturday, 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2

Game Notes … From

Colorado is 7-2 overall, has won two straight and four of its last five. The Buffaloes are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 68-66 decision over Xavier, ranked No. 13 (Associated Pres)/No. 14 (USA Today Coaches) in the latest Top 25 polls.

Colorado ventures away from Boulder for the third time this season, and its second true road contest. The Buffaloes picked up their first road win over another West Coast Conference team, a 76-63 triumph over Portland on Dec. 3.

Colorado is averaging 74.9 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. The Buffaloes are outrebounding their opponents by just under eight boards per game. Defensively, Colorado has held the opposition to 64.7 points per game. The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12 Conference in 3-point defense (.273) while ranking third in offensive rebounds (13.6 orpg) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.376), rebounding margin (+7.3) and rebounding offense (42.4 rpg).

Depth and balance have been a key for Colorado. Three Buffaloes are averaging double-digits in scoring while four more are averaging between five and 10 an outing. Four players have at least four rebounds per game while five have at least eight assists.


… “Buffs Visit Provo For First Time In 61 Years Saturday” … From

… “CU men’s basketball ready for speedy pace, raucous gym at BYU” … From the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “That’s why you play these nonconference games, to get in these environments and test yourself, see where you’re at,” CU head coach Tad Boyle. “A power-five school with three true road games on their schedule…there’s not many. But we’re doing it because one, we’ve a veteran team and we need to learn to win on the road. And this is a good, quality opponent and a tough atmosphere.”

BYU 2015-16 Record: 26-11, 13-5 in West Coast Conference play … Lost 72-70 to Valparaiso in the NIT semi-finals

BYU 2016-17 Season: BYU is 6-3 after dropping three of its last five after starting the season out at 4-0. The Cougars have won 4-of-5 at home, including a 77-66 decision over Weber State on Dec. 7. BYU is averaging 86.6 points per game, leading the West Coast Conference and ranking 18th in the nation. The Cougars are second in NCAA Division I in rebounding, corralling 46.6 boards per game. BYU allows its opponents 76.1 points per game on 39.3 percent shooting. Sophomore forward Eric Mika leads BYU at 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Mika, a Preseason All-WCC selection and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award candidate, is coming off a 26-point, 10-rebound effort against Weber State. Sophomore guard Nick Emery is averaging 15.3 points and leads BYU in 3-pointers with 21. Freshman guard TJ Haws is pitching in 11.8 points and 2.7 assists an outing.

Series:  This will be the 24th meeting between Colorado and BYU, but just the second in 61 years. The Buffaloes hold a 17-6 edge, claiming a 92-83 decision on Dec. 12, 2015, at the Coors Events Center. Colorado makes its fi rst trip to Provo, Utah, since BYU won on back-to-back dates Dec. 16-17, 1955. Colorado is a perfect 10-0 against BYU in Boulder as the Cougars come to the base of the Flatirons for the fi rst time since back-to-back games on Dec. 4 & 6, 1954. The series is tied 6-6 in Provo where the Cougars have won the last three. Colorado’s last win at BYU came on Feb. 16, 1946, a 65-53 decision.



No. 18 CU women run record to 9-0 with a 74-56 win over Colorado State

Related … “Kennedy Leonard’s career night powers CU Buffs women’s basketball past CSU” … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado women’s basketball coach JR Payne thought it was time for her first Buffs team to be tested again – and she believed in-state rival Colorado State would provide one.

The Rams did, but only briefly.

With sophomore Kennedy Leonard scoring a career-best 31 points and teammates like senior Haley Smith controlling the backboards, No. 18 CU rolled over CSU 74-56 on Thursday night at the Coors Events Center.

Leonard, a guard from Southlake, Texas, got 19 of her total in the first half – including 13 in the first quarter – to help the Buffs (9-0) rally from a 6-0 deficit, take control and put away the Rams (5-4).

Despite a cut on the tip of her index finger of her shooting (right) hand, Leonard hit seven 3-pointers (11 attempts) and tied a school record (eighth time). They were the most by a CU player since Bianca Smith hit seven on Jan. 31, 2009. Leonard’s previous career high was 26 points scored in CU’s 2016-17 season-opening 83-62 win over Northern Colorado.

“They were going in, I don’t know how, must have just been God’s grace,” Leonard said. “It was an interesting week with my shooting. I think I just shot it. My teammates got me open. Once you hit that first one, you’re good to go, you just have to get your mind into the game.

Continue reading story here



December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

Spencer Dinwiddie signs with Brooklyn Nets

From the … The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie has appeared in 46 career NBA games over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons (2014-16), recording averages of 4.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game.

He has also appeared in 29 games over three seasons in the NBA D-League with Detroit’s affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, and Chicago’s affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, registering averages of 15.8 points, 6.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 33.9 minutes per game. In nine games with Windy City this season, Dinwiddie averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 37.4 minutes per contest.

The California native was selected 38th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by Detroit after a three-year career at the University of Colorado.


December 7th – Boulder        Colorado 68, No. 13 Xavier 66

Related … “King Notches Double-Double In Win Over Xavier” … from

Related … “Derrick White big in the clutch as CU Buffs men’s basketball upsets No. 13 Xavier” … from the Daily Camera 

You Tube video of the Pac-12 recap:

From … One week after one of the most disappointing losses in the Tad Boyle era at Colorado, Boyle’s Buffaloes bounced back in a big way Wednesday night.

A barrage of CU 3-pointers erased an eight-point deficit midway through the second half and senior Derrick White made some big plays down the stretch to lead the Buffs to a 68-66 win over No. 13 Xavier at the Coors Events Center.

“Great win for our program and certainly for our league,” Boyle said. “We knew it was going to be a helluva game. They battled, they scratched, they’re tough. I’ve got a lot of respect for Xavier — that’s why this win is such a big win for our program.”

The win won’t completely erase the sting of last week’s loss to Colorado State, a defeat the Buffs know could still have an impact when it comes time for NCAA Tournament selection in March.

But Wednesday night’s win will also have an equally positive impact, coming against a team that entered the week with a No. 8 NCAA RPI.

“We talked a lot in film sessions, talked a lot in practice, talked a lot in meetings about players have to make plays,” Boyle said. “Tonight our players made plays. Down the stretch, that’s the Derrick White I’ve been talking about, our fans have been expecting to see. He was terrific down the stretch. ‘X’ (Xavier Johnson) made some big plays for us, Wesley (Gordon) made some good passes, George made a big 3 there to put us up one and get the momentum going. Big win.”

Indeed, the Buffs received big contributions from a variety of players. White finished with 23 points and six rebounds, Johnson had 18 points and seven rebounds and King recorded his third double-double in the last six games, a 16-point 10-rebound effort.

Continue reading story here



December 6th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Getting to Know: No. 13 Xavier Musketeers

Game … Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

Game Notes … From

While the Buffs have hosted plenty of highly-ranked teams in league play, Wednesday’s game marks just the second time since 1997 that a ranked non-conference foe will hit the Coors Events Center floor.

The other occurred memorably three years ago, when CU posted a thrilling 75-72 win against No. 6 Kansas.

“You can’t beat teams like this unless you play them,” said Boyle, whose team is coming off a 76-63 win at Portland over the weekend. “All you can ask for in life is an opportunity. I have a lot of respect for their players, a lot of respect for their coach. You don’t get in the top 10 by accident. You play your way there.”

The Musketeers have been ranked in the nation’s top 10 for much of the season until a loss at Baylor last week dropped them to No. 13. Xavier sports a guard-heavy lineup that boasts three players averaging at least 15 points per game — Trevon Bluiett (18.4 ppg), J.P. Macura (15.5 ppg) and Edmond Sumner (15.1 ppg).

“They’re scoring a lot of points and their post guys are big and strong and tough and rugged,” Boyle said. “It’s going to be a heck of a challenge. Nothing against Portland, but this is a little different animal than the Portland Pilots in terms of their personnel. Portland is well coached. Xavier is well coached, but Xavier is well coached and they’ve got some dudes that can rip your head off if you’re not ready to play.”


… “Buffs Set For Visit From No. 13 Musketeers” … from

… “Buffs Aim To Regain Shooting Touch As Visit From No. 13 Xavier Looms” … From

— “Rare opportunity for CU Buffs men’s hoops with visit from No. 13 Xavier” … From the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “It’s going to be a heck of a challenge,” Boyle said. “Nothing against Portland, but this is a little different animal than the Portland Pilots in terms of their personnel. Portland is well-coached. Xavier is well-coached and they’ve got some dudes who can rip your head off if you’re not ready to play.”

Xavier 2015-16 Record: 28-6, 14-4 in Big East conference play … Lost to Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournamant

Xavier 2016-17 Season: Xavier is 7-1, and ranked No. 13 in the nation. The Musketeers were undefeated and ranked No. 7 in the nation before a 76-61 loss to No. 9 Baylor last Saturday.

Xavier averages 76.6 points while shooting 45 percent from the field. Defensively, the Musketeers allow 65.6 points while holding opponents to 41 percent shooting. Xavier is out-rebounding its opponents by nearly 11 boards per game. The Musketeers feature three players averaging at least 15 points per game led by junior guard Trevon Bluiett at 18.4 points per game. A USA Today Preseason Third Team All-American, Bluiett also owns a share of the rebounding lead at 6.3 per game and tops the squad in 3-pointers with 19. Junior guard J.P. Macura is second on the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and assists (3.4 apg) and leads Xavier at the foul line shooting 91 percent (31-of-34). Sophomore guard Edmond Sumner tops the Musketeers in assists (4.3 apg) and is third in scoring at 15.1 points per outing.

Series:  Xavier leads the all-time series, 1-0, with a 74-61 victory over the Buffs in a Thanksgiving tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico.



… CU in the Arena …

Buffs looking to regain shooting touch

From … When the season began, the general consensus was the only offensive problems the Buffs would have would be finding enough shots to go around. With a veteran lineup loaded with shooters, scoring was going to be the least of the Buffs’ worries.

But after eight games, the 6-2 Buffs have struggled to produce any semblance of consistency in the shooting and scoring departments. CU is shooting just 43.2 percent from the field, with just two games above 50 percent and two below 36 percent, including last week’s 72-58 loss to Colorado State. The Buffs banged the rim for a season-low 32.2 percent field goal percentage in that game (19 for 59), a night that included a 3-for-19 effort from 3-point range.

They did, however, seem to regain their shooting touch in Saturday’s 76-63 win at Portland, particularly in the second half. After hitting just 11 of 30 shots in the first half, the Buffs rebounded to shoot 14-of-28 after intermission to erase a 30-28 deficit and come home with a win.

“It was sure nice to make some shots in the second half,” Boyle said after Monday morning’s practice. “To see the ball go through the basket gives you a little bit more confidence as a player and certainly as a coach. We’ve been struggling a little bit offensively in terms of the ball going in the basket for us. … Hopefully that’s behind us.”

As any basketball coach worth his whistle will tell you, shooting is something that occasionally abandons team. Getting the touch back is a matter of getting good shots, executing the offense — and rebuilding confidence.

“We’ve been doing a lot of shooting in practice,” Boyle said. “The whole emphasis for us right now is play with confidence on the offensive end. We have good players, we just have to go play.”

Continue reading story here

Undefeated CU women up to No. 18 in Associated Press poll

From … Colorado’s women’s basketball team climbed three more spots to No. 18 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll on Monday. CU was ranked No. 21 last week, the first national ranking for the Buffs since 2014.

The Buffs are currently 8-0 this season under first-year head coach JR Payne after finishing 7-23 a year ago. It is the earliest in school history they have eclipsed their previous season’s win total.

Colorado is coming off perhaps its two most dominant wins last week. CU defeated Southeastern Louisiana 112-54 on Wednesday before an 85-56 victory against Idaho State on Saturday.

The Buffs will host Colorado State (5-3) at 7 p.m. on Thursday. That game will be televised on Pac-12 Mountain. Fans are encouraged to wear black on Thursday and the first 150 students will receive a free t-shirt and early-arriving students will also receive free Half Fast subs.

CU basketball hosting a toy drive this week

From … The University of Colorado athletics department will host a toy drive before the CU men’s basketball vs. Xavier game on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and the CU women’s basketball game vs. Colorado State on Thursday, Dec 8. Tipoff for both games is at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.

Fans are encouraged to donate unwrapped new or gently used toys, games, puzzles, books, DVDs, art supplies and sporting goods. All items will go to Share-A-Gift in Boulder. Share-A-Gift is an all-volunteer project that provides gifts for children of low-income families in Boulder Valley School District.

Fans who donate an item will receive a voucher to purchase a discounted ticket to the men’s basketball vs. Eastern Washington game on Thursday, Dec. 22, and the women’s basketball vs. Wyoming game on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Bins will be located at all entrances of the Coors Events Center.

For questions or more information please call 303-492-1976.

Boyle: “This team is not functioning very well right now”

From the Daily Camera … Watch the Colorado men’s basketball team at practice, and one would think the Woffords and Portlands of the world would never stand a chance.

Head coach Tad Boyle has seen it. Yet he has also seen his club continue to struggle putting those practice habits into performance. As the Buffaloes prepare for their toughest challenge yet on the young season with No. 7 Xavier set to visit the Coors Events Center on Wednesday.

“This team is not functioning very well right now at a high level offensively,” Boyle said. “We’ve got a lot of room for improvement. Our game slippage is huge right now. If you came and watched us at practice…we’re much better than how we’re functioning in games. It’s just not translating.

“I call that ‘game slippage.’ You go from practice to games, and right now it’s not good enough.”

The Buffs have displayed a discouraging habit of playing to the level of the competition so far. Against Seattle at home on Nov. 14 CU found itself in a tie before pulling away late. On Nov. 27 that script repeated against Wofford, which trailed by just a point at the break, and the Buffs trailed Portland by two points Saturday night before dominating the second half.

Continue reading story here



December 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs need strong second half to overcome the Portland Pilots on the road

From … The Colorado Buffaloes rediscovered their offensive abilities and ratcheted up their defense in the second half here Saturday night and downed Portland 76-63 at the Chiles Center.

Shaking off the ill effects of a 72-58 home loss to rival Colorado State on Wednesday night, the Buffs (6-2) rallied from a 30-28 halftime deficit by outscoring the Pilots (4-3) 48-33 in the second half.

Four CU players scored in double figures, including Xavier Johnson (19), Josh Fortune (14), Derrick White (13) and George King (12). Portland, of the West Coast Conference, was led by Jazz Johnson (18) and Alec Wintering (17).

After hitting only 32 percent from the field against CSU, the Buffs shot just 37 percent in the first half Saturday night and missed all seven of their treys. From 3-point range against the Rams, the Buffs hit only 16 percent.

A shooting about face was needed – and CU got it in Saturday night’s second half. The Buffs shot 50 percent from the field (14-of-28) and hit five of their dozen 3-point attempts (42 percent).

“We’ve been kind of struggling as a team (offensively) but we broke out of it at the end,” White said. “We just need to take high percentage shots.”

CU coach Tad Boyle said his team continues “to struggle to put 40 minutes together . . . we’re functioning at about a 60 to 65 percent clip right now.”

Continue reading story here


No. 21 CU women run record to 8-0 with rout of Idaho State

From … The No. 21 Colorado women’s basketball team started fast and seldom slowed the pace on Saturday night, cruising to an 85-56 win against overmatched Idaho State at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs won their eighth consecutive game (8-0) under first-year head coach JR Payne and already have surpassed last season’s win total (7-23). Idaho State (2-5) never led and trailed by as many as 33 points in the final quarter.

“We tell them when in doubt be aggressive, and that goes for both offense and defense,” said Payne.

Alexis Robinson led CU with 16 points – all in the first half – as Payne once again used all her players.

“The best teams I’ve coached are teams where you didn’t need to have someone go for 20 in order to be successful,” said Payne on using her team’s depth.

Colorado practically matched the Bengals in rebounds, 37-38, but recorded 15 steals while limiting turnovers to 14 compared to 23 from Idaho State.

The win reinforced confidence already emanating from this Colorado team, which was 3-3 on this date last season.

“The best part is we are all excited for each other,” said redshirt freshman Monica Burich. “We all want one another to do well no matter who is scoring.”

Continue reading story here



December 3rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Getting to Know: Portland Pilots

Game … Saturday, 8:00 p.m., MT … No television (Watch Online: Campus Insiders (Travis Demers, Bill Krueger) … Radio: 850 KOA

Game Notes … From


… “Buffs Face First True Road Test Saturday” … from

… “CU Buffs men’s basketball look to rebound at Portland” … from the Daily Camera

Quotable Tad Boyle … “”I knew coming into CSU that the next two weeks would tell us a lot about this team and where we are,” Boyle said following the disappointing loss to the Rams. Focusing on Wednesday’s game alone, Boyle must spend time picking his team up from a loss of morale, as players realized the weight of the Rams’ upset.

“We’ve got to regroup, and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, because nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” he said.

Portland 2015-16 Record: 12-20, 6-12 in West Coast Conference play. The Pilots traveled to Boulder last November, with the Buffs winning, 85-64.

Portland 2016-17 Season: Portland is 4-2 overall, snapping a two-game losing streak with a win over Cal State Northridge, 96-78, on Nov. 27. The Pilots are averaging 82.5 points per game shooting 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. Portland has hit 90 points twice, the CSU Northridge game and also a season-high 98 points in a win over Lewis & Clark. Defensively, the Pilots give up 72.3 points while opponents are shooting 40 percent on the season.

Senior guard Alec Wintering leads Portland at 22.8 points and 6.7 assists per game. An All-West Coast Conference selection as a junior, Wintering is shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the free throw line.

“I know Portland has one of the best point guards on the west coast that nobody has heard about,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Very, very good player. The message for our team is we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Portland isn’t going to feel sorry for us.

“They’re licking their chops, a Pac-12 team coming into their gym. We’ve got to regroup. We’ve got to bounce back. We’re tested right now.”

Series:  This will be the second meeting between the two teams, with CU holding a 1-0 win after last season’s win.



December 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs, 13.5-point favorites, fall to Rams by 14

From … A sub-par night offensively and from the free throw line, plus a stifling Colorado State defense, made Wednesday night a miserable one for the Colorado Buffaloes at the Coors Events Center.

The Rams rolled over the Buffs 72-58, handing CU its second loss of the season (5-2) and snapping a 12-game winning streak at the CEC. The Buffs’ 58 points were a season low and their fewest at home since a 56-54 loss to Utah on Jan. 8, 2016 — also their last home loss.

CSU (6-1) made 17 of its first 18 free throw attempts, finishing 26-of-33, while CU was 17-of-31 from the foul line (54.8 percent) and only 19-of-59 (a season-low 32.2 percent) from the field.

“You’ve got to find a way to win this game ugly . . . Colorado State makes the game ugly,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “They’re a very physical team (and) I’ve got a lot of respect for them . . . we weren’t mentally tough enough tonight to win ugly.”

CU senior Wesley Gordon believed the Buffs “underestimated (their) guys and they came out and handed it to us . . . we lost to a team we should have beat. If we don’t come out to play that’s what’s going to happen every game.”

Derrick White led the Buffs with 17 points and Gordon added 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. CSU had four players in double figures, topped by Emmanuel Omogbo’s 15.

Continue reading story here


No. 21 CU women 7-0 after 112-54 rout of SE Louisiana 

From … No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes women’s basketball team extended its season record to 7-0 today with a 112-54 win over the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions (2-4), scoring the most points in 22 years.

The 112 points on the board were the fifth-most ever and the most points since a 114-52 win over St. Francis (Pa.) in 1994 and it was the Buffs first game over 100 points since a 100-71 win over Cal Fullerton in 2005.

The Buffs are rolling with confidence, undefeated on the season under new head coach JR Payne. Next they look to continue this streak on Saturday night when they take on Idaho State at Coors Events Center.

Continue reading story here




21 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – December, 2016”

  1. Egads. When CU only scored 1 pt. in the first 5 minutes, I thought, “This team has no leadership.” Yep, That goes all the way to the top Tad.

    Coach MM has been positive about his players, always believing they will find a way ….definitely not negative like Tad has been the last few weeks and berating and blaming the players for the teams’ results on interviews.

    Coach MM addressed the juniors and seniors and gave them permission to “Get On” the younger players for mistakes in general, both on the field and off.

    ‘Bout time to take control Tad.

  2. Groundhog day
    Lousy free throw shooting, tons of turnovers, slow starts and zone freak out.
    To say these problems are chronic is an understatement. They are becoming hallmarks of CU basketball. Does Tad need to find an assistant who can better address these problems?

    1. Just a utter lack of effort. Went to the game and they are simply uninspired. Someone needs to take leadership of the team and there is no clear leader. You are right the zone is the easiest way to beat the Buffs. We simply did not try and dribble penetrate for the entire first half and we can’t shoot the 3 well enough to win from the outside. If I were an opposing coach there is not a chance i would play man.

      Last point is Josh Fortune is nothing short of a liability on the court. I am not sure what he brings to the table but Deleon is a much more energetic player. Plays hard on D every time. Sit Josh and let him figure out why he can’t do much right during game time. Must be a good practice player to start.

      1. XJ is having a good year. He also seems to have more of an outgoing personality than the others. Are you listening XJ? make everyone accountable

  3. OK….Dom and Tory are out of action. Still this team should have enough talent not to let the Rams humiliate them by 15 points or let Fort Hays State within 10. Seems like this Jekyll and Hyde act has been going on for years. I am starting wonder about Tad’s ability to coach the offensive end of the floor. He needs to find out who the 5 are the work the best together and stick with them…and no mass substitutions. This isnt hockey.
    A team without the best chemistry is not a good situation for freshmen to learn their D1 legs……and as soon as Fortune goes 0 for 3 with 2 turnovers again its pine time before it gets worse.
    The Buffs are going to develop a lot more consistency…and that includes 40 minutes of aggressive consistency before they can ever win a dance game.

  4. The Mighty Buff Womens Basketball Team.

    Now ranked 15th

    They play a great brand of basketball. And when they are on they are really really good. Very Up Tempo on both offense and defense. And they really can play defense.

    If you get a chance you gotta come see em.

    Well worth the time.

    Go Buffs

  5. Not sure about Tad’s thinking. Peters has been a total loss. Why is he even on the floor. I havn’t seen him make a basket yet. Only missing and turning it over. Pleeeeeze keep Thomas in Tad. If its experience you want to give to the lad, wait until we play Ft. Hays will ya? And, what is Fortune doing????? Certainly not focused.

  6. Fortune was 0 for 5 in the last game and 0 for 6 in this one. It will be interesting to see how long Tad lets him guild brick wall.

    1. O for 8 the stat sheet says. 2 turnovers at critical times. Not good. It will be interesting. 22 min which is less than he has been playing

      Akyazili finally made a shot..1 for four. that makes him 1 for like 16 over the last 3 games.

      They got a lot of work to do.


      1. the 2 freshmen guards are playing better than Fortune, Like to see how it works with Dom and Derrick on the floor together. Do the rehab Dom

  7. Been to a couple of games. Still working out the kinks for the Boys. But a great finish against Xavier. (As Walton says the “Big X’s” namesake. )

    Some clutch stuff across the board.

    Some some stuff I gleaned.

    White is a closer if they let him close. Ice Water.
    King can play when he is in focus mode.
    X is too but probably still not quite back yet.
    Gordon is Gordon and glad he is on this team. Step up year please
    Fortune has his moments, hustles. shot not too good right now. But minimal TO

    3 Freshman coming off the bench. Like em all
    Siewart, Brown, Peters.

    Akyazili is in struggle mode. again. fast but out of control alot no shot

    The rest.

    Miller hurt
    Dom hurt

    Strating (Rred shirt) in PWO mode this year. putting on weight. Intriguing add.
    Walton Red shirt. 7 footer. This could be the steal of the year.
    Wright, transfer sit out with 2 to play 2. Could be stepping right in.

    Has a chance to be a really really good team. Nice blend of talent, skill and experience. Coaching staff be working em hard.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: The three freshman coming in next year all have 4 star rankings at 2 or more of the top 4 services.. Pretty dang cool.

    Note 2: Buffs even played some zone. Tad said they didn’t do good and you can see now why he hates it………….I like it. Good change up by the boys. The assistant coaches gotta keep on Tad cause well you know why.


  8. Spencer Dinwiddie belongs in The Association. Glad to see he’s getting another shot. Congrats Spencer! I was actually hoping the Nuggets would sign him though.

    1. Bordering on excellent VK. Amazing what a change in coaches can do. Only one player gone from last year, wish they had better support from the fans/ students. They certainly deserve it.

      1. Hey WB. They play fast. Even faster than Lindgrens offense is suppose to be.

        What is truly amazing are the number of shooters they have on this team. Leonard can go cold and someone else picks it up. And they get a bit sloppy like they did last year, but they just keep the pressure up on defense and offense.

        Make a mistake? They don’t care and coach don’t care they just keep rolling.

        Fun to watch. The new staff has it figured it out.

        Should be a really fun year.

        Next year they are gonna miss Zoe, Lauren, Haley and Bri. Some good height and talent right there.

        This sophomore class, and I include RSF Burich all five of them are really talented and athletic. Best in a long long while. (Recall Linda had some coaching issues, but these are her recruits) The Junior class is small. But Correal is playing the post tough and coming hard. Brecca has work to do and she has.

        The two freshman are gonna be quite good and getting good experience right now.

        The class coming in next year is quite good as well.

        6 scholarships available. She has not used them all this year . Interesting.
        Keeping the team “smaller” is rather unique. I like it. Keeps em focused.

        Go Buffs. Gonna have to see this effort, attitude, and results when the ladies hit the Pac12.


  9. Yo Stuart,

    Gotta love Tad Boyle. The Buffs playing ranked teams in the early part of the season will only help down the road. Congrats on beating Xavier, who has been, year in and year out, a top notch program. This victory will play huge dividends come tournament time.

    Go Buffs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *