Colorado Basketball – December, 2017

December 31st

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to 0-2 in Pac-12 play with road loss at Oregon

Related … “Familiar struggles ruin New Year’s Eve for CU men’s basketball at Oregon” … from the Daily Camera

From … Another slow start, turnovers and poor shooting in crucial moments sent the Colorado Buffaloes home with another road loss Sunday night, this time a 77-62 defeat at Oregon.

The Buffs shot just 42 percent from the floor (25-for-59) and just 31 percent from 3-point range (7-for-22), and also committed 20 turnovers, which the Ducks converted into 18 points. Oregon also shot 51 percent from the field (26-for-51).

Colorado dropped to 8-6 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 play while Oregon improved to 11-4 and 1-1. The loss was CU’s fourth in as many road games this season and sixth overall in the last eight games.

Namon Wright led Colorado with 20 points while McKinley Wright IV added 13. Oregon’s Troy Brown scored 21 points and Elijah Brown added 17.

But despite the outcome, CU head coach Tad Boyle said he was far more encouraged than he was after Friday night’s 76-57 loss at Oregon State.

“I thought our guys really battled and they really competed,” Boyle said. “I can’t ask for anymore from them than that. … I told our guys I have a total different feeling in my gut right now than I did Friday night. Friday night I was sick to my stomach because of our effort, our lack of concentration, that sort of thing. We didn’t take care of the ball and we couldn’t get to the free throw line, but it wasn’t because we weren’t trying. I like the spirit, I like the fight, I like the competitiveness of the group tonight.”

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December 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU at Oregon Sunday night (8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) – “You have to turn the page”

Related … “Oregon Looks for First Conference Win Against Colorado” … From

From the Daily Camera … Is the result of one league game too soon to hit the panic button?

For the Colorado men’s basketball team, maybe not.

A year ago, with a team that featured four fifth-year seniors and a fourth-year junior, the Buffaloes stumbled their way to an 0-7 start in Pac-12 Conference play. With a vastly different and much younger cast of characters this season, the Buffs will be challenged to avoid a repeat performance, particularly after Friday night’s 19-point loss at Oregon State.

The Buffs complete their road trip with a quick turnaround at Oregon on Sunday night, the first match of a daunting stretch of games over the next few weekends.

“You have to turn the page,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ve got to show our guys certain things they have to get better at. But really, it goes to getting the game plan set for Oregon. (Assistant) Mike Rohn has been looking at their film so we’ll be ready to give that to our guys. We’ve got a day of practice in Eugene. We’ve got to be able to make some shots at some point to beat somebody.

“This is a quick turnaround and we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’re not going to hang our heads. But you don’t have a lot of time to cry over (Oregon State).”

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December 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall hard on the road to otherwise beatable Oregon State, 76-57

From … The road continued to be an unfriendly place for the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday.

Haunted by turnovers in the first half, spotty defense in the second half and cold shooting all night, CU dropped a 76-57 loss at Oregon State in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

The Buffs, whose last road win came last February at Oregon State, dropped their third road game in as many tries this season to fall to 8-5 overall while the Beavers improved to 9-4.

Colorado shot just 34.5 percent from the field (20-for-58), including just 28 percent from 3-point range (7-for-25). The Beavers shot 51 percent from the field for the game, including a blistering 16-for-26 in the second half.

Colorado also committed 18 turnovers, which the Beavers converted into 28 points.

CU freshman Tyler Bey finished with 14 points, the only Buff in double figures. Buffs freshman McKinley Wright IV, who had scored in double figures in his first 12 games, saw the streak come to an end when he finished with just seven points on 3-for-14 shooting.

Stevie Thompson Jr. scored 24 for OSU and Tres Tinkle added 23.

“A little bit of an embarrassment in terms of how our team played both offensively and certainly defensively in the second half,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ve talked about our lack of consistency and it was evident. We have these lapses both offensively and defensively that we can’t have if you’re going to win in this league. The second half our defense was non-existent. They just punked us.”

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“Flashes of brilliance” won’t be enough for Buffs in Pac-12 play

Related … “Five keys for OSU men heading into the Pac-12 schedule” … from the Salem Statesman-Journal

From the Daily Camera … The phrase “flashes of brilliance” has dotted head coach Tad Boyle description of his Colorado Buffaloes lately.

Flashes, though, won’t get it done within the Pac-12 Conference.

The youngsters that comprise the bulk of the Buffs’ rotation already have provided encouraging signs for the future. Yet those glimpses have been offset by predictable growing pains as well as bouts of inconsistency from CU’s veterans. As the Buffs get set to open their seventh season of Pac-12 play Friday night at Oregon State, Boyle remains steadfast in his belief that finding more consistency on defense and on the glass will keep his team afloat through the 18-game league schedule.

“The level of play goes up when conference play happens. Much like the level of play goes up in postseason,” Boyle said. “There has been a common theme in our four losses. And that’s we haven’t rebounded the ball. We’re minus-7.8 on the boards in our four losses. And we’re giving up 48 field goal percentage defense in our four losses. In our eight wins we’re holding them to 39 percent field goal percentage and we’re plus-12 rebounding.

“When we do what we’re supposed to do, the wins and losses take care of themselves. I’m still getting our young guys to figure that out.”

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December 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado opens Pac-12 on the road against Oregon State (Friday, 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

Game Notes ...  Colorado finished off the nonconference portion of its schedule at 8-4 after falling to Iowa 80-73 in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Dec. 22. After a 6-0 start, the Buffaloes have dropped four of their last six.

Colorado opens Pac-12 Conference play on the road for the third straight year and fourth time in the last six seasons. The Buffaloes will be looking for their first true road win of the season in three tries (CU does have three neutral site victories). Colorado’s last true road win came at Oregon State, a 60-52 decision on Feb. 16, 2017.

Colorado is averaging 76.8 points per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 17 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.2 points per game while holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting and 34.9 percent from 3-point range.

THE BEAVERS: Oregon State heads into Pac-12 play at 8-4 overall, having already surpassed its 2016-17 win total by three games (5-27). The Beavers had a six-game win streak snapped with a 79-78 setback at Kent State in their last game on Dec. 21. Oregon State, 7-1 at home this season, is averaging 76.1 points on 47.9 percent shooting.

Defensively, Oregon State ranked second in scoring defense in the Pac-12 during the nonconference season at 70.2 points per game. The Beavers also rank second in the Pac-12 in steals with 6.9 per contest. Oregon State sports four players scoring in double figures led by sophomore forward Tres Tinkle averaging 18.2 points per game. Tinkle, who played in just six games last year due to injury, also leads the Beavers in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and steals (18). Junior
guard Stephen Thompson, Jr., averages 16.3 points while leading the Beavers in both assists (42) and 3-pointers made (22). Freshman guard Ethan Thompson, Stephen’s younger brother, is averaging 10.3 points and is second on the team in assists (41). Junior forward Drew Eubanks is third on the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game while ranking second in rebounding at 6.6 an outing.

Wayne Tinkle is in his fourth year as the head coach at Oregon State with a record of 49-58. He is in his 12th season overall as a collegiate head coach with a record of 207-149.

THE SERIES: This will be the 21st meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 14-6 series lead. The Buffaloes swept the season series in 2016-17, 85-78, on Jan. 26 at the Coors Events Center and 60-52 in Corvallis on February 16th. Colorado has won 8 of 12 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Oregon holds a 5-3 series lead in Corvallis.

Tad Boyle is 9-6 against Oregon State as a head coach. Wayne Tinkle is 2-4 against the Buffaloes as a head coach.

Young Buffs still looking for first road victory 

Related … “Future of Tory Miller-Stewart with CU basketball in limbo as Pac-12 play begins” … from the Daily Camera

From …  Sooner or later, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes need to pick up a road victory.

Colorado’s coach would no doubt prefer the “sooner” part of that equation — preferably beginning this weekend, when the 8-4 Buffs open Pac-12 play with a pair of road games. CU starts conference play Friday with a 9 p.m. contest at Oregon State; then plays an 8 p.m. game Sunday at Oregon.

Those are the first of four road games the Buffs will see in their first six conference games.

Colorado played only two true road games in its non-conference schedule, at Colorado State and at Xavier, and dropped both. CU did win three neutral-court games at the Paradise Jam in Lynchburg, Va., but closed out non-conference play with a loss against Iowa in Sioux Falls, S.D. — a neutral-floor game by the strict definition, but a home game for the Hawkeyes in terms of the crowd.

Now the stakes increase significantly for the Buffs, who have played well in spurts but have yet to establish anything resembling consistency over long stretches of time.

“The level of play goes up when conference play happens, much like the level of play goes up in postseason,” Boyle said after Wednesday’s practice. “They need to understand that. … When we do what we’re supposed to do, the wins and losses take care of themselves. I’m still getting our young guys to figure that out and our older guys to impart their sense of urgency.”

Last Friday’s loss to the Hawkeyes was in many ways a microcosm of how the Buffs have played for much of the year. The Buffs started slow and fell behind by 10, only to come back and take the lead midway through the second half. But another slow stretch allowed Iowa to regain the lead and the Buffs could not make up the difference in the final minutes.

“That’s what I’m talking about with this team,” Boyle said. “They’ve got fight. We’ve shown flashes. Midway through the second half we’re ahead, 30 minutes into the game in a tough road environment. But we don’t have the toughness, or you can say consistency, to finish it off.”

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December 25th – Merry Christmas!

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs may be looking at worst Pac-12 record since joining the conference

From the Daily Camera … The clock had just struck zero on Colorado’s fourth loss in six games, and despite his disappointment coach Tad Boyle was trying to stay focused on the positives.

His Buffaloes are competing. One member of his highly regarded freshman class is a budding star. Another is showing glimpses of the lofty potential Boyle himself lauded throughout the preseason. The 7-footer recruited as a project with knee issues has, at the very least, erased doubts about his ability to contribute at this level.

As far as developing promising talent goes, it hasn’t been a bad start at all.

Nevertheless, it could be a long winter for the Buffs within the Pac-12 Conference.

With league play set to begin Friday at Oregon State, Boyle is caught in a difficult conundrum unique to his particular coaching career. His is a business judged on wins and losses. And yet a successful 2017-18 season probably will be defined less by the final record than the continuing progress of the freshmen.

“I lump (Iowa) and the Colorado State and the San Diego games as ones that we lost. I didn’t feel like we got beat,” Boyle said. “That’s hard.”

… The Buffs’ worst Pac-12 mark since joining the league was 7-11 in 2014-15. The approach Boyle outlines might be the only one he and his staff can take with a young cast certain to expect bigger things in 2018-19. Yet it might make matching that 7-11 a monumental challenge over the next two-plus months.

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December 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU men’s basketball heading back to Hawai’i next Christmas

From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser … The 2018 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic was revealed today, on the first day of competition for the 2017 event at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Next year’s eight-team field is: Charlotte of Conference USA, Colorado of the Pac-12, host Hawaii of the Big West, Indiana State of the Missouri Valley, Rhode Island of the Atlantic 10, Saint Mary’s of the West Coast Conference, TCU of the Big 12, and UNLV of the Mountain West.

Besides UH, four of those teams — Colorado, Indiana State, Saint Mary’s, and UNLV — are past participants.


December 22nd

… CU in the Arena …

Iowa handles Buffs in Sioux Falls

Related … “Rebounding woes plague CU Buffs basketball in loss to Iowa” … from the Daily Camera

From … Once again, the inconsistency bug bit the Colorado Buffaloes.

After overcoming a 10-point deficit Friday night in the first half to take a five-point lead early in the second, the Buffs went cold and Iowa rallied to take an 80-73 win at the Sanford Pentagon.

The Buffs dropped to 8-4 with the loss in their last non-conference game while Iowa improved to 8-6.

After trailing by 10 midway through the first half, the Buffs cut the margin to one by intermission, then used a quick start in the second half to go up 44-39 just 4:30 in. But the Hawkeyes, playing in front of a highly partisan Iowa crowd, answered with a 17-4 run to regain control and Colorado never came closer than four again.

“When they made their run, we weren’t able to handle it,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We had about five empty possessions and we couldn’t get stops at the other end. It turned and we weren’t able to get back in the game.”

McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 21 points and also added six assists and three steals while not committing a turnover. Dallas Walton added a career-high 13 points for the Buffs and George King chipped in 10.

The difference in the game came down to shooting and rebounding. The Buffs hit just six of 23 attempts from 3-point range (29-for-68 overall from the field) while the Hawkeyes shot nearly 50 percent, including a 15-for-26 effort in the second half.

The Hawkeyes also dominated the Buffs on the board, holding a 43-31 rebound edge.

“They kicked our butt on the glass all night long,” Boyle said. “We knew that was going to be a key to the game, the rebounding battle, and we didn’t win it. Until we figure that out, it’s going to be tough on the road.”

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December 21st

… CU in the Arena … 

CU taking on Iowa Friday night at a “neutral court” in South Dakota

From … In terms of a final tuneup before conference play, Friday night’s game against Iowa (7 p.m., Big Ten Network) might be just what Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes need.

Technically, the game at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., is a neutral-site affair.

But, as Boyle noted, that designation is in name only. Sioux Falls is just across the Iowa border, and less than six hours from Iowa City. The 3,250-seat Pentagon is expected to be sold out, with the vast majority of fan cheering for the 7-6 Hawkeyes, giving the game all the atmosphere of a true road contest.

The 8-3 Buffs have been to Sioux Falls before. Two years ago, CU opened the season against Iowa State in the same facility, with Cyclones fans dominating the crowd. Boyle expects the same environment this year.

“It will be a pro-Iowa fan base and we know that,” Boyle said. “We’re preparing for a road game because it will be a road game. It’s neutral in name only.”

The Buffs are 0-2 in true road games this year, dropping decisions at Colorado State and at Xavier. They are 3-0 in neutral-court affairs, but all three of those wins came at the Paradise Jam in Lynchburg, Va., in front of sparse crowds.

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Game Notes … Colorado is 8-3 overall snapping a two-game skid with a thrilling 112-103 double overtime win over South Dakota State on Dec. 15. After a 6-0 start, the Buffaloes have dropped three of their last five. Colorado plays its final non-conference game of the season Friday before beginning Pac-12 Conference play at Oregon State on Dec. 29.

Colorado is averaging 77.2 points per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 17 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 72.6 points per game while holding opponents to 41.3 percent shooting and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

THE HAWKEYES: Iowa is 7-6 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten Conference, but picking up some momentum with wins in its last three contests. Included in that three-game span was a 90-64 neutral court win over Drake, a team Colorado defeated by five in the Paradise Jam semifinals.

The Hawkeyes are 2-2 on a neutral court, with one of those losses coming to South Dakota State, 80-72, a team the
Buffaloes just defeated in double overtime. Iowa averages 81.0 points per game, but has shot that up to 91.0 over the last three.

The Hawkeyes are shooting 47.7 from the field and are one of the nation’s top assist teams, ranking seventh at 19.2 per game. Defensively, Iowa allows 72.6 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 41.7 percent.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the eighth meeting between Colorado and Iowa and the first in 22 years. Iowa holds a 4-3 lead in the series and has won the last two, including a 100-85 decision on Dec. 28, 1995, in Boulder in the last meeting. Colorado’s last win over Iowa was a 76-68 double overtime triumph on Dec. 14, 1959.

Chauncey Billups nominated for NBA Hall-of-Fame

From … Former Colorado star Chauncey Billups, who went on to become the third overall pick in the NBA Draft and lead the Detroit Pistons to an NBA title, has been named to this year’s list of eligible candidates for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

Billups, who now works as an analyst for ESPN, learned of his inclusion on this year’s list while on set.

“Just humbled,” Billups said. “Humbled and honored to be nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame. A kid from Denver, Colorado. Not even a lot of NBA players come from the neighborhood I came from, or even the state. A local hero in Denver whose ceiling is possibly in the Hall of Fame is humbling to me. I’m just happy to be on the list, to be honest with you. I played really hard my entire career and left it on the floor”

Billups’ path to stardom in the NBA was by no means an easy one.

He left Colorado after his sophomore season in 1997, one in which he led the Buffs to an NCAA Tournament win over Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers before losing to Dean Smith’s North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round.

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December 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs avoid embarrassing upset, outlast South Dakota State in double overtime

Related … “Scoring eruption between CU Buffs, South Dakota State makes mark in history book” … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado freshman Tyler Bey scored eight points in the second overtime Friday night and freshman McKinley Wright IV recorded a 30-point, 11-assist double-double to lead the Buffs to a 112-103 win over South Dakota State at the Coors Events Center.

CU improved to 8-3 with the win while SDSU fell to 9-5.

The Buffs, who led by seven in the second half and trailed by six in the first overtime before tying it up to force a second overtime period, took charge in the final five minutes.

Wright gave CU a 95-94 lead with one of two free throws early in the period and the Buffs never trailed again. Bey, who was also in charge of guarding South Dakota State star Mike Daum down the stretch, hit two free throws with 3:51 to go, then added a short jumper to bump Colorado’s lead to 99-96.

SDSU tied the game on a long David Jenkins 3-pointer, but Wright then drove the lane for a bucket with 2:09 left for a 101-99 CU lead and the Buffs held on down the stretch. Bey added another jumper from the wing and he and Wright each hit a pair of free throws in the ensuing minute, giving CU a 107-101 lead with just 37 seconds left.

The Buffs then kept the Jacks at bay at the foul line over the final seconds.

Along with his first career double-double, Wright had nine rebounds, just missing his first career triple-double. Bey finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, George King added 17 points and Lucas Siewert chipped in 14.

Daum finished with 37 points, but just four in the two overtime periods. Jenkins added 31 for the Jacks.

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December 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs need to rebound against South Dakota State

... Related … “South Dakota State’s Mike Daum a big challenge for CU basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From … With three losses in their last four games — all on the heels of a 6-0 start to the season — Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes are anxious to get their season back on track.

The next opportunity comes Friday, when the 7-3 Buffs play host to 9-4 South Dakota State in a 6 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center (Pac-12 Network).

The Buffs insist that confidence — or lack thereof — is not an issue, despite the recent skid. But there is also no doubt a solid effort, particularly on the offensive end of the floor, would provide a boost to a team that has not shot the ball well over the last couple of weeks.

“It (confidence) is part of tomorrow’s game plan — play with confidence offensively,” Boyle said after Thursday’s practice. “But confidence is not a commodity. I can’t go to the store and buy it for these guys … The only way you get confidence is get in the gym and having a little bit of intestinal fortitude and say, ‘Enough’s enough, let’s play how we’re capable of playing and play how we practice.'”

Since an 81-69 win over Air Force in late November, the Buffs’ shooting has gone south in the last four games. Even with a 26-for-52 effort against New Mexico — CU’s only win in that stretch — Colorado is shooting just 38 percent from the field overall and only 32.5 percent from 3-point range in December.

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Game Notes … Colorado is 7-3 overall after falling to San Diego, 69-59, on Dec. 12. After a 6-0 start the Buffaloes have lost two of straight and three of their last four. Colorado plays its last nonconference home game Friday before taking the next week off for finals.

Colorado is averaging 73.7 points per game while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 69.6 points per game while holding opponents to 40.9 percent shooting and 34.6 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is third in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+6.8), scoring defense (69.6 ppg), field goal defense (.409) and 3-point defense (.346).

THE JACKRABBITS: South Dakota State is 9-4 overall, winners of its last two against Concordia (Neb.), 103-67, and North Dakota, 99-63. SDSU is 1-2 in true road games, but its against an impressive lineup with an overtime win at Ole Miss and the two losses coming to national powers Kansas and Wichita State. The Jackrabbits average
82.4 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and a stout 41 percent from the 3-point line. SDSU ranks 16th in the nation in 3-pointers made per game at 10.8 an outing. The Jackrabbits also get to the line at an impressive rate, leading the nation in total free throws made (223) and second in attempts (299). Defensively, the
Jackrabbits give up 73.3 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 43.7 percent.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the third meeting between Colorado and South Dakota State with the Buffaloes holding a 2-0 lead with both games coming in Boulder. The teams met in the old Balch Fieldhouse on Dec. 2, 1978, a 66-62 Buffs win. In the last meeting CU defeated the Jackrabbits 82-49 on Feb. 14, 2005, during South Dakota
State’s first year of transition from NCAA Division II to Division I.

George King apologizes for loss to San Diego

From the Daily Camera … George King was apologetic to his teammates after what was one of the ugliest offensive performances ever put together by a Colorado men’s basketball team at home.

The Buffaloes struggled throughout a 69-59 defeat Tuesday night against San Diego, finishing with a shooting percentage of .259 that was the lowest ever by a CU team at the Coors Events Center. Despite finishing with a double-double for the third time this season and the 10th time in his career, King was not immune to those struggles, going 4-for-16 overall and 0-for-5 on 3-pointers.

Still, the Buffs chipped away at the deficit in the middle stages of the second half, doing most of their damage at the free throw line while eventually whittling the San Diego lead to five points. King, though, took responsibility afterward for a pair of missed opportunities defensively that contributed to the comeback falling short.

“I apologize to the team,” King said. “It was a key moment for us. We started to really get back in the game. Our momentum was really good defensively. And my man drives right past me for a layup. There was another incident when we got a stop and I didn’t box my man out. He ended up getting an offensive rebound. That’s why I feel the way I do. I know for a fact if we would have gotten those two stops, we would have put my team in great position to win the game. And I didn’t do that.”

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December 12th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs held to 26 percent shooting in falling at home to San Diego

Related … “San Diego defense smothers CU Buffaloes” … from the Daily Camera

From … As the old saying goes, the Colorado Buffaloes could not buy a basket Tuesday night.

As a result, the ice-cold Buffs dropped a 69-59 loss to visiting San Diego, their third loss in their last four games.

Now 7-3, CU hit just 14 of its 54 field goal tries (26 percent), threatening for much of the night to break the CU record for fewest field goals in a game (12). The Buffs at one point missed 12 straight field goal attempts in the second half, but still managed to cut a 16-point deficit to five at one point before the Toreros pulled away down the stretch.

CU’s George King had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, but shot just 4-for-16 from the field. McKinley Wright IV had 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting.

The Toreros, who shot a respectable 20-for-49, including 9-for-23 from 3-point range, improved to 8-2. San Diego’s Isaiah Wright led all scorers with 20 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing by eight at intermission, 29-21, the Buffs saw that deficit doubled just four minutes into the second half as the Toreros built a 42-26 edge by knocking down three 3-pointers in the stretch.

CU, though, slowly climbed back into the game at the free throw line. The Buffs put together an 18-7 run, with 14 of the points coming from free throws, to narrow USD’s lead to just five, 49-44, with 7:10 to play.

But the Buffs still couldn’t hit from the field — missing 10 in a row after closing the gap — and San Diego built the lead back to 12 with just three minutes to play, using a 7-0 burst to bump its margin to 58-46.

Colorado finally ended its drought from the field when Deleon Brown banked in a 3-pointer with 2:28 to play, but the Toreros held the Buffs at bay down the stretch for the win.

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December 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs look to rebound against San Diego Tuesday night

From … Almost without warning, crunch time has arrived for the Colorado basketball team.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs now have just three games remaining before they open Pac-12 play, with two of those on tap this week at home: Tuesday’s 6 p.m. matchup with San Diego and Friday’s 6 p.m. tilt with South Dakota State (both televised by the Pac-12 Network).

Those will be the Buffs’ last home games before their Jan. 4 conference home opener against Arizona State.

“We have to take care of these,” Boyle said after Monday morning’s practice. ” These opportunities are really important. San Diego is a big game for us. These are the games if you don’t take care of business can come back and haunt you. … These two home games are critical.”

After this week, the Buffs wrap up their non-conference schedule with a Dec. 22 game vs. Iowa in Sioux Falls, S.D. — a game that comes at the end of finals week at CU.

“It’s a big two weeks for our team,” Boyle said. “Academically it’s a big two weeks. It’s crunch time for these guys in a lot of different areas, and for a young team, they have to understand that.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 7-2 overall after falling to No. 13/14 ranked Xavier 96-69 on Dec. 9. After a 6-0 start the Buffaloes have lost two of three – both losses coming on the road. Colorado plays its last two non-conference home games this week before taking the next week off for finals.

The Buffaloes have four 7-1 starts over the last six seasons, with the previous three ending in NCAA Tournament
appearances (2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16). Colorado is averaging 75.3 points per game while shooting a solid 47 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 69.7 points per game while holding opponents to 40.9 percent shooting and 34.1 percent from 3-point range.

THE TOREROS: San Diego is 7-2 overall and has won its last two. The Toreros average 68.1 points on 44.2 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. San Diego has began the year as one of the nation’s top defensive teams. The Toreros rank No. 1 in the nation in defending the 3-point line, allowing opponents only 22.4 percent. San Diego also leads the West Coast Conference and is seventh in the nation scoring defense at 59.7 points allowed per
game and 15th in NCAA I in field goal percentage defense (.373).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the fifth meeting between Colorado and San Diego with the Buffaloes holding a 3-1 series lead. The previous four meetings came in a five year span between 1987 and 1992. Colorado has won the last three, including both games played in Boulder; first an 83-72 decision on Jan. 9, 1988, then a 71-63 triumph on Jan. 7, 1992.


December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU routed by No. 13 Xavier, 96-69

From … Colorado’s young Buffaloes got their first taste of the big stage Saturday, and the lesson delivered proved to be a harsh one.

Playing in front of a sold-out Cintas Arena crowd, the Buffs fell behind early and could never close the gap, dropping a 96-69 decision to No. 13 Xavier.

The Buffs hurt themselves early with turnovers and the hot-shooting Musketeers were glad to take advantage, jumping out to a 31-10 lead just eight minutes in.

CU, however, refused to quit. Colorado managed to close the gap to 16 by halftime and closed to within 13 midway through the second half, but Xavier pulled away down the stretch for the win.

The Buffs dropped to 7-2 while Xavier improved to 9-1.

Namon Wright led CU with 20 points while McKinley Wright IV added 16 and George King chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Musketeers, who shot a blistering 60 percent from the field (35-58) — including 9-for-14 from 3-point range — were led by Trevon Bluiett, who finished with 25 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing by 16 at the half, the Buffs temporarily closed the gap to 13 midway through the second period.

But the Musketeers regrouped and once again began to extend the lead, stretching the edge to as much as 29 at one point.

Continue reading story here


December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU at Xavier – Saturday, 3:00 p.m., MT, FS1

Game Notes … Colorado is 7-1 overall, rebounding from its first loss of the season with a 75-57 triumph over New Mexico on Dec. 6. The Buffaloes have enjoyed a 7-1 start in four of the last six seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16 — all NCAA Tournament teams).

Colorado is averaging 76.1 points per game while shooting a solid 48 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and six averaging between six and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 66.4 points per game while holding opponents to 38.5 percent shooting and 32 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (66.4 ppg), rebounding margin (+8.9) and defensive rebounds (30.9 drpg) while ranking second in field goal percentage defense (.385) and overall rebounds (40.9 rpg) and third in 3-point defense (.320) and rebounding defense (32.0). Colorado had 58 rebounds against New Mexico, its most
since grabbing 61 against Stetson on Nov. 24, 2002.

THE MUSKETEERS: Xavier is 8-1 overall and ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 14 in the most recent USA Today Coaches poll. The Musketeers have one of the nation’s top offensive attacks, ranking among the top 20 in NCAA Division I in several categories. Xavier is the second-best shooting team in the nation at 53.9 percent, just behind Virginia Tech (.553).

The Musketeers are 13th in the nation in scoring at 89.8 points per game, eighth in free throw percentage (.796) and 17th in assists (18.4 apg). Xavier had been held under 80 points only once, and that was a solid 76-63 win over Baylor on Nov. 28. Defensively, the Musketeers allow just under 70 points per game while holding opponents to 39 percent shooting.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the third meeting between Colorado and Xavier with each team holding one win in the series. Colorado claimed a 68-66 win over the No. 13/14 ranked Musketeers on Dec. 16, 2016, at the Coors Events Center. Xavier’s win was a 74-61 decision on Nov. 27, 1998, in San Juan, P.R. This will be Colorado’s first trip to Xavier and first on the home floor of a current Big East Conference team since playing at Marquette in 1987.

From …  When the Colorado Buffaloes open Pac-12 play in late December, they will see NCAA Tournament-caliber teams on a regular basis.

Saturday afternoon, Tad Boyle‘s 7-1 Buffs will get a taste of what that means when they face No. 13 Xavier in a 3 p.m. contest (FS1) at the Cintas Center, where the 8-1 Musketeers have won 36 straight non-conference games.

The game is the second half of a home-and-home series.

A year ago, Colorado beat Xavier in Boulder, 68-66, overcoming an eight-point deficit in the second half for the win. But while the Buffs proceeded to endure an up-and-down season from that point forward, the Musketeers came on strong at the end of the year and advanced all the way to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

Now, with most of last year’s team back — including guard Trevon Bluiett, a national player of the year candidate — the Musketeers are seen by most as a team capable of making another such run.

“They have unbelievable inside presence and depth,” Boyle said Thursday. “Bluiett is shooting the ball at an unbelievably high rate and (guard J.P.) Macura is tough and makes plays. The (forward Kaiser) Gates kid can really stroke it from three. They have great size, great shooting ability and they’re tough to guard.”

Bluiett is no doubt off to a hot start, averaging 21.3 points per game while shooting 53.6 percent from the field, one very big reason the Musketeers are second in the nation in team shooting percentage (53.9). Bluiett is also averaging 5.2 rebounds per game, and he is joined in double-figure scoring by Macura (12.6 ppg) and Gates (10.4 ppg).

Inside, the rely on the presence of 6-foot-9, 242-pound Tyrique Jones, who leads the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg) to go along with 9.8 points per game.

The Musketeers have also played a tough schedule early on, with wins thus far over Cincinnati, Baylor and Wisconsin. They’re only loss thus far has been to No. 16 Arizona State.

Continue reading story here


December 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs overcome 23 turnovers in 75-57 win over New Mexico

Related … “Freshmen lead second-half surge as CU men’s basketball tops New Mexico” … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado’s young Buffs are growing up in a hurry.

CU’s freshmen sparked a decisive 12-3 run Wednesday night that broke open a one-point game in the second half and the Buffs pulled away down the stretch for a 75-57 win over New Mexico at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs also had plenty of help from their seniors.

Senior Dominique Collier led the Buffs with 16 points — 14 in the second half — while freshman McKinley Wright IV recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. CU senior George King posted his ninth career double-double and second of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Buffs won despite committing a season-high 23 turnovers that led to 28 New Mexico points. Colorado made up the difference by putting forth a dominant 58-31 rebound edge, as well as holding the Lobos to just 29.6 percent shooting (21-for-71) — including a 9-for-34 performance in the second half.

Colorado improved to 7-1 with the win while the Lobos fell to 3-6.

“Certainly not a thing of beauty,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “If we were in a beauty contest I think we would have gotten fifth place. But we did what we had to do to get the win.”

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: The Buffs travel to Cincinnati on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. matchup with No. 13 Xavier.

CU women post 70-67 road win over Colorado State

From …  Annika Jank scored a season-high 22 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Colorado to wild a 70-67 win at Colorado State on Wednesday night in Moby Arena. The Buffs improved to 7-1 this season with their sixth consecutive win, while CSU dropped to 5-3.

STAT LEADERS: Jank, a freshman from Edina, Minn., shot 9-of-15 from the floor and added two assists. Kennedy Leonardchipped in with 18 points and five assists, burying 8-of-11 free throws and forcing three steals. Zoe Correal provided 10 points off the bench and had six rebounds. Brecca Thomas scored nine points, including seven in the first quarter.

Continue reading story here

UP NEXT: CU hosts Dartmouth (6-1) at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Coors Events Center.


December 5th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs to try and avoid another “sub-par rebounding effort” v. New Mexico

From … Colorado coach Tad Boyle hinted strongly Tuesday that he will make some changes in his playing time rotation when the Buffs host New Mexico on Wednesday.

“When we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do, I have to make changes,” Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s the beauty of having a team with depth. … The definition of insanity is you keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Maybe we need to shake things up.”

The 6-1 Buffs, coming off Saturday’s loss at Colorado State, face the 3-5 Lobos in a 7 p.m. meeting at the Coors Events Center (Pac-12 Networks).

“The number of guys that we play probably isn’t going to change, the guys that play probably isn’t going to change,” Boyle said. “What’s going to change maybe is how long guys play and how much guys play versus other guys.”

Foremost on Boyle’s mind is correcting a rebounding issue that led to Colorado State owning a 46-32 edge on the boards in a 72-63 loss. That rebounding edge included a 25-9 differential among the starting front lines for both teams.

“We had some really sub-par rebounding efforts, certainly as a team but also individually against CSU,” Boyle said. “I’m going to have to address those with playing time.”

Continue reading story here

CU v. New Mexico – Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

From …  Colorado is 6-1 overall after dropping its first game of the season, 72-63, at Colorado State on Dec. 2. It was the first true road test for the Buffaloes, although CU has already played three neutral site games in winning the three-game Paradise Jam Tournament in Lynchburg, Va.

Colorado is averaging 76.3 points per game while shooting a solid 48 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven averaging between five and 16 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 68 points per game while holding opponents to 40 percent shooting and 32 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado ranks third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (67.7 ppg), field goal defense (.400), 3-point defense (.325) and rebounding defense (32.3 rpg).

THE LOBOS: New Mexico is 3-5 overall and coming off an 88-76 setback at UTEP on Dec. 2. The Lobos are averaging an impressive 86 points per game and have already hit the century mark twice this season. UNM is hitting 44 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the free throw line. New Mexico averages nearly 12 3-point field goals per game, ranking eighth in the country. Defensively, the Lobos give up 78 points an outing while allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent. New Mexico ranks sixth in NCAA Division I in turnovers forced at 20.4 per game and 10th in turnover margin at plus-6.1.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 14th meeting between Colorado and New Mexico with the Lobos holding a slim 7-6 series lead. It is the first meeting since December 2010, when New Mexico defeated the Buffaloes 89-76 in Las Vegas. The Lobos have won the last three in the series, including a sweep in the last home-and-home set in 2006 and ‘07. Colorado’s last win over New Mexico was a77-65 decision in Albuquerque on Nov. 28, 1980.

New Mexico was the opponent in Colorado’s first regular season game at the Coors Events Center on Dec. 1, 1979, an 86-78 Buffaloes win. Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is 0-1 vs. New Mexico. Paul Weir has never faced Colorado as a head coach.


Tad Boyle on CU spiraling downward after CSU loss: “That’s not going to happen”

From … Sooner or later, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes were bound to hit a bump in the road.

The fact that it came against the Buffs’ in-state rival Saturday in Fort Collins just made it sting a little more than it might have otherwise.

Anyone who had watched Colorado with regularity this year knew the young Buffs had already flirted with disaster more than once. There was the game when they needed to rally from 13 down in the final four minutes to beat Quinnipiac. There was the 17-point lead against Drake in the second half that dwindled to one before they finally regained control.

Saturday was simply a case of tempting fate once too often. The Buffs allowed the Rams to build a 17-point lead in the second half before coming back to cut the deficit to four — but this time around, couldn’t get over the hump down the stretch.

While it is no consolation to the Buffs, it did take CSU’s best effort of the year to produce the win. The Rams, who entered the game shooting just a shade better than 30 percent from 3-point range, hit 39 percent of their long-distance shots. They also thumped the Buffs on the boards, taking full advantage of CU’s first game without the services of big man Tory Miller-Stewart (out with a foot injury), and ended up with nine blocked shots — three times their average thus far this season.

Now, the 6-1 Buffs have to take what they learned from the loss and apply it to the future, beginning with a pair of games this week. The slate begins with Wednesday’s 7 p.m. home tilt with New Mexico (Pac-12 Networks) followed by a 3 p.m. contest Saturday at No. 13 Xavier (FS1).

Continue reading story here


December 4th

… CU in the Arena …

LaVar Ball pulls son out of UCLA over suspension

From CBS Sports … LiAngelo Ball’s UCLA career would appear to be over. It’s over, seemingly, because his father said so.

TMZ first reported on Monday afternoon that Bruins freshman LiAngelo Ball is no longer with the program or even a student at the university because his father, LaVar, removed him. ESPN shortly thereafter confirmed the story by talking with LaVar.

After a quiet couple of weeks in Westwood, the maneuver by LaVar Ball brings the latest round of publicity and counterblast to him and his family. Ball has built a business (Big Baller Brand) off the family name by being outspoken and riling up controversy on a near-weekly basis over the past year-plus.

Monday’s decision by LaVar is the second of its kind in the past two months. In early October, five-star prospect LaMelo Ball was pulled from Chino Hills High. Dad said he would be home-schooling his youngest child.

LiAngelo Ball’s jettison of UCLA comes while serving an indefinite suspension, along with UCLA freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, after the threesome was arrested and charged with shoplifting from multiple high-end retail outlets on the team’s overseas trip to China last month. LiAngelo Ball was a three-star prospect, ranked 226th in his class, coming out of Chino Hills High.

On Nov. 15, Steve Alford announced the Bruins trio would remain indefinitely suspended and would have to earn their way back onto the team.

Continue reading story here


December 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

CU down two big men after Tory Miller-Stewart is lost for the season

From the Daily Camera … An already youthful roster for the Colorado men’s basketball team suddenly has become appreciably younger.

Overshadowing Saturday’s 72-63 loss for the Colorado men’s basketball team at rival Colorado State was the news that senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart suffered a broken foot earlier this week, a setback that could rob the Buffaloes of their most experienced post player for the remainder of the season.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Miller-Stewart and George King had both appeared in 101 games, with fellow senior Dom Collier playing his 96th career game at CSU. On a team that regularly sends five freshmen into the rotation, Miller-Stewart’s minutes will go mostly to sophomore Lucas Siewert, who still is not 100 percent recovered from an ankle injury, and redshirt freshman Dallas Walton, who made his first career start in just his fifth game Saturday.

“Tory was injured at practice and is out indefinitely,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ll kind of get a feel as we go. I’m going to just leave it at that and figure out from whoever I have to figure it out from what I can say, what I can’t say. But he’s out indefinitely. We’re not going to have him for a while.

“We missed Tory tonight. But we had enough guys. This loss had nothing to do with Tory Miller not being here. We miss Tory, we love Tory, but we had enough guys in uniform.”

Continue reading story here


December 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to 6-1 after road loss to Colorado State

From … Call it a learning experience for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Down by as much as 17 points in the second half Saturday, the Buffs rallied to cut the deficit to five in the final few minutes, but could never get over the hump in a 72-63 loss to Colorado State.

The loss dropped Colorado to 6-1 while CSU improved to 4-4.

McKinley Wright led CU with 19 points and eight rebounds while George King added 9 points and seven rebounds — but King hit just 3 of his 13 field goal tries. CU was without the services of senior center Tory Miller-Stewart, who suffered a foot injury earlier this week in practice and is out for an indeterminate amount of time, according to head coach Tad Boyle.

The Rams dominated the Buffs on the boards, 46-32, and despite not recording a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game, managed to hold on by hitting free throws down the stretch.

HOW IT HAPPENED: It was the first true road game of the year for the young Buffs, and they played like it at times in front of a raucous Moby Arena crowd. Colorado played well in spurts — CU trailed just 38-35 at the half — but the Rams broke open a tight game after intermission with an 18-7 run in the first eight minutes to open up a 56-42 edge with 11:48 to go in the game.

CSU hit the Buffs from every position on the floor, getting an early 3-point bucket from Prentiss Nixon before going inside for six straight points. J.D. Paige pushed the CSU lead to double digits with three free throws — the result of George King‘s third foul — and the deficit grew to 14 on a fast-break slam dunk, then as high as 17.

Colorado, though, rallied to cut the margin to five, 65-60. An 11-0 CU run — all from McKinley Wright — sparked the burst before a King 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:41 to go pulled the Buffs to within five.

The Rams — who went without a field goal for nearly seven minutes — pushed the margin back to seen on a pair of Deon James free throws before Dominique Collier brought CU back to within five with a driving layup with 1:05 to go.

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: Colorado returns to the Coors Events Center for a 7 p.m. home game Wednesday with New Mexico.


December 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs ready for Saturday morning showdown against Colorado State

From … As much as Colorado coach Tad Boyle would love to see his Buffs get up and down the Moby Arena floor in a hurry Saturday, it’s not what he is expecting to transpire.

Rather, when the 6-0 Buffs and 3-4 Colorado State tip it off at 11 a.m. (AT&T SportsNet), Boyle expects a much slower pace. That’s the kind of game Larry Eustachy’s Rams love to play, and they will no doubt try to engage the Buffs in a halfcourt battle.

“We have to be able to execute in halfcourt,” Boyle said. “It’s much easier to slow the game down than it is to speed it up. Hopefully if we’re getting stops we can run and get in transition a little bit, but we have to be ready for a knock-down, drag-out, grind-it-out game.”

The Buffs have been there before with the Rams, with differing degrees of success. Two years ago, they survived a hot-shooting Rams team in the first half and overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to collect an 88-77 win in Fort Collins.

But last year, the Buffs put forth what Boyle termed a “god-awful” offensive performance and dropped a 72-58 decision in Boulder, despite holding a plus-nine rebound advantage and holding CSU to just 38.5 percent shooting from the field.

The difference in that game was Colorado’s shooting. CU hit just 32.2 percent of its shots (19-for-59), which included a 3-for-19 effort from 3-point range.

“CSU will bait you into early ‘threes’,” Boyle said. “They want you to shoot the ball early in the shot clock. They showed great patience against us offensively. … We told our guys we can’t settle for early 3s. That’s what they want. If you take those early 3s and they don’t go in, it’s a tough deal.”

Continue reading story here


30 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – December, 2017”

  1. 20 wins?

    Are the mighty buffs gonna get to 20 wins?

    9 and 6
    14 regular season games left
    1 Pac 12 tourney game..minimum

    so gotta go 11 and 3 in conference to get to 20 or 10 and 4 including 1 pac tourney game.

    Holy moly that is a tough row.


    Note: May take winning the pac12 tourney to make the NCAA tourney.

    1. VK, you be careful and don’t get hurt, not if, but when, that big Dre dunks right over you. As a freshman at CU I got to watch Wilt play against the Buffs. Pretty exciting, but I really doubt that anyone since Wilt was in Boulder there has been an any better Big then Ayton.

  2. Yo Stuart,

    Congrats to Tad and the Buffs on beating a very good Arizona State team. It’s the biggest win since taking the Pac-12 tournament. No time to rest on their laurels though, with the cheaters from Tucson coming to town next. I can’t believe Miller still has a job. Go Buffs!


  3. The players can compete and battle all they want but if its not in a team and structured setting it wont make any difference.
    Poor shooting, turnovers and not making it to the foul line are all symptoms of no plan on offense. Ball security depends on teamwork. All you hear from Tad is rebounding and D…and the even the D seems one dimensional. Does he somehow think the player’s natural playground abilities are going to be an auto solution on offense? It sure wont when the other team os playing as a team on D.
    I know these kids are freshmen but McKinley is way beyond a freshman with his abilities and Schwartz and Bey have the talent. King’s struggles just put an exclamation point on the lack of team coaching
    Tad became an instant fan favorite with his initial success but its wearing mighty thin.

    1. I have been reading long enough. Rebounding and D won the game last night. They frustrated Evans all night an by the middle of overtime they broke the SD will. That was a great win not a lucky win and Tad should be commended for that. This team will make noise if Mc. Wright takes a leadership role and King sticks with being a spot up shooter. I’m going to Vegas this team will make some noise.

  4. The problem is Tad doesn’t like zone defense so they don’t practice it much or practice against it. He is a man to man type of coach, but guess what, until the Buffs can defeat the zone (by shooting/making 3 pointers or driving and breaking it down) they will see zone from every team they play.

  5. The unforced turnovers and defensive play remind me of a below average to average high school team. I hope I am wrong but this team may not win any conference games.

  6. If McKinley Wright has a good game, the Buffs have half a chance to win a Pac-12 game. If he struggles, they have no chance. Like the Cincinnatti coach said: “you have to play offense effeciently and score in the 70s to have a chance to win at this level.” The point total for the teams that won in the Pac-12 last night: 96,88,76,66. COlorado had 23 at halftime, 57 total.
    But look at the bright side, we out rebounded them…

    Gonna be a long season for Ricardo bad, I mean Tad Boyle…

    1. Hey 96, you may be on to something. I hope not. On the other hand, I have always thought there was a direct correlation between CU football and basketball. Or really, an inverse correlation. CU basketball was terrible -well not the lady Buffs- when the football team was rolling.

      Here’s to hoping they can excel at all three at the same time.

      Go Buffs.

      1. I, too, Eric hope that all three can thrive at once. But the current trend of CU men’s basketball does not look good and will not change unless Tad ups his game in recruiting, quality of his staff (recruiting, coaching, developing players) and tweaks his philosophy (he got his rebounding/defense mantra from his mentor Larry Brown when he went into coaching, but Tad, you sir are no Larry Brown) to include recruiting guys who can score and empasizing effeciency on offense alongside defense/rebounding as I posted in detail in this thread. If he doesn’t then RIck George needs to have a MacII -like sitdown to force a change.

        I would estimate 30% of my season ticket section mates give away their tickets (which mostly go unused) and slightly more are thinking about not renewing for next year. The level of frustration with Tad is rising. He better develop this nice freshman class (and D Walton/D. Brown/ and L. Siewert) because a lot is riding on their shoulders…

        1. Yeah, a couple good big dudes would help, too. Both Iowa, and even osu had more size, particularly in the paint. Losing battey for this year was a big hit.

          Go Buffs.

  7. Right now CU basketball is trending exactly in Ricardo Patton mediocrity:

    Want some numbers to prove it?

    Ricardo Patton: 1996-2006 (10 seasons)

    Overall Record: 177-140 (55.8 % win percentage)
    Conference Record: 74-86 ( 46.2% win perentage)

    Tad Boyle (2014–2016 ) (last 3 full seasons)

    Overall Record: 57-45 (55.8 % win percentage)
    Conference Record: 25-29 (46.2% win percentage)

    Exact. Same. Record. As. Ricardo Patton.

    Not fair to only include Tad’s last three full seasons (and not his entire record) and not Patton’s last 7-20 year? Well this year may well be Tad’s worst record ever. And the only record that counts is NCAA tourney wins: Tad-1 (beat UNLV) Riccardo -1 (beat Indiana).

    Rick George doesn’t understand why fans are not showing up at The Can? It’s because we now have a Ricardo Patton program that’s why. You say this freshman class says the program is trending upward? Well Tad better hope so because his job depends on it (btw, the 2018-2019 recruting class is ranked #74 in the county with one scholarship left (two 6-4 guys recruited ).

    Tad could win with Bzdelik’s players (Burks, Higgins, Relphorde, Dufalt, Tomlinson, Knutson, etc) and when the PAC-12 was down his first year (only Cal made the tourney and it was the play-in game in Dayton) and when Abatemarco was on staff recruiting (Josh Scott, ROberson, Dinwiddie) but hasn’t proved he is much better than Ricardo Patton over the last 3+ seasons.

    Harsh, but true. I would love nothing more than to be proved wrong and I appreciate the loyalty Tad has shown but the warning signs are there folks…record, attendance, recruiting, apathy from student section, etc……

    1. Sorry. Tad’s 2018 recruting class has fallen to number 88 in the country and 11th in the PAC-12– with one scholarship available. Like I said, Tad better hope this freshman class stays together and he can continue to develop them because a lot is riding on their shoulders…

  8. Two Tad Boyle quotes after the game:

    1. “The negatives are we have to rebound the ball better and we have to be tougher at crunch time.”

    2. We’re a good rebounding team against bad teams, but against good teams we don’t answer the bell,” Boyle said. “That’s disappointing. Iowa is athletic and they’re big and they’re strong, but that’s not an excuse.”

    Now contrast this with the Cincinnati Bearcat head coach at halftime of their win at UCLA after overcoming a sluggish start and leading by large margin at halftime:

    “I thought our offense started to click and that picked up our defensive intensity. You have to execute efficiently on offense and score in the high 70s just to have a chance to win at this level”

    Hmmm, no mention of defense and rebounding. Of course you have to rebound and play defense and no succesful D-1 program doesn’t empasize it–but there is something about playing effeciently on offense that Tad doesn’t get.

    And this Boyle quote kills me: Iowa is athletic and they’re big and they’re strong, but that’s not an excuse.” Yes Tad it is an excuse. Because you wiffed on three recruiting classes which left you exposed up front after the one big body you had got hurt (Tory Miller) your forced to have Tyler Bey play a guy 3 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier and he was out-muscled all game long, just like the Xavier game. Same for the whole team. It was plain to see. Tyler is going to be a very good player but he needs another few years in the weight room and could use some help from upper-class bigs which Tad doesn’t have.

    The MVP of this team is Indinia coach Archie Miller because if doesn’t leave Dayton Tad doesn’t get McKinely Wright and Tad is sitting on 3 wins right now.

  9. While I appreciate the job Tad Boyle has done at Colorado by taking b-ball to a level not seen for many decades, he deserves plenty of criticism for putting a team on the court in his eighth year that gets whipped by the University of San Diego. At home. At altitude. Here are the crticisms:

    1. Average recruiter at best. He flubbed on three classes in a row and that has caused him to put too young a team on the court. The slow serbian guy and Akizyli (sp) class was a complete bust. Dallas Walton and Deleon Brown’s class is underwhelming at best, as is Dom Collier and Tory Miller’s. Also, the college game is a three point line game now and he hasn’t recruited anyone who can drill it behind the arc since, who? Dinwiddie-maybe? Let’s not mention X-Talton and the piano player of years past.

    2. Not developing players. Dom Collier comes to mind. Either he was way overrated as a 4 star but he looks like he is still lost on the Court. And when have we recruited and developed a post player? Also, TreShaun FLetcher is filling it up at Toledo. Jaron Hopkins has better numbers at Fresno State? I thought Josh Fortune, Xavier Johnson and Wes Gordon actually regressed the longer they were in the system.

    3. Which brings up all the transfers. I get that some players will transfer. But is the never-ending Defense/Rebounding ethos preventing some players from developing offensively, — thus getting frustrated and looking elsewhere?

    4. Finally, the program has stagnated since Tom Abatemarco left. Which begs the question: was Abatemarco Boyle’s Jim Leavitt? And Tad clearly has been outcoached by Eustachey the last two years. They miss Abatemarco on the bench.

    Do I think Tad should be canned? No, no and no. Do I like this freshman class? Yes, yes and yes. But the warning signs are there and Tad needs to up his game.

      1. 96 Buff said for me
        “But is the never-ending Defense/Rebounding ethos preventing some players from developing offensively,…”
        For some reason the constantly pounded defense/rebounding never seems to develop to expectations either.
        Then the once in a generation successful paint player doesnt cut it. That, however, seems to be a Buff disease that predates Boyle….but Boyle recruits guards like MM recruits wideouts.
        The San Diego team stands out because they seem to be the team Boyle wants the Buffs to be like.

        1. Hmmm: Not to pour fire on Tad but here are a few more Abatemarco stats and an interesting recap in the Post after he left CU:

          Tad Boyle’s record with and without Abatemarco counting full seasons only (not counting this year):

          With Abatemarco:

          Overall record: 92-50
          Conference Record: 39-31
          Big XII Conference Championship semifinal (loss to Kansas), Pac-12 Conference Championship

          Without Abatemarco:
          Overall Record: 57-45
          Conference Record: *25-29

          Here is the article:
          Tom Abatemarco, a member of Colorado’s men’s basketball coaching staff for each of the three years that Tad Boyle has been head coach, accepted an offer Thursday to be an assistant coach at Loyola Marymount, Lions coach Max Good confirmed.

          “Tom will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program,” Good said Thursday afternoon.

          “He is known as a terrific recruiter,” Good added, “but also has a vast knowledge of the game of basketball. And he has a lot of energy.”

          Abatemarco, who has been a head coach at Sacramento State, Lamar and Drake, was in his second stint at CU, having been an assistant coach for the Buffs under Joe Harrington from 1991-94.

          Abatemarco held the title of assistant coach during Boyle’s first two seasons at CU but was shifted to the position of director of player development prior to the 2012-13 season, to make room for the promotion of Rodney Billups to assistant coach.

          With that role in operations, Abatemarco was prohibited by NCAA rules from recruiting on the road, and it is no secret that he missed being a hands-on recruiter. As an assistant coach at Loyola Marymount, Abatemarco will be able to leave the office and recruit, which he has said is his passion.

          Good said they have known each other since Abatemarco was an assistant coach under the Jim Valvano at North Carolina State in the 1980s.

          96Buff Here: I am not overplaying the Boyle’s Leavitt angle am I?

          1. I stand corrected and have to be fair in the numbers. The 2013-2014 season should be in the “without Abatemarco” column which helps Tad slightly more (but doesn’t change conference tourney outcomes), but I don’t think changes the overall point that CU basketball misses Abatemarco on the bench and especially in recruiting.

            Tad Boyle with Abatemarco (3 full seasons)

            Overall: 69-38
            Conference: 29-23

            Tad Boyle without Abatemarco:

            Overall: 80-57
            Conference: 35-37

    1. the never-ending Defense/Rebounding ethos preventing some players from developing offensively,

      The above has always been and issue in Tad’s game plan. It is and was the ol fall back line……….by him and other coaches……..”Didn’t play defense….didn’t rebound………….And of course it is true………..But the real problem has always been the no offense from a Tad-Team…..As wall as “No-zone-Tad”

      I like this young team. They will be better when the seniors are gone. Tad like MickeyMac is loyal and always plays experience over talent

  10. LaMelo Ball??? puhleeeeze
    makes sense though for one of the most arrogant little league dad’s on the planet. Never was a “Melo” fan and I will be shocked if the real Melo ever wins a title. Not very many ball hogs do.
    I just hope all of LaVar’s kids keep their heads on straight throughout their parenting nightmare…..and of course LaVar will never look at his parenting when it comes to the shoplifting incident.
    oh yeah
    and Kudos to Alford for providing some discipline where it is absent in the Ball family. I wonder how that would have played out at AZ and their little rabid coach.

  11. @ep: Agree.

    Was at the CSU game. They just got outmuscled in the paint. But it wasn’t just Tory Miller-Stewart’s unexpected absence (we were trying to figure out why he wasn’t on the floor when the Buffs came out, it wasn’t until ~5 minutes into the game we found an article indicating he broke his foot).

    Even when both teams were playing small, CU was getting out-rebounded. Giving up offensive rebounds by not blocking out properly, or just getting flat-out out-jumped and out-hustled. Multiple examples of rebounds-turned-turnovers when CU players failed to secure rebounds with no CSU player nearby. Tons of examples of guys trying to drive into the paint and just getting pushed out of the way.

    That said, this game would have been very different is the officiating wasn’t atrocious. At one point in the game the fouls were like 7-1 against CU, and a lot of those were highly questionable. Made me wish for PAC-12 refs! But refs in college are always bad, so that’s not a great excuse for losing.

  12. Knew this was going to happen. Tad has the same problem as MM. No big guys…especially with Miller being hurt. Walton must still be a project. Tad only had him in for 16 minutes and he only had 3 rebounds

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