Colorado Basketball – February, 2018


February 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

Attorneys for Arizona and Sean Miller meeting to decide Miller’s fate

From 247 Sports … Lawyers of both Arizona head coach Sean Miller and the University of Arizona spent Tuesday in deep negotiations regarding Miller’s future with the school, sources told 247Sports. By the end of Tuesday, the sides had yet to reach an amicable agreement regarding options for Miller to return to the sideline. Miller missed practice yet again on Tuesday.

Negotiations have continued into Wednesday, and as of this report he’s not expected to be at practice today, sources told 247Sports.

Miller has been under scrutiny since a twice-corrected ESPN report on Friday alleging that that FBI wiretaps intercepted calls between Sean Miller and former ASM sports associate Christian Dawkins, “in which Miller discussed paying $100,000 to ensure star freshman DeAndre Ayton signed with the Wildcats.”

247Sports has since reported that there were serious questions about the validity of ESPN’s report.

Despite the potential holes in ESPN’s story, Miller has remained away from the team since Friday’s report. He didn’t coach in Arizona’s 98-93 overtime loss to Oregon on Saturday. After the game, he released a statement before the game, saying, “I am confident I will be vindicated.”

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Buffs taking advantage of one-game week to rest younger players not used to the long collegiate season

From … It comes simply by luck of the draw in the scheduling process, but a one-game week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Colorado Buffaloes.

The 16-13 Buffs (8-9 Pac-12) will wrap up their regular season Saturday at Utah (18-10, 10-7) in a 5 p.m. game at the Huntsman Center (Pac-12 Mountain). It means a chance to give their bodies a little rest this week while recharging their mental batteries — perfect timing in light of the fact that they open the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas next Wednesday.

After Sunday’s win over UCLA, which gave Colorado its first-ever two-game season sweep of the Bruins, the Buffs took Monday off. They were back in the gym Tuesday, but only for about 40 minutes.

“This is the time of year when less is more,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “Finding that balance between not doing too much and not doing enough is critical. Stay sharp, stay fresh mentally and physically. This is the time of year for them to spend more time in the training room, in the weight room — not necessarily banging out sets and reps, but stretching and rehab and strengthening what their bodies need. Every player’s a little bit different right now.”

While they have designs on playing for several more weeks, the fact of the matter is the Buffs have basically been practicing and playing basketball since the first of last August, when they traveled to Italy for a four-game trip. Thus, the chance to recharge their minds and bodies is as important as time on the court.

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February 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

Behind seniors George King and Dominique Collier, Buffs finish off season-sweep of UCLA

From … Colorado’s seniors made their Coors Events Center finale one to remember Sunday afternoon.

Buffs senior Dominique Collier scored a season-high 19 points and fellow senior George King added 16 to lead the Buffs to an 80-76 win over UCLA at the Coors Events Center.

The win improved the Buffs to 16-13 overall and 8-9 in Pac-12 play while the Bruins dropped to 19-10, 10-7. The victory, paired with CU’s victory at UCLA in January, gave Colorado its first-ever two-game season sweep of the Bruins.

Sophomore Lucas Siewert added 16 points and five rebounds for the Buffs, who scored 18 points off of 11 UCLA turnovers. Colorado shot just 41 percent from the floor (24-for-58) but hit 14 of 30 3-point tries, with Collier hitting five of 10.

Aaron Holiday led UCLA with 21 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by nine at the half, 45-36, and held a 10-point cushion four minutes in after a Dallas Walton dunk gave CU a 50-40 lead.

But the Buffs went stone cold over the next eight minutes and the Bruins put together a 12-2 run to tie the game at 52-52. After a McKinley Wright basket at the 14:33 mark, the Buffs did not get another field goal for six minutes, missing their next seven attempts.

The Bruins, however, also cooled off. While UCLA did take a momentary 56-54 lead, the Bruins hit just two of 10 field goal tries in a six-minute stretch and Lazar Nikolic finally ended CU’s field goal drought with a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Buffs a 57-56 lead.

That was the beginning of a 12-0 Colorado run, part of a 17-1 CU surge that put the Buffs back in control.

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CU looking for season sweep over UCLA (Sun., 2:00 p.m., ESPNU)

Game Notes …  Colorado is 15-13 overall and 7-9 in the Pac-12 Conference after falling to USC, 75-64, on Feb. 21. Colorado enters
the weekend in ninth place in the Pac-12 on the heels of three straight losses. The Buffaloes could still mathematically range anywhere from fifth to 10th in the final Pac-12 standings, but most scenarios see them seeded between seventh and ninth at the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

Colorado is averaging 71.8 points per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven active Buffs averaging between five and 14 points an outing.

Defensively, Colorado is allowing 72.5 points per game while holding opponents to 42.2 percent shooting and 34.7 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is third in field goal defense, overall rebounds (37.7 rpg), defensive rebounds (27.4 drpg) and rebounding margin (+3.5) on the Pac-12 charts. During conference play, the Buffaloes have the Pac-12’s top field goal defense (.424), and rank second in blocks (4.4 bpg).

THE BRUINS … UCLA is 19-9 overall tied with Utah for third place in the Pac-12 at 10-6 after falling to the Utes, 84-78, Thursday in
Salt Lake City. The Bruins have won six of their last eight overall but have dropped two straight on the road and four of their last five
away from home.

UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 82.4 points per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Beyond the arc, UCLA is the league’s third-best 3-point shooting team at 37.9 percent. Defensively, the Bruins give up 76.2 points, ranking 10th on the league charts. UCLA tops the Pac-12 in rebounding at 39.0 per game.

Junior guard Aaron Holiday leads UCLA at 19.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. Holiday is shooting 47 percent from the field and 84 percent from the 3-point line. Freshman guard Kris Wilkes is averaging 13.5 points and 5.1 rebounds. Senior center Thomas Welsh sports the season double-double at 13.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Jaylen Hands averages 10.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Steve Alford is in his fifth year at UCLA with a record of 115-54. He is in his 27th overall season as a collegiate head coach with a
record of 578-289.

THE SERIES … This will be the 15th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding a 11-3 edge. Colorado claimed its first ever win over UCLA in Los Angeles in the season’s first meeting, a 68-59 decision on Jan. 13 at Pauley Pavilion. Colorado’s win also snapped a UCLA three game overall win streak in the series. The Bruins have won 7 of 9 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 for the
2011-12 season. Colorado is 2-3 in Boulder against UCLA with its last win a 62-57 decision on Jan. 2, 2015.

Tad Boyle is 2-7 against UCLA as a head coach. Steve Alford is 5-2 against Colorado as a head coach.

Buffs to honor four (including Tory Miller-Stewart) at home finale on Sunday

From … Every senior class is special to every coach, particularly if that coach recruited those players to campus.

It is why Senior Day — that day when a team’s seniors play their last home game — is an emotional one for all involved.

That will no doubt be the case Sunday afternoon for Colorado coach Tad Boyle when the Buffs honor seniors George KingDominique CollierTory Miller-Stewart and Josh Repine before their 2 p.m. game with UCLA at the Coors Events Center.

“The only thing that’s sweet is that you know they’re going to graduate,” Boyle said Friday afternoon. “The bitter part is you don’t get to coach them again. We have four terrific young men. They have all made contributions to this program in their own way and the four years they’ve been here, I’ve been really proud of all of them. When you talk about character, when you talk about trust, when you talk about work ethic — which are the three core values of our basketball program — all four of these kids have character, I trust them and they have great work ethic.”

All four players were on at least one team that earned an NCAA Tournament berth. All were on teams that recorded wins over top-10 teams, and all four contributed — each in their own way — to establishing the foundation of Colorado basketball.

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February 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 


February 22nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Arizona’s Alonzo Trier declared ineligible by the NCAA

From the Arizona Republic … In a stunning move announced on Thursday, the University of Arizona confirmed that Allonzo Trier was declared ineligible by the NCAA.

Here’s the full statement from Arizona Athletics, which went to media outlets at 4:12 p.m. on Thursday:

“Earlier today, the University of Arizona was notified that the NCAA has declared Allonzo Trier ineligible. In late January 2018, Allonzo participated in an NCAA student-athlete drug screening. The results of that test, confirmed today, revealed the reappearance of a trace amount of a banned substance. The amount detected was miniscule by scientific standards and appears to be a remnant of a substance, which the NCAA agreed, Allonzo had unknowingly ingested in 2016. The University is appealing the decision and is hopeful that Allonzo will regain his eligibility soon.”

Trier has been one of Arizona’s best players as a junior, averaging 19.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He’s coming off a 19-point, four-assist game against rival Arizona State.

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February 21st

… CU in the Arena … 

Late 12-0 burst pushes Trojans past Buffs

Related … “USC’s Chimezie Metu, Jordan McLaughlin too much for CU Buffs to handle” … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado couldn’t hold off a late-game surge by USC on Wednesday, as the Buffs fell 75-64 to the Trojans at the Coors Events Center.

After falling behind by 12 early in the second half, the Buffs put together a 14-0 run to take the lead with just more than 12 minutes to play, 52-50, and the score was still tied 58-58 with 8:26 remaining. But the Trojans put together a 17-6 run — including a 12-0 burst — over the final eight minutes to produce the win.

The loss, CU’s third in a row, dropped the Buffs to 15-13 overall and 7-9 in Pac-12 play while the Trojans improved to 20-9, 11-5. It was also CU’s third loss at home this season, as the Buffs fell to 11-3 at the Events Center.

Lucas Siewert led CU with 16 points, McKinley Wright IV chipped in 12 and Dominique Collier added. Colorado senior George King, though, scored just four points — all on free throws — as the Buffs shot just 41.5 percent from the field (22-for-53).

Chimezie Metu scored 21 and Jordan McLaughlin added 18 for the Trojans, who shot a red-hot 54.7 percent from the field (29-for-53), including 10-for-20 from 3-point range.

“We scratched and clawed to get back in this thing, tied it at 58, and they come out and go on a 13-0 run, 11-0 run, whatever it was,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We just didn’t have an answer. Metu played really well. Jordan McLaughlin played really well for them down the stretch. We couldn’t get buckets, we couldn’t get stops. That’s the name of the game.”

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February 20th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle: “This team has two Achilles heels … taking care of the ball … finishing possessions with a rebound”

From … There may be no better example of the Colorado Buffaloes’ up-and-down season this year than their January games against USC and UCLA.

The fact that both came on the road just four days apart only adds emphasis to the dramatic swings the Buffs have produced in 2017-18.

On a Wednesday against USC, the Buffs committed 22 turnovers that led to 25 points for the Trojans in a 70-58 Colorado loss. Colorado shot just 36 percent from the field in the game and allowed the Trojans to shoot 43 percent. That included a 6-for-8, 20-point performance from USC point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who also had three assists and just one turnover.

Three nights later at UCLA, the Buffs reversed the numbers. CU committed just 12 turnovers in the game, shot 43 percent from the field and limited the Bruins to 37 percent shooting. Colorado held UCLA star guard Aaron Holiday to 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting, while also forcing Holiday to commit six turnovers in a 68-59 Buffs win — CU’s first-ever win on the Bruins’ home floor.

Now, after last week’s disappointing road trip to Washington that produced back-to-back losses, the 15-12 Buffs return home this week for their final regular season homestand. On the docket is an 8:30 p.m. game Wednesday against USC, followed by Sunday’s 2 p.m. tilt against UCLA.

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Game Notes …  Colorado is 15-12 overall and 7-8 in the Pac-12 Conference after dropping a pair of games at Washington State (73-69) and Washington (82-59) last week. Colorado enters the week in ninth place in the Pac-12, but remains one-half game out of seventh and two games out of fourth. Colorado’s three remaining regular season games are against teams currently two through four in the standings.

Colorado is averaging 72.0 points per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven active Buffs averaging between five and 14 points an outing.

Defensively, Colorado is allowing 72.0 points per game while holding opponents to 41.8 percent shooting and 34.2 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is second in field goal defense and defensive rebounds (27.7 drpg), third in overall rebounding (37.9 rpg), rebounding margin (+3.4) and 3-point defense on the Pac-12 charts. During conference play, the Buffaloes have the Pac-12’s top field goal defense (.417), and rank second in defensive rebounds (26.9 drpg) and blocks (4.4 bpg).

THE TROJANS … USC is 19-9 overall and tied with crosstown rival UCLA for second place in the Pac-12 at 10-5. The Trojans are coming off a home sweep of the Oregon schools and have won eight of their last 11 overall. USC averages 78.7 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. The Trojans rank second in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 38 percent. Defensively, the Trojans allow 71.6 points on 44.2 percent from the field. USC ranks fourth in both scoring offense and defense on the Pac-12 charts.

Junior forward Chimezie Metu leads USC at 15.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while hitting 51 percent from the  field. Senior guard Jordan McLaughlin leads the Pac-12 in assists at 7.7 per game while scoring at 12.2 points an outing. Elijah Stewart averages 11.6 points per game and has a team-best 56 3-point field goals on the season. The Trojans will be without their second leading scorer and rebounder Bennie Boatright, averaging 13.6 points and 6.4
rebounds, due to an injury.

Andy Enfield is in his fifth season at USC with a record of 89-73. He is in his seventh season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 130-101.

THE SERIES …  This will be the 16th meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding a 9-6 lead. USC has won the last three in the series including a 70-58 decision in Los Angeles on Jan. 10. Colorado holds a 5-1 lead in games played in Boulder.

The Buffaloes are 7-3 against USC since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.

Tad Boyle is 7-3 against USC as a head coach. Andy Enfield is 3-5 against Colorado as a head coach.

USC coach Andy Enfield hasn’t spoken with Tad Boyle since blowup last month

From USC Diehards … It’s been a little more than a month since Colorado coach Tad Boyle turned heads within the Pac-12 for his comments about Southern California and Arizona and their connection to an FBI bribery investigation. USC coach Andy Enfield was none-too-pleased about that at the time, which may have contributed to him taking a late timeout in the Trojans’ 12-point win at home on Jan. 10.

With the Trojans headed to Boulder on Wednesday for a rematch with Colorado, it wasn’t surprising that Enfield was asked if Boyle might look for payback. Enfield wasn’t biting, though.

Andy Enfield on if he expects any retaliation Wednesday from Tad Boyle in response to his late timeout: “We’re focused on preparing for the team.”

Andy Enfield said he has not spoken with Colorado coach Tad Boyle since his late timeout in USC’s win over the Buffaloes last month caused a stir.

USC (19-9, 10-5) is tied with UCLA for second place in the Pac-12 with only three games remaining. The Trojans are fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives, currently not projected to be in the 68-team field according to

Colorado (15-12, 7-8) is coming off back-to-back losses at the Washington schools but the Buffaloes are much tougher to beat at the Coors Events Center, where the elevation gives them a distinct home-court advantage. Colorado is 11-2 in Boulder, although USC won there last season.


February 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle: “All three (opponents) are battling for NCAA Tournament bids. We’re not”

From … Minutes after Saturday night’s 82-59 loss at Washington, Colorado coach Tad Boyle had a message for his team.

“I told our team in the locker room, this season will end how our players want it to end,” Boyle said. “If they want it to end on a momentum high note going into the Pac-12 tournament, that will happen. If they don’t, that won’t happen and we’ll limp into that thing.”

The 15-12 Buffs, who now sit in ninth place in the Pac-12 standings with a 7-8 conference mark, have three regular season games remaining to determine that ending. Colorado plays host to USC on Wednesday in an 8:30 p.m. game, then welcomes UCLA to the Events Center on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the regular season home finale.

The Buffs then wrap up their regular season March 3 with a 5 p.m. game at Utah. The four-day Pac-12 tournament begins March 7 in Las Vegas, with the top four teams receiving a first-round bye.

“Everybody gets new life after the regular season,” Boyle said. “We have three final games,  all three (opponents) are battling for NCAA Tournament bids. We’re not. We’re going to be battling for an NCAA Tournament bid in Las Vegas, let’s make that clear.”

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February 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs routed by Washington, 82-59

Related … ‘Feast or famine’ CU basketball falls flat in loss to Washington … from the Daily Camera

From … The road continues to be a tough place for Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes.

Needing at least a split on their two-game swing through the Pacific Northwest to stay in the hunt for a top-four Pac-12 finish, the Buffs instead lost both, falling Thursday at Washington State and Saturday at Washington.

Saturday night’s 82-59 defeat at Washington, CU’s ninth this season in 10 road games, dropped Colorado to 15-12 overall and 7-8 in conference play. The Huskies improved to 18-9 and 8-6.

The Buffs’ tale of woe against the Huskies was a familiar one, specifically turnovers. CU was once again unable to solve the Huskies’ 2-3 zone defense and committed 18 miscues in the game, which Washington happily converted into 26 points — a big reason for UW’s 17-2 edge in fast break points. Washington also finished with a 16-12 edge on second chance points.

“How many times on the road have we been talking about taking care of the basketball against a 2-3 zone?” head coach Tad Boyle asked after the game. “It’s as simple as passing and catching the ball. It’s not rocket science. … You put yourself in such a hole because there’s no defense for those turnovers that lead to layups. There’s no defense for that and it gets their crowd into it. We have to play better.”

Freshman Tyler Bey led CU with 11 points and seven rebounds while freshman McKinley Wright IV chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds, but they were the only Buffs in double figures. Matisse Thybulle led UW with a career-high 26 points.

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February 16th

… CU in the Arena … 

USC’s second-leading scorer, Bennie Boatwright, will miss the remainder of the season

Note … CU’s next home game (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1), is against USC … 

From CBS Sports … The second-leading scorer for Southern California this season, Bennie Boatwright, will miss the remainder of the 2017-2018 campaign after suffering a left patella injury during Thursday’s dramatic last-second win over Oregon.

Boatwright, a junior, was averaging 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season.

The injury could be a devastating blow to a Trojans team that had already been battling a lack of depth. Earlier this season, the program ruled out De’Anthony Melton from competition as a precaution for his link to the FBI probe, zapping Andy Enfield’s depth from the jump. So with Boatwright out for the season, Enfield will have even less to work with at a time USC desperately needs a late-season surge.

The Trojans ended their three game losing streak on Thursday with a win over Oregon, but as a projected No. 11 seed in Jerry Palm’s latest Bracketology, they could teeter back towards the wrong side of the dreaded bubble if they slip back into their struggles with Boatwright out.

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Buffs need to rebound (literally and figuratively) against the Washington Huskies

Related … “CU hoops must ‘grow up quickly’ before road date at Washington” … from the Daily Camera

From … When the week began, the Colorado Buffaloes had their eyes on a victory at  Washington State and the momentum of a four-game winning streak to carry them into Saturday’s game at Washington.

But now, after a disappointing loss in Pullman on Thursday, the 15-11 Buffs (7-7 Pac-12) head to UW’s Alaska Airlines Arena for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game (Pac-12 Networks) hoping to salvage a road trip split.

The good news is that history is on the Buffs’ side in their matchup with the Huskies (17-9, 7-6), who beat Colorado 72-62 earlier this season in Boulder. Over the last four seasons, the two teams have split their season series, including the 2015 matchups when the visiting team won each game.

But now, Saturday’s game becomes exponentially more important.

Thursday’s 73-69 loss to the Cougars was damaging in a variety of ways, beginning with the fact that it came against the Pac-12’s last-place team. The defeat definitely put a damper on CU’s NCAA Tournament hopes — the Buffs dropped nearly 10 points in the RPI standings with the loss — and also made their chances of earning a top-four conference finish that much more difficult.

A win would have sent the Buffs to Seattle in a tie for fourth in the Pac-12. Now, they enter Saturday’s game in a tie for eighth.

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Game Notes … Colorado is 15-11 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-12 Conference after falling at Washington State, 73-69, on Feb. 15. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Buffaloes who have still won seven of their last 12. Colorado is tied with Arizona State for eighth place in the Pac-12, but remains one-half game out of fifth and one game out of fourth. Two games separate second through ninth place in the Pac-12 standings. All four of Colorado’s remaining regular season games are against teams in that second-through seventh range in the standings. Colorado is also out to match last year’s total of eight conference wins with four games remaining.

Colorado is averaging 72.5 points per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven active Buffs averaging between five and 15 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 72.5 points per game while holding opponents to a league-low 41.5 percent shooting and 33.9 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado is also second in overall rebounding (38.0 rpg) and defensive boards (27.9 drpg), third in three-point defense (.339), fourth in rebounding margin (+3.4) and fifth in scoring defense on the Pac-12 charts. During conference play, the Buffaloes have the Pac-12’s top fi eld goal defense (.412), lead the league in defensive rebounds (27.3 drpg) and rank second in blocks (4.2 bpg).

THE HUSKIES … Washington is 17-9 overall and in a three-way tie for fifth in the Pac-12 at 7-6 along with Stanford and Oregon. The Huskies have lost their last three including a 70-58 setback against Utah on Feb. 15. Washington averages 74.6 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three-point line.

Defensively Washington gives up 73 points per game on 45 percent shooting. Washington leads the Pac-12 in both blocked shots (5.1 bpg) and steals (8.2 spg). Freshman guard Jaylen Nowell leads the Huskies at 16.2 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. He is the second leading scorer among freshmen in the Pac-12 behind Arizona’s Deandre Ayton. Junior forward Noah Dickerson tops the Huskies in rebounding (8.3 rpg) while averaging 15.0 points an outing on 56 percent shooting.

Junior guard David Crisp averages 11.9 points while leading Washington in both 3-pointers (41) and assists (3.2 apg). Junior guard Matisse Thybulle leads the Pac-12 in steals (3.0 spg) while averaging 10.5 points an outing.

Mike Hopkins is in his first season as the head coach at Washington with a record of 17-9.

THE SERIES … This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and Washington with the Huskies holding a slim 13-11 series edge. The teams have split their home-and-home series each of the last four seasons. Three of those years the home team held serve (the exception was 2015 where the road team won both). The Huskies won the first meeting of the season, 72-62 in Boulder on Jan. 20.

Washington leads the series 6-5 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. The Huskies have a 9-2 series lead in Seattle.Tad Boyle is 5-6 against Washington as a head coach. Mike Hopkins is 1-0 against Colorado as a head coach.


February 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall on the road against last place Washington State

Related … “Boyle’s gamble backfires in Buffs’ loss” … from the Daily Camera

From … With the table set for a strong stretch run, the Colorado Buffaloes instead went hungry Thursday night, dropping a crucial 73-69 loss at Washington State.

The Buffs led by as much as seven in the second half but couldn’t hold the edge over the final minutes, allowing the Cougars to take the lead late and hold on for the win.

The defeat, which ended a three-game win streak for the Buffs, dropped CU to 15-11 overall and 7-7 in Pac-12 play. The Cougars, who ended a seven-game losing streak, improved to 10-15, 2-11.

The game was critical in CU’s bid for a top-four Pac-12 finish as well as remaining in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid. Colorado could have moved into a tie for fourth in the conference standings with a win — and just one game away from second place — but instead will head to Washington for Saturday’s game tied for eighth.

The loss and accompanying missed opportunity left CU head coach Tad Boyle in a sour mood.

“Pathetic is the only description I can come up with,” Boyle said. “This is on me, this is on everybody that’s a part of Buff basketball. This is on us. … We didn’t execute, we didn’t play with effort, energy and toughness. … This was just an absolute awful performance. I’m the head coach and I take this upon myself.”

Despite 15 turnovers that led to 18 Washington State points, CU had its chances against the Cougars but could not come up with defensive stops when they mattered most. Malachi Flynn did the biggest damage for WSU, scoring 21 of his 30 points in the second half.

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Boyle expecting a tough game out of Washington State

From … Sooner or later, the logjam in the Pac-12 standings will begin to loosen up.

The Colorado Buffaloes want to make sure they are at the front of the pack, not the rear, when that happens.

Heading into this week’s games, the eight teams currently occupying the second through ninth positions in the standings are separated by just one game, with four of the teams sporting five conference losses and the remaining four with six.

It means every game down the stretch could be the difference maker in the chase for a top-four finish and first-round Pac-12 tournament bye.

Thursday, the 15-10 Buffs (7-6 Pac-12) will try to remain in the thick of that chase when they play a 9 p.m. game at Washington State (Pac-12 Networks).

Strictly in terms of records and recent performance, the Buffs should be the favorite. Colorado takes a three-game win streak into the game while the Cougars (9-15, 1-11) have dropped seven in a row.

But given Colorado’s struggles last week to beat a Cal team that had lost nine of its previous 10, as well as CU’s difficulties in recent years in Pullman, CU head coach Tad Boyle is doing his best to make sure the Buffs are taking nothing for granted.

“We’ve had some knockdown, drag-out, a lot of overtime games with these guys in Pullman,” Boyle said. “It seems to always be close. They’re a very capable team that relies on the three and when they start getting hot it’s a great equalizer in college basketball.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 15-10 overall and 7-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after sweeping the Bay Area schools at home last week. The Buffaloes have won three straight and seven of their last 11. Colorado is in a four-way tie for sixth in the Pac-12 joining Utah, Arizona State and Stanford. One single game separates second through ninth place in the Pac-12 standings. Four of Colorado’s final five regular season games are against teams currently above or equal to them in the Pac-12 standings.

The Buffaloes will be looking for their fourth-straight regular season conference win, a feat that hasn’t happened since the 2005-06 team won five-straight in the Big 12 Conference. Worth noting of course that Colorado has won four straight against conference opponents since then. That would be the four wins in four days to claim the 2012
Pac-12 Tournament title. Colorado is also out to match last year’s total of eight conference wins with five games remaining.

Colorado is averaging 72.7 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 seven active Buffs averaging between five and 15 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 72.7 points per game while holding opponents to 41.6 percent shooting and 34.4 percent from 3-point range.

THE COUGARS … Washington State is 9-15 overall and 1-11 in the Pac-12. The Cougars have lost their last seven, a streak that began with a 82-73 setback to Colorado in Boulder on Jan. 18. Washington State averages 73.2 points on 44 percent shooting. The Cougars lead the Pac-12 and rank fourth in the nation in 3-pointers with 11.4 per game.

WSU is third in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 38 percent. Defensively, Washington State allows 78.0 points per game while opponents shot 46 percent.

Junior forward Robert Franks leads Washington State at 17.9 points an 6.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Malachi Flynn averages 14.6 points and tops the team in assists at 4.3 per game. Sophomore guard Carter Skaggs averages 9.3 points off the bench and is shooting 45 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Viont’e Daniels averages 8.8 points and 2.3 rebounds an outing.

Ernie Kent is in his fourth season as the head coach of Washington State with a record of 45-72. He is in his 23rd season as a collegiate head coach with a record of 369-326.

THE SERIES … This will be the 16th meeting between Colorado and Washington State with the Buffaloes holding a 12-3 series edge. Colorado has won the last three and 11 of 13 since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. The Buffaloes are 3-2 all-time at Washington State (including a game played in Spokane in 2014).

Tad Boyle is 11-2 against Washington State as a head coach. Ernie Kent is 3-7 against Colorado as a head coach, one of those wins coming as the head coach at Oregon in the 2004 NIT.


February 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs looking for first four-game conference winning streak since 2006 season

From … Over the course of their current three-game win streak, the Colorado Buffaloes have been consistent in two key places: defense and contributions from the bench.

They will need to continue that production in those areas this week when they embark on a two-game road trip that begins Thursday at Washington State (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

On paper, the 15-10 Buffs (7-6 Pac-12) should like their chances in Pullman, as WSU has struggled this season. Losers of their last seven, the Cougars are just 1-11 in conference play and 9-15 overall.

But Boyle and the Buffs also remember what happened last week when they struggled to beat 8-16 Cal in Boulder, a team that had lost nine of its previous 10. Thursday, they must make sure they don’t take WSU lightly.

“First thing that coach (Bill) Grier talked about in the scouting report today, exactly the first thing, was what happened against Cal,” Boyle said. “We’ll find out on Thursday night if our players learned from it or not.”

If the Buffs can produce the kind of balance they have had in their three-game win streak — and continue to get big production from the bench — they will be in good shape. The Buffs have had balanced scoring, solid rebounding from a variety of players and, most importantly, strong defense. CU has limited its opponents to under 37 percent shooting from the floor in three straight games and Colorado now leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 41.3 percent from the field in conference games.

But Colorado will also be playing without key reserve guard Deleon Brown, who underwent surgery for a broken hand Tuesday. Boyle said Tuesday after practice that he didn’t expect Brown to be back this year.

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February 12th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs looking to take success at home on the road

Related … “CU men’s basketball confident of taking home cooking on the road” … from the Daily Camera

From … Get ready for a wild-and-wooly finish in the Pac-12.

With just three weeks remaining in conference play, there’s plenty yet to be decided, with the second, third and fourth spots in the standings still up for grabs to as many as eight teams.

Yes, Arizona has established itself atop the top of the standings with a 10-3 conference mark, two games ahead of the pack. At the bottom, Cal (2-11) and Washington State (1-11) are good bets to finish in the 11th and 12th spots.

But the rest of the pack? After last week’s topsy-turvy results, there are eight teams — including Colorado — still with legitimate shots at a top-four finish and first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

The eight teams currently occupying the second through ninth positions in the conference standings are: UCLA and USC at 8-5; Oregon and Washington at 7-5; and Colorado, Arizona State, Utah and Stanford all at 7-6.

That’s eight teams currently separated by just one game, all looking for a top-four finish.

The good news is, Tad Boyle‘s 15-10 Buffs have a schedule that puts them in control of their fate. The Buffs play three of the teams ahead of them in the standings (UCLA, USC and Washington) one with whom they are currently tied (Utah), and one against a team behind them (Washington State).

The not-so-good news is that after a successful 3-0 homestand, Colorado plays three of its remaining five games on the road, beginning with this week’s trip to Washington State (9 p.m Thursday) and Washington (6 p.m. Saturday). Both games will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

“If we want to continue to climb the ladder, we have to go compete on the road like we competed at home,” Boyle said after Sunday’s 64-56 win over Stanford. “It’s the same game. It’s the same group of officials, same basket height — just different venues. We have to play with great toughness, energy and effort in Pullman on Thursday and in Seattle on Saturday like we’ve played in two of the last three games.”

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February 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs pick up third straight win behind Lucas Siewert’s career-high 17 points

Related … “CU men’s basketball tops Stanford to complete three-game sweep at home” … from the Daily Camera

From …  After a disappointing performance in Wednesday’s win over Cal, Colorado coach Tad Boyle challenged his team to improve.

Sunday afternoon, the Buffs answered the challenge, putting forth another stellar defensive effort while also getting a career-high 17 points from sophomore forward Lucas Siewert. The result was a 64-56 win over Stanford in front of 8,323 at the Coors Events Center.

The win, Colorado’s third in a row and ninth straight over the Cardinal, improved CU to 15-10 overall and also bumped the Buffs back above .500 in Pac-12 play at 7-6. Stanford dropped to 13-13 and 7-6, creating an even bigger logjam in the conference standings.

There are now eight teams within one game of each other in the second through ninth positions in the standings. The top four teams in the league earn a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

“We treated Wednesday night’s win against Cal like a loss,” Boyle said. “We didn’t kill them physically on Thursday, but I really challenged them. I had individual meetings with certain guys and certain groups of guys. Let’s just say they weren’t feel-good, pat-you-on-the-back attaboy type meetings — they were more challenging in-your-face type meetings. …. The thing I love about this team is they really respond to challenges. They responded to that challenge today and played with great energy, great effort, great toughness. When we do that, I’ll live with anything.”

The Buffs definitely answered the challenge on defense, holding Stanford to just 35.7 percent shooting from the floor (20-for-56), the third straight game Colorado has held an opponent under 37 percent shooting.

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February 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Stanford game represents an opportunity (Sun., 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From … As the Pac-12 basketball schedule heads down the home stretch, one thing is apparent:

Nothing is settled. Not even preseason favorite Arizona, which looked to be firmly in control a week ago, is a sure thing. The Wildcats have lost two in a row — including Thursday night’s loss at home to UCLA — and now Arizona and USC (both 9-3 in conference play) will square off Saturday with the league lead on the line.

But it’s not just at the top where there is movement to be made. Sunday, the 14-10 Colorado Buffaloes (6-6 Pac-12) have the chance to make a move up when they host Stanford (13-12, 7-5) in a 2 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center.

It is, quite simply, that time of year when every game becomes almost exponentially more important, especially as teams vie for a top-four conference finish and a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

“This one is, for sure,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said after Friday’s practice. “We’re a game behind those guys. We don’t play them again. (A win) puts us even and any tiebreaker would go to us because we only play them once. It’s huge game from that standpoint.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 14-10 overall and 6-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after claiming a 68-64 win over  California in its second of a three-game home set. The Buffaloes have won two straight and six of their last ten. Colorado is tied with Utah and Arizona State for seventh in the Pac-12. Only two games separate second through ninth place in the Pac-12 standings.

Five of Colorado’s final six regular season games are against teams currently above or equal to them in the Pac-12 standings. All five of those teams, including Stanford, reside within that two-game log jam between second and ninth place.

Colorado is averaging 73.0 points per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven averaging between five and 15 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.0 points per game while holding opponents to 41.8 percent shooting and 34.5 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado is second in field goal defense, overall rebounding (37.8 rpg) and defensive rebounds (28.0 drpg) and fifth in 3-point defense (.345) and rebounding margin (+3.3) on the Pac-12 charts. During conference play, the Buffaloes hold the Pac-12’s top field goal defense (.417) and lead the league in defensive rebounds (27.4 drpg).

THE CARDINAL … Stanford is 13-12 overall and in fifth place in the Pac-12 at 7-5. The Cardinal saw a two-game winning streak snapped with a 75-60 setback at Utah on Feb. 8. Stanford averages 75.5 points while shooting 47 percent from the field. The Cardinal are one of the top rebounding teams in the Pac-12 ranking second in rebounding
margin at plus-5.2 per game. Defensively, Stanford gives up 74.6 points per game on 44 percent from the floor.

The Cardinal are 2-7 away from home this season (0-4 in neutral site games) and has lost their last three.

Junior forward Reid Travis leads Stanford at 19.4 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field, ranking in the top 15 of the Pac-12 in all three categories. Senior guard Dorian Pickens averages 14.9 points and is hitting 40 percent from 3-point range.

Senior forward Michael Humphrey is averaging 10.7 points and ranks second on the team in rebounding at 7.4 an outing.

Freshman guard Daejon Davis averages 10.6 points while leading the Cardinal in both assists (112) and steals (25).

Jerod Haase is in his second season as the head coach of Stanford with a record of 27-29. He is 107-81 overall in his sixth season as a collegiate head coach, joining Stanford after a successful four-year run at UAB.

THE SERIES … This will be the 21st meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding an 11-9 series lead. The Buffaloes have won the last eight in the series and are 8-2 against the Cardinal since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Stanford’s last win in the series was also its last in Boulder, a 74-50 decision on Feb. 23, 2012. Colorado has won the last four in Boulder and is 7-3 all-time against the Cardinal at home.

Tad Boyle is 8-2 against Stanford as a head coach. Jerod Haase is 0-2 against Colorado as a head coach. Boyle and Haase are both University of Kansas graduates. Boyle played for Larry Brown from 1981-85 while Haase played for Roy Williams from 1994-97.


February 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

Larry Eustachy exit from CSU unresolved; players boycott practice

Related … “Tensions boil as the investigation into Larry Eustachy continues” … from

From ESPN … Colorado State officials are trying to negotiate a walk-away package for Larry Eustachy and don’t intend to allow him to return as men’s basketball coach, a source told ESPN on Friday.

The Denver Post, citing sources familiar with the situation, reported Thursday that CSU officials intend to fire Eustachy with cause for violating a zero-tolerance policy for abusive behavior with staff and players. The policy was implemented after an initial internal review of his behavior in 2013-14.

Eustachy was placed on administrative leave Saturday while the university said it was concluding an internal “climate assessment” into the culture of the program — specifically Eustachy’s behavior toward players and staff members.

On Thursday, the team boycotted its practice because of its growing frustration over lack of communication from the school about the internal investigation.

In a statement released by the school Thursday night, athletic director Joe Parker indicated that officials planned to meet with players to discuss the situation. Parker said the internal review was nearly complete and that CSU officials are scheduled to meet with Eustachy and his representatives early next week.

“Our student athletes have expressed concerns to us and we are working with them to address those concerns,” Parker said in a statement. “Student athlete welfare has always been our top priority. While we are obviously limited in what we can release during an assessment, we will be meeting with our men’s basketball team to update them on the situation.”


February 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

Report: CSU head coach Larry Eustachy to be fired Friday

From the Daily Camera … Larry Eustachy’s tenure as Colorado State’s men’s basketball coach is over, according to a source with knowledge of the university’s decision.

CSU intends to terminate the coach’s contract based on Eustachy violating the zero tolerance policy he previously received regarding his abusive behavior toward players and staff, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the school’s current investigation.

“We can’t give a guy a zero-tolerance policy in 2014, have the conduct continue in 2018 and then just give him another warning,” the source said.

Eustachy, who was put on a paid leave of absence last Saturday, has been the subject of an investigation by the CSU athletic department designed to assess the culture of the program. Athletic director Joe Parker, deputy director Steve Cottingham and compliance director Shalini Shanker interviewed players and staff members regarding Eustachy’s behavior over the past week. According to multiple team sources who requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation, Eustachy would single out players during practices and in the locker room at halftime of and after games and repeatedly scream profanities at them.

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February 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright leads turnover-prone Buffs to sluggish 68-64 win over Cal

Related … “McKinley Wright leads CU Buffs to ugly victory against Cal” … from the Daily Camera

From … On a night when the Colorado Buffaloes struggled in almost every department, they still had freshman point guard McKinley Wright IV.

That was enough — barely. Wright, who the Buffs weren’t sure would play after suffering a knee injury in Tuesday’s practice, scored a team-high 17 points and added six rebounds and five assists Wednesday to lead the Buffs to a 68-64 win over Cal at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs survived a 19-turnover night — 13 in the first half —  and 18 offensive rebounds by the Bears to improve to 14-10 overall and 6-6 in Pac-12 play. Cal dropped to 8-16, 2-9.

Despite the win, CU’s second in a row in a key three-game homestand, Buffs coach Tad Boyle was not happy with the effort.

“Thank god we won,” said Boyle, who opened his press conference by thanking the fans who attended the 9 p.m. tipoff — and then apologizing to those fans. “I can’t remember a time in my coaching career when I’ve been this disappointed after a win in terms of our performance, the way we approached this game, especially after we really did a great job against Utah in terms of our effort, our energy, our toughness. Tonight we turned the ball over 19 times and we give them 18 offensive rebounds. Thank god we won, and we won for one reason. That’s No. 25 (Wright) for the Buffs.”

Wright almost didn’t play Wednesday after an injury in Tuesday’s practice  required him to be helped from the floor. But after an examination revealed only a strain, he decided to play. He shot just 3-for-7 from the field, but had 11 points from the free throw line. He scored eight of his points in the final 1:49, including a drive to the hoop that gave Colorado a six-point edge and six free throws in the final minute to help hold the Bears at bay.

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Buffs facing a challenge from Cal’s big men

Related … “Lucas Siewert hopes to make rare double-digit scoring efforts the norm for CU basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From … Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes face a very big challenge Wednesday when they play host to the Cal Bears in a 9 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center (ESPNU).

That’s “big” in the very literal sense. Not only do the Bears have 7-foot-1, 267-pound center Kingsley Okoroh up front, he is joined on the front line by 6-foot-11, 225-pound Marcus Lee. The pair, along with 6-7 forward Justice Sueing, are the main reason Cal leads the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds, averaging 14.4 offensive boards per game — nearly five more than any other team in the league.

“When the original shot goes up, that’s when the game begins for Colorado,” Boyle said Tuesday afternoon. “That’s what Cal does — they’re leading our league in offensive rebounds, so we have to limit them to one shot as best we can.”

Wednesday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the 13-10 Buffs (5-6 Pac-12), who are still aiming at a top-four conference finish and first-round Pac-12 tourney bye. For the Bears (8-16, 2-9), it’s a chance to win two games in a row — something they haven’t done since mid-December.

“Okoroh has been a beast against us,” Boyle said. “You cannot let him catch it inside that circle. He’s blocked shots against us, he catches it deep and dunks it. We have to have a great job of post defense and help-side. We have to protect the paint against these guys. These guys are great at getting the ball inside, they’re great at driving the ball. Their perimeter guys really drive it and attack the rim. We’re going to have to protect the paint and we have to rebound.”

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February 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU can’t afford to look past Cal (Wed., 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

Related … “Lucas Siewert hopes to make rare double-digit scoring efforts the norm for CU basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From … At this point of the college basketball season, there are few surprises and no secrets.

Everyone knows what everyone else will do, and it is a time when teams are making their final push in the conference standings.

It is also a time when every win is a premium win — something Colorado head coach Tad Boyle is stressing to his players as they prepare for a pair of home games this week.

The Buffs, currently in a tie for seventh in the Pac-12 with seven games remaining, still have a shot at moving up into the top four in the league standings. But with the fourth through ninth-place teams in the conference all bunched within two games of each other, any slip-up will be extra costly.

“Every game matters,” said Boyle, whose 13-10 Buffs (5-6 Pac-12) play host to Cal on Wednesday (9 p.m.) and Stanford on Sunday (2 p.m.). “Every game is a separation game. You lose to Cal at home, you just put yourself further behind the eight ball. There’s only seven (games) left so we should have great intensity, great effort, great focus every time we step on the court.”

There is no “secret sauce” for picking up a win this time of year. The difference, Boyle said, often comes down to the mental aspect and execution.

“The mental approach and the execution that you play with is what separates you as you go down the stretch,” Boyle said. “Everybody knows what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are. Everybody scouts everybody. Now it’s who’s ready to play every time you step on the floor and who can execute their game plan both offensively and defensively. That’s really what wins come down to in February. That’s why every win in February is a good win. It becomes much more difficult.”

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Game Notes …  Colorado is 13-10 overall and 5-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after claiming a 67-55 win over Utah in its lone game last week. The win snapped a three-game slide for the Buffaloes who overall have won five of nine. Colorado is tied with Utah and Arizona State for seventh in the Pac-12. Only two games separate fourth through ninth place in the Pac-12 standings.

Five of Colorado’s final seven regular season games are against teams currently above or equal to them in the Pac-12 standings. The Buffaloes will play the next two and four of their final seven at home.

Colorado is averaging 73.3 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and seven averaging between five and 15 points an outing. Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.0 points per game while holding opponents to 42.0 percent shooting and 34.6 percent from 3-point range.

Colorado is first in defensive rebounds (28.3 drpg), second in field goal defense and overall rebounds (38.1 rpg) and third in rebounding margin (+3.7) on the Pac-12 charts. During conference play, the Buffaloes hold the Pac-12’s top field goal defense (.422) and lead the league in defensive rebounds (27.3 drpg).

THE GOLDEN BEARS … California is 8-16 overall and currently 11th in the Pac-12 standings at 2-9. The Golden Bears snapped a nine-game losing skid with a 74-70 win over Oregon State in their last game on Feb. 3. Cal averages 70.6 points on 42.2 percent from the field.

The Bears rank at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings in several categories including scoring offense, scoring defense (78.7
ppg), field goal percentage and shooting defense (.471). California is the best offensive rebounding team in the Pac-12 averaging 13.4 per game. The Golden Bears are also second in steals (6.8 spg) and blocked shots (5.2 bpg).

Junior guard Don Coleman leads California in scoring at 16.4 points per game. Freshman forward Justice Sueing is second on the team in scoring at 14.1 points per outing and is third in the Pac-12 in steals at 1.6 per game. Senior forward Marcus Lee tops the Golden Bears in rebounding at 7.6 per game while scoring at 12.6 points on 57 percent shooting. Senior center Kingsley Okoroh is second in the Pac-12 in blocks at 2.1 per game while pitching in 5.8 points and 5.5 rebounds an outing.

Wyking Jones is in his first season as the head coach at California with a record of 8-16.

THE SERIES … This will be the 30th meeting between Colorado and California with the Golden Bears holding a 15-14 edge. The series is tied at 6-6 since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. Colorado has won 10 of 12 all-time meetings in Boulder, including a 54-46 decision on March 4, 2017.

Tad Boyle is 7-6 against California as a head coach. Wyking Jones has never faced Colorado as a head coach.


February 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs begin preparation for Bay area invasion

From … With four of their seven remaining conference games at home, the Colorado Buffaloes are still in good position to make a push for a top-four finish in the Pac-12 standings and earn a first-round bye in the March 7-10 conference tournament.

The Buffs (13-10 overall, 5-6 Pac-12) began their conference season stretch run Friday night with a home win over Utah. The win not only ended a seven-game skid against the Utes, but also pulled the Buffs into a tie with Utah and Arizona State for seventh in the conference standings.

Now, while the Buffs are still very much alive in the battle for a top-four finish they are also still in the midst of a six-team logjam in the standings that has just two games separating fourth through ninth place.

This week, Tad Boyle‘s team has a chance to build some more momentum with a pair of home games. Colorado hosts Cal on Wednesday in a 9 p.m. game (ESPNU), followed by a 2 p.m. Sunday matchup with Stanford (Pac-12 Networks).

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February 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

Lucas Siewart continues to show improvement

From … While his 6-foot-10, 224-pound frame may imply a skill set limited to the low post, Lucas Siewert has flashed his multidimensional abilities on numerous occasions to benefit Colorado this season.

A sophomore originally from Brazil, Siewert is enjoying an improved second season as a Buff in his first chance of experiencing relatively extended minutes — up to 16.1 a game compared to just 11.5 last season.

One reason for the jump in minutes has been senior forward Tory Miller-Stewart‘s absence due to a broken foot that has kept him sidelined since November. At the time, coach Tad Boyle knew he would have to see increased play from his young bigs with a full season ahead, specifically Siewert and redshirt freshman Dallas Walton.

“(They have been) as good as we could have expected out of them for a redshirt freshman  and sophomore who played limited minutes,” Boyle said. “When Tory went down, they got thrown in the fire and I’m really proud of the way they responded because we need them.”

While his minutes have been more sporadic recently, Siewert has notched three of his four double-figure scoring games in the team’s last five contests off the bench, all of while eclipsing 20 minutes of playing time.

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CSU head coach Larry Eustachy placed on administrative leave

From the Daily Camera … Colorado State men’s basketball coach Larry Eustachy was placed on administrative leave Saturday, athletic director Joe Parker announced.

Associate head coach Steve Barnes will lead the team in the interim, including Saturday night’s game against Nevada.

“I have asked head coach Larry Eustachy to temporarily step away from the men’s basketball program, as he has been placed on administrative leave while we conclude our climate assessment,” Parked said in a prepared statement. “We are diligently working through this assessment as expeditiously as possible, understanding the importance of a thorough and fair process. No conclusions have been made.”

An internal investigation led by CSU Parker, deputy athletic director Steve Cottingham and compliance director Shalini Shanker discovered Eustachy’s behavior and interactions with players violated standards he agreed to in 2014, during his second season with the Rams.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the CSU administrators interviewed players and coaches to perform what Parker called a “climate assessment” of the program. Sources close to the team told The Denver Post that Eustachy would repeatedly single out players by screaming profanities at them during practice and at halftime during games, and that he picked more heavily on players who were not in the starting rotation.

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February 2nd

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs handle Utes, 67-55

Related … “McKinley Wright helps CU Buffs end losing streak against Utah” … from the Daily Camera

From … Heading into Friday night’s game, Colorado senior George King was the only player on CU’s roster who had ever played in a win over Utah.

King did his best to make sure there would be more Buffs who knew what that is like, and he did it in style. King recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double — his sixth of the season — to lead CU to a 67-55 win over the Utes, ending a seven-game losing streak to their Pac-12 rival.

Colorado ended a three-game losing streak to improve to 13-10 overall and 5-6 in Pac-12 play while the Utes dropped to 13-9, 5-6.

While a number of the games in CU’s recent series with the Utes were close, the Buffs made sure Friday’s game didn’t go down to the wire. Colorado overcame an early deficit to forge a seven-point lead at the half, then built the margin into double digits early in the second half and maintained the cushion for the remainder of the game. A King bucket with just more than four minutes to play gave Colorado a 21-point lead, 63-42, and the Buffs coasted to the win down the stretch.

CU freshman McKinley Wright IV led all scorers with 21 points and sophomore Lucas Siewert chipped in 13, his second straight game in double figures.

The game was also a perfect display of head coach Tad Boyle‘s foundational fundamentals: defense and rebounding. The Utes did not have a player in double-figure scoring and shot just 20-for-57 from the field (35 percent). CU also held a 36-34 rebounding edge.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After putting together a 10-0 run to take a 27-20 lead at halftime, the Buffs built the margin to double-digits early in the second half. A pair of Lucas Siewert 3-pointers pushed Colorado’s edge to 40-27 with 13:43 to play, spurring a timeout from Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak.

The Buffs then slowly built the margin to as much as 21 before holding the Utes off down the stretch. CU coach Tad Boyle even took the opportunity to give freshman walkon A.J. Martinka is first playing time as a Buff, inserting him into the game in the final minute.

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Colorado looking to end seven-game losing streak against Utah (7:00 p.m., FS1)

Game Notes … Colorado is 12-10 overall and 4-6 in the Pac-12 Conference falling on the road to a pair of ranked teams last week, 80-71 at No. 11/12 Arizona and 80-66 at No. 21/20 Arizona State. The Buffaloes have lost three straight but have been an even 4-4 over the last eight.

Six of Colorado’s final eight regular season games are against teams currently above them in the Pac-12 standings. The Buffaloes will play the next three and five of their final eight at home.

Colorado is averaging 73.5 points per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. Overall the Buffaloes have been balanced in scoring with three players averaging double-figures and five averaging between six and 15 points an outing.

Defensively, Colorado is allowing 73.5 points per game while holding opponents to 42.3 percent shooting and 34.8 percent from 3-point range. Colorado is second in defensive rebounds (28.1 drpg), third in overall rebounding (38.2 rpg), fourth in fi eld goal defense (.423) and fifth in rebounding margin (+3.7) on the Pac-12 charts.

THE UTES … Utah is 13-8 overall and in seventh place in the Pac-12 at 5-5. The Utes saw a three-game winning streak snapped with a 74-73 nail-biter at Arizona on Jan. 27. Utah averages 75.2 points per game on 45 percent shooting. Beyond the arc, the Utes hit 9.3 3-pointers a game ranking third in the Pac-12. Utah is the league’s
second-best free throw shooting team at 77.1 percent. Utah is the Pac-12’s second-best scoring defense team allowing only 71.0 points per game. The Utes also rank second in 3-point defense at 33.8 percent.

Senior guard Justin Bibbins averages 14.0 points and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 47 percent overall and 45 percent from 3-point range. He is second in the Pac-12 at 2.8 3-pointers per game and third in 3-point percentage. Senior forward David Collette averages 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while topping the Utes and ranking eighth in the Pac-12 in f eld goal shooting at 58.1 percent. Junior guard Sedrick Barefield averages 11.7 points and is third on the team in both assists (49) and 3-pointers made (34). Senior forward Tyler Rawson leads Utah in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and blocked shots (25) while ranking fourth in scoring at 11.1 per outing.

Larry Krystkowiak is in his seventh year at Utah with a record of 128- 93. Overall he’s is 170-113 in nine years as a collegiate head coach.

THE SERIES …  This will be the 48th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 26-21 series lead. Utah has won the last seven in the series and eight of the last 10. Utah has an 8-5 edge since the two teams  joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season. Colorado holds a 17-6 all-time series lead in Boulder, although the Utes have won the last three.

Tad Boyle is 5-8 in his career against Utah. Larry Krystkowiak is 8-5 against Colorado as a collegiate head coach.


February 1st 

… CU in the Arena … 

George King: “Utah is a team that’s not going to beat themselves”

Related … “McKinley Wright leading turnaround on turnover issue for CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

From …  George King is the only player on the Colorado basketball roster who has ever played in a win over Utah.

King, a fifth-year senior, played in the Buffs’ 79-75 overtime win in Boulder in 2014 as a true freshman. Since then, the Utes have won seven in a row.

Now, King has two more shots at Utah, beginning with Friday’s 7 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center (FS1). He would not only love to play in another win over the Utes, but also help make sure there will be plenty of Buffs who won’t be dealing with such a streak for another season.

“Utah is a team that’s not going to beat themselves,” King said after Tuesday’s practice. “We have to come out and beat them and the way you do that is taking care of the ball, executing at a high level, taking good shots and rebounding.”

Friday’s game is the beginning of a Pac-12 stretch run that will see Colorado play five of its last eight conference games at home. With eight teams currently bunched between third and 10th place in the league separated by just two games in the standings, the stretch will be a decisive one for the Buffs. A strong finish could still move them into the top four in the league standings and earn them a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

But to do that, they’ll need their upperclassmen — in particular King and Dominique Collier — to continue to show the level of steady play they have displayed over the last few weeks.

“When it comes to consistency, I put the onus on our upperclassmen,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “I think George and Dom have really answered that bell here over the last three weeks to a month.”

Continue reading story here


January 31st

… CU in the Arena …

CSU head basketball coach Larry Eustachy under investigation

From the Coloradoan … Larry Eustachy’s conduct as CSU’s men’s basketball coach is again the subject of an internal investigation, university athletic director Joe Parker said Wednesday.

“We have started a climate assessment, which involves conversations with the students and staff members associated with the men’s basketball program,” Parker said in a statement released by the athletic department. “As always, we will not make any public comments until our process is complete and have no additional information to share at this time.”

Parker’s comments came in response to a report published online earlier in the day by former Rocky Mountain Collegian sports editor Justin Michael stating that Parker was interviewing players individually about the coach’s conduct. Citing “multiple sources close to the situation,” the report said the “vast majority of the players spoke out against Eustachy in their interviews.”

A previous report into the Colorado State University coach’s conduct, obtained last winter by the Coloradoan and verified by 14 people with knowledge of the investigation, including six players and two others who were interviewed, determined Eustachy verbally abused his players, staff members and others within the athletic department and used fear and intimidation to run his program.

Continue reading story here

Boyle on Utah: “They’ve been the team that makes plays down the stretch and we haven’t”

Related … “Flu bug takes bite out of Deleon Brown’s game for CU Buffs” … from the Daily Camera

From … Nobody has to remind Colorado coach Tad Boyle of the Buffs’ current losing streak to Utah.

“Utah’s had our number,” Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “A lot of it comes down to winning close games. It’s not like they’ve routed us. They’ve beat us a couple times convincingly, but most of the games have come down to the wire. They’ve been the team that makes plays down the stretch and we haven’t. To me that gets back to execution.”

Colorado has lost its last seven matchups with the Utes, the longest losing streak against any Pac-12 team since CU entered the Pac-12 in the 2011-12 season. The skid includes the last three games in Boulder, with Colorado’s last win in the series a 79-75 overtime win in 2014 at the Coors Events Center.

The 12-10 Buffs (4-6 Pac-12) have a chance to end that streak Friday when they play host to Utah (13-8, 5-5) in a 7 p.m. game at the Coors Events Center (FS1).

The Buffs have come close several times in the seven-game stretch. Last year, CU was within two points with 37 seconds left in the game in Boulder but couldn’t completely close the gap and dropped an 86-81 decision.

Two years ago, the Utes took a 56-54 win in Boulder when Lorenzo Bonam hit a buzzer-beater over the outstretched arms of Josh Scott, and then claimed a 57-55 nail-biter in Salt Lake City.

Continue reading story here

42 Replies to “Colorado Basketball – February, 2018”

  1. The upperclassman went 2 of 17 from the field. Ballgame. Forget the +11 rebounding advantage and second chance points/possesions advantage which CU dominated; Dom,Namon and George played bad. Time to turn the page and hand the keys to the young guys. Here’s hoping the upperclassman find their games in the tourney and stretches CU’s season a few more games.

  2. This bunch of Buffaloes are not very smart. Period. Add that to what appears to be an inept coaching staff, even the CBI would be a stretch. Missing Tory Miller

  3. Tad’s Buffs are closing in on a .500 season this year with a line up dominated by underclassman. No “one and done” or five star recruits come here. In the next 2-3 years they will get pretty good and compete for NCAA tourney invites. In one or two of those years they have the ability to crack the top 25 and get maybe as far as the sweet 16.

    This is the cycle they have been on for a while…and I’LL TAKE THAT ANY DAY as opposed to having them appear in reports such as the one that is about to cost Sean Miller his job! I’m proud of my alma-mater!

    Roll Tad!

  4. Wow. If proven true, that could be the death penalty for the Cats… and Miller is toast. Makes me glad that the only thing to carp about CU hoops is trivial nitpicking some of Tad’s offensive philosophy and winning percentages. I’ll take Tad’s honesty and integrity any day of the week over the Pitinio/Miller win at all costs ethos…

  5. How bout that. The little A ball of sweat is dealing players like drugs. This idea that a guy who works for you every day is somehow rogue with out you having a hint hint of knowledge is 99% of the time BS….especially when “you” are a control freak like Miller.
    Shouldnt make any difference if the head cheese is a ball of ignorance anyway. If one of his assistants is playing dirty the head cheese cant bail on it. I cant believe USC became a contender overnight legally either. Hopefully there are some goods waiting in the wing on Enfield as well.
    So what happens to AZ now? What happens with the dance? The whole thing smells like a garbage dump in 100 degree heat

  6. If all the reports are accurate, it looks like the Univ. of AZ basketball program is in free-fall and probably will take a number of years to recover. One has to wonder how they will even finish out the year. New, very serious allegations against Sean Miller (which I never thought would have occurred, but the pressure to win is greater then honesty I guess).

    If DeAndre Ayton really received $100K, he is probably ineligible, but of course he was one and done anyway, Alonzo Trier right now is suspended and the reports are that although he probably didn’t continue taking the drug from last year it will be an uphill climb for him to get reinstated. The other thing that hasn’t even yet been discussed here in Tucson is that it is possible now that some players at UDub last year received illegal loans. Hello, the coach there at the time was Lorenzo Romar, who is now an asst. coach here at UofA.

    Stay clean Tad and CU and you just may be the only team that survives what has become the rotten world of College Basketball.

  7. I know Tad was practicing normal “coachspeak” during the postgame by not admitting that the upper vs lower classmen aspect of the game was a factor, but…. the two USC studs McGlaughlin and Metu took over and dominated at the end. Plus USC was playing without Boatright as well which could have made it even uglier…CU had no answer when they took over the game.

    CU’s young guys battled hard but couldn’t overcome George King being a no show and Namon Wright being a turnover machine…. the CU upperclassman plus Dom…

    oh well, at least the young guys are getting valuable playing experience..

    And Tad has a strange way at looking at numbers to reinforce his rebounding/defense mantra as illustrated by this quote:

    “We have 13 turnovers, they have six — that’s plus seven for them,” Boyle said. “You add to that eight offensive rebounds, that’s 15 times they have the ball that they shouldn’t have had the ball. You can’t overcome that when you’re not guarding.”

    Ok, your counting total offensive rebounds as an extra possession when the other team should not have the ball. CU had 13 offensive rebounds (and out rebounded USC by 6 total), doesn’t that mean USC only had a +2 in that department and not #15. And you can’t overcome #2 in 40 minutes?

    Since Tad likes stats here is another one: in conference play CU is 3-1 when scoring 70+ and 4-8 (scoring 68,68,67,64 in the wins) when scoring less than 70. The best wins to date were over ASU and Arizona at home (90 and 80 points respectively).

    I just don’t get Tad ball at times. It’s tough to win every game 60-56 in this league. But, so be it.

  8. Stuart:

    I give you props for posting comments you don’t agree with. I tried to make a counter argument on a CU hoops thread on Ralphie Report once and out came the pitchforks and torches from the Young Frankenstein townsfolk to run me off.

    CUATTHEGAME is the best site by far for my daily Buff fix. Keep up the good work.

  9. Tad Boyle: “This team has two Achilles heels … taking care of the ball … finishing possessions with a rebound”

    I Believe that to be true.

    We play with great energy and toughness at home But not on the road?

    I believe that to be true as well……..but there is an exception or 2 eh?

    This applies to the coaching as well.

    Conference coaching by Tad is .500

    Makes sense don’t it?

    prior to being hired at CU

    .459 total .438 conference.

    Makes sense, it really does.



    1. Tad Boyle conference record at CU: 71-68
      Previous coaches’ eight years conference record at CU: 45-83.
      Yup. I’ll take Tad.

      1. Yup it’s a nice half step to mediocrity.

        Can he take he take the full step?

        Not yet eh?

        Hope he can………History?


      2. Fun with numbers:

        Ricardo Patton: 2002-2007 (4 full seasons)

        Overall: 72-49 (59.5%)
        Conference: 32-32 (50.0%)
        1 NCAA 2 NIT
        (NCAA was same year 2 Big 12 teams in Final 4 and 3 in Final 8)

        Patton goes 7-20 in 2008 and gets canned.

        Tad Boyle: 2014-present (3.8 seasons)

        Overall: 72-57 (55.8%)
        Conference: 32-37 (46.3%)
        1 NCAA 1 NIT (Fighting for 2nd NIT bid)

        Abatemarco effect?

        So if Tad has another mediocre year next year does Rick George automatically roll over the contract again or does he have a MAC2 sit down and tell him to make changes?

        Tad’s got a lot riding on these talented young frosh.

        1. Nice selective use of stats – best years of Patton; worst years of Boyle
          Full resumes tell different stories (e.g., Post-season records … Boyle 17-13 … Patton … 8-18)

          Boyle’s resume:
          – 164 victories, 3rd on the CU all-time coaching list.
          – .605 winning percentage is 2nd in school history (minimum 4 yrs).
          – 112-21 record at home (.842).
          – Owns five of CU’s nine 20+ win seasons. (My favorite … before Tad: 110 years of CU basketball = four 20-win seasons … with Tad: eight years = five 20-win seasons)
          – First CU head coach in school history to guide program to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
          – First CU head coach in history to guide program to seven straight consecutive post-season tournament appearances
          – First CU coach to win 20 games in each of his first four years

          Buffs, without Battey and Miller-Stewart, have played without a big man all season. That they are even close to .500 in Pac-12 play is a pleasant surprise.
          If the Buffs have a 7-20 record this time next year, then we can talk.

          1. Not selectively using stats. I am well aware that Boyle’s overall record is much better than Patton’s that’s why he deserves to continue to be at the helm of CU basketball for the next few years. I have never once said Boyle should be fired. He’s a better coach than Patton.

            However, you can dive into the stats to spot trends- which can be telling for deciphering the current state of CU basketball. 4 years is a pretty decent stretch. His record is worse than Patton’s before Patton got canned. And of those four 20 win seasons you site before Tad, 2 came during Patton’s 4-year stretch.

            So we gloat about Pac-12 tourney wins– beating a conference opponent on a neutral floor? Fine.

            So we are still living off Boyle’s run in the PAC-12 tourney when the PAC-12 was weak–only Cal made the NCAA tourney and that was the play-in game in Dayton?

            Fine. Since then? 1 post season win since 2013 (nearly 6 full seasons) –over Gardner Webb in the CBI. And total NCAA tourney wins: Boyle 1, Patton 1.

            What is Boyle’s record without Bzdelik’s players and Abatemarco as head recruiter; otherwise, when it had been a pure Tad show?

            Trends. I don’t think Tad will go 7-20– he may even make the NCAA tourney again, I hope he does. Doesn’t mean we can’t be concerned about how CU basketball is trending and that CU fans shouldn’t have reason to think Rick George should have a sit down if it continues.

            Like I said, these young Frosh are going to be key.

  10. mighty hard to wrap your head around this. This is the team that beat both AZ teams and then UCLA on the road. Then they turn around and get lucky against Cal at home and lose to WSU who has only one conference win. The massive blowout against WA doesnt bode well for many more wins this year.
    I’m sorry Tad but this extreme bipolar behavior goes straight back to you.
    Please please please….NO CBI. the last time you tried this the team hit rock botttom.

  11. I had such high hopes for this team for the next 3 years. I’m not so sure the youth can follow this coach. I mean, with all of the early praise and rosy outlook at the beginning of the year. the kids have to have thoughts about the leadership.

  12. Love this quote from Tad in the article:

    “We’re going to have to be more efficient offensively than we were when we played them the first time.”

    What? You mean being efficent on offense will help win games? Do tell.

    Here is where Tad’s teams have ranked nationally in offensive efficiency during his tenure: #12 (Burks, Higgins, Relphorde,etc) 177, 155, 173, 129, 145, 76, and currently #214.

    Go Buffs.

  13. With the recent resurgence, and even in spite of the sloppy escape from Cal, I was making plans to hit Vegas for the tourney. Now I am hitting the beach instead.

    1. I hear ya. Wash game was the capper for me. And……I even have free lodging. The sloppyness and hair on fire aspect isn’t making it Tad. HAVE A PLAN!!!!!! Stop dribbling the damn ball so much and take a shot for gosh sakes.

  14. This probably eliminates CU from the NCAA tourney, which in my mind is a good thing. I would rather see them make some noise in the NIT than be one and done.

  15. Cannot wait until Dom Collier graduates. Tired of his turnovers and misses at the free throw line when it counts. Seniors are expected to perform rather than give the game away.

  16. In the Washington State game, can anyone explain why Tad pulled Dallas out when he was hot, and why he left Dom in at the end of the game, instead of using Namon Wright? thnx for the replies…

    1. MT: He pulled Dallas because the “O” in Boyle stands for obstinate and not offense. CU is currently ranked #214 in the country in offensive efficiency. I have beaten this horse before but Tad believes defense/rebounding will win games (because its effort) while offense comes and goes so he pounds this ethos relentlessly. Yet, against Wazzu, the worst team in the Pac-12, CU outrebounded WAZZU by 6 and held them to under 40% shooting–and still lost.

      Tad has done a nice job with this young team and deserves credit and especially deserves a chance to develop them over the next few years. But until Tad emphasizes offensive efficiency this team will lose winnable games like last night. The top teams in the NCAA basketball are consistently top 50 in offensive efficiency.

      Oh, and Tad misses Tom Abatemarco on the bench and in recruiting. Maybe that’s the Dom Collier faux pas reason.

      1. Wow.

        Sometimes he is mysterious with his:

        Time outs
        Personnel on the floor at critical times

        Just how it is.


        Note: Hey he has been using the zone this year. Next year an offensive focus
        Okay maybe 2 years.

        1. my take is only of he gets an assistant that knows offense. I was going to make a joke about lingering and basketball….but why bother

  17. PUEBLO – Colorado State University president Tony Frank said Wednesday that the administrative leave men’s basketball coach Larry Eustachy was asked to take is paid, and that he continues to have full faith in the investigation of Eustachy’s program. Eustachy was placed on administrative leave Saturday after a report by The Denver Post revealed Eustachy told his team last week that Frank said the coach’s job is safe, despite the ongoing investigation. Frank’s office said that the university president did not – and would not – have said that to anyone, including Eustachy. Details of Eustachy’s leave, other than that the coach cannot contact players or the members of his staff, were not previously known.

  18. Attended the game, my take-aways:

    Lucas Siewert was as active as I have ever seen him – especially his rebounding.

    If they play this kind of defense at WSU, they will pick up another road win.

    Namon Wright was not effective on offense, but his contribution will be needed as CU pushes for the conference schedule finish line.

    Tyler Bey had a solid game, but boy does he get pushed around. Give him another year in the weight room, and he will be a real force.

    Stanford did a good job of collapsing on Wright IV, King, and Collier when they drove the lane – which forced them into bad mistakes. I see this as a key to stopping our penetration/kick-out offensive approach, and I expect to see more of this from our opponents.

    1. I agree on the “collapsing the lane” and this has been happening for about 5 games now.

      Part of the issue is the “too much dribble” before they make the move, which end up with those goofy-arse bad passes.. A little too much one on one.


  19. Okay excellent win. Dang nab it these boys are pretty good.

    The WSU win is required. And the upset of Washington is pretty much needed. Paybacks.

    Damn 8-5 is so much better than 7-6 Think OSU Wash USC. Damn that really is a dang nab it.

    Okay win the road.


  20. What a mess out there.

    The ARidonaz whip the LAyers. Amazing.

    Up and down are so close eh>…?

    Man Lose a couple and you drop like a rock.

    Win and well you slide up
    Exciting. but have to execute

    Go Big Tad

  21. The talented freshman are prone to lazy passes in traffic which they use to get away with in high school. Not now. Players at the D-1 level are all over those and jump the lane every time. They’ll learn eventually, but it is frustrating to watch 24 games into the season. A win is a win but that was ugly basketball.
    Without young Mr. Wright this team would be sub-500 for the year. Go Buffs.

    “The best thing about Freshman is they become Sophmores.” -Al McGuire

  22. The DC needs a new headline editor. Does Siewert really want his double digit scoring efforts to be rare? He probably wants them to be the norm.

  23. Go Buffs.

    I am hoping when I wake up at 1am cause well you know the “olguy” need to go deal, I can flip on the ipad and see that the Buffs won.
    Go Buffs.

    Note: Sweet dreams ep, az, willy-dick, beely beely beely, traxanator, olfodder, earache, stew, marcus, rob, and all you other deekweeds…………

      1. Yo Azee,


        Too late for me. Weave yur arse I guess they didn’t play too good eh? But a Victory. Sheesh The kittys look bad.


        Note: Besides had to play golf Thursday so early beddie by and early riser.

        Hope your game is good.

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