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Colorado Basketball

 

January 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

“Playing smart” to be a key for under-manned Buffs

From the Daily Camera … Tad Boyle believes the problem is correctable. But at the very least, it will require far more discipline out of his Colorado men’s basketball team. And the Buffaloes will have to play much smarter than they’ve shown during their three losses in four games to start Pac-12 Conference play.

One setback that has been a common thread through all three of those losses has been the inability of some of the Buffs’ key players to stay out of foul trouble. With the availability of guards McKinley Wright (shoulder) and Namon Wright (foot) unclear due to injuries, that will need to change if the Buffs hope to start gaining traction in the Pac-12 race on the road in the coming weeks, beginning Sunday at Utah (4 p.m. MT, ESPNU).

“What it reflects is the fact I think we have to be more disciplined defensively, because we have to be in better position,” Boyle said. “We have to play smarter. I think we have to anticipate rotations. We had a couple of fouls just out of rotations the other night against Washington because we weren’t anticipating the rotations before they happen.

“It’s a lot of different things. I can’t point to one thing, and I can’t point to one person either. We’re all guilty of it. But playing smart is the key.”

Continue reading story here

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January 16th

… CU in the Arena … 

Pac-12 basketball: USC in turmoil; Washington and Oregon State rising

From the San Jose Mercury News … USC coach Andy Enfield placed freshman Kevin Porter Jr. on indefinite suspension before Sunday’s game at Oregon. Enfield said the suspension was for conduct reasons and hinted that Porter may not return the rest of the season. Porter is an NBA Lottery talent who has already missed nine games this year because of injuries.

Earlier this season, Enfield suspended sophomore guard Jordan Usher, who subsequently transferred to Georgia Tech. The Trojans were down to eight scholarship players during the blowout loss to the Ducks.

As you’ll recall, the promise of last season was derailed in part by the suspension of De’Anthony Melton in connection with the FBI probe into college basketball. Former USC assistant coach Tony Bland pleaded guilty last month to federal conspiracy to commit bribery charges stemming from that investigation.

All this raises several questions: 1) Just what the heck is going on in Troy? 2) When will USC get out of its own way in both major sports? 3) Could we see concurrent basketball coaching searches in L.A. this spring?

*** Washington is red hot, at least by this year’s Pac-12 standards.

The veteran-laden Huskies have won five straight by an average of 13 points per game and handily took care of Utah and Colorado for their first conference road sweep in six years.

With the Bay Area schools visiting Seattle this week, UW stands a great chance of getting to 5-0 in league play.

Washington and Arizona have emerged as the likely league favorites now, depending on your mileage with Oregon State. It’s worth pointing out, then, that the Huskies and Wildcats meet only once in the regular season: on Feb. 7, at McKale Center.

Continue reading story here

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January 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Boyle: Good news on McKinley Wright; bad news on Deleon Brown

From the Daily Camera … After its first practice since Saturday’s home loss against Washington, the best news for the struggling Colorado men’s basketball team is that point guard McKinley Wright is likely to return at some point this season.

The status of senior guard Namon Wright, however, remains murky. And while Deleon Brown’s status was clarified, he won’t be helping the Buffaloes’ lagging backcourt depth any time soon.

McKinley Wright may not be back for Sunday’s road date at Utah (4 p.m., ESPNU) but head coach Tad Boyle expressed optimism CU’s leading scorer and undisputed floor general didn’t suffer a season-ending setback when he left the UW game in the first half with a left shoulder injury.

Namon Wright remains day-to-day due to a foot injury, while Boyle took back his previous statements regarding the potential of a February return for the academically ineligible Brown, who has played his final game of the 2018-19 season.

Continue reading story here

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January 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Shane Gatling comfortable at point guard if McKinley Wright shoulder injury is lasting

From the Daily Camera … If McKinley Wright’s shoulder injury proves problematic for the next few weeks and beyond, the Colorado men’s basketball team will have a colossal void to fill.

Yet one of the bright spots of Saturday night’s close-but-not-quite 77-70 home loss against Washington was the play of junior guard Shane Gatling, who showed he is capable of substituting for Wright at the top of the Buffaloes’ attack even while his shooting woes continue.

Wright, who played through a left shoulder injury during last week’s pair of losses in Arizona, exited Saturday’s contest with 8 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the first half and did not return. Gatling has played mostly off the ball this season after transferring from Indian Hills Community College, but he impressed in his return to a ball-handling role that helped make him a junior college All-American last season.

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USC star (and projected lottery pick) suspended indefinitely

From The Los Angeles Times … This long weekend in Oregon was supposed to be the moment this year’s USC Trojans finally became whole.

Kevin Porter Jr. was returning to the lineup after a mysterious six-week recovery from a thigh bruise. His family made the trip down from Seattle to watch Porter, projected as a consensus NBA lottery pick, play his first Pac-12 games. Thursday night, Porter played 25 minutes as the Trojans lost a heartbreaker in overtime at Oregon State. After the game, Porter appeared to be emotionally wrecked by the defeat and put the blame on himself.

If one had witnessed Porter then, one never would have been able to see what was coming in just a few days. What was in the basement hallway of Gill Coliseum was a frustrated 18-year-old kid who really wanted to lead his team to a victory and couldn’t get it done.

But these Pac-12 trips can test a young player’s focus.

“We just sat around Eugene for three days now,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.

Apparently, there was plenty of action, too, none of it much good for the Trojans. Porter had an undisclosed conduct issue, and Enfield felt he had no choice but to suspend the freshman.

It was no surprise that USC came out flat Sunday night against Oregon, and the Ducks gladly sent the Trojans back to Los Angeles with an 81-60 whipping and another grotesque wart on their resume.

That was only the beginning of USC’s problems. After the game, Enfield said that Porter’s suspension was indefinite and indicated that there was a chance Porter could have played his last game for the Trojans.

“We’ll reevaluate his future with the program this week,” Enfield said.

Continue reading story here

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January 12th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs spot Huskies 12-0 lead, fall 77-70 to Washington

Related … “Second-half rally not enough for shorthanded CU basketball against Washington” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  A furious Colorado rally in the second half came up just short Saturday night, as the Buffs dropped a 77-70 decision to Washington at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs, who played much of the game without star point guard McKinley Wright (shoulder injury), rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to cut the margin to one with just more than seven minutes left. But that was as close as the Buffs could come, as the Huskies answered each Colorado rally and held on down the stretch for the win.

CU fell to 10-6 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play while the Huskies improved to 12-4, 3-0.

D’Shawn Schwartz led Colorado with a career-high 22 points — his second straight game with a career high — and Tyler Bey added 15 points and nine rebounds. Shane Gatling added eight points and a career-high six assists.

Jaylen Nowell led UW with 19 points.

The Huskies shot 55.1 percent from the field (27-for-49), including a red-hot 19-for30 in the first half, paving the way for a 48-35 lead at intermission. The Buffs, who battled foul trouble for much of the night, connected on 44.4 percent of their field goal tries (24-for-54).

While obviously disappointed with his team’s loss, CU head coach Tad Boyle still said he was proud of the way Colorado battled back.

“I thought there were some really good things that came out of tonight’s game, out of a loss,” Boyle said. “I don’t say that very often, but I thought with all the things we battled tonight — our defensive atrociousness, them scoring 48 points and shooting 63 percent — as bad as that was, for our guys to battle back, with McKinley going out and the foul trouble we battled all night long, is a testament to our guys.”

Continue reading story here

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January 11th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs will need to crack Huskies zone defense to pull off an upset

Related … “UW men at Colorado: Projected starting lineups and scouting reports” … from the Seattle Times

Related … “D’Shawn Schwartz putting it all together going into CU Buffs’ showdown against Washington” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … If the Colorado Buffaloes want to prove they belong in the conversation when it comes to Pac-12 contenders, they have the perfect opportunity Saturday night to make such a statement.

Fresh off a 92-60 thumping of Washington State on Thursday, the Buffs (10-5 overall, 1-2 Pac-12)  hit their home floor again Saturday when they play host to Washington in an 8 p.m. game at the CU Events Center.

The Huskies are already proving they belong in the contender discussion. Currently boasting the best NCAA NET ranking of any team in the Pac-12 (No. 44), the Huskies improved to 11-4 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play Thursday with a convincing 69-53 win at Utah. It was the same Utah team that won at Arizona State and took Arizona to overtime last weekend — and Washington dominated the game, holding the Utes to a season low in points and 22 under their season average.

That the Huskies are making a living on defense — they are second in the Pac-12, holding opponents to just 65.6 points per game — is no surprise. Second-year head coach Mike Hopkins, a disciple of Syracuse Jim Boeheim, has made the 2-3 zone defense a Huskies staple.

“It’s all they do,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “When it’s all you do, you’re usually pretty good at it.”

Indeed, while most teams will play a variety of defenses throughout the course of a game, alternating between man-to-man and zone, the Huskies play 40 minutes of 2-3 zone — and they have the experience and athletes to make it work. The Huskies start three seniors, including 6-foot-5 guard Matisse Thybulle, last year’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Throw in another senior guard in 6-0 David Crisp, along with a front line that includes 6-8 senior Noah Dickerson and 6-9 sophomore Hameir Wright and talented 6-4 sophomore Jaylen Nowell, and it is a formidable lineup.

Continue reading story here

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January 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rebound with a 92-60 rout of Washington State

Related … “Bey scores 26 as Colorado beats Washington State 92-60” ... from ESPN

Related … “Shooting touch returns for CU Buffs basketball in rout of Washington State” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Home cooking appeared to be just what the doctor ordered for the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday night.

The Buffs returned to the CU Events Center for their first home game in more than a month, and treated themselves to a runaway 92-60 win over Washington State.

Colorado ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play while the Cougars fell to 7-8, 0-2.

Thursday’s effort was the textbook definition of a balanced effort. The Buffs put four players in double figures, led by a career-high 26 points from sophomore Tyler Bey, who also pulled down 10 rebounds for his seventh career double-double. Sophomore forward D’Shawn Schwartz added a career-high 16 points, seven rebounds and a career-high four assists; sophomore point guard McKinley Wright IV chipped in 10 points and seven assists; and junior guard Shane Gatling scored a career-high 17 with a career-best five 3-pointers. Freshman Evan Battey, meanwhile, had a career-high 14 rebounds.

The Buffs also regained their shooting eye, which had abandoned them on a recent swing through Arizona. After shooting just 34.2 percent from the field in a pair of losses in the desert, CU hit 35 of its 64 field goal attempts (54.7 percent) against the Cougars, while holding WSU to just 36.8 percent from the floor (21-for-57). Colorado was 11-for-27 from 3-point range and 24-for-37 from inside the arc.

The Buffs also held a 41-27 edge on the boards and finished with a season-high 20 assists and just 12 turnovers, their fewest since having just eight against Colorado State in early December.

Marvin Cannon led WSU with 14 points.

“It’s nice to see the ball go in the basket,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “We haven’t seen that in a while. We got some guys going. Making 11 threes is obviously big. We knew we were going to see a lot of zone, we didn’t know how much. They started out man, and when they went to there zone, we did a good job there, too.”

Continue reading story here

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January 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hope to end skid with Washington State in town (Thurs., 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … “Staying on floor for CU basketball critical for Tyler Bey” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … With their worst loss of the season — an 83-61 loss at Arizona State on Saturday — still fresh in their minds, there is no doubt the Colorado Buffaloes are glad to finally be playing on their home floor this week.

After a month-long stretch that saw CU play six in a row away from home, the Buffs return to the Events Center this week for a pair of Pac-12 games, with Washington State on tap Thursday (7 p.m.) and Washington on Saturday (8 p.m.).

“I think we’re all excited to get back out here and be in front of our home fans,” sophomore point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “We’re definitely excited to have the opportunity to get back on track. We have a good opportunity and we have to take advantage of it.”

Indeed, with the 9-5 Buffs already in an 0-2 hole in the Pac-12 standings, the weekend represents a crucial juncture. With four losses in the their last six games — and their next three after this weekend back on the road — it is imperative that the Buffs find a way to cure their recent ills and get into the conference win column.

Or, as head coach Tad Boyle put it earlier in the week, “We have to get ourselves out of this funk.”

Thursday night, the Buffs will be facing a team in a similar situation. The Cougars (7-7, 0-1) have lost four in a row and are 0-6 away from home this year. While they lead the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 81.1 points per game, they are 11th in the conference in defense, giving up 76.7 points per game.

The Buffs have never lost to WSU in Boulder, a 7-0 stretch that includes a 6-0 mark since CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12.

Continue reading story here

Tad Boyle’s contract renewed – Rick George: “I’m very confident in the direction Tad is taking this program” 

From the Daily Camera … Even with his Colorado men’s basketball team mired in an often unsightly slump, the confidence in head coach Tad Boyle remains high among his superiors within the CU athletic department.

That fact was confirmed yet again in recent weeks, as the automatic one-year extension that is written into the terms of Boyle’s contract was renewed for another season, keeping CU’s leader under contract through the 2023-24 season.

Per the terms of that contract, the one-year extension is automatically invoked unless one side — either Boyle and his agent, or the university — gives notice about opting out of the extension prior to Dec. 31 each year. CU athletic director Rick George confirmed to BuffZone.com neither side gave notice before the recent deadline, adding another year to a contract that pays Boyle a shade under $1.425 million per year in base and supplemental salary.

The automatic extension simply adds a year to the agreement while the terms of the deal remain unchanged. The extension is expected to be approved at the Board of Regents meeting Feb. 13-14.

Continue reading story here

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January 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

Former Arizona and USC assistants accept plea deals

Related … “Even with conviction now in books, NCAA still mum regarding FBI probe” … from the Daily Camera

From the Daily Camera … Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Richardson has reached an agreement with New York prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of federal funds bribery at a hearing later this month.

Craig Murdock, Richardson’s New Orleans-based attorney, said Monday the plea agreement for the Jan. 22 hearing contains stipulated sentencing guidelines range of 18 to 24 months, though the sentence is up to the judge.

Murdock added the plea is not part of a deal requiring him to cooperate against others, but that could always change. Richardson also could change his mind prior to the hearing and not plead guilty.

“Mr. Richardson is remorseful about what transpired,” Murdock said. “It’s a hiccup in a career in which he’s had a positive effect on many young men in and out of basketball. This is something he did. It’s not who he is.”

A spokesman for the prosecutors declined comment.

Richardson was among 10 people arrested as part of a federal probe into college basketball recruiting practices in September 2017, including assistant coaches at four prominent schools.

Former Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery last Wednesday, admitting he accepted $4,100 in cash to steer players at the school to certain financial advisers and business managers.

Continue reading story here

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January 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tad Boyle: “We’re going to fix our defensive woes. We’re going to fix our rebounding woes”

Related ... “Eli Parquet ready to help CU basketball if number called again” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … It’s been a month since the Colorado Buffaloes played a game on their home floor.

It hasn’t been a month to remember. Since a home win over Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 8 bumped their record to 7-1, the 9-5 Buffs have lost four of six, including a pair of losses at Arizona and Arizona State last weekend to open their Pac-12 schedule.

But this week, Tad Boyle‘s Buffs finally get to practice at home and stay there for games. The Buffs host Washington State on Thursday (7 p.m.) before welcoming Washington to the CU Events Center on Saturday for an 8 p.m. contest.

Monday, they set about the task of correcting the problems that have plagued them for much of the last four weeks.

“We came back and here’s what we’re going to fix,” Boyle said after Monday’s workout. “We’re going to fix our defensive woes. We’re going to fix our rebounding woes and we’re going to become better in our zone offense.

Continue reading story here

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January 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hoping first home game in a month will help spur on the offense

From the Daily Camera … If there is a silver lining for the reeling Colorado men’s basketball team, it’s that the Buffaloes are returning home.

Thursday’s initial Pac-12 Conference date at the CU Events Center against Washington State will be the first time the Buffs have played at home since a Dec. 8 win against Illinois-Chicago. After picking up a road win at New Mexico a three days later, the Buffs were 8-1, averaging 84.3 points and shooting an impressive .486 from the field.

What a difference a month can make. Despite that win at The Pit in New Mexico, the Buffs’ longest road swing since 1986 has not been a kind one, a run futility capped by Arizona State’s 83-61 rout of the Buffaloes Saturday afternoon.

With three more road games in a row awaiting CU after games this week against WSU and Washington, the home cooking better settle well for coach Tad Boyle’s club. Asked after Saturday’s loss if his club is battling a collective confidence issue, CU’s leader said he believed the matter is less about confidence than allowing the negative momentum swings to continue snowballing.

“I like the way we’re practicing. I like our demeanor,” Boyle said. “I don’t feel like (it’s confidence), but when you see guys’ heads go down when they miss shots, that’s when mental toughness has to take hold. When you miss open shots and you’re struggling offensively, you can’t let it affect you on the other end of the floor. That’s easier said than done. Guys want to shoot the ball well. They’re frustrated when they miss open shots.”

Continue reading story here

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January 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado embarrassed on the road by Arizona State, 83-61

Game recap: “White scores 19, Arizona State rolls over Colorado 83-61” … from ESPN

From CUBuffs.com …  A trip to the desert proved to be no cure for the Colorado Buffaloes’ recent ills away from home.

Playing their sixth straight game away from the CU Events Center on Saturday, the Buffs fell behind early by double digits to Arizona State and never recovered, dropping an 83-61 decision to the Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena.

The loss, the Buffs’ fourth in their last five games, dropped their record to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in Pac-12 play while ASU improved to 10-4, 1-1.

McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 12 points and D’Shawn Schwartz and Daylen Kountz each added 10. The Buffs were cold all afternoon from the field, finishing just 19-for-58 from the field (32.8 percent) while also losing the rebound battle, 42-28.

Romello White led five Sun Devils in double figures, finishing with 19 points as ASU shot a red-hot 57.1 percent from the field (32-for-56). ASU’s 83 points are the most given up by the Buffs this year.

“We’re just not making shots right now,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “We just can’t throw it in the ocean. When that happens, you have to come back and get stops. But tonight, we weren’t good enough in any aspect of the game. We weren’t good enough in rebounding, we weren’t good enough in taking care of the ball, we weren’t good enough offensively, we weren’t good enough defensively. It was just a tail whipping. We deserved it and we got it.”

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: The Buffs finally return home for a pair of games next week, beginning with a Thursday matchup with Washington State (7 p.m.) at the CU Events Center, followed by an 8 p.m. Saturday game with Washington.

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January 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU looks to get offense going against Arizona State (Sat., 4:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … Where oh where have all the points gone?

That is the most pressing question facing head coach Tad Boyle as the Colorado men’s basketball team attempts to get back on track Saturday afternoon in a Pac-12 Conference battle at Arizona State. When the Buffaloes raced out of the gate to an 8-1 start, albeit against mostly middle-of-the-pack mid-major programs, it was behind an offense both high-octane and versatile.

While losing three of the past four games, that offense has practically been non-existent. After scoring a season-low 62 points — in overtime, no less — two weeks ago at Hawaii, CU’s offense hit a new low Thursday night in a 64-56 loss at Arizona in the Pac-12 opener.

Continue reading story here

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January 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall on the road to Arizona in Pac-12 opener

Related … “Turnovers again doom CU Buffs basketball at Arizona in Pac-12 opener” … from the Daily Camera

... Related … “Deleon Brown doesn’t make the grades, ruled ineligible for CU basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado started fast and finished strong Thursday night in its Pac-12 opener, but a difficult stretch in the middle of game proved too much to overcome, as CU dropped a 64-56 decision to Arizona at the McKale Center.

The loss, CU’s third in the last four games, dropped the Buffs to 9-4 overall (0-1 in Pac-12) while Arizona improved to 10-4, 1-0. The loss was CU’s seventh in as many tries at McKale since the Buffs joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, Arizona is 90-4 on its home floor.

After trailing by as much as 17 in the second half, the Buffs cut the margin to seven, 57-50, with 2:42 still left to play on a D’Shawn Schwartz 3-pointer.

But that was as close as the Buffs could come. Arizona build the lead back to double digits, then held the Buffs off in the final minute.

Sophomore McKinley Wright IV led CU with 17 points and Lucas Siewert added 11, but they were the only Buffs in double figures as Colorado shot just 19-for-53 from the field (35.8 percent). Schwartz had eight points and eight rebounds for CU and Tyler Bey had 11 rebounds and four points.

Brandon Williams led Arizona with 14 points as the Wildcats shot 25-for-58 (43.1 percent) and Brandon Randolph added 11.

CU was once again plagued by turnovers, committing 17 — including six by Wright — which led to 14 Arizona points. The Wildcats also dominated the game inside, outscoring Colorado 38-18 in the paint.

“We have some offensive woes right now,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “When you combine 35 percent shooting with 17 turnovers, you put a lot of pressure on your defense. I thought our defense was great in the second half, it really was. But our offensive efficiency is just not very good right now. I’ve got to do a better job as a coach to get these guys to understand that it’s about the execution. When you get good shots you have to be able to stick them in the basket. I don’t care if you’re in the paint, I don’t care if you’re wide open from three. You have to be able to capitalize.”

Continue reading story here

Oregon star center Bol Bol may be out for the rest of the season

From Duck Territory … Freshman star center Bol Bol‘s future at Oregon is likely going to be over, according to multiple sources close to the Oregon basketball program.

Bol has missed the team’s last four games with a left foot injury and the outlook on his return to the team this season gets grimmer by the day. According to sources who can’t speak on the record, Bol suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and his timeline to return from injury will likely keep him out of the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Multiple sources have told DuckTerritory.com Bol is likely going to begin rehab work ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft with basketball and medical trainers outside the Oregon basketball program. Bol has spent most of the last two weeks back home in Kansas with his family mulling over his options to rehab his injury. Multiple sources have told DuckTerritory they do not believe Bol will play the rest of the year, but a final decision has not been made.

“I would be completely shocked if Bol played the rest of this year,” one source said.

Continue reading story here

Jon Wilner picks CU to finish 5th in Pac-12

From the San Jose Mercury News … The past eight weeks? Irrelevant.

The inexplicable losses … the blowouts … the meltdowns … the no-shows?

Never happened. None of it.

At least, that’s the approach every program should adopt as conference play begins today across the Pac-12.

Outside the 12 bubbles, however, the carnage cannot be forgotten (unfortunately), and it has altered our view of teams, players and coaches.

Hotline projections, derived from a blend of preseason expectations and in-season performance …

*** All-conference

Third team

G Colorado’s McKinley Wright

*** Order of finish

1. Oregon: Best combination of high-end talent, experience and coach. But injuries — it’s not just Bol — make the Ducks a fragile frontrunner.

5. Colorado: Quietly collecting the victories, but until the Buffaloes prove they can do it at sea level, we’ll slot them on the second tier.

Read full story here

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Tad Boyle: “If you want to have a chance to win a championship, you have to win on the road”

Related … “Fresh start awaits CU men’s basketball in Pac-12 opener at Arizona” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Pac-12 basketball: Who will rise above mediocrity in wide-open league race?” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  In what might be the most wide-open Pac-12 in recent years — not a single conference team is ranked in the nation’s top 25 — the Colorado Buffaloes believe opportunity awaits this week as they begin conference play.

But taking advantage of that opportunity won’t be easy. It begins with a weekend trip to the desert, where they will open conference play with games at Arizona (7 p.m. Thursday) and Arizona State (4 p.m. Saturday) and an eye on collecting at least one road win — a rarity in conference play.

How rare? Last season, Colorado won just one road game, a victory at UCLA.

But this year, the 9-3 Buffs already have two road wins under their belts, and would like to push that number to at least seven — which means they will need five Pac-12 road wins to hit their goal.

“Every league — it doesn’t matter if you’re in the Pac-12 or the Big Sky or the ACC — if you want to finish in the top half of the league and have a chance to win a championship, you have to win on the road,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said Tuesday, just before the Buffs left for their Arizona trip. “You don’t have to win every game on the road, but you have to win games on the road. … You can’t win five unless you win the first one.”

Continue reading story here

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January 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Pac-12 without a ranked team for the first time since the 2011-12 season

From azdesertswarm.com … Every Pac-12 school has at least one thing in common — none of their men’s basketball teams are ranked.

For the first time since 2011-12, zero Pac-12 schools find themselves inside the AP Top 25. The Arizona State Sun Devils, who were ranked 17th last week, were upset at home by Princeton and subsequently fell out of the polls.

Perhaps even more shuddering is that ASU is the only Pac-12 school to have even received votes this week, as it garnered 116, the most among non-ranked teams.

The Pac-12 ranks as the sixth-best conference in the country by KenPom, the worst among the major conferences. The so-called Conference of Champions has a losing record against the West Coast Conference this year.

Some embarrassing results for the Pac-12 this week included UCLA losing at home to Liberty by 15 points (then firing Steve Alford), Washington State falling to Santa Clara in Spokane, and Cal losing at home to Seattle, the Redhawks’ second win over a Pac-12 school.

As of Dec. 27, ESPN projected that two Pac-12 teams will make the NCAA Tournament this season — ASU and Oregon. However, that was before the Sun Devils lost to Princeton.

KenPom rates the Ducks as the conference’s best team … all the way down at No. 39. Them and ASU are the only Pac-12 teams rated inside KenPom’s Top 50. One-third of the conference — Stanford, Utah, Washington State and Cal — ranks outside the Top 100. Cal ranks outside the Top 200.

Every Pac-12 team has at least three losses heading into conference play, which mercifully begins this week.

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January 1st – Happy New Year!

… CU in the Arena …

Evan Battey coming into his own as conference play opens – Thurs., 7:00 p.m., MT, FS1

Related … “Building on solid start the goal for CU basketball freshman Daylen Kountz” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado redshirt freshman Evan Battey is steadily coming into his own as a Division I college basketball player.

Battey, whose much-publicized return to the game has been a focal point of nearly every Buffs television broadcast, is slowly but surely shaking off the rust of a two-year layoff from playing competitively.

Now, that layoff — due first to ineligibility issues, then a life-threatening stroke — is becoming more and more of a memory from the distant past. After 12 games for the 9-3 Buffs, Battey is the team’s fourth-leading scorer (8.7 points per game) and fourth-leading rebounder (4.3 rpg), while currently just sixth on the team in minutes played (21.1 per game).

Equally importantly, he is displaying the versatility that makes him such a rarity for a 6-foot-8, 265-pound forward. He is fourth on the team in assists (13) and steals (7), leads the team in offensive rebounds (25) and is shooting a respectable 44.2 percent from the field.

“I think the rust is going away,” Battey said. “I still find myself in situations now and then that I haven’t been in for a long time, and I won’t finish or I won’t get a rebound. But I’m not experiencing as many of those situations anymore. Overall, I think I’m back — it’s just a matter of not tricking myself into thinking there’s something I can’t do. I just have to play.”

Battey’s season has already been one of many “firsts” in his comeback — first game, first basket, first win, first start, etc.

This week, he will add to the list when he plays in his first Pac-12 game. The Buffs open conference play Thursday with a 7 p.m. game at Arizona — one of the most raucous environments in the conference — followed by a 4 p.m. Saturday matchup at Arizona State.

Continue reading story here

… Note … With Arizona State’s loss to Princeton, the Sun Devils fell out of the Associated Press rankings, leaving exactly zero Pac-12 teams in the rankings as teams shift to conference play … 

Pac-12 standings heading into conference play

TEAMSCONFOVERALL
 Arizona State0-09-3
 Colorado0-09-3
 Arizona0-09-4
 Oregon0-09-4
 Oregon State0-08-4
 Washington0-08-4
 Stanford0-07-5
 UCLA0-07-6
 USC0-07-6
 Washington State0-07-6
 Utah0-06-6
 California0-05-7

—–

December 31st 

… CU in the Arena … 

UCLA fires head coach Steve Alford

Related … “Steve Alford lived in his own world — one that apparently didn’t include UCLA” ... from ESPN

Related … “Steve Alford was never a good fit at UCLA and is the latest coach who failed to meet expectations of Bruins fans” … from CBS Sports

From ESPN … UCLA has fired coach Steve Alford, the school announced Monday.

Alford was in charge of the Bruins for 5½ seasons, leading them to four NCAA tournaments and three Sweet 16 appearances. This season, however, UCLA struggled mightily in nonconference play; the Bruins are 7-6 after losing their past four games. Things hit rock bottom on Saturday, when UCLA lost at home by 15 points to Liberty.

“I’m extremely appreciative to everybody at UCLA for what has been a tremendous run and the chance to work with such special student-athletes and coaches,” said Alford via statement. “While I wish we could have had more success, my family and I are so grateful for our time in Westwood. We wish this program nothing but the best. I sincerely hope that the UCLA community will rally around this team, its players and the coaching staff as Pac-12 play begins.”

Assistant coach Murry Bartow will be the interim coach for the rest of the season. Bartow’s father, Gene, succeeded Hall of Fame coach John Wooden at UCLA in 1975.

Continue reading story here

CU women can’t stay with undefeated Utah in Pac-12 opener

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado put four players in double figures Sunday but couldn’t match Utah’s hot shooting from 3-point range, as the Buffs dropped a 76-61 decision at the CU Events Center in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

The Buffs saw a four-game win streak come to an end and fell to 10-2 overall while Utah remained unbeaten, improving to 12-0.

Neither team shot particularly well overall from the field, with Utah hitting just 30 of its 72 field goal tries (41.7 percent) while CU was 22-for-56 (39.3 percent). But the Utes hit 13 of their 22 3-point attempts while Colorado was just 4-for-17 from beyond the arc.

Utah also held a 43-35 edge on the boards, including 15 offensive rebounds, which helped produce a 17-6 edge in second-chance points.

Alexis Robinson led Colorado with 14 points, Kennedy Leonard chipped in 13 and Mya Hollingshed and Peanut Tuitele each had 10. Leonard also had six assists and moved past Bridget Turner into first place on CU’s career list in that category now with 615.

Andrea Torres led Utah with 18 points.

“As a whole, I thought Utah outplayed us today, from the rebounding to loose balls,” CU coach JR Payne said. “They won those toughness categories and then shot the absolute lights out of it. They don’t typically shoot the ball that well and the combination of the way they were shooting that ball combined with the offensive rebounding they were getting made it really difficult for us to close that gap.”

Continue reading story here

—–

December 30th

… CU in the Arena …

Pac-12 caps worst December in 20 years by a major conference

From ESPN … With five losses on Saturday’s schedule, the men’s college basketball season went from bad to worse for the Pac-12, which is assured of the worst December by a major conference in the past 20 years.

Coming off a winless NCAA tournament last March, the Pac-12 will be the first of the Power 5 conferences plus the Big East to finish December with a win percentage below .600 in the past two decades.

Fresh off beating No. 1 Kansas last week, Arizona State — the conference’s only ranked team, at No. 17 — fell at home to Princeton 67-66. Meanwhile, Utah was thrashed at home by No. 6 Nevada, UCLA’s skid continued with a home loss to Liberty, Santa Clara beat Washington State in Spokane, and Cal fell to Seattle.

Oregon rallied to win at Boise State, Oregon State routed Central Connecticut State and Stanford defeated Long Beach State to lift the Pac-12’s record above .500 to 38-36 for the month, with USC still to face UC Davis on Sunday.

Saturday was the third time this season that the Pac-12 has had two days when its teams lost at least five nonconference games. In the previous 20 seasons, that happened only twice.

The previous worst performance by a major conference in the past 20 years came in 2003, when the Big Ten went 46-30 (.605). The Pac-12’s previous worst was 38-24 (.613) in 2009, when it was still known as the Pac-10.

Continue reading story here

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December 28th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU Hall of Famer Jim Davis passes away

From CUBuffs.com … Jim Davis, an integral part of the University of Colorado basketball team that won back-to-back Big Eight titles in the early 1960s, passed away Thursday (Dec. 27) from complications due to cancer.  He was 77.

Davis had been hospitalized recently in Windsor, Ontario, and was surrounded by his family when he died.  After his professional days in the National Basketball Association came to an end with the Detroit Pistons, he had remained in the area, eventually moving across the border to Canada.

A 2014 inductee into CU’s Athletic Hall of Dame, Davis was a three-year letterman under the legendary Sox Walseth, and just the third African-American player in Colorado basketball history.  He earned first-team All-Big 8 honors from both the Associated Press and United Press international his junior (1962-63) and senior (1963-64) seasons.  He averaged a “double-double” both seasons, 13.8 points and 12.7 rebounds his junior campaign and 18.5 and 12.7 (again), respectively, as a senior.  He led the Big Eight in rebounding both years.

A 6-foot-9 center, Davis averaged 14.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game over his career (77 games), and at the time of his graduation, he was CU’s all-time leading rebounder (836) and third all-time scorer (1,110 points).  He made 411-of-841 field goal attempts for a 48.9 percentage, considered very good for the day.

One of Davis’ teammates on the ’63-64 team, Mike Frink, fondly recalled the man who was nicknamed “Spider.”

“Jim Davis was the gentlest 6-9 soul I had the privilege to know and play with,” Frink said.  “He became a force on the court which all of his CU teammates respected and admired anytime we were with him – he was your best friend when you were around him.

“When I was an assistant (CU) coach in 2006, I had the honor to present him at the ceremony when his jersey was hung in the rafters,” he added.  “Because the way Jim made you feel, it felt like all our jerseys were, too.”

CU was 53-24 in his career, winning two Big 8 titles (his sophomore and junior years), earning two trips to the NCAA Tournament.  Both times, the Buffaloes reached the Elite Eight but lost to Cincinnati each year to be denied advancing to the Final Four.  Colorado finished as the nation’s No. 9 team in Davis’ sophomore year and No. 10 his junior season.

Davis was a fourth round selection by Detroit in the 1964 NBA Draft, the 27th player selected overall in a nine-team league at the time.  He was waived by the Pistons before the season started, but he persevered and eventually signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Hawks in 1967.  He played for the Hawks, both in St. Louis and after they moved to Atlanta, and was traded to Houston for a month during the 1971 season and then finished up his career after being traded to Detroit.

Continue reading story here ….

—–

December 26th

… CU in the Arena … 

Jon Wilner: Pac-12 needs things to fall right just to have a three-bid conference

From the San Jose Mercury News … Let’s start the holiday edition of the power ratings with a collective gift for the conference:

We can’t turn back time to, oh, Dec. ’08, when future pros like James Harden and Isaiah Thomas led the way, six out of 10 teams made the NCAAs, and five won their first-round games.

We can’t skip ahead to Oct. ’19 and a fresh start for the conference.

We could wish for new coaches for a handful of teams, or for limited damage from the looming FBI trail and presumed NCAA investigations.

But let’s stay practical and immediate:

* Arizona State navigates the conference season with limited damage, thereby securing its spot in the NCAAs as an at-large team.

* Oregon plays to its potential, beats ASU twice, and sneaks into March Madness through the First Four.

* A surprise winner of the conference tournament earns the automatic berth and gives the Pac-12 a third participant.

Three teams in … that’s about the best the conference can hope for.

7. Colorado (9-3)
Last week: 6
Results: Lost to Indiana State 72-67 and Hawaii 70-62, beat Charlotte 68-53
Next up: at Arizona (Jan. 3)
Holiday wish: That every game could be played a mile high. (CU’s road record in conference games over the past two seasons: 3-15.)

Read full Pac-12 rankings here

Tad Boyle set for another contract extension

Related … “CU basketball looks to regroup after disappointing performance at Diamond Head Classic” … From the Daily Camera 

From the Daily Camera (note: this article is from this past January, but should be applicable to this December 31st as well)

Chances are Tad Boyle won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

University of Colorado athletic director Rick George confirmed that per terms of Boyle’s contract, the leader of the CU men’s basketball team will receive his automatic one-year contract extension this spring. If past scenarios hold form, the extension will be finalized at the Board of Regents meeting in Denver on Feb. 8-9.

The terms for Boyle’s contract calls for either side — Boyle and his representatives, or the university — to give notice by Dec. 31 that they plan to opt out of the automatic one-year extension. George confirmed that neither side gave such notice.

The one-year addition extends Boyle’s deal through the 2022-23 season. The terms of the contract do not change, meaning Boyle’s annual salary remains at about $1.5 million (base salary plus benefits).

Continue reading story here

—–

December 25th – Merry Christmas!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs salvage some dignity with a win over Charlotte in Diamond Head finale

From the Daily Camera … It would be easy to dismiss the sluggish and often ugly start put together by the Colorado men’s basketball team Tuesday morning as a result of the early wake-up call for an 8 a.m. tipoff local time in Hawaii, if not for the fact that it looked all too similar to the lackluster efforts the Buffaloes turned in during their first two games at the Diamond Head Classic.

This time, however, the Buffs got their act together in time to avert a third consecutive disaster in Honolulu, avoiding last-place in the tournament by posting a 68-53 victory against Charlotte.

After losses against Indiana State and host Hawaii, the Buffs return to the mainland with a 9-3 record and much work to do before embarking on the Pac-12 Conference schedule.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 24th

… CU at the Arena … 

Buffs to take on Charlotte on Christmas Day in the earliest game in school history

From CUBuffs.com … “We are not executing from the neck up,” Boyle said. “We didn’t do it against Indiana State (in the tourney opening loss), we didn’t do it against Hawaii. We talk to our guys about communication all the time.  But these guys are very reluctant to talk, reluctant to communicate on the floor. … It was just absolutely atrocious execution by the Buffaloes and that’s on the coach. I have to own it.”

… After a day off Monday, the Buffs wrap up the tournament Tuesday (Christmas Day) in the seventh-place game against Charlotte at 11 a.m. (8:00 a.m., local time).

—–

December 23rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU falls to Hawai’i in overtime in the Diamond Head Classic

… Related … “Diamond Head Classic misery continues for CU basketball against Hawaii” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com …  Beaches and Buffaloes evidently are not a good mix — not, at least, for the Colorado basketball team.

Sunday, the Buffs lost their second game in as many days in the Diamond Head Classic, dropping a 70-62 decision in overtime to Hawaii on the Rainbow Warriors’ home floor. The Buffs, who landed in Hawaii with a six-game win streak, saw their record drop to 8-3 while Hawaii improved to 7-5.

Despite shooting poorly for most of the game, the Buffs still had their chances to win. After trailing for much of the game, Colorado fought back to regain the lead with just more than eight minutes to play, and led by six, 52-46, with just under four minutes to go.

But a 10-2 run by Hawaii in the final three-plus minutes put the Rainbow Warriors back in the lead, and it took a McKinley Wright IV layup with 16 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Buffs, though, managed just one field goal in the extra five minutes of play while Hawaii hit a pair of big 3-pointers, including one from Jack Purchase with 55 seconds remaining that basically iced the win.

“Disheartening loss, but the one thing I can promise our fans is this team’s not going to lose their heart,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “I can promise you that. They really aren’t. … I take ownership in this loss. I’m not going to blame our players. We’re going to get better. We’ve taken a step backward, there’s no doubt about it, but we are going to get better.”

Wright led the Buffs with 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds and Lucas Siewert added 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting. But after those two, the rest of CU’s roster was an anemic 5-for-36 from the field, as Colorado finished the day just 21-for-64. (34 percent). Hawaii wasn’t much better — 22-for-61 — but the Rainbow Warriors did hit 9 of 30 3-point tries, and they also held a commanding 48-35 edge on the boards.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 22nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buffs Comeback Falls Short As CU Falls To Indiana State In Diamond Head Opener

From CUBuffs.com … Paradise turned into Paradise Lost for the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.

The turnover-prone Buffs cut a 14-point Indiana State lead to one late in the game, but the Sycamores held on down the stretch to claim a 72-67 decision in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic.

The loss, which ended a six-game win streak, dropped CU to 8-2 while ISU improved to 7-3.

The Buffs were their own worst enemy in the contest. Colorado finished with a season-high 19 turnovers in the game, leading to 20 points for the Sycamores, and CU also lost the rebounding battle, 34-32, leading to a commanding 17-7 edge in second chance points for Indiana State.

It was a disappointing effort for a team that had visions of three more wins and plenty of momentum heading into Pac-12 Conference play.

“I don’t mind getting beat —  I don’t like it, nobody likes it,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “But I can’t live with — and hopefully our players can’t live with — beating ourselves, and we beat ourselves tonight. Credit to Indiana State. I don’t want to take anything away from them. Their kids played hard, they were dialed in, they were ready to play, there’s no doubt about that.”

But while the Sycamores played well and did have enough to hold off a late Colorado rally, the Buffs also committed too many errors, especially early in the game.

“We lost this game for two reasons — we lost this game because we didn’t take care of the basketball and we lost this game because we didn’t limit them to one shot,” Boyle said. “And if you look at the numbers, they scored 37 points — 20 off our turnovers and 17 off second-chance points. That’s 37 points we gave them because we don’t do those two things.”

Tyler Bey led CU with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double while McKinley Wright IV and Shane Gatling each added 10 points. It was Bey’s third straight double-double and fourth in his last five games. ISU’s Jordan Barnes led all scorers with 19 points, including a 5-for-8 night from 3-point range.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 21st

… CU in a few minutes … 

Tad Boyle: “Obviously we’re going over there with the idea of trying to take care of business against Indiana State”

From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes would love to give themselves a Christmas present to remember: a Diamond Head Classic tourney championship, one they could unwrap Christmas evening at the Stan Sheriff Center.

But to get there, the 8-1 Buffs need to win three games in four days, beginning with Saturday’s 1 p.m. (Mountain time) tourney tipoff against 6-3 Indiana State (ESPNU). After that, Colorado will face either UNLV or tourney host Hawaii on Sunday, then have Christmas Eve off before finishing up their Hawaii stay on Christmas Day against one of the four teams from the other side of the eight-team bracket: Rhode Island, Bucknell, Charlotte and TCU.

For Tad Boyle‘s Buffs, the tournament is an excellent opportunity to continue to build confidence and momentum as a springboard into Pac-12 play, which begins Jan. 3 at Arizona, followed by a Jan. 5 encounter at Arizona State.

But it is also an opportunity for CU’s players to encounter and engage in an environment most have never visited. Only one player on the team, senior Namon Wright, has been to Hawaii.

“Obviously we’re going over there with the idea of trying to take care of business against Indiana State,” Boyle said earlier this week. “But I also want our players to enjoy the trip. You try to find that balance as best as you can.”

No doubt, Boyle and his players will take part in some sight-seeing and bag some beach time. They had some time Friday to recover from jet lag and see some sights, and will have a day off Monday.

But they also don’t want to forget the main order of business. The team currently with the best record in the Pac-12 wants to return home with three more wins on the ledger and hit conference play with a full head of steam.

Continue reading story here

Tad Boyle: “I expect Tyler Bey to be a double-double guy night in and night out”

… Next game: v. Indiana State, Diamond Head Classic … Saturday, 1:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU … 

Related … “CU basketball welcomes big opportunity at Diamond Head Classic” … from the Daily Camera

From the Daily Camera … Tad Boyle put lofty expectations on Tyler Bey’s shoulders early last year, refusing to be shy about lauding a player who had just set foot on campus as having the same rebounding potential of Andre Roberson, one of the greatest rebounders in Colorado basketball history.

Boyle eventually eased those expectations somewhat as Bey endured the ups-and-downs in 2017-18 typical of most freshmen. Still, with Bey emerging as a star right before his eyes, Boyle can’t help but keep that bar raised high for the sophomore forward.

“I expect Tyler Bey to be a double-double guy night in and night out,” Boyle said. “He’s close to that. There’s a couple games where he had foul trouble and didn’t get a ton of rebounds. But I expect him to be a double-digit scorer for us and a double-digit rebounder.”

Much like Lucas Siewert’s late emergence last season, Buffs fans are watching Bey coming into his own, albeit in the form of a much more explosive and versatile player.

Continue reading story here

CU women 10-1 after second consecutive 40-point rout

From CUBuffs.com … A fast start and solid defense led to a second consecutive 40-point win for the University of Colorado women’s basketball team on Thursday. The Buffaloes controlled the game from the start, capping the non-conference season with an 81-39 win over Samford.

CU improves to 10-1 on the season and a perfect 8-0 at home. Samford, playing their second game in 24 hours, falls to 4-9.

Colorado’s youth led the way. Freshman Emma Clarke led the team in scoring with 12 points off the bench. Classmate Peanut Tuitele registered the first double-double of her career, closing with 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.

The Buffs showed little signs of rust from its eight-day break. Colorado claimed the early lead thanks to its 6-of-9 start from the floor. Clarke hit her first three of the night to put the Buffs up 11, 21-10. Colorado’s lead grew to 24-11 by the close of the period. The Buffs limited Samford’s offensive opportunities. The Bulldogs went just 4-of-15 in the quarter while getting outrebounded by Colorado, 16-7.

Samford scored the first basket of the second quarter, hoping to cut into the CU lead. The Buffs had other plans, scoring six points in a span of 51 seconds to extend its lead to 30-13. CU’s lead grew to 19 with just over two minutes gone in the quarter before the offense went cold. Colorado battled through a 0-for-14 steak, holding off the Bulldogs, 37-24, at the half.

Both sides struggled to get to the basket to open the second half. The Buffs held Samford to 1-for-9 out of the locker room, while going just 2-for-5. Fortunately for Colorado, they were able to turn things around. The Buffs finished the quarter shooting 66.7 percent (8-12), outscoring Samford 18-3 in the quarter.

Colorado’s bench stepped up in the final 10 minutes, scoring all 26 of its points. Clarke went 3-of-4 in the quarter, netting seven points. Freshman Cameron Swartz played all but a few seconds in the period, adding seven points as well.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 18 Arizona State falls for the second time in three games

From ESPN … Vanderbilt used a 12-day break for final exams to figure out how to play without freshman Darius Garland.

Saben Lee scored 14 points to lead five players in double figures and sharp-shooting Vanderbilt beat No. 18 Arizona State 81-65 on Monday night.

Vanderbilt snapped an eight-game skid against ranked opponents that dated to an overtime win over Florida in the 2017 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Commodores (7-2) also beat Arizona State for the first time in five tries on the Sun Devils’ first visit to Memorial Gym.

They did it without Garland, a touted freshman who tore the meniscus in his left knee in a loss to Kent State on Nov. 23.

“It’s huge for us,” Vanderbilt junior forward Yanni Wetzel said. “We obviously lost a critical piece a couple weeks back and to get this win that just shows the resilience of this team and that we can put the next man up mentality. And I think we definitely showed that tonight.”

Continue reading story here

Will the Pac-12 send only one team to the NCAA tournament?

RelatedPac-12 Standings

From the Daily Camera … Just three seasons ago, the Pac-12 Conference sent a record seven teams into the 2016 NCAA Tournament field.

A year later, the Pac-12 had a league record 14 selections in the two-round NBA draft, including six in the first round.

It all seems like a distant memory.

With the start of conference play fast approaching — eight teams, including the Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona, kick off the Pac-12 schedule with four games on Jan. 3 — the Pac-12 is in very real danger of becoming a one-bid league for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

Nine months after receiving just three bids to the 68-team field in 2018, the final two of which were among the field’s final at-large bids, the Pac-12 continues to lag behind its peers across the country. Arizona State, which climbed two spots to No. 18 in this week’s AP top 25, is doing its best to shoulder the load for the league and defeated Georgia, a projected second-division team in the SEC, by two points on the road Saturday. The Sun Devils also were set to begin the week with another solid road test Monday night at Vanderbilt.

Continue reading story here ….

Opposition discovering Lucas Siewert 

From the Daily Camera … The word is getting out about Lucas Siewert.

Two games ago, in a Dec. 8 home win against Illinois-Chicago, the junior forward suddenly found himself the center of the attention of the Flames’ defense. UIC was well aware of the torrid shooting performances Siewert put together over the opening portion of the schedule. For one of the few times in his basketball career at the University of Colorado, Siewert clearly was the focus of the opposition’s defensive scouting report.

Siewert had to adjust. He committed three early turnovers before settling in, and he again found extra defenders running his way last week at New Mexico while fending off foul trouble to help the Buffaloes rally in the second half.

As the Buffs prepare for the Diamond Head Classic later this week in Hawaii and the beginning of Pac-12 play afterward, Siewert understands it’s his turn to adjust to the extra attention.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 11th

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs overcome a 17-point deficit to take out New Mexico, 78-75

… Note … Tuesday marked the third-largest road comeback in school history … 

Related … “Second half rally pushes CU men’s basketball past New Mexico” … From the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle’s Buffaloes pulled off one of the more improbable comebacks in CU history Tuesday night, rallying from 17 points down on the road to collect a gritty 78-75 win at New Mexico.

The Buffs improved to 8-1 with their sixth straight win while New Mexico fell to 4-4.

Sophomore Tyler Bey recorded his third double-double in four games for the Buffs, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Lucas Siewert, who hit two key free throws in the final seconds, had 16 points and seven rebounds, McKinley Wright IV had 12 points and eight rebounds and Evan Battey chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.

Anthony Mathis led New Mexico with 23 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs trailed by 17 in the first half and by 14 early in the second period, but each time, battled back. The difference came in turnovers — after giving it away 12 times in the first half, resulting in 22 New Mexico points, CU had just one turnover in the entire second half.

With just under 16 minutes to play, Colorado still trailed by 14, 52-38. But the Buffs wouldn’t quit, and they put together a 28-12 run to finally take a 66-64 lead on a McKinley Wright drive to the basket with 4:35 remaining.

Colorado then built the cushion to as much as six in the final two minutes, and led by four with just 15 seconds to go on Wright hit a drive to the bucket. A Mathis 3-pointer with 7 seconds left pulled New Mexico to within one, 76-75, but Siewert hit two free throws with 5.8 seconds on the clock to bump the margin back to three, and the Lobos missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Read full story here

A crowd of 12,000 expected for New Mexico game tonight

From CUBuffs.com …  When the Colorado Buffaloes hit Pac-12 play, they know they will see some raucous crowds and hostile environments on the road.

Tuesday night’s matchup with 4-3 New Mexico at the The Pit — the Lobos’ famed home area — will be a perfect warmup for those contests, as the 7-1 Buffs are expected to play in front of the largest crowd they have seen thus far this season.

In three home games this year, New Mexico has averaged nearly 12,000 fans per game at Dreamstyle Arena (the facility’s official name), including a gathering of 14,393 for a matchup with in-state rival New Mexico State. Even the Lobos’ smallest crowd thus far, 10,188 for the home opener against Iona, was substantially larger than CU’s biggest crowd this season, a gathering of 7,887 for the Dec. 1 Colorado-Colorado State game at the CU Events Center.

“I’m looking forward to it,” CU sophomore point guard McKinley Wright said. “It’s going to be fun and it’s a great test for us, to go into a road environment like this. I think we’re ready for it because it will tell us where we really are right now.”

Indeed, the game should serve as a great barometer. After posting a 6-0 record at home thus far and a 1-1 mark on the road, the atmosphere in The Pit should present just the kind of challenge the Buffs need as they begin a stretch of six games away from the comfort of the Events Center.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs to play their next six games on the road (Next up: at New Mexico, Tues., 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

Related … “Recent defensive woes cause for concern as CU basketball hits the road” … From the Daily Camera

Related … “Fixing road woes for CU Buffs men’s basketball begins at New Mexico” … From the Daily Camera

Related … “Return to The Pit a reminder of lost potential, hope for future with CU Buffs basketball” … From the Daily Camera

… So, yes, Pat Rooney at the Daily Camera basically wrote the same article three days in a row … 

From CUBuffs.com … The next time the Colorado men’s basketball team plays at home, the calendar will have turned to 2019 and the 7-1 Buffaloes will have added six games to their ledger.

It will be an important and telling stretch.

Thus far, the Buffs have played well at home, where they are 6-0 this season, while splitting a pair of road games. But beginning with Tuesday night’s contest at New Mexico (7 p.m., ESPN2), the road gets tougher — and the Buffs know if they are going to make a serious run at an NCAA Tournament berth, winning on the road is a requisite piece of the equation.

“We have to not be satisfied with competing,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said last week when previewing the Buffs’ upcoming stretch away from home. “We have to finish the game and come out with victories. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re judged on.”

After Tuesday’s game with the Lobos, the Buffs will have a couple of days off, then begin preparation for a Christmas trip to Hawaii, where they will participate in the Diamond Head Classic. CU faces Indiana State in the Dec. 22 opener in Honolulu, then either UNLV or Hawaii the next day. After a day off on Christmas Eve, the Buffs will then face one of four teams from the opposite side of the bracket — Rhode Island, Bucknell, Charlotte and TCU — on Christmas day.

Then comes Pac-12 play, where the conference schedule makers didn’t do the Buffs any favors. CU opens in perhaps the toughest arena in the conference, as the Buffs travel to Arizona for a Jan. 3 game at the McKale Center, followed by a Jan. 5 game at Arizona State.

Continue reading story here

—–

December 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright scores the final ten points of the game, leading CU to an 84-72 win over Illinois-Chicago

From CUBuffs.com … McKinley Wright IV scored CU’s final 10 points of the game Saturday, including all eight in a decisive 8-0 CU run, to lift the Buffs to an 84-72 win over Illinois-Chicago.

Colorado improved to 7-1 while UIC dropped to 4-6.

Wright finished with 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Tyler Bey collected his second double-double of the year with a 15-point, 15-rebound effort, while Shane Gatling and D’Shawn Schwartz each scored 12 for Colorado.

Marcus Ottey led the Flames with 22 points. UIC shot 56.6 percent from the field (30-for-53). Colorado hit 25 of 33 free throw attempts while UIC was 6-for-10 from the stripe.

Wright’s run came via two free throws with 2:20 to go, a bucket from the lane after a steal on the other end of the court, then another basket after drawing a charge.

He finished the run with four free throws in the final 40 seconds to put the game away, as the Buffs finally produced two straight key defensive stops.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After taking a 34-29 lead at the half, Colorado built its cushion to as much as 11 at two different junctures early in the second half, and had a 10-point lead, 70-60, with 5:27 to go.

But each time, the hot-shooting Flames came back to cut the edge to single digits. With 3:17 to go, UIC cut Colorado’s lead to four, 74-70, on a Godwin Boahen 3-pointer.

Wright then took over down the stretch to lift Colorado to the win.

Continue reading story here

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December 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs taking on Illinois-Chicago – “They’re extremely dangerous”

Related … “Former CU hoops assistant Steve McClain returns as leader of UIC Flames” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … It would be safe to assume that the scoreboard operator will be busy Saturday afternoon when Colorado and Illinois-Chicago square off at the CU Events Center (4 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

The 6-1 Buffs, riding a four-game win streak, are averaging 85.3 points per game. The 4-5 Flames, coached by former Colorado assistant Steve McClain, are averaging 81.2 per game. Offense should not be in short supply — and it’s why the game has CU coach Tad Boyle‘s undivided attention.

“They’re extremely dangerous,” Boyle said. “They have great guard play, they have bigs that are athletic. Explosive offensively, they shoot the 3, but they can also drive. They can really attack the rim. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

The Flames have had an up-and-down season thus far, mostly because their defensive efficiency hasn’t matched their offensive output. UIC is giving up 81.9 points per game.

Still, when the Flames are clicking, they are indeed dangerous. UIC is coming off an impressive 94-75 win over Illinois State, and also owns a win over Bradley. Throw in the fact that McClain, an assistant under Jeff Bzdelik, would no doubt like to get a win in his old stomping grounds, and the Buffs are expecting the Flames’ best effort.

“Those kids are tough kids that want to win,” Boyle said. “When they see a Pac-12 team and they have a chance to knock them off, they relish that opportunity. Emotionally, they have an edge. But South Dakota had that edge, Nebraska-Omaha had that edge — every non-Power 5 team that we play has that emotional edge. We’ve got to figure out what we do emotionally to get ourselves ready to play.”

Continue reading story here

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December 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs win fourth straight with wire-to-wire 82-58 win over South Dakota

Related … “Offensive fireworks continue for CU basketball in rout of South Dakota” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes checked just about every box on head coach Tad Boyle‘s to-do list Tuesday night in an 82-58 win over South Dakota at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs continued their smooth-shooting ways, hitting 48 percent of their field goals (26-for-54) while putting five players in double-figure scoring. They produced a 41-33 edge on the boards, and held the Coyotes to just 34 percent shooting shooting from the field (19-for-56).

As a result, the Buffs improved to 6-1 with their fourth straight win while South Dakota fell to 4-4. It was Colorado’s fourth straight game with at least 80 points and fifth in seven outings this season.

Redshirt freshman Evan Battey and sophomore D’Shawn Schwartz each had 14 points and four rebounds for Colorado, with Battey adding four assists. Tyler Bey had 13 points and seven rebounds in just 19 minutes of play, while McKinley Wright had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists and Shane Gatling finished with 11 points.

Nine different Buffs finished with at least 10 minutes of playing time.

Continue reading story here

NEXT UP: The Buffs wrap up a four-game home-stand Saturday with a 4 p.m. game against Illinois-Chicago at the CU Events Center.

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December 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Boyle: “It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Colorado State or South Dakota or Arizona, I want our fans to show up”

From CUBuffs.com … Since the day he took the job at Colorado, Tad Boyle‘s aim has been to build a program that fans want to see — every game, no matter who the opponent.

This year’s Buffs are doing their part to become a must-see bunch. In fact, strictly from an entertainment standpoint, these Buffs might be as fun to watch as any Boyle team he’s put on the floor in his nine years in Boulder.

Understand, we’re not saying the best — not yet. These young Buffs have a long way to go to match the performance of Boyle’s first two teams, squads that won 24 games and advanced to the NIT Final Four and NCAA Tournament second round, respectively. Those were veteran teams that featured future NBA players, and their entertainment value was top-shelf stuff.

But these current Buffs have future NBA-caliber talent and a host of players who can deliver game-changing, momentum-shifting moments — and they are playing the game with an unbridled enthusiasm that is infectious.

“This is a fun team to watch, a fun team to coach and this is going to be a fun team to watch grow throughout the season,” Boyle said at his post-game press conference. “I want our students to understand they make a big difference — they make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Colorado State or South Dakota or Arizona, I want our fans to show up and cheer on the Buffs. They make a difference in wins and losses.”

Continue reading story here

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December 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

Tyler Bey posts a career-high 23 points, leading Buffs to 86-80 win over Colorado State

Related … “Buffs use big 2nd half to beat Colorado State, 86-80” … from ESPN

Related … “CU Buffs hold on down the stretch to top rival CSU Rams” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … An Evan Battey 3-point play with 2:10 left in the game Saturday gave Colorado a 77-75 lead and Tyler Bey scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Buffs to an  86-80 win over rival Colorado State at the CU Events Center.

Colorado improved to 5-1 while CSU fell to 4-4.

The Buffs trailed for most of the first half before retaking the lead in the second half. CSU rallied, however, to once again regain the lead with just more than two minutes to play before Battey hit a layup and free throw to give Colorado the edge again.

The Buffs then hit seven free throws — six from Bey — in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win.

Bey was one of three Buffs with a double-double, scoring  21 of his career-high 23 points in the second half to go with 10 rebounds. McKinley Wright IV recorded an 18-point, 11-assist double-double and Lucas Siewert had a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double for Colorado.

Kris Martin led CSU with 21 points.

The Buffs won despite allowing Colorado State to shoot 51.7 percent from the field (30-for-58). CU overcame a cold-shooting first half to shoot 61 percent in the second half (21-for-34), including a stretch in which the Buffs hit 12 field goal tries in a row.

The Buffs also had a 40-29 edge on the boards.

Continue reading story here

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November 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU looking to break losing streak against Colorado State

... Related … “Offensive fireworks an early encouraging sign for CU men’s basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … By the strictest of definitions, Saturday’s Colorado-Colorado State game is “just” another non-conference game for both schools.

It is not a league game. There is no trophy involved. It does not count any more (or less) in the standings than any other contest.

But both teams also know that whoever wins has bragging rights for a year — and for the last two years, it has been Colorado players who have had to listen to CSU talk about a win.

It’s something that obviously doesn’t sit well with Colorado head coach Tad Boyle. Following CU’s 93-69 win over Portland on Wednesday, Boyle opened his press conference with this: “It’s a great win for us, especially as we head into the Colorado State game on Saturday.”

Clearly, there’s no doubt who is on Boyle’s mind as the two teams get ready to meet for the 128th time in their series history Saturday at 1 p.m. at the CU Events Center (Pac-12 Mountain).

While 4-1 Colorado holds a dominant 89-38 edge in the all-time series, it hasn’t gone as well for the Buffs in recent years. CSU has won two in a row and three of the last four, with Boyle just 4-4 overall against the Rams.

Neither has home court been an advantage for Colorado. CSU has won the last two games in Boulder, with Colorado’s last win at the Events Center coming in 2012.

Continue reading story here

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41 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. Its a testament to the kids on this team they were able to stay that close to the huskies…..and not the coach. There seems to be no organization or plan on offense. This is jaw dropping when you consider the coach was a guard at Kansas.
    They are not moving without the ball. Way too many times the 3,4,5 would take up positions in the wing and close to the key and remain there long enough for pigeons to roost on their heads. Meanwhile the guards would pass back and forth, dribble a little and look like they were wondering what to do. I read on Ralphie who quoted Evan as saying they had only 2 plays. I’m surprised there are that many.
    This lack of direction on O has to erode confidence which in turn erodes shooting….and passing.
    And the D? The huskies can shoot the lights out even with someone in their face but how many times were they open n the corner….wide open for a 3? This is another chronic problem.
    That is what is so frustrating. These Buffs are good enough individually to be competitive with anyone else in the conference if they get some direction to work on offense as a team.
    Is Tad the second coming of Lingering?

  2. What a game. CU has talent but Washington has a lot of talent. Shooters.

    You know the deal. Can’t sit down until the Buffs score. It was over 5 min of game time before they popped one. To total time was probably 7 to 10 min. The crowd was getting restless and I was getting tired.

    Tad still has a funny substitution policy. Bey was hot. Tad took him out. The look on Bey’s face was unmistakable. Why? and he was not happy.
    Bey got 26 minutes
    Strating got 17 min ………….did nothing
    Gatling got 35 min……………..1 for 10 …1 for 6 from 3.

    Just weird.

    Buffs

    Stratting

      1. Just read his quotes… and just because he throws in the “this ones on me” every now and again does not mean squat. He’s on these guys all the time in the press about their defense and rebounding. Maybe Tad needs to concentrate more on becoming a disciplined offensive coach.

        1. I agree with you on Tad’s almost maniacal devotion to a “rebounding and defense is enough” philosophy. I’ve over-posted about CU basketball’s horrendeous offensive efficiency during Tad’s regime. I also read all his quotes and disagree that he throws players under the bus. To me, it’s just answering a direct question about the team’s struggles. Players have to be thicked skinned enough to handle that after losing 4 of 5 and playing poorly. Case in point about not throwing players under the bus is Deleon Brown. Tad was counting on Brown for productive minutes off the bench and easing Parquet and Kountz in slowly to the rotation. Tad could have used that as an excuse and thrown Brown under the bus for letting the team down, the program down etc. However he just stated “coaches decision” on his absence until it became clear that Brown was slipping academically. Same for a few years back when Wes Gordon and X. Johnson (fifth year seniors) got in a pickle and were suspended for a few games.. That team (loaded with D. White and 5th year seniors) was Tad’s most dissapointing to date but he didn’t throw them under the bus.
          I have concerns with Tad (philosophy, staff, recruiting) but I don’t see that type of behavior. Contrast him to a guy like Bobby Knight who used to drive a fleet of Greyhounds over his team . Watch that ESPN 30 for 30 on Knight and you will want to kick the tv in.

          I didn’t catch the game last night but looks like a nice perfomance (although Wazzzu State is really bad) for the Buffs.

  3. Tad gets his extension and I just found out that is after 3 years on the current contract. That makes no sense at all. Football and basketball coaches could write the real “Art of the Deal”

    1. ep: The one year extension to add to an existing three years remaining is for recruiting. Tad and staff can approach a kid and say he (Tad) will be the kid’s coach for all four years of his career. Every head coach’s contract is structured like this (most have a 5 year cycle). If you don’t have that in your pocket as a coach then it would be impossible to land recruits as other programs would use that against you :”I’ll be here all the years your here kid. That other guy may be gone in 2 or 3 years and the new coach may not even want you.”

      On the flip side, too long a contract can mean a major payout to a fired coach so that’s why most coaches (the Jimbo Fischer’s aside) and ADs structure contracts this way. Even the 5 year cycle can be a major payout to a departed coach (that sound you hear is MACII counting his dinero).

  4. I don’t think it’s too much hyperbole to say that this upcoming homestand is the most important of the Tad Boyle regime. Lose both and you are looking at an 0 – 7 start in conference play since they appear to be totally lost on the road and their confidence shot. That would mean a 9 – 10 record overall and just trying to salvage the season from being a train wreck. Win both games and display a modicum of offensive competence and maybe you can compete on the road. We will see if Tad can right the ship. Granted he can’t step on the court and shoot threes and finish at the rim for his guys, but it is no secret that Tadball struggles to be consistent on the offensive end for many a moon now. Recruiting? Philosophy? Staff ? There is no Cory Higgins, Alex Burk, Dinwiddie , White or King to cover the faults on this team that I see. Early on it looked like a collective of 6 – 7 guys scoring close to double digits every night to make this a decent squad. At present, all these guys are struggling and Buffs have no chance. They have regressed since playing the Lobos.
    Time to stop giving this team a pass on being young. Some of these guys in the sophomore class are approaching 50 games played.
    Go Buffs.

  5. How long has it been since Barnett was shown the door for no good reason? I sincerely believe the Colorado Buffalo football and basket ball programs are cursed. If Mel and the new hoops coach fall to these levels it may be time to close the door on the football and basketball programs.
    Sacrilege….right? Either that or terminal embarrassment.

      1. c’mon earache, that was after all the DP feces hit the fan. and….I thought you were the coach’s best friend. Make up your mind…if you can

        1. That’s some good rationalizing there, ep. I think Barnett’s a good guy. I think he got hosed, as much for putting his foot in his mouth, as anything. And, I think he’s a pretty good analyst too. But, to ignore that he benefitted from a very weak big 12 north, and is, after all, a .500 coach for his career, and… 70-3, strikes me as a bit of revisionist history. We could almost call it wilfull ignorance.

          Go Buffs

          1. a .5

            speaking of history Barnett was the last time we had a 500 coach. Thats how bad it has been. A little bit of perspective perhaps?

  6. Coach Mac brought the football team to a certain level, and you needed a new coach to bring the Buffs to the next level. CU men’s basketball has leveled off at the mediocrity level. Time to plug in the hot seat for Tad Boyle.

    1. Can’t really argue with your thoughts Dennis. When Tad first arrived I thought maybe CU had found their coach for the next many years. The program seems to have hit a wall. I hate to say it but when some of these coaches refuse to play some zone on D they better have kids that want to play man and are able to. There have been times lately over the last few seasons where CU’s players didn’t play very good man. I guess I should add it also helps to be able to score points too.

  7. Sad to see Strating gamely trying to set picks that everyone else ignored. So far I dont think I have seen a pick to get someone open for a pass. Still the keystone cops on offense. too many forced and off balance shots.
    In the last half of the first period the D went right out the window. 3 threes in a row from the near corner where the AZ shooter was so wide open he probably thought someone called a time out. Buffs also thought guarding anyone deep on the paint was unnecessary.
    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the second half. It must have got a little better as the point differential came down form the first half.
    Can Mel tucker coach basketball too?

    1. I too had to quit watching, although I did record it. Maybe if I have a couple heavy belts tonight I’ll try to finish it. Kind of like in the old west when they gave you a bunch of likker to slurp down then bite down on a bullet for the removal of one of your organs or something.

      This AZ team was beatable, but I don’t know. It seemed that CU had a terrible road start a few years ago and then never got it turned around. I hope that doesn’t happen again this year but it sure could.

  8. Stu
    I enjoyed all the bowls mentioned in your poll today immensely but my favorite bowl was my first Buff bowl which was the 1969 Liberty Bowl. This was the one before the game when the arrogant Mr. Bryant mocked Bobby Anderson by asking who he was. Bobby of course went on to run for almost 250 yards and send Mr. Bryant back home as a loser.

    1. Boy do I remember that bowl. Bobby had played QB up until the Indiana that year and Eddy moved him to TB and had Paul Arendt take over at QB. I remember reading later that ole Bear said to Eddy; “Why don’t you’all come down here and we’ll play a game?” From what I recall is that Eddy said it sounded like “why don’t you’all come on down here to Memphis and be some canon fodder for Bama?” So CU went down and Bobby just killed the Tide. From what I remember Bear didn’t have much to say after the game.

      Another game that I guess wasn’t played on New Years Day (I think was played the day before) was the 1957 Orange Bowl where CU with Dal Ward as coach and Boyd Dowler, John Bayuk and Bob Stransky went down and beat a Southern Legend Coach by the name of Frank Howard and beat Clemson in the bowl game.

      Jeez, do you think that maybe when MT gets this program back where it should be maybe we can beat a Dabo Sweeney Clemson team in a big, big game?

      1. icing on the cake was that the tide had an RB whose nick name was the Italian Stallion (Johnny something or other) who was getting all the press

  9. Yes, let’s roll over Tad’s contract another year. However, can we have Rick George put him on notice regarding putting the program back on an upward trajectory?

    I say we see how CU performs in conference play before calling for the chopping block. Do we get the standard Tad 8 win 10 loss conference record, one win in the tourney (over a low to mid-seeded team on a neutral court) which puts CU at 18-14 and on the NIT bubble? Or does the young team improve in conference play (in a down Pac-12 year) , get 7 or 8 wins at home and 3 or 4 wins on the road, plus a couple of wins in the tourney to reach the magical 21-23 win range? If the latter, keep rolling over his one year deal. He deserves it. If the former, then don’t roll it over and make changes. If it is the former and RG does roll it over next year, then we are accepting Ricardo Patton mediocrity (because Tad’s numbers for the post -Bzdelik, Abetmarco era for the last 5 years would be decidedly average) and still buying into the “CU basketball was always crap, be grateful that we are in the glory years of CU hoops” mentality whenever someone criticizes Tad and says we need to move on from his early success.

    Oh, and watch attendance and apathy around the program. That would be a catalyst for any future RG move.

    Trust me, I went to school during the crappy Joe Harrington years so I am appreciative what Tad has accomplished. But this year is critical for the direction of this program in my humble opinion.

  10. Too bad Tad is renewed for another year. Plug in the hot seat. Tad cannot recruit to win in a very poor PAC 12. Once gain, the team is going nowhere with the same mistakes from year to year. Turnover city, poor free throw shooting when it counts.

  11. as goes the football team so goes the hoops.
    Hawaii’s 3 point percentage was nothing to brag about but the Buff’s 4 for 22??? This reminds me of the Askia days when he would keep launching them even though it seemed his inner gps was somewhere in the middle of the ocean.
    What happens to these guys Tad recruits to shoot the 3 when they get to Boulder?
    I never liked the 3 point rule when it came in and I still dont. It opens the door for guys l like that little stiff from Baylor who knocked the Buffs out of the dance a while back. That kid couldnt dribble twice or jump over a sleeping cat yet somehow he always got open and never missed. Like it or not the 3 point is a major part of the game these days and if you cant shoot em you better be damn good at defending it. ….. both another perennial problem for the Buffs.

    1. Could it be that Tad is going the same way as Mac? It doesn’t appear he has a handle on this team. Totally out of control and discipline-less. Come on Tad put the hammer down and flood the floor with kids that WANT to play. Lazy passes, dumb decisions. Mac Wright can’t do it all. I think this team has a great nucleus, but just lose it .

      1. The Tad Mantra is “rebounding and defense” ie: Players make plays, Players win games.

        Anyway I hope tad can turn it up. The offense that is. They have some real nice talent on that team.

        Buffs.

        Note: Yup M. Wright is in his sophomore slump. There are times, even last year where he does all that dribbling, then drives and loses the ball or make a stupid pass. He needs to run the offense, not dribble it away. Sheesh.

        Hey hope for 9 and 9 and a couple of wins in the pac12 tourney

        20 and 13………….maybe NIT

        Buffs

  12. Tad is a good, but frustrating coach for a CU hoops fan. I will agree that one (of a few) reason(s) for the Buffs loss was because they were negative in the rebounding battle, and Tad was quoted that the Buffs have lost every game this year in which they are outrebounded. Still, they had a 6 point lead late in the game but couldn’t execute on the offensive end to close out. Hawai’i was woefully bad on offense also and just a mediocre offensive perfomance by CU would have won. The team has regressed the last few games back to the old Tad teams whereby only 1 or 2 guys could score and noone else picks up the slack. Gatling, Schwartz and N. Wright were complete no shows and were no threats behind the arc and so CU struggled against the Hawai’i zone, causing M. Wright to dribble in traffic at the top of the key for much of the shot clock. Teams have scouted the Buffs and won’t let Siewert shoot threes unguarded and the Buffs need to find someone to loosen up the defense.

    Efficient rebounding, defense and offensive efficiency win games. While 60 points could have won this game in regulation the Buffs are 0-3 when scoring less than 70. Tad will never point that out because defense and rebounding are enough in his eyes.

    There are those who say that that is not enough.

    PAC-12 (which is weak this year) conference games coming up. Here’s hoping the Buffs can regain some spark and don’t get blanked out in Hawai’i and we get a 7th- place finish.

    Go Buffs.

  13. Maybe we should talk about getting a new basketball coach while we’re in the market for coaches, talk about mediocrity.

  14. 96 quoted Tad a while back who said we are not executing offensively. No kidding? 19 turnovers screams to corroborate. Lousy passing attempt are still a problem. trying to dribble through double teams etc is too. They seem to be running much the same patterns as other teams in their half court offense but it never seems to culminate in an open player for a jump shot. Might not make any difference as it seems like they cant hit a jump shot anyway. They relied quite a bit on passing to Bey down low but too many times it was intercepted.
    In the second half they went to the one on one game attacking the basket with success but not quite enough. The Buffs ran into a team that was not nearly endowed athletically but where all the players on that team were more fundamentally sound than most of the Buffs…..and better coached.
    Missed free throws at the end and a break in concentration on defense after the last miss allowed the Sycs to score a breakaway bunny at the other end which pretty much sealed the game. fundamentals.
    I am wondering if teams that shoot the 3 ball well also defend the 3 ball well as they see it quite a bit in practice. Also wondering if the Buffs are the flip side of that.
    Its tough being a buff fan these days. My enthusiasm since the lamb game has waned considerably. Right now I dont see any dancing. Tad needs to get an assistant who can get these athletically endowed players to work in a coordinated an efficient manner on offense. I dont think Tad can do it as this seems to be a perennial problem.

  15. The NM game was the first I was able to watch this season. I was really impressed with the athleticism of the players besides Bey. I was also impressed with the effort and defensive play.
    Having said that it still appears that this team is not well coached on the offensive end of the floor.
    Half the turnovers in the first half were the result of some really poor passing decisions….and a number of them led to a 3 on the other end. IMO they need to move better without the ball in a more coordinated manner. Seems like with their athleticism they drive to the basket with such ferocity they may feel they don’t set plays and picks. At more than a few times in the coming season they are going to need to get players open for jump shots and 3s. Conversely they are going to have to figure out how to keep the opponents from making 3s. NM, like most of their opponents this season shot them at 40% last night.

    1. ep, I agree with the majority of your analysis. The big difference with this team compared to Tad’s prior teams is that even on a rough offensive night the Buffs still manage to score in the 70s and 80s. Previous Tad teams would score in the 50s and low 60s on a bad night. With the 3-point line, shot clock and the way games are officiated now, it makes it hard to win if you score less than 70. I think this 2018-2019 team has 6-7 guys capable of scoring, whereas in the past they had 2-3. Last night it was overcoming Schwartz, Brown and Kountz cumulatively going 3-20 from the field, with the rest of the team going 23-42 overall. Of course this will be harder to do on the road against better Pac-12 squads, but winning in the Pit is never easy. Nice win.

  16. Yeeaah
    Beat the lambs. Bout time. The last 2 losses were disgusting. The balance on O is nice. Bey and Siewart were great Wright is even better 18 points with 11 helpers. Add to that it appears they held CSU’s paint goon in check. There is hope for this team to make some noise.

  17. Nice win for the Buffs. Before this game Tad’s squad was number 25 in the country in offensive efficiency and now they put up a 93 spot. Got to give him credit. Go Buffs

    1. Head up 62. This team is young and will get better as the year goes on and San Diego is a senior laden team and a good one. Last year I thought CU would win 10-12 games total and get killed in conference play but Tad and staff did a nice job bringing them along. The problem is if Bey has foul trouble or McKinley struggles this team will struggle.

  18. Tad Boyle Quote ““We lost this game in two areas,” head coach Tad Boyle said. “One I have to get better at as a coach, and that’s our execution offensively. We have to execute better than we executed down the stretch.”

    Agreed Tad. The problem is that this has been an issue for the last 6 years of CU hoops, as some have been trying to point out ad nauseam. But this is a nice young team that will get better over the year. Just need more consistency from McKinley IV and Schwartz and no more on-again off -again disappearing acts of Namon Wright. Tyler Bey is Andre Roberson part 2. Kid can play.

    Go Buffs.

  19. Okay then. Watched it. I gotta say this is the best they have looked in the first real game in many a season. They have some talent. Hurry pac 12 basketball season.

    Buffs.

    Note: MIghty Buffs football please win just one (this is your 6th chance) more to get that bowl. The new coach will need it.

  20. Too bad for the big guy. Here’s hoping he comes back stronger than ever. Interesting to see how Tad adapts as I don’t see Siewert filling the rim protector and defense on the blocks role and Bey is too small to handle legitimate PAC-12 bigs. That leaves Battey who everyone raves about but the fact is he hasn’t played in two years. Can’t wait to see his game. If one or two of the above three gets early foul trouble then the front court will be really thin. I see a lot of three guards/ two forwards or four/one lineups.
    Although a different era, John Wooden went 30-0 with a lineup having no starter than 6-5, and beat Duke in the final which had a much taller lineup. He did it by pressing all over the court to up the tempo (before the shot clock and three point line) and his guys passed and shot the hell out of the ball. I wonder if Tad will adapt by playing some zone and upping the tempo. He’s a good coach and it will be interesting to see how this team plays and develops, although it is obvious that during football season when Buff fans are fully afflicted with Lindgren Derangement Syndrome no one gives a crap about CU basketball until January except for me and possibly Stuart.
    And I think the Lady Buffs will be better than people expect.

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