Random Thoughts – Volume XI – February 10, 2019

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Prior to this weekend’s sweep of the Los Angeles schools, when was the last time Colorado posted a Pac-12 road sweep?

Attrition – Don’t believe everything you hear … 

With the CU Recruiting Class of 2019 in the books (the Buffs still could pick up a senior graduate or two come May), the Colorado roster has 91 scholarship players … six over the NCAA-mandated limit of 85.

While a bit concerning at first blush, the new Colorado coaching staff need not be in any rush in cutting the roster, as the 85-player limit doesn’t kick in until Fall practices start in August.

And there is always roster attrition in the spring.

That being said, Buff fans should be wary of rumors surrounding the comings-and-goings of certain players.

Two cases in point:

— For awhile there, it appeared that defensive lineman transfer Jaunta’vius Johnson would be a Buff about as long as Kliff Kingsbury had been the offensive coordinator at USC.

A 6’2″, 326-pounds, Johnson was coming to CU as a graduate transfer from Auburn. The former three-star prospect, who originally picked Auburn over Alabama, never started for the Tigers — he redshirted in 2015, missed 2016 with an injury, and was a depth piece in 2017 and 2018 — but he had showed enough promise to get a shot at Colorado.

Then it was reported that Johnson, who had enrolled at Colorado in January, had already left the school.

Farewell, Mr. Johnson … we hardly knew ye.

But, as it turns out, Mr. Johnson may still be wearing black-and-gold this fall.

According to the Longmont Times-Call, Johnson is hoping to rejoin the Buffs this summer. Johnson briefly enrolled at CU in January, but left school after his wife and baby in Alabama were in a serious car accident. Johnson went home at that time to take care of them. They are doing better now, he said, and he still hopes to play for the Buffs next season.

Fingers crossed and well wishes go out to Mr. Johnson and his family.

— Linebacker Jacob Callier posted a tweet this past week about “moving on”. It was quickly circulated that the tweet meant that Callier was leaving the team.

It turned out not to be the case, as Callier was tweeting about something unrelated to his football status at the University of Colorado.

So … attrition will be taking place this spring. Some players will be moving on of their own accord; some may be asked to find a better situation elsewhere.

Just don’t believe everything you read on the message boards …

Fire in the belly … 

It was a great pair of wins for the CU basketball program this week. The dismantling of UCLA on Wednesday night, followed by the clutch play against USC, gave the Buffs their first Pac-12 road sweep in years.

But the USC win meant just a little bit more.

For those unfamiliar, a brief history lesson:

Last season, just before the USC game, the Buffs beat Arizona. Both Arizona and USC had been named as being a part of an FBI corruption probe. When asked if beating a team which was being accused of cheating meant a little more, CU head coach Tad Boyle responded with an emphatic, “Hell, yes!”.

Apparently USC coach Andy Enfield took offense. When the Buffs played the Trojans a few days later, Enfield called a time out with less than a minute remaining, running after the time out even though USC enjoyed a double-digit lead.

When asked if payback was on his mind, Boyle was coy. “That will be a game-time decision,” Boyle said when asked if he would discuss last year’s incident with the team. “I have not forgotten. To me, it’s another league game. I don’t look at this one any different than I did UCLA. It’s a game we certainly want to win for many reasons.”

Fast forward to Saturday night.

The CU/USC game was close throughout, with neither team having more than a five-point lead the entire evening. The game was tied at 65-65 with 1:49 to play, but a McKinley Wright layup with 1:36 to play, and a pair of D’Shawn Schwartz free throws with 14 seconds to play, gave Colorado a 69-65 victory.

Caught up in the moment, Boyle’s exuberance was clear, and enthusiasm led to an exchange of words with USC assistant Jason Hart, though the pair did quickly cool down and shake hands.

“I was a little bit too emotional and I said something I meant to say to our team, and I think they took it like I was saying it to them. That was my fault,” Boyle said. “I meant no disrespect by it. But this game meant a lot to me. I don’t forget what happened last year with the timeout. But I have a lot of respect for their staff and their assistants. I apologized and I told them I meant no disrespect to their team.”

Nice coachspeak, but if you watched the end of the game on ESPNU fans, you know that Boyle was not done after making nice with coach Hart. As he walked back to the CU bench, Boyle was just off camera when ESPNU fans were treated to a “F*ck, yeah!” from Boyle as he hugged CU athletic director Rick George.

Yes, some wins do count more than others …

Where is everybody? …

In a recent article in the Daily Camera, it was noted that the CU men’s basketball team is on pace for its lowest average home attendance since joining the Pac-12. The article pointed out that the attendance for the Washington State game, 6,184, was the lowest ever for conference home game since CU joined the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.

True enough.

While attendance has picked up a bit since then (7,758 for Washington; 6,839 for Oregon State; 8,654 for Oregon), there is still work to be done. Wins this weekend will certainly spark an uptick in attendance this week for the Arizona schools, as well as for the remaining home games against Utah and the Los Angeles schools, but the point of declining attendance is well taken.

Which makes the attendance for the Los Angeles schools all the more shocking.

One couldn’t help but notice that there were almost as many empty seats in fabled Pauley Pavilion for CU’s game against UCLA Wednesday night as there were filled ones. The announced attendance was 6,983, or 51% capacity. Meanwhile, at the Galen Center Saturday night, a grand total of 3,974 found their way into the CU/USC game (39% of capacity).

I guess the Buffs should feel honored … against Utah Wednesday night, USC’s home crowd was 2,952.

Yes, CU does need to do more to get more bodies into the Events Center to watch the Buffs. The “C-Unit” has all but evaporated, as the student section attendance is usually only about equal to the size of the CU band.

But Colorado is not alone in seeking answers to attendance issues …

Former Buffs on the move … 

It’s been an interesting, and in at least one case an eyebrow-raising, week of movement for some former Buffs.

Daniel Da Prato, who has served as the director of quality control for the offense at Colorado the past three seasons, has moved on to become the special teams coach at Arkansas. A name not known to many Buff fans, Da Prato was often mentioned by recruits when they visited CU for official visits. He will be missed;

Klayton Adams, the former offensive line coach at Colorado (2013-18) has landed on his feet as the assistant offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Adams was one of the MacIntyre coaches who were not retained by Mel Tucker, but he quickly found work as the offensive line coach at Wyoming. That position didn’t last more than a month before Adams moved on to the NFL. Perhaps Adams will do better when he is not called upon to recruit???;

Anthony Perkins, a former Buff cornerback, has landed .. at Colorado State. Perkins was a four-year starter for the Buffs (2007-11), before serving on the CU staff as a defensive quality control assistant in 2012. Perkins arrives in Fort Collins following two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an assistant to the head coach.

Prior to the NFL, Perkins spent two seasons at Ohio University (2015-16) as the defensive cornerbacks coach and was one of Tampa Bay’s Bill Walsh Minority Interns during the 2016 mini-camp and with the Tennessee Titans in 2015. Before his time with the Bobcats, Perkins spent two seasons as the defensive secondary coach at Indiana State (2013-14).

While we always want to wish former Buffs well as they climb up the coaching ladder, it might be fair to ask Anthony … did it have to be Colorado State??

Oh well, we can wish Perkins well … for 364 days a year.

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Answer: In 2013, Colorado swept the Oregon schools on the road. It was not only the last time CU had posted back-to-back road wins in Pac-12 play, the sweep of the Oregon schools represents the only other time the Buffs have managed – before this weekend – a road sweep since joining the Pac-12.

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2 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Vol. XI”

  1. If McKinley Wright continues to duplicate his West-Coast sweep efforts, there’s no reason CU can’t win the next two games…. especially if he repeats Spencer Dinwiddie’s style of attacking the lane as he did the last two games. (THAT WAS GOOD TO SEE ’cause he just took over control of the game like Spencer did).

    Side note: Has anyone seen the way Spencer has beefed up ?…. he always had the frame, he now has more muscle.

  2. another random thought….Tad.
    How about getting as many of the 2012 players back in Boulder to recount their experience of winning the tourney for the current roster. Would that be some motivation?

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