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Colorado Basketball

January 18th – Game Day !

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs dominated in the desert, fall 75-54 to Arizona

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s hopes for a road trip sweep in the desert came crashing down Saturday, as the Buffaloes dropped a 75-54 decision to Arizona at the McKale Center.

The 20th-ranked Buffs, who won at Arizona State on Thursday, dropped to 14-4 overall and 3-2 in Pac-12 play while Arizona improved to 13-5, 3-2. The loss was CU’s eighth in a row at Arizona since joining the Pac-12 in 2011-12.

The Buffs jumped out to a quick 10-5 lead, but Arizona answered with a 24-5 run to take control and Colorado never threatened again. CU trailed 34-23 at intermission and managed to cut the deficit back to nine early in the second half, but UA quickly rebuilt the lead to double digits and extended the margin into the 20s down the stretch.

McKinley Wright IV led CU with 15 points and five assists, D’Shawn Schwartz added 12 points and Lucas Siewert had eight points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats put four players in double figures, led by Dylan Smith and Josh Green with 13 points apiece. Zeke Nnaji added a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double for UA.

The Buffs struggled on both ends of the floor for much of the game, particularly on the boards. CU shot just 36.7 percent (18-for-49) while the Wildcats were 28-for-59 from the floor (47.5 percent). UA also had nine 3-pointers, the most the Buffs have given up in their last nine games.

Colorado was also dominated on the boards, 39-25, with the ‘Cats grabbing 13 offensive rebounds. It was the second game in a row the Buffs were outrebounded — a rarity in the Tad Boyle era — and CU opponents had 30 offensive rebounds in the two games in the desert.

Colorado also committed 12 turnovers to Arizona’s 11, but the Wildcats had a 16-3 edge in points off turnovers.

“We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding, and we didn’t do either one tonight,” Boyle said. “Minus-14 on the boards, that hasn’t happened in a long time. We’ve been beat, but not like that. I thought the better offensive team won tonight. I’ve got to do a better job of helping our guys.”

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Buffs looking for first-ever win in McKale Center

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs also have an opportunity to achieve a rare feat in the program’s Pac-12 history by posting a two-game sweep on the road in league play. In 32 previous two-game road series in the Pac-12, CU has recorded sweeps just twice. However, the current squad did it just last year when it won at USC and UCLA. Before that, the Buffs had not posted a Pac-12 road sweep since winning at the Oregon schools in 2013.

“We’ve got to take care of our business first,” CU senior Lucas Siewert said. “Not that we’re not worried about the other teams, but we’re worried about us. As long as we keep winning, it shouldn’t matter. Just keeping the same defensive mentality. Rebounding, we gave up 17 offensive rebounds (at ASU) and we can’t do that over there for sure. And just be us, be Colorado basketball and get stops and get buckets.”

While the Buffs’ defense was able to stymie the 3-point shooters from Arizona State, the matchup against the Wildcats presents a much different challenge.

UA features three freshmen — Zeke Nnaji, Nico Mannion, and Josh Green — who might be first-round picks in the NBA draft in June. Like the Buffs this past Sunday, Arizona dismantled Utah at home on Thursday night 93-77.

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January 17th

… CU in the Arena …

GAME PREVIEW – No. 20 Colorado at Arizona (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., MT, Fox)

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12 Conference after picking up a win in its first league road contest of the season, a 68-61 decision at Arizona State on Jan. 12.

Colorado is off to its best start both overall and in conference since the 2013-14 squad also began 14-3 and 3-1. The Buffaloes have won two straight, seven of their last eight and are 26-7 over their last 33 games. Defense has been the early calling card for Colorado. The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12, and 26th in the nation, in scoring defense at 61.2 points per game. Colorado has held seven opponents under 60 points and three of those under 50. It’s the first time since 2012-13 Colorado has held three opponents under 50, and that was over a 34-game season.

Momentum is building for Colorado offensively. Through four Pac12 games, the Buffaloes are second in the league in scoring (75.3 ppg), field goal percentage (.487) and third in assists (14.3 apg). Overall, Colorado’s 72.6 points per game ranks sixth in the Pac-12.

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12 after rolling to a 93-77 win over Utah on Jan. 16. The Wildcats are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls. Arizona began the season 9-0, but has gone just 3-5 since. The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in scoring at 82.0 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. Arizona is the Pac-12’s top ball sharing team at 17 assists per game. Defensively, the Wildcats hold opponents to 66.4 points per game, allowing only 38.4 percent shooting.

Freshman forward Zeke Nnaji leads Arizona at 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while hitting a Pac-12 best 66.9 percent from the field. Freshman guard Nico Mannion paces the Pac-12 in assists at 6.2 per game while scoring 14.1 points. He is tied with Dylan Smith for the team lead in 3-pointers with 28. Smith is averaging 8.5 points while hitting 42 percent from 3-point range. Josh Green is third on the squad in scoring at 12.7 points per game and leads the Wildcats with 28 steals.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 34th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 19-14 series lead. The teams split their meetings last season, both winning at home. Arizona leads the series 14-6 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffaloes are 3-10 all-time in Tucson with their last win a 77-73 triple overtime decision on Dec. 20, 1965.

Tad Boyle is 6-14 against Arizona as a head coach. Sean Miller is 15-6 against Colorado as a head coach.

Buffs looking for just the third-ever road sweep since joining the Pac-12

From CUBuffs.com … If you missed the Colorado Buffaloes’ 68-61 win at Arizona State on Thursday night, you missed one of the grittier efforts of the Tad Boyle era.

The 20th-ranked Buffs didn’t play especially well on offense, shooting barely 40 percent for the game (21-for-52). They didn’t rebound particularly well, as ASU had a 42-40 edge on the boards, including a 17-8 margin on the offensive end.

They weren’t even especially careful with the ball, finishing with 13 turnovers that helped the Sun Devils to a 17-16 edge in points off miscues.

But when push came to shove, the Buffs leaned on one of Boyle’s foundational fundamentals — defense — and that was enough to produce a road win.

The Buffs made every possession a challenge for the Sun Devils. They hounded point guard Remy Martin into a 9-for-23 night, including a 4-for-14 effort in the second half. They held guard Alonzo Verge to a 2-for-13 night, while Rob Edwards had an equally abysmal 3-for-12 evening.

And when it mattered most, Colorado made enough plays on the offensive end to make the difference, including a 17-for-26 night from the free throw line.

Colorado was, quite simply, the tougher team in a hostile environment. The Buffs withstood an early shot from the Sun Devils and responded like the veteran, disciplined team they have become. Junior Tyler Bey was a force in the second half. Junior McKinley Wright IV kept the Buffs at a steady keel, even when his game wasn’t at its peak. Evan Battey rebounded with authority and prevented the Sun Devils from completely taking over the paint. Seniors Lucas Siewert and Shane Gatling added some well-timed and much-needed 3-point shooting.

In short, it was a true team effort — and it’s exactly what the Buffs (14-3 overall, 3-1 Pac 12) will need again Saturday when they square off with Arizona (12-5, 2-2) in a 12:30 p.m. game at McKale Center (Fox).

A win would give CU a Pac-12 road trip sweep, something the Buffs have accomplished only twice in their nine years in the conference: a sweep of the Oregon schools in 2012-13 and a sweep of UCLA and USC last year in Los Angeles.

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Bracketology: CU up to a No. 5 seed (both ESPN and CBS) 

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU up to a No. 5 seed (After being a No. 7 seed after the loss to Oregon State)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 5 seed: Colorado: No. 5 seed; Stanford: No. 5 seed; USC: No. 8 seed; Arizona: No. 9 seed; Washington: First Four out

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU up to a No. 5 seed (After being a No. 8 seed after the loss to Oregon State)

The Pac-12 (four teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 3 seed; Colorado: No. 5 seed; Arizona: No. 7 seed: Stanford: No. 7 seed; USC : First Four out; Washington: Next Four out

Tea Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 99.3% (up from 92.0% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 4 (up from a No. 5 seed before the win over Arizona State) …

… CU women a No. 12 seed! … 

Women’s Bracketology by Charlie Creme at ESPN … Seven Pac-12 teams ranked, with Colorado being put into the bracket for the first time as a No. 12 seed (one of the Last Four In)

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January 16th – Game Day !

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs use an 11-0 second half run to pull away from Sun Devils in 68-61 win

Note … “Elleby scores 25, Washington State surprises No. 8 Oregon, 72-61” … from ESPN

Related … “No. 20 Colorado overcomes slow start, beats Arizona St 68-61” … from ESPN

Related … “No. 20 CU Buffs hold on for rare win at Arizona State” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Coaches love to say defense travels.

Tad Boyle‘s No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes backed that saying up Thursday night by throttling Arizona State in the second half to collect a 68-61 win over the Sun Devils at Desert Financial Arena.

Colorado improved to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in Pac-12 play while the Sun Devils fell to 10-7, 1-3. The victory ended a six-game losing streak for the Buffs on ASU’s home floor, as CU held Arizona State to just 34.3 percent shooting for the game (24-for-70), including just 12-for-40 in the decisive second half.

Colorado struggled on the offensive end early and trailed by nine just a few minutes into the game, but came back to tie it up, 28-28, by halftime. CU then took control early in the second half, using an 11-0 run to take a 44-32 lead with 10:35 remaining and the Sun Devils never came closer than five again.

Junior Tyler Bey had an outstanding second half for the Buffs, scoring 16 of his 19 points after intermission to go with eight rebounds and five assists. Lucas Siewert added 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, McKinley Wright had 11 points and five rebounds and Shane Gatling had 10 points. Evan Battey led the Buffs on the boards with nine rebounds, and also scored five points.

Point guard Remy Martin led ASU with 25 points, but he shot just 9-for-25, including  only 4-for-14 in the second half.

CU did not shoot particularly well, finishing just 21-for-52, but the Buffs were 12-for-25 in the second half (48 percent). While ASU won the rebound battle, 42-40, including a 17-8 edge on the offensive boards, the Buffs didn’t allow the Sun Devils to convert many of those second chances. Colorado actually held a 10-8 edge in second-chance points.

“It was the epitome of winning ugly, which sometimes you have to do on the road,” Boyle said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys to not get their heads down when we struggled early offensively, especially in the first half. It was a great, great win.”

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No. 20 Colorado at Arizona State – 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2

Notes … From the Daily Camera … The home side has won the past 10 campus match-ups between the teams. CU has won the two neutral-floor battles in that time, winning at the 2018 Pac-12 tournament and again in the season opener on November 8th in the Pac-12’s annual game in China … Arizona State erased a 17-point second-half lead for the Buffs in that China game to tie the game with 10:15 remaining, but CU outscored ASU 22-12 the rest of the way. McKinley Wright paced the Buffs with 17 points and five assists, while Tyler Bey and D’Shawn Schwartz added 15 points apiece. Martin tallied 23 points with eight assists for ASU…CU was just 5-for-26 on 3-pointers in last year’s loss at ASU…Since allowing Northern Iowa to connect on 14 3-pointers in a home loss on Dec. 10th, the Buffs have held their past seven opponents to a .225 mark on 3-pointers (29-for-129) …

GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12 Conference after winning two of three at home to start the league season. The Buffaloes bounced back from a disappointing loss to Oregon State with a resounding 91-52 win over Utah on Jan. 12.

Defense has been the early calling card for Colorado. The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12, and 26th in the nation, in scoring defense at 61.3 points per game. Colorado has held seven opponents under 60 points and three of those under 50. It’s the first time since 2012-13 Colorado has held three opponents under 50, and that was over a 34-game season.

Momentum is building for Colorado offensively. Through three Pac12 games, the Buffaloes lead the league in scoring (77.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.511) and second in assists (14.7 apg). Overall, Colorado’s 72.9 points per game ranks sixth in the Pac-12.

On other overall Pac-12 charts, Colorado leads league in rebounding defense (30.7 rpg) and rebounding margin (+8.0) while ranking third in scoring margin (+11.6) and free throw percentage (.734) and fourth in 3-point percentage (.365), 3-point defense (.313), 3-pointers made (7.5 3mpg), offensive rebounds (11.7 orpg) and defensive rebounds (27.6 drpg).

ABOUT THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State is 10-6 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils had the opposite start in league play from the Buffaloes, starting with their first three on the road. ASU will play its first game at the recently re-branded Desert Financial Arena since Dec. 28. Arizona State averages 73.2 points per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field. Defensively, the Sun Devils allow 69.2 points per contest, while opponents shoot 42.5 percent. ASU leads the Pac-12 in steals at 8.4 per game while its plus-3.7 turnover margin ranks second.

Junior guard Remmy Martin leads Arizona Sate at 19.1 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring and second in steals. Junior guard Alonzo Verge, Jr., is second on the team at 12.8 points and 2.8 assists per game. Junior forward Romello White leads the Sun Devils and ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 9.6 per game while pitching in 10.5 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 21st meeting between Colorado and Arizona State with the Buffaloes holding an 11-9 series lead. Colorado has won seven of the last 11 overall, including the season opener, 81-71, in Shanghai, in the Pac-12 China game on Nov. 8. Colorado has just one win in eight tries in Tempe, a 63-49 decision on Feb. 11, 2012. ASU has reeled off six straight wins over the Buffaloes on its home floor.

Tad Boyle is 9-8 against Arizona State as a head coach. Bobby Hurley is 3-5 against Colorado as a head coach.

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January 15th 

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs trying to break losing streaks against Arizona schools on the road

From the Daily Camera … Colorado clearly has Oregon’s number at the CU Events Center, where the Ducks have never won.

The opposite is true of the Buffaloes almost every time they visit the state of Arizona. Typically, the desert is where CU momentum goes to die.

No current Buffs player — and, really, no CU player in quite some time — has ever tasted victory at either Arizona State or Arizona. CU, ranked 20th in the latest AP top 25, will try to change that during its first road series of the Pac-12 Conference schedule, beginning Thursday night at Arizona State.

Since joining the Pac-12, the Buffs are 0-7 at Arizona, where they complete the trip on Saturday afternoon, and 1-6 at ASU, where they have suffered six consecutive losses since winning in Tempe in 2012 in their first season in the league.

“We haven’t won in Arizona at all. It’s going to be big,” CU junior forward Tyler Bey said. “None of us have won there. You get tired of losing there. We’re a great team. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the effort. We just have the team to go out there and win.”

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CU’s chances in the desert hinges on McKinley Wright defending elite guards

From CUBuffs.com … Every week, it seems, Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV is matched against another elite-level point guard.

Two weeks ago in back-to-back games, he faced Oregon’s Payton Pritchard, a first team preseason All-Pac-12 pick, and Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson, a second-team selection. Last week, it was Utah standouts Rylan Jones and Both Gach.

This week, the storyline stays the same — except for the fact that Wright won’t have the comfort of the home court on his side. Colorado hits the road this week for games at Arizona State on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN2) and Arizona on Saturday (12:30 p.m., Fox), where Wright will face two more preseason first team all-conference players in ASU’s Remy Martin and Arizona’s Nico Mannion.

It is no doubt a big weekend for the 20th-ranked Buffs (13-3 overall, 2-1 Pac-12) and Wright, of course, is relishing the challenge. He was also a member of the preseason all-conference first team, and there is nothing the CU junior enjoys more than the challenge of squaring off against the best.

Martin is a 6-foot, 170-pounder whose game revolves around his quickness. He leads ASU in scoring at 19.1 points per game (fourth in the Pac-12) and is ninth in the league in assists with 3.94 per game and a 1.34 assist-to-turnover ratio. Wright is averaging 13.6 points and 5.06 assists per game, with a 1.88 assist-to-turnover ratio

In their first meeting this year — a season-opening 81-71 Colorado win in China — Martin finished with 23 points, but he needed a 9-for-20 shooting night to get there. Wright had 17 points on 8-for-16 shooting.

“I have respect for Remy, I know he has respect for me,” Wright said. “It’s going to be a battle. He’s going to try to will his team to a victory as I’m trying to will my team to a road win. It’s a perfect opportunity for us to make up for our home loss against Oregon State and this will be a big one for us.”

But the level of difficulty for Wright will go up a notch Saturday when he faces Mannion. The 6-foot-3 UA freshman — already being tabbed as an NBA Draft lottery pick — is averaging 14.3 points and a league-leading 6.25 assists per game.

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January 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

*Video – Tad Boyle post-practice talk with media*

From YouTube, courtesy of CUSportsNation:

Buffs preparing for desert road trip: “The most consistent team is going to win this league”

From CUBuffs.com … Minutes after the Colorado Buffaloes had routed visiting Utah on Sunday afternoon, CU sophomore Evan Battey said it best:

“This is Colorado basketball. It’s hard to beat us when we’re playing like this.”

Indeed, when the Buffs are hitting on all cylinders on both ends of the floor — as they were in their 91-52 win over the Utes — they are as good as anyone in the Pac-12. The Buffs were efficient offensively, outstanding on defense and dominant on the boards.

Now, their challenge will be to take that play on the road this week when they travel to the desert for a 7 p.m. game Thursday at Arizona State (ESPN2) and a 12:30 p.m. game Saturday at Arizona (Fox).

Of course, that is a challenge that all teams in the Pac-12 face.

After just two weekends of conference play, only one team — Stanford at 3-0 — remains unbeaten in league play. Meanwhile, we saw Oregon State throttle No. 24 Arizona (which was swept on its Oregon road trip) and Cal knock off Washington, which was a top-25 team just a couple of weeks ago.

It is why CU coach Tad Boyle‘s mantra on consistency bears repeating.

“The most consistent team is going to win this league,” Boyle said last week. “There’s a lot of talented teams, there’s a lot of teams that have the ability to win this league this year. But the most consistent team is going to do it … You have to be able to win on the road, you have to be able to protect home.”

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Poll Tracker – Who voted for CU in the poll

From College Poll Tracker …

— Highest ranking: 14th … Edgar Thompson (Orlando Sentinel)

— Notables … Seth Davis (CBS) – 17th (down one spot (?) from last week) … Jon Wilner (San Jose Mercury News) – 20th (up from unranked last week) … John Feinstein (NPR) – 21st (up from unranked last week) … Dick Vitale (ESPN) – 23rd (up from unranked last week)

— Totals … 61 voters put CU in their rankings (up from 20 last week) … 4 did not place CU in their rankings (down from 45 last week) …

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January 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs jump five spots in AP poll; now the No. 20 team in the nation

… A total of seven Pac-12 teams are now receiving votes, with only Oregon and Colorado ranked in the Top 25 … 

From CBS Sports … Duke and Baylor posted strong weeks, but Gonzaga — with two wins over the last week by an average margin of 34 points — retained its spot at No. 1 in Monday’s updated AP Top 25 men’s college basketball rankings. The Bulldogs stayed atop the rankings for the fourth consecutive week, extending the longest streak a team has stayed at No. 1 in the rankings this season.

Baylor is on Gonzaga’s heels after posting its 12th consecutive win over the weekend, which came over a ranked Kansas team on the road. The Bears moved up two spots and jumped Duke and Kansas in the process — their highest ranking in a season since the 2016-17 season. It’s just the second time Baylor has held a top-2 spot in the rankings over the last decade.

Baylor received 31 first-place votes to Gonzaga’s 30; Gonzaga still edged Baylor for the top spot by getting 1,574 points in the poll to Baylor’s 1,567.

Rounding out the new top five is a familiar list and a new entry. Duke, which received the other four first-place votes, fell one spot to No. 3 and Auburn jumped one spot to No. 4, while Butler entered the top five for the first time all season.

1Gonzaga (30)18-11,5741
2Baylor (31)13-11,5674
3Duke (4)15-11,5672
4Auburn15-01,5675
5Butler15-11,2996
6Kansas12-31,2863
7San Diego State17-01,2867
8Oregon14-31,1639
9Florida State14-21,09310
10Kentucky12-396014
11Louisville13-394313
12West Virginia13-291117
13Dayton14-284215
14Villanova12-382216
15Michigan State13-47358
16Wichita State15-162923
17Maryland13-361612
18Seton Hall12-4496NR
19Michigan11-535819
20Colorado13-334525
21Ohio State11-527011
22Memphis13-323221
23Texas Tech10-511122
24Illinois12-5109NR
25Creighton13-497NR

Others receiving votes: Iowa 88, Stanford 77, Arkansas 65, Indiana 50, Virginia 41, Penn State 36, LSU 30, Arizona 20, Wisconsin 19, Liberty 11, Northern Iowa 10, Purdue 10, Duquesne 9, Washington 9, TCU 8, Rutgers 8, Virginia Tech 5, Oregon State 4, Houston 4, BYU 3, East Tennessee State 2, Saint Mary’s 1, Harvard 1, Akron 1, USC 1

Tay Boyle on rout of Utah: “as complete a performance by our team all year”

From the Daily Camera … “I told them in the locker room that this has been the longest week of my coaching life that I can remember,” Boyle said. “My wife told me on Friday, ‘Boy, this week has gone quick.’ I said, ‘Well, maybe it has for you, but it hasn’t for me.’ It was getting that taste out of your mouth. And I think our players felt the same way.”

CU used an early 14-0 run to build a 16-2 lead and never looked back, shooting a season-best .594 from the field while four players scored in double figures. Defensively, the Buffs harassed the Utes from the opening tip and held sophomore Timmy Allen, who entered the game with a Pac-12-leading scoring average of 21.1 points per game, to a season-low seven points on a 2-for-11 effort from the floor.

Additionally, Utah’s Both Gach and Rylan Jones, who boasted a combined scoring average of nearly 24 points entering the game, were held to a combined 5-for-14 with 13 total points. Factor in a dominant 42-24 rebounding advantage, including 14 offensive rebounds by the Buffs that turned into a 14-4 edge on second-chance points, and it’s understandable why Boyle described the effort “as complete a performance by our team all year.”

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January 12th – Game Day !

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs dominate Utah, 91-52

From CUBuffs.com … That’s how you protect your home floor.

Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes were hot from the start Sunday and never cooled off, dominating Utah from beginning to end in a 91-52 win at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play while the Utes fell to 10-5, 1-2.

Evan Battey and Tyler Bey each had double-doubles for the Buffs. Battey finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season while Bey notched his seventh of the season and 26th of his career with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Point guard McKinley Wright IV flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and D’Shawn Schwartz added 14 points and five rebounds.

The Utes did not have a player in double-digit scoring, as Riley Battin led Utah with just eight points. Colorado held the Pac-12’s leading scorer, Timmy Allen, to just seven points on 2-for-11 shooting.

 The Buffs dominated in virtually every statistical category. CU shot 38-for-64 from the field (59.4 percent) while holding the Utes to just 19-for-54 shooting (35.2 percent). Colorado held a commanding 43-23 rebounding lead, including 15 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second-chance points, and the Buffs committed just nine turnovers while forcing 13 Utah miscues.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led from the outset, using a 14-0 run early to push the lead to double digits and extending the edge to as much as 25 before settling for a 22-point cushion at intermission, 44-22. Battey was dominant on the offensive boards in the first half, collecting six offensive rebounds that led to four Colorado baskets.

CU kept the pressure on in the second half and built its lead to 30 less than seven minutes in when a Wright 3-pointer gave Colorado a 61-31 edge. The Utes never threatened to make a serious run the rest of the way.

The Buffs’ big lead of the game came in the final minute, when a Dallas Walton basket gave Colorado its final points of the night to wrap up the 91-52 win.

All 15 Buffs in uniform played in the game, with 11 scoring at least one point.

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Buffs facing must-win v. Utah – McKinley Wright: “We’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got to make a statement” 

From the Daily Camera … The idea, of course, is to attack each game with the exact same level of intensity and urgency.

Reality often doesn’t work out that way. And the reality for the Colorado men’s basketball team is that the third Pac-12 Conference game of the season on Sunday against Utah already has the feel of a must-win showdown.

Exactly one week after stumbling at home against Oregon State, which itself was just three days after a resounding league-opening win against then-No. 4 Oregon, the Buffs return to the CU Events Center to host the Utes, which also split its first Pac-12 Conference series at home against the Oregon schools.

On CU’s annual basketball alumni weekend featuring throwback jerseys to the 1968-69 team, which was the last Buffs squad to win a regular season conference crown, the quest to end that championship drought would be significantly hampered out of the gate with a second consecutive home loss.

“It’s a must-win. We’ve got to bounce back,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “We’ve got to make a statement. We’ve got to win this one and we’ve got to go steal some on the road.”

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Buffs ready for Kentucky-killer Utah – “Utah doesn’t beat themselves”

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes have had a week now to stew over their last outing, a 76-68 loss to Oregon State.

Sunday afternoon, the 25th-ranked Buffs (12-3 overall, 1-1 Pac-12)  finally have a chance to wash the taste out of their mouths when they play host to Utah (10-4, 1-1) in a 4 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPNU).

It’s no doubt been a long week for the Buffs.

Most weeks in the conference season involve two games. But twice each year, Pac-12 teams face their conference-designated rival and it is their only game of the week. Thus, thanks to a loss that prevented the Buffs from spending the week atop the league standings, it’s been an especially long seven days.

“That’s behind us,” Boyle said after Saturday’s practice. “We can’t do anything about it now other than move forward, and that’s what we’ve got to do with Utah.”

It won’t be an easy assignment. The Utes, picked in the preseason media poll to finish ninth in the Pac-12, look much more like an upper-division conference team. Utah opened its conference season with a win over Oregon State — the same Beavers, Boyle notes, who beat Colorado three days later — and took Oregon down to the wire before losing. Larry Krystkowiak’s team also owns wins over Kentucky, Nevada, Minnesota and BYU.

“They’re a tough-minded team and they play within themselves,” Boyle said. “Utah doesn’t beat themselves. You have to beat Utah. They’re not going to come in here and turn it over 25 times. They’re not going to take a bunch of bad shots. They’re much, much better than I think anybody thought that they would be at this stage of the game before the season started.”

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GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 12-3 overall seeing a five-game win streak snapped in its last game, a 76-68 setback to Oregon State on Jan. 5. The Buffaloes split their opening weekend of Pac-12 play, beginning with a 74-65 win over No. 4 (AP)/No. 6 (Coaches) ranked Oregon on Jan. 2.

The Buffaloes won their league opener for the first time since defeating UCLA 62-56 on Jan. 2, 2015, at the CU Events Center – also the last year CU opened the Pac-12 schedule at home. Colorado is 4-5 all-time in Pac-12 openers.

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah, 10-4 overall, split its games during the Pac-12 Conference’s opening weekend, flipping the results which Colorado had. Utah defeated Oregon State while losing a close battle with No. 4 ranked Oregon. The Utes, who will be playing in just their third true road game of the season, average 78.3 points while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. Defensively, Utah allows 78.3 points per game while opponents shoot 41.3 percent. The Utes entered the week as the Pac-12’s top free throw shooting team at 75.1 percent and the league’s best defensive rebounding team at 29.6 per game.

Sophomore forward Timmy Allen leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.1 points per game. Allen also tops the Utes and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 7.9 an outing. Sophomore guard Both Gach is second on the team in scoring, at 12.9 points per game, as well as assists (42) and 3-pointers made (24). Freshman guard Rylan Jones averages 10.9 points while leading the Utes in 3-point shooting at 47.5 percent and in assists (64). Jones entered the week third in the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made (2.2 3mpg), fourth in 3-point percentage and fifth in assists.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 52nd meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 28-23 advantage. The teams have split their last four meetings, with the home team holding serve each time. Prior to that, the Utes had reeled off eight-straight wins, the longest stretch by either team in the series that dates back to 1914. Colorado holds a 19-6 advantage at home and has won the last two.

THROWBACK GAME: Colorado is holding a reunion for the coach Russell “Sox” Walseth era with a throwback game Sunday. The Buffaloes will be wearing retro jerseys from the 1960s, specifically to honor the 1968-69 Big Eight championship team, representing Colorado’s last regular season conference title. The white jerseys feature the word “BUFFS” in gold lettering with gold numbers. An old-school interlocking “CU” is featured on the shorts while the jersey top is trimmed in black and gold.

Walseth is the program’s all-time leader in coaching wins and years of service, guiding the Buffaloes to a 261-245 record in 20 seasons (1956-76). He led Colorado to three Big Eight Conference titles and NCAA Appearances in 1961-62, ’62-63 and ’68-69.

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January 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs trying to move past Oregon State: “You can’t dwell on it. That’s a big thing”

From CUBuffs.com … Learn, get better and move on.

That’s been one of the main messages this week from Colorado head coach Tad Boyle to his Buffaloes.

The 25th-ranked Buffs (12-3 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) played well last week for approximately 73 minutes, only to see a sub-par seven-minute stretch throw a damper on the entire week. Thus, what started as a very promising week with a big win over No. 4 Oregon ended with a thud in the form of a home loss to Oregon State.

Now, the Buffs aim to rebound Sunday when they end a three-game homestand with a 4 p.m. game against Utah (10-4, 1-1) at the CU Events Center.

Granted, it hasn’t been easy for the Buffs to get past those final seven minutes against OSU, when they let an 11-point lead slip turn into an eight-point loss. But as Boyle has told his team, they have to remember what they did to produce that lead — then eliminate the mistakes that let it disappear down the stretch.

“You address your problems and you also talk about the fact that we were playing very, very well for those first 33 minutes,” Boyle said after Friday’s practice. “We have to build on that and gain confidence from that, and learn from that last stretch. (But) you can’t dwell on it. That’s a big thing.”

Actually, the Buffs had played well over the last several weeks prior to the final minutes of the Oregon State game. Colorado had won five in a row, thanks in big part to their improved offensive efficiency behind point guard McKinley Wright IV.

Early in the year, the Buffs had trouble finding the basket consistently. But after shooting better than 43 percent from the field in just three of their first 10 games, they eclipsed that mark in four of their last five. Including the Oregon State game, they have shot just under 50 percent (138-for-280) from the floor in their last five contests.

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January 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

*Video – Evan Battey interview on BuffStampede*

From BuffsTV:

13-year old Nicholas Nelson signs National Letter of Intent with CU

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team signed 13-year old Nicholas Nelson of Louisville, Colo., to a National Letter of Intent during a Draft Day ceremony Friday afternoon at the CU Events Center.

“Nick,” along with his parents Mark and Maureen, and younger brother Xander, joined head coach Tad Boyle and sophomore forward Evan Battey on the podium to sign his official NLI. Boyle presented the recruit with a No. 13 jersey with his name on the back.

“(The Nelson family) has been around our program for a little over a year, have got to know the guys, been to a bit of practices and been in the locker room after some big wins,” Boyle said. “Don’t know if (Nelson) has been in there after any tough losses.”

Just before signing the NLI coach Boyle delivered a message to Nelson. “We’re really pleased to bring Nick officially into our program, and the entire Nelson family.  You’re going to be a great addition and we’re all proud and happy for you. It’s a big day for you and your family.”

Nelson, a seventh grader at Louisville Middle School, joined the Buffaloes through Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

“I’m very proud of myself,” Nelson said, adding that he looks forward to “having fun with (the players) and going into the locker room and seeing that everyone is having a good time.”

Nelson was born with a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome, which affects about 1 in every 10,000 children worldwide, regardless of gender or background. Williams Syndrome is caused by a spontaneous deletion of about 26 genes on one copy of chromosome 7.

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Evan Battey: “I don’t care if I play every single minute of a game … I just want to win. I’m just happy to be a part of it”

From The Athletic … Evan Battey skipped onto the basketball court at the CU Events Center after practice on Wednesday afternoon. He hooped and hollered as he showed off the Buffaloes’ new white and gold throwback uniforms they will wear this weekend.

Once he got to center court, he pulled up his knee-high socks, rolled up his shorts so they would resemble the old short-short basketball shorts, and struck several poses.

This light-hearted attitude from Battey is hardly new. It’s how he is every day, as he holds a special appreciation for life that isn’t commonly found in 21-year-olds.

But then again, not many 21-year-olds have almost died after suffering a stroke, as Battey did two years ago.

… Decked out in the Buff’s throwback uniforms, Battey, who is averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while starting all 15 games this season for 25th-ranked CU, picked up a ball and started to shoot. Every couple of shots, he would jump up and kick out his legs, a wide smile spread across his face.

“Got to shoot it like they did in the old days,” he laughed.

Battey appreciates every moment he gets to spend on the court — whether it’s at the CU Events Center or at home with his friends.

When he wakes up, he gives thanks for his health, his life, and his ability to be a part of this Buffs team. With expectations high for the team this season, Battey is giving up all his personal goals for the collective team goal of winning.

“I don’t care if I play every single minute of a game, or I play no minutes of a game,” Battey said. “I just want to win. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Read full story here (subscription required) …

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January 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU to honor Sox Walseth era this weekend

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado coach Tad Boyle has always placed a special emphasis on embracing the tradition of Buffaloes basketball.

He has welcomed Buffs alums to games and practices, has encouraged current players to learn about the history of the program, and has been an ardent supporter of an alumni team that annually plays in a national tournament.

But perhaps most importantly, Boyle has made it a practice to host a reunion every season, where all Buffs are welcome and one coach and his players from that particular era are honored.

Every one of the reunions has been special. So far, former Buffs coaches Bill Blair, Tom Apke, Joe Harrington and Ricardo Patton have been honored and recognized, along with players from their years in Boulder.

But this weekend’s gathering may be just a little extra special, as CU prepares to honor Russell “Sox” Walseth — still the winningest and longest-tenured men’s coach in Buffs history.

“Every one of the reunions has meant a lot,” Boyle said. “They are all important because they are part of the history and tradition of Colorado basketball, and every coach and player had a role in building that. But yes … there’s only one name on the court at the CU Events Center.”

Indeed, the Events Center floor is emblazoned with “Sox Walseth Court,” honoring the man who coached the Buffs for 20 years (1956-76) and compiled a 261-245 record. Walseth won three Big Eight regular season titles in his career (1961-62, ’62-63 and ’68-69), took his teams to three NCAA Tournaments and was named the Big Eight Coach of the Year five times. Along the way, he coached some of the biggest names in CU history, including Ken Charlton, Jim Davis, Cliff Meely and Scott Wedman.

Walseth also coached the CU women’s team from 1980-83, compiling a 77-21 record that included a perfect 43-0 record at home in his tenure.

Boyle, in his 10th season with the Buffs, is second on Colorado’s all-time win list with a 201-126 record.

“He had great teams and he coached great players,” Boyle said. “Sox’s era was very successful — he’s still the winningest coach in our history. He won three conference championships, which is something we haven’t done yet. We’ve won a conference tournament, but back then they didn’t have a conference tournament and you had to win the conference to even get to the NCAA Tournament. That’s something we aspire to do.”

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January 8th

… CU in the Arena …

McKinley Wright:”We know what we’re capable of. We had a serious conversation as a team in our film room”

From CUBuffs.com … “I was very disappointed,” junior point guard McKinley Wright IV said after Wednesday’s practice. “Not as much in the team but more in myself. I made a lot of careless reads down the stretch, turned the ball over and they came back, striking at us.”

But now, after a heart-to-heart team discussion and film session, the 25th-ranked Buffs are ready to put that loss behind them and concentrate on the future, beginning with Sunday’s 4 p.m. home matchup with Utah at the CU Events Center (ESPNU).

“We know what we’re capable of,” Wright said. “We had a serious conversation as a team in our film room, just about not having the pain of regret toward the end of the season. I think that sparked everybody a little bit more. We know how big these games are come March. We’re going to do our best to come out with a lot more energy and do a better job of putting two halves together.”

Indeed, while every game technically counts the same, home losses hurt just a little more, simply because it is harder to make up the difference with a road win. With one conference home loss already in the books — and two overall this season — the Buffs (12-3 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) are determined not to let their CU Events Center edge go to waste again.

“We know we have to bounce back,” Wright said. “We have to do a better job protecting home court. We’ve dropped two here this year. Buff Nation comes out and supports us big time and we’re appreciative of that. We have to do a better job of having their back and winning games here.”

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Tad Boyle: “Every player on our team has two or three things they have to get a little bit better at”

From CUBuffs.com … “I look at the Dayton game, the Northern Iowa game. I look at the Oregon game, Oregon State game,” Boyle said. “Our players, if they can’t learn from both of those situations, it’s going to be an up-and-down year and we’re going to lose games we shouldn’t lose. And, we may win some games that people are like, ‘Oh, that was a great win.'”

But those ups and downs won’t produce a conference title run, which is what the Buffs want to be making in late February-early March — which is why a week with a little extra practice time built in becomes a little more important.

Thus, Boyle is meeting with each player on an individual basis this week to provide a “mid-year assessment.”

“Sixteen games left, here’s what you have to do to make our team a little bit better,” Boyle said. “If every guy will buy into that and do that, we’ll be fine.”

What the Buffs know for sure is that they can’t afford another home loss — not if they want to be in the conference title race when the calendar turns to March.

“We put ourselves in the hole a little bit by losing the game at home,” Boyle said. “We have to make up for that some at some point down the road on the road. We can’t lose home games because that just puts more pressure on the road. I just want our guys to understand what it takes — and they do. Now the challenge is to go do it.”

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January 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Poll Tracker – Who voted for CU in the poll

From College Poll Tracker …

— Highest ranking: 9th (9th!) … Doug Doughty (Roanoke Va. Times)

— Notables … Seth Davis (CBS) – 16th … not ranked by: Jon Wilner (San Jose Mercury News); Dick Vitale (ESPN); John Feinstein (NPR)

— Totals … 20 voters put CU in their rankings (down from a high of 53) … 45 did not place CU in their rankings (up from a low of 12) …

Bracketology: CU a No. 7 seed at CBS; No. 8 seed at ESPN

From CBS Sports … A new bracket projection is out and there is a fair amount of churning going on, which is to be expected this early in the season. Right now, each new game is a greater percentage of a team’s total body of work than it will be as the season goes on, so there is a chance for it to have greater impact.

The bracket is not a poll. A team does not automatically keep its spot just because it hasn’t lost. Every new result is not the only thing affecting a team’s profile. Each result by its opponents has an impact as well.

Bracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU down to a No. 7 seed (After being a No. 5 seed after the win over Oregon)

The Pac-12 (six teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 4 seed; Stanford: No. 6 seed; Colorado: No. 7 seed; Arizona: No. 9 seed; USC: No. 10 seed; Washington: No. 10 seed; (Utah: first four out)

Bracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU down to a No. 8 seed (After being a No. 6 seed after the win over Oregon)

The Pac-12 (five teams in bracket) … Oregon: No. 3 seed; Arizona: No. 5 seed: Colorado: No. 8 seed; Stanford: No. 10 seed; Washington: No. 11 seed (Stanford: Last four byes; Washington: Last four in; USC: Next four out)

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 92.0% (down from 97.8% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 5 (down from No. 3 last week) …

Neill Woelk: Boyle’s Buffs will Bounce Back

From CUBuffs.com … Every player on the floor had a role in the eight-minute collapse (against Oregon State). The Buffs didn’t handle the ball well, they didn’t shoot well, they didn’t play defense well and they didn’t rebound well in the last eight minutes. While the coach certainly is responsible for his team’s performance, the players on the floor also shoulder a measure of accountability as well.

Guaranteed, they will accept that burden and work to correct it.

Thanks to a quirk in the schedule, Colorado has  an entire week to get ready for its next game. The Buffs need to ensure they are at their best Sunday when they play host to Utah in a 4 p.m. matchup at the CU Events Center.

They’ll spend the week getting themselves “right.”

“The challenge is to get the guys to understand that nothing is going to be given to you,” Boyle said after Sunday’s game. “I talked to them a lot about earning respect and what we’ve done over the last two or three four games. We’ve played to earn some respect, and how quickly that can go away. We earned some beating Dayton, and playing the way that we did against Iona, and then beating Oregon. We just stubbed our toes again, just like we did against Northern Iowa. You eat what you kill. That’s the challenge is to get them to understand that.”

The guess here is the Buffs will understand. This is a veteran team with seasoned leaders, beginning with junior point guard McKinley Wright IV. Wright is a tough-minded floor general who has led the Buffs through rough patches in the past, and he has plenty of help in that regard on this year’s team.

It’s logical to believe the Buffs will respond once again in solid fashion. It is a long Pac-12 season.

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January 6th

… CU in the Arena …

McKinley Wright named Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week

From CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado junior guard McKinley Wright IV was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for games played Jan. 2-5, the league office announced on Monday.

Wright averaged 17.5 points, 9.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds as the Buffaloes split the opening weekend of conference play at home against the Oregon schools. Wright shot 54.5 percent (12-22) from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line (10-13), picking up his second career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor and the first this season for Colorado.

Wright scored a game-high 21 points, dished out eight assists and pulled down five rebounds in Colorado’s 74-65 win over then-No. 4 ranked Oregon on Jan. 2. He was 6 of 11 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free throw line.

Ironically, Wright’s first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor came under similar circumstances. Two years ago, almost to the date (Jan. 4, 2018), Wright led the Buffaloes to an upset of No. 4 ranked Arizona State at home with 19 points and five assists.

Wright also put up big numbers in a losing effort to Oregon State on Jan. 5. He had 14 points and 10 assists against the Beavers, recording his eighth career double-double and third in the last four games. The double-double was his sixth of the points-assists variety, tying Jay Humphries (1980-84) school record for that category.

Monday’s Player of the Week award is Colorado’s 11th of the Pac-12 era. Wright joins Josh Scott (2015-16) and Askia Booker (2013-14) as Buffs to win the league’s weekly award twice. Colorado has had at least one conference Player of the Week each of the last five seasons and in eight of nine seasons as members of the Pac-12.

The Buffaloes, at 12-3 and ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, return to the CU Events Center on Sunday, Jan. 12, to face Utah at 4 p.m.

Despite loss to OSU, Buffs rejoin AP poll (at No. 25)

From CBS Sports … For the third consecutive week, Gonzaga comes in at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 men’s college basketball rankings. It’s the longest streak a team has retained the top spot all season amidst a season full of upsets, which the Zags managed to avoid this week with close wins over Portland and Pepperdine. Looming road trips to San Diego and Loyola Marymount await the Bulldogs this week.

Gonzaga received 54 first-place votes while Duke received nine and Kansas received two. That’s how the order of this week’s poll looks, too. Behind Gonzaga the top three remained unchanged with Duke and Kansas at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Into the top five this week for the first time is Baylor, which jumped from No. 6 to No. 4, and Auburn, which jumped from No. 8 into the No. 5 spot. Auburn is one of only two unbeaten teams in the sport this season.

The other undefeated team, San Diego State, makes its top-10 debut this week at No. 7. Sitting at 15-0, the Aztecs jumped six spots after wins over Fresno State and Utah State the past week. SDSU faces Wyoming on the road Wednesday before returning home to play Boise State on Saturday.

1Gonzaga (54)16-11,6071
2Duke (9)13-11,5452
3Kansas (2)11-21,5133
4Baylor11-11,3866
5Auburn13-01,3178
6Butler14-11,18111
7San Diego State15-01,13013
8Michigan State12-31,12914
9Oregon12-31,0754
10Florida State13-296618
11Ohio State11-39245
12Maryland12-286315
13Louisville11-38447
14Kentucky10-381117
15Dayton13-261420
16Villanova10-360410
17West Virginia11-259916
18Virginia11-255619
19Michigan10-450212
20Penn State12-245621
21Memphis12-24559
22Texas Tech10-328722
23Wichita State13-125224
24Arizona11-318425
25Colorado12-381NR

Others receiving votes … Iowa (63) 10-4; Seton Hall (48) 10-4; Arkansas (38) 12-1; Marquette (25) 11-3; Xavier (18) 12-3; Wisconsin (17) 9-5; Houston (8) 11-3; Creighton (6) 12-3; Washington (6) 11-4; VCU (5) 12-3; Saint Mary’s (3) 14-3; Liberty (2) 16-1; Northern Iowa (2) 12-2; Purdue (1) 9-6; Stephen F. Austin (1) 13-2; Brigham Young (1) 12-4

Tad Boyle: “I take responsibility as a coach. We did not handle that well, and that’s my fault”

From the Daily Camera … It felt like another party was about to break out, one that would end with a likely return to the AP top 25 come Monday morning.

… But then, much like last year, Oregon State spoiled the fun.

The Beavers used a 10-0 run to climb back into the game late and then made all the big plays in the final minutes to hand the Buffaloes a stunning 76-68 defeat on Sunday afternoon. The loss erased all the good vibes CU picked up three days earlier with a win against fourth-ranked Oregon and left coach Tad Boyle and his club lamenting yet another late collapse at home against Oregon State.

Before last year, OSU had only posted one win in 10 trips to Boulder. The Beavers have now recorded consecutive wins at the Events Center.

“Have never had something like this happen to a team. We lost our composure and our confidence and we got on our heels. That can’t happen,” Boyle said. “It’s league play and welcome to the Pac-12, guys. We’re a veteran team. That’s what’s disappointing. If we had a bunch of freshmen and sophomores out there, I’d be OK, we’ll learn from this. But that’s not the case. There’s no excuses to be made for that.

“I take responsibility as a coach. We did not handle that well, and that’s my fault.”

Continue reading story here

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January 5th – Game Day !

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs an blow 11-point lead in falling to Oregon State, 76-68

… Related … “Oregon State dominates late to stun CU Buffs at home” … from the Daily Camera

Related … “Oregon State turns up pressure, rallies past Colorado 76-68” … from ESPN

From CUBuffs.com … For the second year in a row, the Colorado Buffaloes couldn’t protect their home court against Oregon State.

The Buffs led by 11 Sunday with under eight minutes to play, but were outscored 24-5 over the final 7:57 to drop a 76-68 decision.

The loss ended CU’s five-game win streak and sent the Buffs to 12-3 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play. OSU improved to 11-3, 1-1.

Tyler Bey led CU with 20 points and eight rebounds while McKinley Wright had a 14-point, 10-assist double-double. Shane Gatling added 11 for CU.

Ethan Thompson led the Beavers with 24 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by seven at the half, 39-32, before the Beavers cut the margin to four less than four minutes in on a Kylor Kelley dunk.

But the Buffs then put together an 8-0 run to push their lead to 12. D’Shawn Schwartz started the surge with a 12-footer before Wright drove the lane. Wright then collected his 10th assist of the game, a feed to Bey underneath, before Bey finished the run with a long two from the key with 13:21 remaining to give CU a 53-41 lead.

With 7:57 to play, Colorado still led by 11, 63-52, after a Wright free throw.

But the Beavers managed to stay close, finally pulling back to within six, 63-57, with 6:22 to play on a Zach Reichle 3-pointer and Ethan Thompson basket, spurring a timeout from Boyle.

Colorado, though, turned it over after the timeout, leading to a Kelley dunk, and with under six minutes to play, CU’s 12-point lead had been cut to four. One minute later, Reichle hit three free throws to complete a 10-0 run and pull the Beavers within one, 63-62.

CU momentarily ended the run on an Evan Battey bucket and free throw with 4:39 remaining to put CU back up by four, but Tres Tinkle responded with a 3-pointer to cut Colorado’s lead back to one, 66-65, with 4:07 to play.

Oregon State then finally took the lead for the first time since early in the game, 67-66, on a Tinkle bucket inside with 2:25 remaining following two CU possessions that ended on turnovers.

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Buffs not looking past Oregon State (4:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU): “We’re ready. That’s all I can say, we’re ready”

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle hasn’t had to remind the Colorado Buffaloes what happened the last time Oregon State paid a visit to Boulder.

They all remember it well.

Just less than a year ago, OSU paid a late-January visit to the CU Events Center and left with a 76-74 win that dropped CU’s Pac-12 record to 2-6. It was a painful loss, but it also proved to be a turning point in the Buffs’ season. The Buffs bounced back to defeat Oregon in their next game, the beginning of a five-game streak that was part of a 12-4 CU finish to the season that also included a 73-58 win over the Beavers in the Pac-12 tournament.

Now, combined with this year’s 12-2 record (1-0 Pac-12), Colorado is 24-6 since that home loss to Oregon State, including a 7-0 mark in conference home games. The Buffs can push that to eight Sunday when they play host to OSU (10-3, 0-1) in a 4 p.m. game at the Events Center.

“We’re ready,” said CU point guard McKinley Wright, who had a crucial turnover late in last year’s game in Boulder. “That’s all I can say, we’re ready. We let that one slip last year at home. I had the chance late to win that game. We didn’t execute. Sunday we will need the house packed and we’re ready to go.”

The Beavers, picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 preseason media poll, are coming off an 81-69 loss at Utah on Thursday. But they have a formidable lineup that includes  preseason conference player of the year Tres Tinkle, a 6-foot-7 senior forward who is in the league’s top 10 in scoring (20.3 points per game), rebounding (7.2), assists (3.9) and steals (1.6). Combined with guard Ethan Thompson (15.8 ppg) and 7-0 center Kylor Kelley (11.1 ppg, 4.38 blocks), it is a balanced group.

Boyle said stopping Tinkle and Thompson will take a team effort.

“You have to try to make him (Tinkle) play in a crowd,” Boyle said. “It’s team defensive mindset that we have to have against both he and Thompson. They’re both really good one-on-one players. They’re good shooters, they’re good drivers, they’re good in the paint, they can score at all three levels. It’s a team thing. It’s not just an individual thing.”

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GAME PREVIEW

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 12-2 overall and on a five-game winning streak. The Buffaloes opened Pac-12 Conference play with a 74-65 win over No. 4 (AP)/No. 6 (Coaches) ranked Oregon on Jan. 2. Colorado’s 12-2 record to begin the season is its best since the  2013-14 team started 14-2.

The Buffaloes won their league opener for the first time since defeating UCLA 62-56 on Jan. 2, 2015, at the CU Events Center – also the last year CU opened the Pac-12 schedule at home. Colorado is 4-5 all-time in Pac-12 openers.

Defense has been the early calling card for Colorado. The Buffaloesare second in the Pac-12, and 32nd in the nation, in scoring defense at 60.9 points per game. Colorado has held six opponents under 60 points and three of those under 50. It’s the first time since 2012-13 Colorado has held three opponents under 50, and that was over a 34-game season.

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 10-3 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-12 after dropping its conference opener at Utah on Jan. 2.
The Beavers have lost two of their last three after reeling off seven-straight wins. Oregon State averages 77.7 points per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the field. Defensively, the Beavers allow just 66.5 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 40.1 percent. Oregon State is the top shot blocking team in the Pac-12 and rank second in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Senior forward Tres Tinkle leads Oregon State at 20.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. The All-Pac-12 performer is shooting 52 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard Ethan Thompson leads the Beavers in assists (59) while ranking second in scoring (15.8 ppg) and steals (18). Senior Kylor Kelley leads the Pac-12 in blocks (57) while ranking third on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 24th meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 15-8 series lead. Oregon State won last year’s meeting in Boulder, 76-74, just its second in 11 tries at the CU Events Center. Colorado got revenge on the Beavers in the postseason with a 73-58 win in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.

 

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January 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

The Athletic on Buffs: This team can be special

From The Athletic … The student section at the University of Colorado Events Center flooded onto the court as the final buzzer went off, doing their best to hurdle the rows of seats in front of them to get down there quicker. The CU men’s basketball team met them at center-court with open arms — jumping in the center of the mosh pit, high-fiving their fellow students and appearing in Snapchat videos.

Why wouldn’t they? After all, they had just defeated No. 4 Oregon 74-65 at home to open up Pac-12 play and improve to 12-2 overall.

“At media day, they picked us second (in the Pac-12),” point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “We got to work after that. We honestly thought we were the best team in the conference. Tonight, we just wanted to handle business and showcase that we still think we are the best team in the conference, whether it’s at home or on the road.

This team can be special

The phrase “Respect cannot be learned, purchased or acquired. It can only be earned,” is written on the walls of the Buffaloes’ film room. The team sees it every day.

It’s because of this motto the Buffs didn’t beat themselves up when they fell out of the rankings after they followed up a road loss to No. 3 Kansas with a home loss to Northern Iowa. At the same time, it’s the mindset they carried into their game against Oregon. And, well, they’ve earned some respect.

“We have to earn that respect and I think we’re in the process of doing that,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We don’t have that respect, but you have to earn it. You can’t beg for it, you can’t buy it. You earn it through these kinds of wins and playing consistent basketball and getting better as the year goes on.”

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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January 3rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Quotable post-game quotes from Oregon game

From CUBuffs.com

CU head coach Tad Boyle … 

Opening statement
“Well, that was a high level college basketball game, I think it was as good as advertised. We knew that Oregon was going to come in here and give us their best shot and I feel like, certainly from an effort standpoint, they did. They didn’t, maybe play as well as they’re capable of playing or they’ve played in the past, but I think our defense had something to do with that and you know you beat a good program, a nationally ranked program deservedly, talented program talented players, but they’re young, and they’re there they’re learning, but you know that team went into Michigan and won at Michigan. They represented the conference well at the Bahamas, I’ve got great respect for coach (Dana) Altman, and he’s a heck of a basketball coach, and we beat a good team tonight. I would just say anybody that wasn’t at the game tonight you missed a heck of a game, and this team, this Colorado basketball team is worthy of eight more games like the Event Center was tonight in terms of packed, enthusiastic. Our crowd helped us win this game, and I thank them for that and I just would beg them to come back Sunday at four o’clock because we’re going to need it. We’re playing a very good Oregon State team then. And this counts as one win. If we would have lost it would be one loss but it’s nice to nice to get off to a good start against a really good basketball team.”

On if beating Oregon had extra emphasis
I think it does to our team, but again we’re 1-0 in league play we’re not 2-0, we’re not 1 ½-0, we we’re 1-0. It’s one game, and I had to say that to myself before the game and I want our fans to understand, Oregon State counts just as much as Oregon does. I know the national ranking and the ducks have a lot of respect nationally, so I knew our players would be ready for that. These are the games you don’t have to get your guys up for and ready. Sunday, I got to do a good job getting our guys up and ready to play, because Oregon State came in here and this building last year beat us. So we can’t let that happen again and they’re a quality team with quality players, and I believe this team has a chance to do something special this year. It’s only going to happen if we take every opportunity as they come and cherish and relish it and get up for it. That’s my challenge as a coach.”

D’Shawn Schwartz

On Two Top-15 Wins And Five-Straight Wins
“No doubt. I think Pac-12 play is the perfect time to start climbing, start improving as a team and starting to peak. I think we’re really getting off to a good start to Pac-12 play. We’ve got a good Oregon State team coming up here, we’ve got to show them we mean business.”

On The Crowd
“Love the crowd. When we have games like that we need them. Not only do they intimidate the other team but they really get us going. We love giving back to the fans just as much they give to us.

McKinley Wright 

On Having Mel Tucker, Rick George and Phillip Lindsay Courtside
“That’s big time. That’s Buff Nation. We’re a family, basketball, football, you know, Mel Tucker sees us front row every football game, so to see him front row tonight is big time and it’s just love both ways.”

On Sending A Statement To The Nation
“This just shows it man. Our coaches believe in us. We believe in each other. When I say this I’m not just saying that to say, we are one of the best teams in the country for real. We let one slip earlier at home against UNI. A lot of people knock us down because of that. The Dayton game, tonight, Iona, we showcased that we know we belong. So, we’re back.”

Oregon coach Dana Altman

ON GAME OVERALL
“We started with a couple of bad offensive possessions, had a lot of turnovers, we put ourselves in a bad position. We couldn’t get the three point shooting going. We had some good looks, couldn’t knock them down early, started 0 for 11 until we finally hit one. We have to do a better job.”

ON NEVER WINNING AT COLORADO
“It’s not a huge deal. There’s only been two or three guys who have played here so the others don’t know [but for himself] Not really. We’ve won a lot of games but can’t find a way to win here. We have a great team just a tough atmosphere. Colorado’s won [in Oregon] but we can’t find a way to do it here.”

Accolades pouring in for CU; up to No. 17 at CBS Sports; given 97.8% chance of NCAA bid

RelatedBracketology by Jerry Palm at CBS Sports … CU up to a No. 5 seed

RelatedBracketology by Joe Lunardi at ESPN … CU up to a No. 6 seed

Related … “Buffaloes take down No. 4 Ducks in Pac-12 opener for both teams”from CBS Sports … Quotable: “This might be Colorado’s league to lose. The way this team looked Thursday, this is Colorado’s league to lose.”

From CBS Sports … In advance of publishing our annual Candid Coaches series last offseason, we asked more than 100 college coaches to predict which team would win the 2020 NCAA Tournament. More than half of them said Michigan State. Nearly a third said Kansas. Kentucky, Duke and Florida also received multiple votes. But the one vote I remember sticking out, because it was a vote for a school that wasn’t in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll, was the one vote a coach submitted for Colorado.

It seemed like a stretch, at the time.

But perhaps not.

“This is a special team,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said after Thursday’s 74-65 victory over Oregon. “We have great kids in the locker room. It’s a special group.”

CBS Rankings … include: No. 2 Kansas … No. 6 Oregon (down only one spot after loss to Colorado) … No. 18 Dayton …

No. 17 – Colorado ... McKinley Wright finished with 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds in Thursday’s 74-65 victory over Oregon. Colorado’s five-game winning streak also features a win over Dayton.

Team Rankings.com … CU chances of making NCAA tournament: 97.8% (up from 83.3% last week) … Most likely seed: No. 3 (up from No. 5 last week) …

Sagarin rankings … Pac-12 Top six:
Oregon – 11
Colorado – 24
Arizona – 29
Stanford – 52
USC – 55
Washington – 60

Kenpom: Pac-12 Top six:
Oregon – 11
Arizona – 16
Colorado – 27
Washington – 54
Stanford – 55
USC – 66

Net Rankings (which is what the NCAA Selection Committee uses) – Pac-12 Top six:
Oregon – 15
Arizona – 20
Stanford – 21
Colorado – 22
Utah – 50
Arizona State – 52
USC – 57

RPI Rankings (which is what the NCAA used to use) – Pac-12 Top Six:

Colorado – 15
Oregon – 16
Arizona – 29
USC – 31
Stanford – 40
Utah – 49

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January 2nd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright leads Buffs past No. 4 Oregon, 74-65

Related … “Bey Notches Sixth Double-Double In Win Over Oregon” … from CUBuffs.com

From CUBuffs.com … Point guard McKinley Wright IV sparked a decisive 10-2 Colorado run down the stretch Thursday and the Buffaloes held on for a 74-65 win over No. 4 Oregon at a sold-out CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 12-2 with the win in their Pac-12 opener while Oregon dropped to 11-3.

The Buffs led by as much as 15 early in the second half before the Ducks cut the deficit to four, 57-53, with 4:34 to play.

But Wright then sparked a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer, an assist and a floater from the lane to push CU’s lead to 11, 64-53, with just under three minutes to play. Oregon stopped the run momentarily with a Payton Pritchard basket, but Wright found D’Shawn Schwartz open in the corner for a 3-pointer and 67-55 lead with 1:23 to play.

The Buffs then held on in the final minutes for the win, hitting just enough of their free throws — including six in a row from Wright in the last 52 seconds — to keep the Ducks at bay.

Wright led the Buffs with 21 points, along with eight assists and five rebounds. Tyler Bey collected his sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds and D’Shawn Schwartz added 13 points.

Pritchard led Oregon with 21 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by six at the half, 28-22, and quickly pushed the margin to 15 just five minutes into the half. Wright had a beautiful pair of assists to spark a 9-0 run. The first went to Bey, who cashed in a layup and ensuing free throw, and the second to D’Shawn Schwartz, who drained a long three from just in front of the CU bench.

Lucas Siewert then capped the run with another 3-pointer and Colorado led, 41-26, with 14:51 to play.

But the Ducks answered with a run of their own, putting together a 10-0 surge that ultimately helped Oregon shave CU’s lead down to four, 51-47, with 8:35 to play.

Colorado then briefly pushed its lead back to eight on a pair of Evan Battey free throws three minutes later, only to see the Ducks pull back to within four, 57-53, on a pair of technical free throws.

But the technical foul — a questionable call on Bey after he blocked an Anthony Mathis shot — sparked the Buffs to a 7-0 run. Wright then came down the floor and buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 4:10 to go, then found Schwartz wide open under the bucket on CU’s next possession for a layup after CU’s defense forced a turnover.

Then, following a missed Oregon 3-pointer, Wright hit a floater from the lane to give Colorado an 11-point cushion, 64-53, with just 2:32 remaining and forcing an Oregon timeout.

Continue reading story here

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January 1st – Happy New Year!

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs set for battle of preseason Pac-12 No. 1 and No. 2 picks – Tad Boyle: “It’s a new season. Zero and zero”

From CUBuffs.com … With a successful non-conference slate in the rearview mirror, the Colorado Buffaloes begin Pac-12 play Thursday when they meet Oregon in a nationally televised 7 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPN2).

“It’s a new season,” CU coach Tad Boyle said after his Buffs welcomed in the new year Wednesday morning with a brisk workout. “Zero and zero.”

But while it is just one of 18 Pac-12 games — and the conference opener, at that — the matchup still has the feel of a much bigger showdown.

The Ducks, ranked fourth in the latest AP poll, were picked in the preseason to win the conference title. The Buffs, receiving votes in both polls, were picked second.

Neither team did anything in non-conference play to change people’s minds. The Buffs picked up one top 25 win (No. 13 Dayton) en route to an 11-2 record; the Ducks picked up a pair (No. 13 Seton Hall, No. 5 Michigan). Oregon’s only losses came against Gonzaga and North Carolina; the Buffs fell to Kansas and Northern Iowa.

Now, the Buffs have a chance to pick up another quality win — and just as important, maintain the home-court advantage that is so crucial when it comes to competing for a conference title. Dana Altman’s Ducks, meanwhile, have an opportunity for a quality road win, and the chance to pick up Oregon’s first-ever win in Boulder.

“Oregon is going to come in here with the eye of the tiger,” said Boyle. “They are going to be loaded for bear and we have to be ready to meet the challenge.”

It is an interesting matchup of different styles of two veteran coaches.

Continue reading story here

GAME PREVIEW 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 11-2, wrapping up the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 99-54 win over Iona on Dec. 29. The Buffaloes have won their last four, achieving their best pre-conference record since the 2015-16 NCAA Tournament team also went 11-2.

It’s CU’s third 11-2 start in the last 10 years, joining the 2013-14 and 2015-16 squads. It’s the fourth 11-win nonconference for the Buffs in the Tad Boyle era. Colorado was 11-4 in 2010-11, its final year in the Big 12 Conference.

Defense has been the early calling card for Colorado. The Buffaloes are second in the Pac-12, and 26th in the nation, in scoring defense at 60.5 points per game. Colorado has held six opponents under 60 points and three of those under 50. It’s the first time since 2012-13 Colorado has held three opponents under 50, and that was over a 34-game season.

Colorado is starting to get on track offensively. The Buffaloes only rank 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring overall at 71.8 points per game, but that number has jumped considerably over the last two weeks. Colorado’s top two, and three of its top four scoring outputs of the season have come in the last three games, averaging 86.6 points during that span. Colorado is shooting 48.3 percent over the last three games (87-180).

ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 11-2 and ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 6 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Ducks only losses have come to national powers Gonzaga and North Carolina on a neutral court. Oregon tops the Pac-12 in shooting at 49.7 percent and its 80.3 points per game ranks second in the conference. The Ducks are holding opponents to 66.0 points per game on 38.6 percent from the field. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in both 3-point shooting (.417) and 3-point defense (.299).

Senior guard Payton Pritchard leads Oregon and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 18.5 points per game. He leads the conference in assists (6.2 apg) and ranks ninth in steals (1.8 spg). Junior guard Chris Duarte is second on the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game while pulling down 5.0 rebounds per contest. The Ducks have two of the Pac-12’s best 3-point shooters. Will Richardson leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting at 59 percent while Anthony Mathis tops the league in 3-pointers made (2.8 3mpg) while ranking second in percentage (.500).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 20th meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding an 11-8 series lead. The Buffaloes won the only meeting last season, a 73-51 at the CU Events Center on Feb. 2, 2019. Colorado is a perfect 8-0 all-time against Oregon in Boulder. Colorado holds an 8-6 lead since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011-12 season.

Tad Boyle: “A new day and time to protect our home turf”

From CUBuffs.com … The Ducks — who bring with them an 11-2 record and a No. 4 national ranking in the Associated Press poll — have never won on CU’s home floor. It adds up to an 0-8 all-time record, including an 0-6 mark since the Buffs joined the Pac-12 in time for the 2011-12 season.

“It’s probably in their practice plan,” Boyle said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m sure he knows it. I know his players know it. But that has nothing to do with Thursday’s game. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t. What’s past is past.”

Indeed, this Oregon team is much different than the squad that visited Boulder a year ago and absorbed a 73-51 defeat. Just three players from last year’s Oregon team are on this year’s roster.

“They don’t care what’s happened years in the past, so really it has no meaning to me or anybody else,” Boyle said. “I’m sure it has a little bit more meaning to them. But to me it’s a new game, a new day and time to protect our home turf, which you have to do in league play.”

But Boyle’s players are also aware of Oregon’s futility in Boulder — and they don’t want to be a part of the streak coming to an end.

“It’s a must-win for us — we have to protect our home court,” said CU junior point guard McKinley Wright IV. “We know that they’ve never won here. I’m sure their coaches are reaching out to them every day. They’re going to come in with a sense of urgency and try to punch us in the mouth. So we have to be ready to stand our ground and respond.”

Continue reading story here

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December 31st 

… CU in the Arena …

Tad Boyle on No. 4 Oregon: “I think it’s a big game because it’s the next game”

From CUBuffs.com … As Colorado head coach Tad Boyle likes to say, the price of poker goes up this week for the Buffaloes.

Boyle’s Buffs wrapped up non-conference play on Sunday with a 99-54 win over Iona to improve to 11-2. Colorado’s fourth straight win produced outstanding shooting (34-for-60, including 14-for-21 from 3-point range), solid defense (CU held Iona to 30 percent from the field) and a dominating effort on the boards (a 47-24 Colorado edge). It was a well-rounded finish to a solid non-conference slate that included wins over Dayton, Arizona State and Clemson.

But now the stakes are increased. In one of the more highly anticipated matchups of Boyle’s 10 years in Boulder, the two teams picked in the preseason to finish 1-2 in the Pac-12 will square off in the conference opener Thursday night in Boulder when 11-2 Oregon (No. 4 AP, No. 6 coaches poll) and the Buffs meet in a 7 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (ESPN2).

“If we want to compete for a conference championship, we have to take care of our home floor,” Boyle said after Sunday’s win. “That’s what you have to do, and this is a great opportunity. I don’t think it’s the biggest game of the year, I think it’s a big game because it’s the next game. I’ve got great respect for Oregon. They’ve got great players, they’ve got a great coach. It’s going to be a heck of an opportunity for us, but it’s no bigger than any other opportunity that’s on our schedule.”

Indeed, if the Buffs are going to make a serious run at the Pac-12 title, their ability to protect their home floor will be critical over the next month, as Colorado will play five of its first seven Pac-12 games at home.

It all begins with Thursday’s matchup with the Ducks, who have never won in Boulder. CU’s all-time 8-0 edge at home includes a 6-0 mark in Pac-12 play.

“It is going to be a war,” predicted CU point guard McKinley Wright IV. “They are going to come in here trying to beat us. They have never won here so I’m sure their coach is telling them that. They have a talented group that can really stretch the floor. We are going to have to have our thinking caps on and stick to our principles.”

Continue reading story here

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62 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. I watched the Gonzaga and BYU game with awe….sense of awe coming as a Buff fan. Even though Gonzaga steamrolled the holy rollers in the second half, every guy on the floor for both teams were in constant motion in sync with and without the ball. The half court offenses were a thing of beauty….even though BYU’s normally accurate shooting was left in the locker room that night.
    Is there some reason we cant watch the Buffs duplicate those efforts on O?

  2. There’s nothing I can add in regard to the Buffs totally lackluster performance against the Wildcats Saturday afternoon. So I’ll channel my inner Lionel Ritchie and be “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and congratulate Chip on Mascot of the Year and salute Tad’s team for mustering only their 2nd ever road split in AZ split since becoming PAC members.

  3. Next Steps:
    Washington schools in Boulder (2 games)
    Buffs In LA (2 games)

    On the seven commaaaaaa seven they are 2 and 1. Need to win the next 4………..Make up for that horrible OSU loss.

    No screw ups on the Washington schools please………….(Don’t wanna have to predict the press conferences again…….)

    LA schools??? Road split is usually good…………….But the Buffs need to get over that and win em both..

    You get in a tournament and a “SPLIT” means you’re out……..Which is what has happened for the past whatever years.

    Dang it …………oh never mind.

    Buffalo up.

    Note: Arizona has the tie breaker

  4. Things VK and others didn’t want to hear after the game. Everything he wrote down CU did blah blah blah. I thought that the Buffs looked pretty good at the start, at least on defense, and somewhat on offense when they took the lead. They then started standing around on O while Kin looked for someone to pass the ball to and start running an offense, that pretty much was how it went the rest of the game. UofA has not played D as hard as they did today and their coach has been whining (that word is for ep) about their lack of D and RB’s. They did turn it on today though.

    I said earlier this year that UofA is very talented but young, however some of those youngsters are starting to mature along with some awful hot 3 point shooting which AZ hasn’t been that consistent with through some of their struggles. They were a beast on the boards and that just killed CU.

    I’m not giving up on the Buffs but gosh darn it they are experienced and with some good college BB players, they can play much better than they did today. Too bad we don’t get the Cats up in Boulder this year and can you believe it we don’t get them in Boulder next year either. CONSPIRACY, CONSPIRACY!!!!!

    1. The Wildcats are stacked on talent, the advantage over the Buffs was clear. Even if the Buffs had played better I don’t see them winning at McHale. I’m satisfied with the split in the desert.

      1. cjbuff…, I forgot that very fact when writing my thoughts. You are right and I am happy with a split particularly on this trip as they really haven’t done well in AZ for quite a while. I also agree that they really were going to have an uphill battle at UofA. The AZ player comments after the game indicated that they were “super locked in” for this game, maybe more then anytime this year. Having watched all their games I would totally agree. With their talent if they continue to play like that they will probably go pretty far in the Big Show in March.

        I just hope that the Buffs can also do the same as this could be a pretty good year for CU yet.

    2. Yup,
      Now not convinced they really are a top 20 team. Not cause they lost bla blewy but how they looked doing it and comparing to say the other top 10 teams that each lost twice in the last 7 days.

      Hey ya can’t win em all but you are supposed to try.

      When the game started to get away from them it felt (looked) like each of them on their own were trying to get the Buffs back into it themselves.

      Ya know all that talk about the love, and got your back and we do this together? Just talk…..at least in this game………..

      Someone in charge was not doing there job..

      Okay Buffs……………………………

      Note: Tad and Wright can blame it on the rebounds……………………but it was the offense again that did not execute…………………Tad is right……………he has got to help them

  5. Love Evan Battey…thought he was from Villa Park, not View Park, CA??
    He needs more nights vs. Romelo Whites’, unfortunately think there is only (1) in the Pac? He will be key in the tourney if we again, face a Big East type team.

  6. I remember thinking during the last couple of NCAA tourney debacles that our teams’ just weren’t tough enough, and were getting bullied by Big East schools, and their focus on defense.
    So…here we are, and just maybe, Tad thought the same thing. Offensive ID is being developed: 1st half Wright distributes, 2nd half he attacks and we play off him (making us a 2nd half team).
    My only concern, is there is not enough ‘iron’ in our schedule/ the conference to really hone what we are doing when we match up w/teams that are just as physical. Zones have still given this team a bit of struggle, want to see more teams deploy vs. us to get better.

    1. I pick all:

      ..Tad Boyle: “I thought the better offensive team won tonight. I’ve got to do a better job of helping our guys”
      ..McKinley Wright: “It was obvious, everybody in the country saw it today. We got our butts whipped on the rebounding end. That was really it”
      ..Tad Boyle: “I’m not saying we weren’t ready tonight, but we didn’t play nearly well enough to compete, to give ourselves a chance to win tonight”

      Got em all.

      Buffs.

      Note: Wright jumps all over the rebounds. Krap on him. He is a mediocre PG. This is about as far as the Buffs go with him at PG. Sorry seems like a nice kid but reminds me Montez. Hump is too big.

  7. Go Buffs.
    1. Good news for az. (not the team the ol man) Game is in the middle of the day. For him…..not too early………….not too late. Still plenty of time to saunter in to the ol early bird dinner.

    2. Yo az………………..any local press action? Do they believe the Mighty Buffs are real or………….not?

    3. January 18th, 2020………….Buffs ranked #20….3 and 1 in the Pac (Should be 4-0). Heading to play UNRANKED ARIZONA. This is a big game for the kittys…………To beat a ranked team on their home floor. hehaw.

    4. THIS GAME IS A DEAL MAKER (not necessarily a deal breaker) for the Mighty Buffs. Win and still a long way to go, but dang nab it they are looking good.

    5. Things I don’t wanna hear after this game
    ..We just didn’t play as a team
    ..It’s all my fault and I take full responsibility (Head Coach)
    .. Just didn’t execute
    ..Blah Blah Blew

    Go Mighty Buffs MBBT, do what you were put together to do

    Sko Buffs

    Note: Please Wright, play your game……not trying to be the hero……..yur a nice little point guard and a great asset to the TEAM…………So be that please…Do the PG job……….

    Note 2: “FRIDAYS”…….. 11am……Big screen…………….all the apps I wanna stuff down…………same with the Beer…………………someone else buying…………………yup

  8. Way to go Buffs, great win!

    Re-watching the game. Sure wish they’d get someone else besides Bill Walton to call the Pac 12 games. His BB expertise doesn’t make up for his amateurish antics.

    1. I wouldn’t call it a great win. The first half of the second half was about as sloppy bball as I have seen this year. Thankfully ASU was just as sloppy. The ASU point guard obviously has a lot of talent and is lightning quick but he spends most of the shot clock bouncing around looking for an opening for himself to the basket relegating his team mates to stand around and watch.

      Do agree on Walton. Maybe he doesnt ask for much money. If he isnt stoned on the air he has been stoned so much his brain is permanently altered in that state and doesnt need any additional help. Most of the time it isnt as bad as a drunk’s rambling….until he does a UCLA game.
      I hit the mute button….and not just for Walton. There is a few more out there but over all its getting better.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, when Walton is doing the game the sound is turned off. What a bunch of blather and he never shuts up. It’s amazing to me that he is still employed. That being said good to get a win in Arizona. Go Buffs!

    1. Thought that myself. Looked more like an impromptu gathering. Usually they are still out on the court for Boyle’s post-practice comments.

  9. I sure hope the Buffs can come down here to AZ and make a sweep. They just have to not let up and play like they did against Oregon & Utah. If they beat ASU which they really should then they have to realize that the next game here in Tucson will really be a tough. While UofA has lost some close games, this is really a very talented team and although young, if they play together and you know the crowd will be very raucous they can really play good basketball. I just have a feeling that after some of the losses AZ has had recently that they certainly have the ability to turn that around and change the direction of their season.

    Tad and the boys have got to be really focused for both games down here.

    1. really irritates me that the NCAA or the FBI cant or wont take wet shirt boy down. I guess we will have to leave it up to the Buffs and the other teams in the conference. It makes it even tougher when it seems the big names get all the crucial calls like that buzzer beating 3 that was waived off.
      BTW is there a Carolina’s in Tucson or reasonable facsimile ?

      1. ep,

        The Deep State is everywhere.

        Go Buffs

        Note: Buffs win with Wright having his worst shooting game as a Buff
        fg 4 for 15 27%
        3P 0 for 2
        ft 3 for 6 50%

        Beat az badly please

  10. Very impressed with the high level of play the last 3 games, all but 7 minutes of the OSU game, provided. The team is playing well on both sides of the court and the results are noticeable. The lack of a bonafide scorer means that unselfish play is a must, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. What has been disappointing has been the fan attendance. School started today which means all the students were in town last night. What were people doing that was so important that they missed attending the CU-UTAH game? Students camp out overnight to get in line for the best seats at Cameron Indoor Arena, that’s why Duke is always in the top10, just saying.

  11. I still have a BAD taste in my mouth from that horrible loss to the Beavs!! Taddy got out coached…plan and simple. To neutralize a zone defense, whether it’s a 1-3-1, 2-3, or 3-2 zone, the key is to fill the lanes on the perimeter, set up a high AND low post then pass the ball around swiftly. Eventually you are going to have an open 3 or by pushing the the ball into the post then quick kick outs, you will exhaust the defense and open 3’s and Lay ups will soon be there.
    Anyway, aside from the last 5 minutes of that game, the Buffs have been fun to watch this season. It’s still early in the season but I’m feeling really good about the potential this teams has for a fairly spectacular finish and then it’s on to the SPRING GAME! Buff Nation, you should have a smile on your collective faces for the future of our basketball and football programs….not to mention The Lady Buffs and the tremendous start to their season!

    I love me some Buffs!!!

    Go Buffs. Go Buffs Go Buffs. Go Buffs

  12. So
    Utah home
    then at the Arizona schools
    then the Washington schools come in
    Then at the LA schools
    Then it’s February. (Okay USC is feb

    Figure 6 and 1????

    Sko Buffs

  13. “I take responsibility as a coach. We did not handle that well, and that’s my fault”

    Yup it sure is.

    Go Buffs and roll taddy.

    A terrible loss

    Buffs

  14. Handling a 1-3-1 is simple offensive efficiency. It’s not defense and rebounding. Not handling a 1-3-1 cost the Buffs the game. On the bright side, CU out-rebounded the Beavers. Tadball is about hanging your hat on defense and rebounding. Unfortunately, last nights hat rack is shaped like an “L.”
    Frustrating game, but the OSU game is what you have to accept with Tadball. It’s brought CU hoops to a level not seen for 50 + years. Now can Tadball kick CU hoops to the next level? He needs to squeeze as much out of these 4 guys as he can, now.
    And Tad needs to stop using the “young guys” moniker in post-game quotes about his team. These guys have played a lot of ball the last 2.5 years.

    Go Buffs.

    1. Without a scorer like a Dinwiddy or White (or OSUs Tinkle) that can break down any defense, Boyle’s teams will always be streaky on offense.

      1. Agree, CJ. The frustrating thing is we have had some very capable scorers like TreShaun Fletcher and Josh Fortune who seemed to regress in this system. But in my opinion, the OSU game was simply about not letting the trap squeeze you. And if you are successful against a 1-3-1 it leads to a ton of easy shot attempts and CU has plenty of guys with the ability to make these shots. But lets hope this team learned a lesson the hard way. Due credit should go to Tad for frequently having his guys respond well after a tough loss.

  15. I’ll go back to jean-marc’s Comment about the zags.

    Sure, the beav’s went zone. Do we really think tad doesn’t coach and practice how to beat a zone defense? Really? Sometimes it’s hard to get college kids to execute. Sometimes it is just hard for them to execute, let alone getting them to. Our Buffs are a good team. They are not five one and done nba guys who can take over a game at any time. They need to play as a team.

    If/when they don’t, this will happen.

    It’s a long season. Tough loss. Learn and move on.

    Go Buffs

    Go

    1. Learn and move on. Yes they need to learn how to play as a team…….AND how to attack a zone regardless of whose fault it is. Are one of the players going to do Tad’s job in that respect?

      1. I guess we’ll find out, sort of. They will probably keep seeing teams run that defense against them. We’ll see how they handle it. We know they practice against it.

        Go Buffs

  16. WTF happened? For 30 minutes I was astounded at the way the Buffs moved with and without the ball….for a change…… the way Bey played the 7 footer……and then it went to slop. The bad passes, the bad shots, the statues. Almost like the Duck game where the Buffs put on 30 minutes of hell and then let things slip but not all the way.
    Once again it proves there aint no altitude advantage.
    on the other hand it appeared the Beaves have better firepower than the Ducks.
    I wonder if the 2 man show by the Buffs left some of the other players watching.

  17. This is why Tad Boyle cannot take this team to a top tier level . He simply does not make adjustments to offset the defensive changes by the opposition.

  18. Feel bad for Dallas, but much prefer Alex in the rotation at this juncture, brings physical presence that must be accounted for every moment he is on the floor.

  19. Great win for the Buffs. The ducks are a great team. Since the Dayton win, Boyle has them running a dynamic offense, and turnovers are way down. And the defense continues to frustrate opponents. Credit is due to the coach and the team leaders.

  20. That was a fun game. Too bad espn’s truck blew up, or bill unplugged the line. Caught the end on the app. Great win for the program. Gotta keep that ball rolling. Loved seeing Phil and Mel sitting next to each other too. Roll tad.

    Go Buffs

  21. Tad’s post-game quotes are always amusing. Like this one after tying the most threes made in a game record: ….”but I keep saying look, sometimes people get tired of hearing me talk about it, Alex Strating. I talk about him all the time not in the rotation. You see the minutes he gave us tonight. I don’t know how many Alex played, five and a half minutes. They were unbelievable minutes. That kid just makes us better, and he’s not in the rotation.”

    Yes, give me a team of 12 Alex Stratings. We will hustle all game, defend, be unselfish and give max effort. And lose by 40 .

    Gotta love Tadball.

  22. Word was Wright had up to 50 friends and relatives in attendance. Maybe we should start a gofundme page to get them tickets and transportation to all the remaining games.
    And the Walton mystery continues. Seems to me he could have helped discourage, divert or outright swat some of those Dayton drives to the basket.

  23. Been pretty impressed with Arizona so far. Gonna be tough to beat. But the Zags looked all of a top-5 team in beating them.

  24. I thought the game was tomorrow so I only saw the last 6 minutes….that was bad enough without witnessing the 21 turnovers….which BTW are a direct result of absolutely no structured offense.
    Before he lambs started the intentional fouling it was 4 buffs without the ball standing around the perimeter like statues with pigeons crapping on their heads. Wright was doubled teamed with no where to go and had to force up 2 clanks from downtown Loveland. I saw only one limp wristed attempt at a pick and zero cuts or any attempt to come back to give Wright an outlet. Thank god they were hitting their free throws.
    Unless this team learns how to work together on offense in the next week or so we all be waiting for football season to start and thats a long wait.

    1. Wright is over hyped. Better on D this year but a decent PG can’t have that many turnovers. Bey needs to hit those easy 4-8 footers. As a team I agree they don’t seem to know what to do offensively down the stretch.

  25. Thanks Gatling…I’m worried about my Buffs roundballers…We beat CSU but YIKES…We have talent but are failing to harness the horse…or Buffalo Ralphie…~yeesh~

  26. I can accept the 3’s — we all knew NIU would do that. But losing to a smaller MVC team in rebounding is sad. And as everyone as pointed out the turnovers. The better team won.
    Why did Boyle pull Battey down the stretch just when he was getting hot? He just gave CU the lead and put their center in foul trouble? They had NIU on the ropes. Baffling.

    1. Tad gives Mike Rohn the responsibility for player substitutions, monitoring minutes, foul trouble, etc. I have seen Tad pull a guy when he makes a mistake or if his emotions get the better of him. Not sure what the case was with Battey.

  27. Offensive efficiency has always been the Achilles heel for Tad Boyle’s teams, I remember a sports pundit talking about before the season and being the reason he didn’t put them in the top 25 or to win the PAC 12. They have offensively gifted players, it’s the scheme that isn’t working.

  28. I guess Tad should stay away from the Missouri Valley Conference. The ‘2’ slot is hurting this team (Kountz, Gatling, Daniels, Parquet were 5-15 from the floor, 2-7 from 3-point line). And Schwartz has been MIA the last two games. Without Siewert’s career night, CU loses by 20.
    Another puzzling non-conference loss.

  29. 19 and O run……………….where the hell was the defense……………..??

    Oh wait

    Where the hell was the offense???

    Buffs.

    As an old man once said…………….”Ya can’t beat em if ya don’t outscore em”

    How true how true

  30. No doubt, the Buffs are a leader in TO’s.

    Should rename the team the “Colorado Turnovers.”……………… And, I’m not talking pastry.

    How is it that the Buffs have always had T.O. problems year-in and year-out ? It couldn’t be coaching could it ?

    C’mon BUFFS.

    1. Also hate to harp on coaching…but our offense is so hard to watch, not even sure what we are trying to accomplish by going side/side so much with the ball, would rather see us cutting to the basket on occasion (and not the Bey/Batty connection). I don’t think the coaching staff has either executed or they don’t have a play designed to get an easy layup.

  31. The Buffs offense has struggled all year. I think they missed the boat on the Hume kid out of Sterling. A 6’8” guard who can shoot from anywhere and take it to the bucket as well. He is playing real well for UNC up in Greeley. Seems like the kind of player they are missing.

  32. Tad’s quote after the game: “We have to learn from KU what makes you successful. They’re very efficient offensively and they’re very sound defensively. We’re very sound defensively, but we’re not very efficient offensively right now. Part of that’s making shots. The other part is passing the ball and taking care of the ball … I see it in practice. So I know it’s there.”

    I would only argue with the “right now” part. It’s been a systemic problem for several years running. You need to get around 70 points to give yourself a chance against good teams. 22-point halves will kill you.

    1. I agree with the systemic problem over time and am puzzled why this cannot be figured out. Unless it does, the program is at a ceiling and so is Boyle. I agree with Stuart that he is the best men’s basketball coach the school has had but there is a clear tendency here that needs to be addressed. I don’t follow basketball as closely as football so would be curious as to where people feel the problem lies. It seems that we have enough talent to have a decent shooting percentage.

  33. 62 and 7

    Who the heck cares.

    These are the Boyle Buffs.

    Today is the day Mighty Buff offensive efficiency sets records.

    I hope they win.

    Buffs of the Mighty.

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