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Colorado Basketball

January 20th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Chemistry a Key to CU’s successful run 

From CUBuffs.com … Maybe the only downside to what is unfolding for Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes is that fans can’t be present to watch it transpire.

Otherwise, what’s happening in Boulder has the earmarks of a very special season and the potential for a very bright future.

As they prepare to hit the road for a pair of games in the Pacific Northwest this week (Washington on Wednesday, Washington State on Saturday), the Buffs will take with them a top-10 NCAA NET ranking, a fistful of momentum and a bucketload of confidence.

It is all well-earned. The 11-3 Buffs (5-2 Pac-12) have won four in a row, including a victory over then-No. 17 Oregon, plus a road win over USC — the only other Pac-12 team with a top 20 NET.

They also have one of the nation’s best players in senior point guard McKinley Wright IV, a terrific freshman in Jabari Walker, and the kind of depth and versatility that could make them a tough out come postseason tournament time.

When the season began, Boyle knew he had a gem in Wright — and all the senior has done is play his best basketball ever. Wright is averaging a team-leading 15.1 points per game, along with 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists while reducing his turnovers to less than two per game. Most importantly, he brings the glue of leadership that can’t be quantified — but is invaluable.

But the Buffs are more than Wright. What Boyle called “untested depth” way back in October is passing the test with flying colors.

The 6-foot-8 Walker is blossoming into one of the conference’s best freshmen and is already drawing national attention. In last week’s three CU victories, he recorded back-to-back double-doubles in wins over Utah and Cal, and just missed a third in a victory over Stanford. For the week, he averaged 16.3 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor (18-for-30), including 5-for-7 from 3-point range.

Then there’s the powerful one-two punch up front from junior Evan Battey and senior grad transfer Jeriah Horne.

Battey is averaging 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds and playing excellent defense in the post. His 13 points and 12 rebounds were a key in the win over Stanford. Horne, meanwhile, is mirroring Battey’s numbers, averaging 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 11-3 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won four straight and five of six after a 77-64 win over Stanford on Jan. 16.

Colorado’s 5-2 Pac-12 mark matches its best start in 10 seasons in the conference. The Buffaloes also started 5-2 in 2011-12 and 2019-20; the ‘11-12 team went on to start 6-2.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 84.6 percent making 208 of 246 attempts. The Buffaloes were 12 of 13 against Stanford, their 14th straight game to begin the season shooting 73.3 percent or better from the line. Colorado has shot 80 percent
or better in 10 games and at least 90 percent in four.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington is 1-11 overall and 0-7 in the Pac-12. The Huskies, who have dropped their last eight, will be playing at home for the first time in the 2021 calendar year. Washington has played only four home games, the last an 80-53 setback to Arizona on Dec. 31st. Washington averages 64.8 points while shooting 40.3 percent from the field, both numbers ranking last in the Pac-12. Defensively, the Huskies allow 76.9 points while opponents are shooting 43.8 percent.

Senior guard Quade Green leads the Huskies at 15.4 points and 3.3 assists and is a 90 percent free throw shooter (26-29). His point total (185) is double of Washington’s second leading scorer, Jamal Bey (90) averaging 7.5 points per game. Erik Stevenson averages 7.3 points and is tied with Green for the team lead in 3-pointers made with 17. Forward Nate Roberts tops Washington in rebounding at 7.0 per game while averaging 5.8 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 31st meeting between Colorado and Washington with the Huskies holding a 17-13 advantage. Colorado has won the last two, including its 92-69 triumph on Dec. 20th in Las Vegas which was officially a nonconference game. Washington holds an 11-2 edge at home, winning the last four in Seattle.

Dallas Walton expected to return to lineup after six-game absence

From the Daily Camera … On Dec. 20, Colorado center Dallas Walton enjoyed the game of his life.

With the Buffaloes facing off against Washington in a game that was played as a nonconference contest in Las Vegas, Walton tormented the Huskies for a career-high 22 points, going 6-for-7 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.

Walton hasn’t done much since. He played the next two games, going 1-for-3 with five points in each of those games against Grand Canyon and Arizona, but Walton has been sidelined the past six games due to what head coach Tad Boyle has described as a lower leg injury.

With the Huskies next in line for the surging Buffs, Walton is expected to return for this week’s two-game run in the Pacific Northwest, which begins Wednesday night at Washington (7 p.m. MT, ESPNU).

“We plan to have Dallas back for the Washington game,” Boyle said after his team’s fourth consecutive win Sunday against Stanford. “Obviously he played very well against them when we played them in Vegas in the nonconference game. We’ve played Washington before. They know us. We know them. They’ve been struggling right now but I’m telling you, they have quality players. They’ve got a quality coach. And Washington will be ready for us”.

Continue reading story here

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January 18th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright picks up third Pac-12 Player of the Week honor; Jabari Walker Freshman of the Week

Related … Pac-12 Press Release on Wright and Walker (with stats) … from Pac-12.com 

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team swept the Pac-12 Conference weekly awards with McKinley Wright IV being named Player of the Week and Jabari Walker Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

Wright is the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the third time this season, adding another first in Colorado basketball history to his resume. Eight others, including Chauncey Billups and Alec Burks, had previously won two weekly honors in one season. He already owns the school mark for most conference Player of the Week honors, with Monday being his fifth.

A native of North Robbinsdale, Minn., Wright averaged 12.0 points and 8.0 assists leading the Buffaloes to three Pac-12 wins last week.

Wright became Colorado’s all-time leader in assists and did so in style by dishing out a personal-best 12 in the Buffaloes’ 89-60 win over California. Wright, with 24 assists on the week, sits at 582, after passing Jay Humphries who had 562 from 1980-84.

Wright tied another Humphries Colorado career record in the process by registering his eighth career double-figure assist game. His 13 points gave him his eighth career points-assists double-double, adding on to his own school record in that category.

Wright finished off the week by leading the Buffaloes over Stanford with 14 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

A native of Inglewood, Calif., Walker earns his first conference honor and is Colorado’s first Pac-12 Freshman of the Week; an award in just its second year. He’s the first Colorado freshman to win that type of honor since Richard Roby was the Big 12 Conference “Rookie” of the Week twice in 2004-05.

Walker averaged 16.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.0 block in Colorado’s three games last week. He recorded his first two career double-doubles with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Utah and followed that up with 23 points and 11 rebounds against California.

Walker’s 23 points were the most by a Colorado freshman since Wright scored 30 against South Dakota State in December 2017.

Walker finished off the week with 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks against Stanford. He shot 60 percent overall from the field (18 of 30) including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Colorado men’s basketball has two other instances of the program winning two awards in one week. D.J. Harrison was named Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week on Nov. 28, 2000 and again on Jan. 29, 2001.

 

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January 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

**CU women post first-ever win over a No. 1 team, take down undefeated Stanford in OT**

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s Mya Hollingshed scored a career-high 32 points Sunday and Frida Formann scored five in overtime to lead the Buffaloes to their first-ever win over a No. 1 ranked team, a 77-72 victory over Stanford at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Pac-12 play while Stanford fell to 11-1, 8-1.

The Buffs, who trailed for the first 24 minutes of the game, finally took their first lead late in the third quarter, then battled through a see-saw final fourth quarter. CU trailed in the final minute before a Jaylyn Sherrod steal and layup with 23 seconds remaining tied the game at 67-67 to force overtime.

CU finally took the lead for good, 72-70, on a Formann 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:36 remaining. Formann then added two free throws for a four-point lead, 74-70, with 1:10 remaining.

Stanford pulled back within two with 42 seconds left, but Peanut Tuitele added a free throw with four seconds on the clock and Stanford missed a shot just before the buzzer. Hollinsghed then capped her day with two more free throws with just a half second left on the clock to complete the scoring.

Hollingshed finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Formann added 15 points and Tuitele chipped in 10.

Lexie Hull led Stanford with 19 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After trailing for the entire first half and much of the third quarter, the Buffs finally grabbed the lead with 3:39 left in the third period on the strength of an 8-0 run.

After the Cardinal had built its lead to 45-40, Hollinshed hit two free throws before Peanut Tuitele put back a CU miss. Following two Stanford misses, Lesila Finau gave the Buffs their first lead of the game at the 3:39 mark with a drive to the hoop, which was quickly followed by a Hollinghshed putback that gave the Buffs a 48-45 lead with 2:40 left in the quarter.

Stanford, though, came back to tie the game at 48-48 and again at 50-50 and finally regained the lead with a Lexie Hull 3-pointer to take a 53-51 edge into the fourth quarter.

But the Buffs answered again in the fourth quarter, using an 8-0 run to take a 59-55 lead with 7:03 to play. Jaylyn Sherrod opened the surge with a three-point play before Hollingshed scored from the paint and then hit a second-chance 3-pointer to put the Buffs up by four.

Stanford, though, chipped away at the lead and with 3:14 to play, took a 65-63 edge on two Lexie Hull free throws before Hollingshed tied it up at 65s with 2:39 remaining with a 12-footer from the elbow.

The Buffs then missed out on a chance to take the lead again when Sherrod missed two free throws and following a timeout, Stanford answered with a bucket for a 67-65 lead with 45 seconds remaining.

Colorado turned it over on its next possession but after another Stanford timeout, Sherrod stole the inbounds pass and collected a layup with 23 seconds remaining to tie the game again at 67-67. The Buffs defense then forced an empty Stanford possession in the final seconds, setting the stage for overtime.

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January 16th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs take care of business with an impressive 77-64 win over Stanford

Related … “Balanced effort lifts CU men’s basketball past Stanford in key Pac-12 tilt” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s Evan Battey recorded a double-double and the Buffaloes had four players in double figures Saturday as CU won its fourth straight game, a 77-64 win over Stanford at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 11-3 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play while Stanford dropped to 8-5, 4-3.

Battey finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for the junior’s second double-double of the year and seventh of his career. Senior point guard McKinley Wright IV added 14 points and eight assists for the Buffs, freshman Jabari Walker had 11 points and eight rebounds and senior Jeriah Horne chipped in 10 points.

Stanford’s Oscar da Silva led all scorers with 22 points.

Colorado took control with an 11-0 run in the final minutes of the first half to take a 40-26 lead at intermission. The Cardinal pulled to within eight at several junctures in the second half before CU put the game away for good with a 16-2 surge for a 72-50 lead with just more than four minutes remaining in the game.

CU shot just 41% for the game (28-for-68) but held the Cardinal to 37% shooting (22-for-60). Colorado also forced 15 turnovers, which the Buffs converted into 17 points, and CU’s defense held Stanford scoreless for four minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second.

CU also held a 42-36 rebounding edge and a 28-8 edge in points off the bench.

“Good win against a quality team,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Stanford — the institution, (coach) Jerod Haase, their players. They do things the right way. They’re a great member of this conference, and when you beat a team that you have great respect for, it feels good.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: After a back-and-forth first 13 minutes, the Buffs took control in the final minutes of the first half. Colorado closed the half with an 18-5 surge that included an 11-0 run over the last 3:43.

Wright started the run with a layup, followed by a pair of Maddox Daniels 3-pointers. Tristan da Silva then capped the run with a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer to send Colorado into intermission with a 40-26 lead.

CU’s balance and depth took its toll on a depleted Stanford team in the first half. Nine different players scored for Colorado in the opening 20 minutes and CU had 11 assists on 16 baskets.

The Buffs also hit 7 of their final 10 3-point tries in the half after connecting on just one of their first seven, and their eight 3-pointers were the most in any half this year.

On the defensive end, CU forced four Stanford turnovers in the final six minutes of the half.

“We’ve got a lot of capable players on our bench,” said Boyle, whose bench outscored their Stanford counterparts 28-8. “I love our versatility and depth. Early in the season our depth was untested. Now they’re feeling more confident.”

After Colorado’s big first-half finish, Stanford quickly cut the margin back to single digits early in the second half with a 10-2 run. With just more than 12 minutes to play, CU’s lead had been narrowed to 56-48.

But Colorado’s defense began to take its toll on the Cardinal. Battey exerted his will inside, making Stanford’s da Silva work for every shot, and the Buffs put together their decisive 16-2 surge.

Continue reading story here

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January 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

4-2 Buffs taking on 4-2 Stanford Saturday (1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Network) “It’s definitely a separation game”

From the Daily Camera … Stanford’s Oscar da Silva is the sort of player who can fill up a box score on any given night.

His brother, Colorado freshman Tristan da Silva, isn’t that player at this very early stage of his career. Yet Tristan da Silva is coming off a very productive effort for the Buffaloes that didn’t necessarily equal his older brother’s typical assault on the stat sheet.

Barring a matchup in the Pac-12 Conference tournament, or the unlikely decision by the elder da Silva to forgo a pro career to take advantage of the NCAA eligibility relief granted for this season, the da Silva brothers will collide for the first of two scheduled matchups this season at the CU Events Center on Saturday afternoon.

Oscar da Silva is one of the stars of the Pac-12 who was part of a memorable moment at CU last year that was at once frightening and inspiring. Tristan da Silva is coming off perhaps the most meaningful playing time of his young CU career during Thursday’s win against Cal. And that will be a sidebar for what will be a critical matchup in the Buffs’ quest to gain some separation in the top third of the Pac-12 standings.

… On Saturday, the stakes will be much greater than brother-versus-brother, as CU jockeys for position behind league-leading UCLA. After UCLA, which is 6-0 in the league, USC and Oregon are next with identical 4-1 marks, with both of those teams suffering their lone Pac-12 losses against the Buffs. Next are the Cardinal and Buffs at 4-2, giving CU a prime opportunity to establish traction in the Pac-12 race.

… Despite expressing optimism earlier this week that 7-footer Dallas Walton might return against the Cardinal, Boyle on Friday said Walton is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game due to a lower leg injury. However, backup point guard Keeshawn Barthelemy is expected to return to the rotation after missing the Cal game due to an ankle injury.

“It’s definitely a separation game,” Boyle said. “Whatever team wins will have another opportunity, and whatever team loses will have another opportunity. It’s a separation game though, no doubt. It’s a big one.”

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Game Notes

WRIGHT SETS ASSIST MARK: McKinley Wright IV broke Colorado’s career assists mark during the win over California and did it in style with a personal single-game high 12 assists. He entered the game tied with Jay Humphries at 562 and now has the all-time record of 574 and counting.

Colorado Career Assists:
Rk. Player Years Assists
1. McKinley Wright IV 2017-present 574
2. Jay Humphries 1980-84 562
3. Mike Reid 1982-86 446
4. Jose Winston 1998-01 440
5. Marcus Hall 2003-06, ‘07-08 423

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 10-3 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won three straight and four of five
after an 89-60 win over California on Jan. 14.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 84.1 percent making 196 of 233 attempts. The Buffaloes were 11 of 14 against Cal, their 13th straight game to begin the season shooting 73.3 percent or better from the line. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in nine games and at least 90 percent in three.

The Buffaloes, who have made at least 10 free throws in all 13 games, have 10 contests where they’ve missed three or fewer and five with just one or two misses. Colorado leads the Pac-12 by a wide margin in free throw shooting with second place Washington shooting 73.6 percent.

Along with owning the Pac-12’s top spot in free throw percentage the Buffaloes lead the conference in scoring defense (62.1 ppg), rebounding defense (31.0 rpg) and 3-pointers made (8.0 3mpg). Colorado also ranks second in scoring margin (+13.8) and 3-point percentage (.369), third in turnover margin (+2.6) and fourth in rebounding margin (+5.7).

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 8-4 overall and tied with Colorado at 4-2 in the Pac-12 Conference after a 79-65 setback at Utah on Jan. 14th. The Cardinal – the only power conference program not to play in their home facility this season – have won three true road games and are 4-4 away from the Bay Area. Stanford averages 73.1 points while shooting 46.2 percent from the field. The Cardinal allow just 67.5 points per game while holding opponents to 38.9 percent shooting, the latter being the third best figure in the Pac-12. Stanford averages 7.3 steals per game, ranking second on the league charts.

Senior forward Oscar da Silva leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 19.1 points per game and also in field goal shooting at 62.7 percent. Da Silva, an all-Pac-12 forward, leads the Cardinal in rebounding as well at 6.9 per game. Senior guard Daejon Davis, limited to six games this year with an injury, averages 14.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Freshman Ziaire Williams averages 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds and leads the Cardinal in assists (34). Spencer Jones averages 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds and leads Stanford in both steals (18) and3-pointers made (19).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding a 13-11 series edge. The teams split last season’s series with each winning at home. The Buffaloes have won 10 of the last 12 over the Cardinal. Colorado is 9-3 all-time against Stanford in Boulder and has won the last six at the CU Events Center.

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January 14th – GameDay! 

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright sets career assists record as Buffs roll past Cal, 89-60

From CUBuffs.comMcKinley Wright IV broke Colorado’s all-time assist record and freshman Jabari Walker had his second straight double-double Thursday as the Buffaloes rolled to an 89-60 win over Cal at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs recorded their third straight win to improve to 10-3 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 play while Cal fell to 6-8, 1-6.

Wright entered the game needing just one assist to move past former Buffs great Jay Humphries’ 562 assists on the all-time list and he accomplished the feat less than two minutes in when he dished off to Evan Battey for a layup. Wright then added an exclamation point, finishing with a career-high 12 assists to go with 13 points for his second double-double of the season and 13th of his career.

Walker, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds in CU’s win over Utah on Monday, led Colorado with a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds while D’Shawn Schwartz added 18 points and Maddox Daniels chipped in 12.

Andre Kelly led the Bears with 16 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: After falling behind 18-11 following a 10-0 Cal run midway through the first half, the Buffs seized control over the last nine minutes of the period, using a 23-5 surge to take a 34-23 lead into intermission.

Walker, who had 17 points in the first half, fueled the run with two 3-pointers — both off assists from Wright — to start the surge. He then added a dunk and another 3-pointer while Jeriah Horne and Daniels also had 3-pointers in the decisive run.

Meanwhile, CU’s defense turned up the heat. Colorado forced Cal turnovers on six straight possessions in the final six minutes and the Bears scored just five points over the last 9:41 of the half.

The Buffs then steadily built their margin through most of the second half. CU’s cushion grew to 20, 56-36, on a Daniels 3-pointer with 12:31 still to play and the margin grew into the 30s in the final minutes.

 TURNING POINT: Colorado used a 23-5 run over the final nine minutes of the first half to seize control and the Bears never threatened again.

NEXT UP: Colorado plays host to Stanford on Saturday in a 1 p.m. game at the Events Center (Pac-12 Networks).

Buffs look to maintain momentum v. struggling Cal (Thurs., noon, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, sometime early Thursday afternoon Colorado Buffaloes senior point guard McKinley Wright IV will throw a pass to a teammate, who will in turn convert the pass into a basket.

It will be the 563rd time in Wright’s spectacular career that such an occurrence has transpired, and it will make him the Buffs’ all-time leader in assists, moving him one past former Colorado great Jay Humphries.

Of course, there is no absolute, 100% guarantee that Wright will get an assist when the Buffaloes (9-3 overall, 3-2 Pac-12) face off against Cal (6-7, 1-5) in a noon game at the CU Events Center.

But if history is any guide, the odds are greatly in Wright’s favor. In his 111 games in a Colorado uniform, he has had at least one assist 110 times (the only zero came against Wyoming in last season’s win over the Cowboys).

Wright came very close to breaking the record in Monday’s 65-58 victory at Utah. His fourth assist of the game — to Jeriah Horne, who capped a decisive 15-0 run with a basket inside early in the second half — tied the record. But he did not have another the rest of the game, and he later teased that he wanted to save the record-breaking assist for his home floor.

“I joked with coach (Tad Boyle) and told him that I wanted to break the record at home so I can keep the game ball,” Wright said. “My dad really wants it. Hopefully we come out victorious, hopefully I get one assist and break the record so I can keep that game ball and give it to my pops.”

The downside, of course, is that Wright will very likely break the record in a nearly empty arena instead of in front of an adoring crowd.

“I just wish our fans could be in the arena to see him,” Boyle said. “We’d stop the dang game and give him the game ball.”

Instead, the Buffs will play on, Wright will still get the game ball — and, as Wright said, the Buffs will hopefully pick up their third straight win in the process.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 9-3 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes have won two straight and three of four after a 65-58 win at Utah on Jan. 11, snapping an eight-game skid in Salt Lake City.

Colorado improved to 6-3 away from Boulder as the Buffaloes picked up their third true road win of the season at Utah. Colorado, Stanford and Villanova are the only three schools from a Power 5 Conference or the Big East, that have played 75 percent or more of their games to date away from their home facilities.

Colorado is now scheduled to play six of its next eight at home.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 84.5 percent making 185 of 219 attempts. The Buffaloes were 18 of 24 against Utah, their 12th straight game to begin the season shooting 73.3 percent or better from the line. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in nine games and at least 90 percent in three.

The Buffaloes, who have made at least 10 free throws in all 12 games, have nine contests where they’ve missed three or fewer and five with just one or two misses. Colorado leads the Pac-12 by a wide margin in free throw shooting with second place Oregon State shooting 74.0 percent.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS … California is 6-7 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-12. The Bears snapped a three game skid, picking up their first Pac-12 win of the year with an 84-78 decision over Washington on Jan. 9. California is 0-5 in true road games this season. The Bears average 68.8 points while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.

Defensively, California allows its opponents 68.9 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting, that number ranking last in the Pac-12.

Junior guard Matt Bradley averages 17.8 points per game, but the Bears have been without their leading scorer for the last four games with an injury. Graduate transfer Ryan Betley is averaging 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds. A second grad transfer, Makale Foreman, is averaging 10.3 points. Foreman and Betley share the team lead in 3-pointers with 30 each. Junior forward Andre Kelly leads the Bears at 5.9 rebounds per game while averaging 9.9 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS … This will be the 35th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding an 18-16 advantage. The teams split their series in 2019-20 each winning at home. The Buffaloes have won six of the last eight overall in the series. Colorado is 12-2 all-time against California in Boulder and has won the last four.

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January 12th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Oregon postpones weekend games v. Arizona teams

From ESPN … The 22nd-ranked Oregon men’s basketball team has paused all team-related activities because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Ducks won’t play planned games at home against Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday. The games will be rescheduled.

Oregon (9-2, 4-1 Pac-12) is in second place in the Pac-12 behind UCLA. The Ducks were coming off a 79-73 victory at Utah on Saturday.

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January 11th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rally for rare road win over Utah, 65-58

Related … “CU Buffs men’s basketball posts first win at Utah in nearly nine years” … from the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado used a 15-0 run to start the second half Monday to take control, then held off Utah down the stretch to collect a 65-58 win at the Huntsman Center.

The victory ended an eight-game losing streak at Utah for the Buffs, who improved to 9-3 overall and 3-2 in Pac-12 play. Utah fell to 4-5, 1-4.

The Buffs had two players with double-doubles, led by D’Shawn Schwartz’s 15-point, 15-rebound effort, his second double-double of his career. CU freshman Jabari Walker had a 15-point, 10-rebound game for his first career double-double.

Timmy Allen led Utah with 19 points.

Colorado trailed 37-27 at intermission, but took the lead with the 15-0 run early in the second half and never trailed again.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado trailed, 37-27, at the half, but quickly took control with a 15-0 run to start the second half.

D’Shawn Schwartz had back-to-back buckets early in the run, Evan Battey had a basket and two free throws, Jabari Walker had a three-point play and Jeriah Horne notched a basket inside on an assist from Wright.

With just under 15 minutes to play, the Buffs had converted a 10-point deficit into a five-point lead, 42-37.

Utah then pulled to within one at several junctures, but the Buffs each time had an answer. Walker hit a 3-pointer with 9:15 to play, followed by a Battey hook shot that gave CU a 51-45 edge.

Colorado’s lead was reduced to one with 3:32 to play after back-to-back buckets from Utah’s Allen, but Wright hit two free throws with 3:16 to play to push the Buffs’ edge back to three, 55-52.

The Buffs then held off the Utes down the stretch.

Continue reading story here

Pac-12 Power Rankings: CU in at No. 3 in the conference

From the San Jose Mercury News … As a handful of contenders pursue the Pac-12 regular-season title, a clear frontrunner has emerged in the race for last place.

Washington is the team to beat for the bottom.

The Huskies are 0-5 in conference play, continuing a collapse unlike any we’ve seen in the modern era of Pac-12 basketball.

Less than two years ago, in March of 2019, the Huskies were 27-game winners. They went 15-3 in conference play, won the regular-season title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Mike Hopkins earned his second consecutive Pac-12 Coach of the Year award and had seemingly turned UW into a destination program for elite recruits.

Then came the unthinkable:

The Huskies dropped to last place in the 2019-20 season, becoming the first team in the modern era to pull off the first-to-worst tumble.

Not since 1948, when the league was known as the Pacific Coast Conference, had any team plunged from first place one season to last place the next.

(That team was Washington, by the way.)

1. UCLA (9-2/5-0)
Last week: 2
Results: Won at Arizona State 81-75 (OT) and Arizona 81-76
Next up: vs. Washington State (Thursday)
Comment: One year ago this week, the Bruins were 1-3 in conference play. Since then, they have won 16 out of 19 — and that’s about to be 18 out of 21 with the Washington schools coming to town.

2. Oregon (9-2/4-1)
Last week: 1
Results: Lost at Colorado 79-72, won at Utah 79-73
Next up: vs. Arizona State (Thursday)
Comment: Guard Chris Duarte, who’s averaging 21.6 points against Pac-12 competition, is the frontrunner for Most Improved Player, and we’re not sure anyone is close.

3. Colorado (8-3/2-2)
Last week: 3
Results: Beat Oregon 79-72, DNP vs. Oregon State
Next up: at Utah (Monday)
Comment: If every visitor could be Oregon: With their latest head-to-head victory, the Buffaloes are now 10-0 against the Ducks in Boulder.

8. Utah (4-4/1-3)
Last week: 7
Results: Lost to Oregon 79-73, DNP vs Oregon State
Next up: vs. Colorado (Monday)
Comment: The rugged early schedule (L.A. schools on the road, Oregon at home) makes Utah’s record a bit deceiving. Then again, it’s clear the Utes don’t belong in the top group.

Read full list here

Buffs look to break eight-game road losing streak vs. Utah (4:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … “End of Utah drought the next task for CU Buffs men’s basketball” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … With three games over the next six days, Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have a chance to move out of the “muck” and into the Pac-12’s upper division.

The Buffs (8-3 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) are currently tied for sixth in the league standings with Washington State. They open their week Monday with a 4 p.m. game at Utah, followed by home games Thursday against Cal (noon) and Saturday against Stanford (1 p.m.). All three will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

The Utah game is Colorado’s second Monday Pac-12 game this season, a rarity created by Covid-19 postponements and rescheduling. It is also CU’s second three-game conference week of the season.

The Buffs are looking at this week as an opportunity to begin to separate themselves from the pack. After league leader UCLA 9-2. 5-0), the next nine teams in the standings have between one and three losses.

“The most consistent teams and the teams that find ways to win are going to rise to the top,” Boyle said. “Right now, we’re 2-2. We haven’t risen to the top. If we find a way to win that UCLA game (a 65-62 loss on the road), we’re 3-1 and now we’re in the conversation. But until we start doing that on a consistent basis, we’ll be in the muck like everybody else. We don’t want to be in the muck.”

Headed into this week, UCLA (9-2, 5-0) is the only unbeaten team in conference play. The Bruins have been one of those teams Boyle is talking about — a consistent group that has found ways to win those close games. So far, UCLA has collected one-possession wins over Utah and Colorado as well as an overtime victory at Arizona State.

“The UCLA loss still sticks with us because we thought we could have won that game — but again, UCLA finds ways to win games,” Boyle said. “That’s what you have to do in league play. You have to find ways to win games. Some teams find ways to win ’em, some teams find ways to lose ’em.”

Monday’s return to Utah’s Huntsman Center — where Colorado has lost eight in a row — will no doubt resurrect some unpleasant memories for the Buffs. In CU’s last appearance there (last year’s regular season finale), Colorado dropped a 74-72 overtime decision that was ultimately decided by a questionable foul call that gave Utah three free throws in the final seconds of overtime. The Buffs had a two-point lead with 19 seconds left in regulation in the game, and led by one with 8 seconds left in overtime, but could not protect the lead in either instance.

It was just the latest in a long list of close-but-no-cigar finishes for the Buffs on the Utes’ home floor.

“The biggest reason is we can’t finish games,” Boyle said of CU’s recent struggles at the Huntsman Center. “Last year is a great example. We had the game won and we couldn’t get the stop at the end. Questionable call, but it went their way. They won the game, we lost the game.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … WRIGHT CLOSING IN ON ASSIST MARK: McKinley Wright IV is five assists away from breaking Jay Humphries’ Colorado all-time mark set from 1980-84. He owns three of the top eight single-season totals in team history, including the freshman record of 175 set in 2017-18 (second best overall in team history).

Colorado Career Assists:
Rk. Player Years Assists
1. Jay Humphries 1980-84 562
2. McKinley Wright IV 2017-present 558
3. Mike Reid 1982-86 446
4. Jose Winston 1998-01 440
5. Marcus Hall 2003-06, ‘07-08 423

THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 8-3 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12 Conference, evening its league mark after knocking off No. 17/15 Oregon, 79-72, on Jan. 7th at the CU Events Center.

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-12. The Utes have dropped their last three including a 79-73 decision to Oregon on Jan. 9th. This game was originally scheduled for the final Saturday of the regular season (Mar. 6) but was moved up after both teams’ Oregon State game was postponed and both teams faced only having one game last week. Utah averages just under 70 points per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the field. The Utes are the second ranked team in the Pac-12 in assists (15.6 apg), steals (7.5 spg), turnover margin (+4.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).

Junior forward Timmy Allen leads Utah at 15.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Senior guard Alfonso Plummer 13.4 points and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 at 2.5 3-pointers made per game. Sophomore forward Mikael Jantunen averages 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 58.5 percent from the field, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12. Sophomore guard Rylan Jones tops the Utes in assists at 4.8 per game. Jones ranks second in the Pac-12 in steals(1.9 spg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.8).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 54th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 29-24 advantage. The home team has won the last six games in the series. 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. Utah has a 17-8 series lead in Salt Lake City and has won the last eight. Colorado’s last win at Utah was a 55-48 decision on Feb. 18, 2012.

—–

January 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright poised to break CU career assists mark on Monday v. Utah

From the Daily Camera … It was early in the second half when McKinley Wright IV found himself alone — like, really alone — in the corner just in front of the Colorado bench.

One adjustment Wright has made in the early stages of his senior season with the Buffaloes is that he is launching 3-pointers at a slightly less frequent rate. This, however, was an opportunity impossible to pass.

Despite the reduced attempts, Wright also is connecting from long range at a slightly improved rate so far this season, and this three was nothing but net. It of course riled up the Buffaloes’ bench immediately behind Wright, and the shot was part of a game-changing 14-2 run that opened the second half of what became a 79-72 win on Thursday against 17th-ranked Oregon.

Wright very well could make a big piece of CU Buffs basketball history on Monday, as he stands just four assists shy, and five from surpassing, Jay Humphries’ career assists record of 562. Humphries compiled that total in 112 career games. If Monday’s date at Utah (4 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) tips off as scheduled, it will be Wright’s 111th career game. And he has posted fewer than four assists just once this season.

“When I first made it to this school I didn’t really realize or think that I’d be in this position,” Wright said. “It’s a credit to God, my teammates, and my coaching staff for putting me in position to make plays for my teammates. But with all that being said, it’s just a blessing and honor to be in the position that I’m in today.”

Continue reading story here

—–

January 8th

… CU in the Arena … 

Bracketology: Buffs moving up after win over Oregon

From CBS Sports … Pac-12 … 

  • No. 5 seed … Oregon … down one spot
  • No. 7 seed … Stanford … unchanged
  • No. 7 seed … UCLA … up one spot
  • No. 9 seedColorado … up two spots 
  • No. 9 seed … USC … previously outside the bracket

From ESPNPac-12 … 

  • No. 5 seed … Oregon … unchanged
  • No. 7 seed … Colorado … unchanged 
  • No. 7 seed … UCLA … unchanged
  • No. 10  seed … USC … up one spot (last four byes)
  • Stanford … (First Four Out … up from Next Four Out)

—–

January 7th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Colorado defeats No. 17 Oregon, 79-72, behind double-doubles by both McKinley Wright and Evan Battey

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV and Evan Battey recorded double-doubles Thursday to lead the Buffaloes to a 79-72 win over No. 17 Oregon at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 8-3 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play while Oregon fell to 8-2, 3-1. The victory also improved Colorado to 10-0 all-time in games in Boulder.

Wright finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for his 12th career double-double while Battey had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for his sixth career double-double. Jeriah Horne added 17 points and D’Shawn Schwartz had 12 for the Buffs.

While the Buffs did not shoot particularly well — 29-for-63 for the game — they did hit 55% of their shots after intermission (16-for-29, including 5-for-12 from 3-point range). CU also held a commanding 40-28 edge on the boards, including 13 offensive rebounds that produced 16 second-chance points.

Defensively, the Buffs held Oregon to 48% shooting (29-for-63) and Colorado also hit 14 of its 15 free throw tries, including an 8-for-8 afternoon from Battey.

Chris Duarte led Oregon with 27 points.

“It’s a quality win over a quality program,” head coach Tad Boyle said.  “We rebounded the ball well. We competed … When you don’t shoot the ball well and you still can figure out a way to win a game against a quality opponent, that says a lot about your team.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: After a first half that featured four lead changes, Colorado took a 33-31 lead into intermission and never trailed again.

CU quickly built a 14-point cushion early in the second half with a 14-2 run. Horne and Wright had 3-pointers in the surge, Eli Parquet added a pair of buckets and Schwartz had a drive to the hoop to give Colorado a 47-33 edge barely three minutes into the half.

Wright started the game missing his first five shots, but was 7-for-9 from that point on. His 3-pointer came after Boyle told him at the half to look for an opening from long range.

“I forced a couple early instead of letting the game come to me,” Wright said. “My teammates kept telling me they were gonna get me the ball so I wasn’t too concerned. My teammates kept believing in me.”

But almost as quickly as Colorado built its big lead, the Ducks rallied with a 9-0 surge to cut the Buffs’ margin to five. With 11:13 to play, Colorado’s edge was down to 49-44.

The Buffs, though, never let the Ducks completely close the gap. CU put together a 7-0 run that started with a Schwartz 3-pointer to push the lead back to 12, and another Schwartz trey started a 10-2 surge that included five straight points from Horne to give the Buffs a 13-point lead, 66-53, with 4:23 to go.

“This was a team victory,” Boyle said. “You have to have multiple guys making plays.”

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McKinley Wright returned to CU for this type of game (No. 17 Oregon, 3:00 p.m., MT, FS1)

From the Daily Camera … When McKinley Wright IV made his decision official to return to Colorado for his senior season, an easy comparison for a career path he might strive to follow could be seen in former Oregon guard Payton Pritchard.

Like Wright this season, Pritchard was a decorated college player who remained off the NBA draft radar going into his senior season. But Pritchard put together the best season of his career as a senior, and ultimately he was selected No. 26 overall in the first round of the 2020 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.

Through CU’s 7-3 start, Wright is on pace for the best year of his career as well. Pritchard is off to a solid start as a pro, coming off the bench to average 8.2 points and 2.2 assists through Boston’s first eight games. Pritchard enjoyed a monster game in a win at Toronto Monday, going 8-for-13 with 23 points and eight assists in 32 minutes.

Whether Wright plays his way into draft consideration remains to be seen. Yet as the Buffs get set to host the 17th-ranked Ducks on Thursday afternoon (3 p.m. MT, FS1), Oregon coach Dana Altman noted a key similarity between Wright and his former point guard. And it has nothing to do with any of the numbers Wright or Pritchard have ever produced.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 7-3 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-12 Conference, coming off a 65-62 setback at UCLA on Jan. 2. That game concluded a stretch that saw the Buffaloes play five-straight and eight of 10 on the road to open the season.

The Buffaloes picked up their first conference win with a 72-62 decision at USC on Dec. 31. It’s just the second time in 16 years that the Buffaloes’ first conference win in a season has come on the road and before having a home game (at Stanford in 2015-16).

Colorado is averaging 75.3 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field. The Buffaloes have scored at least 70 points in eight of 10 contests and shot over 40 percent in all but one – the loss at Tennessee.

Along with owning the Pac-12’s top spot in free throw percentage the Buffaloes lead the conference in 3-pointers made (8.0 3mpg) and 3-point percentage (.372). Colorado also ranks second in scoring defense and fourth in scoring margin (+13.6), turnover margin (+2.8) and rebounding defense (31.5 rpg).

ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12. The Ducks have won their last eight and have climbed to No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll. Oregon is averaging 77.4 points per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field; both figures ranking second in
the Pac-12. The Ducks also hold the second-best rebounding margin in the conference at plus-7.4 per game. Oregon is holding opponents to 63.6 points per game and just under 40 percent shooting. The Ducks lead the Pac-12 in steals at 8.4 per game.

Eugene Omoruyi leads Oregon and ranks second in the Pac-12 at 18.7 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. Chris Duarte is averaging 16.7 points and has a team-best 25 3-point field goals. Eric Williams, Jr., is averaging 12.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. LJ Figueroa, who has started the last three games, is averaging 9.5 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 22nd meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding an 12-9 series lead. The teams split in 2019-20, each winning at home. That is the trend in this series as the home team has won the last 11 regular season games. The last road win was a 48-47 Colorado triumph in Eugene
on Feb. 7, 2013. Colorado is 9-0 all-time against Oregon in Boulder.

—–

January 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU schedule sees major revisions – CU/Oregon moved from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado and the Pac-12 Conference announced several changes to the Buffaloes’ men’s basketball schedule on Wednesday.

Thursday’s game against Oregon has been moved from 9 p.m. up to 3 p.m. Mountain. The game will still air on FS1 as the first game of network’s national triple header and will also broadcast on KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM.

With the postponement of Saturday’s Oregon State game, announced Tuesday, Colorado will now travel to play at Utah on Monday, Jan. 11, on the Pac-12 Network. Tip time has not been determined. The Buffaloes were originally scheduled to play in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Mar. 6, in their lone game during the final week of the regular season. That week will now free up the Buffaloes for any additional rescheduling needs.

Colorado’s home game with California has been moved back one day from Wednesday, Jan. 13, to Thursday, Jan. 14 and will be played at 12 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network. The Buffaloes are still scheduled to host Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 16, as scheduled (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

Lastly, Colorado’s home game with Washington State, postponed from Dec. 5, will be played on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. That was originally the week the Buffaloes were set host only Utah; that game still slated for Saturday, Jan. 30 at the CU Events Center at a time to be determined.

The schedule shuffling gives Colorado three of its next four games, and seven of its next 10, at the CU Events Center after beginning the season with eight of 10 away from home. The Buffaloes are slated to finish with four of six on the road pending a decision on the Oregon State game, which at this time is Colorado’s lone outstanding scheduling need.

—–

January 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU/Oregon State game Saturday post-poned (OSU issues)

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball game against Oregon State originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 9, has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Beavers’ men’s basketball program.

The schools and the conference are currently working to find a mutually agreeable date to reschedule the contest.

Colorado is still set to host Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 9 p.m. at the CU Events Center (FS1, KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM).

This is the fifth schedule change of the Buffaloes’ season and third concerning a Pac-12 Conference game. Colorado’s scheduled Pac-12 opener at Arizona was moved from Dec. 2 to Dec. 28 due to a pause in the Buffaloes’ program. Colorado’s home game with Washington State originally scheduled for Dec. 5 was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the Cougars’ program and has yet to be rescheduled.

Oregon State Release:
Oregon State Men’s Basketball Pauses Team Activities

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State men’s basketball program is pausing team activities due to COVID-19 testing results and contact tracing protocols.

This week’s games at Utah (Wednesday, Jan. 6) and at Colorado (Saturday, Jan. 9) have been postponed.

The Pac-12 Conference will work with the three programs to attempt to find mutually agreeable dates to reschedule the games.

Bracketology: Thoughts on CU vary (from a No. 7 seed to a No. 11 seed)

From CBS Sports … My first in-season Bracketology bracket projection for 2020-21 is out a bit later than usual due to the shortened schedule caused by the pandemic. Suffice it to say, a lot has happened since the preseason.

For instance, I had Kentucky as a No. 3 seed in my preseason bracket. However, as of Monday, the Wildcats don’t even have three wins and are far from making the 68-team field.

Northwestern was not considered even remotely as a factor in a loaded Big Ten. The Wildcats are a No. 6 seed, which is indicative of a borderline top 25 team. The bracket has a whopping 11 teams from the Big Ten in it. That number is likely not sustainable over the course of the season as they beat each other up. However, the Big Ten getting ten teams in the final bracket is not out of reach.

… There is still more than the usual of subjectivity in this bracket. That may be the case all season long, not just for people like me who try to predict these things, but for the NCAA selection committee as well.

Computer rankings may not be as reliable as they usually are due to a much smaller and percentage of non-conference games than we typically have. In a normal season, the full schedule would be about 38% non-conference games. This year, we may scrape to 20%. It’s not as bad as things were in football, where about half the teams and four conferences played no non-conference games, but it is those games that allow computer rankings to connect all the teams. The more we have, the better the connection and the more reliable the rankings will be.

This bracket did not use the NCAA NET rankings because they were just released Monday morning, after most of my work was completed. All future brackets will use the NET as the committee does, which is an aggregator. NET rankings alone are not a factor in making selection or seeding decision. They are used to determine the tiers for schedule evaluation.  Keep in mind that a team’s NET ranking is far less important than those of its opponents.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 4 seed … Oregon
  • No. 7 seed … Stanford
  • No. 8 seed … UCLA
  • No. 11 seed … Colorado (Last Four In)

From ESPN

  • No. 5 seed … Oregon
  • No. 7 seed … Colorado
  • No. 7 seed … UCLA
  • No. 11 seed … USC (Last Four In)
  • Stanford (Next Four Out)

 

—–

January 4th 

… CU in the Arena … 

McKinley Wright on homestand: “These four games are all must-wins in my eyes”

From CUBuffs.com … Home has not been where Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have roamed this year — at least not on a regular basis.

In fact, one of the statistical oddities created by the coronavirus pandemic season is this: after 10 games, the 7-3 Buffaloes (1-2 Pac-12) have played as many games in Kansas State’s Bramlage Coliseum (two) as they have at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs, however, will finally have the opportunity to rectify that issue this week, when they open a four-game homestand Thursday with a late tip against No. 17 Oregon (9 p.m., FS1) at the Events Center. That will be followed by a Saturday matchup with Oregon State (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network), then a Jan. 13 game against Cal (7 p.m., Pac-12) and a Jan. 16 home tilt with Stanford (1 p.m., Pac-12).

The homestand will be the most important stretch the Buffs have had on their plates thus far this season. After opening conference play last week with three road games in six days — and coming away with one win, at USC — Colorado needs to put together some victories to remain in the mix for an upper-division Pac-12 finish.

“It’s huge for us,” said CU point guard McKinley Wright IV. “We’re a good team at home. We have to take care of business … These four games are all must-wins in my eyes.”

The Buffs have indeed been good — very good, in fact — on their home floor under Boyle. Now in his 11th year in Boulder, Boyle has a sparkling 143-27 record at the Events Center.

But while the Buffs will have the home floor advantage created by a familiarity with the court — along with the edge of playing at altitude — they won’t have a home crowd to produce the normal adrenaline boost.

That energy, Boyle said, has to come from players and coaches.

“We don’t have our fans in the building, but nobody else does either,” Boyle said. “Our job is to make sure our players are ready to go mentally, emotionally, spiritually. In every sense of the word they have to be ready to play and want to play.”

Continue reading story here

NCAA Tournament to be conducted in Indianapolis

Press Release from the NCAA … The NCAA will stage the entire 2021 men’s basketball championship in Indiana, with the majority of the tournament’s 67 games taking place in Indianapolis. Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14, and plans remain to have the Final Four on April 3 and 5, with exact preliminary-round dates to be determined.

“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “We have worked tirelessly to reimagine a tournament structure that maintains our unique championship opportunity for college athletes. The reality of today’s announcement was possible thanks to the tremendous leadership of our membership, local authorities and staff.”

The NCAA is partnering with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing within the controlled environment for players, coaching staffs, administrators and officials. The Marion County Health Department has approved medical protocols shared by the NCAA and will continue collaborating with the NCAA leading up to and during the championship.

The tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue, which are lending their facilities and staffs to assist with tournament operations. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue. Marriott properties, an official NCAA corporate partner, will house most of the tournament teams. The properties are connected to the convention center via skywalks and within a controlled environment. All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues.

Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to distribute all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV and their digital platforms.

“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event,” said NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt. “With the direction of the Men’s Basketball Committee, we are making the most of the circumstances the global pandemic has presented. We’re fortunate to have neighbors and partners in Indianapolis and surrounding communities who not only love the game of basketball as much as anyone else in the country but have a storied history when it comes to staging major sporting events.

“This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that. We appreciate the collaboration among the Men’s Basketball Committee and staff, our hosts and local organizers, the staffs at each practice and competition venue, and our broadcast and corporate partners. We will all pull together and stage a terrific national championship.”

The NCAA is closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic and will continue to work with local officials to determine the feasibility of having fans attend games at any of the venues, though a limited number of family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches will be permitted to attend their team’s games. Details pertaining to the possible allocation of other tickets will be finalized later, as will any decision about fan events.

The NCAA also is working with the city and state to promote “Mask Madness,” an initiative to promote health and safety by practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. As part of this program, the NCAA will donate thousands of masks throughout the state leading up to the tournament.

First NET Rankings (used by selection committee): CU No. 14 team in the nation

From CBS Sports … The season debut of the NET rankings — the NCAA’s own evaluation tool used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee to determine a team’s resume — has Gonzaga and Baylor at the top of its rankings in identical fashion as the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll. But some stark differences in the metric already have emerged, starting with Tennessee, which sits at No. 3 in the NET. It’s a higher-than-expected ranking that comes two days after it took its first loss on the year.

The AP and Coaches Polls will update later on Monday but neither Tennessee nor Illinois were top five teams in either polling metric as of last week. The Vols were ranked as low as No. 7 in the AP Poll before a 20 point win over No. 12 Missouri and an 8 point loss to unranked Alabama this week. The Illini were ranked as low as No. 16 in the Coaches Poll and won their only game this week, which was a home game against Purdue.

Michigan, Iowa, Houston, Texas and Missouri comprise the five teams that occupy the No. 6-10 spots in the NET.

Teams that have not been ranked in the AP or Coaches Poll but are now in the NET top 25 include Colgate (No. 16), Drake (No. 20) and Syracuse (No. 25). Because the NET is a two-component metric that adjusts for net adjusted efficiency and also has a Team Value Index that ranks based on results and quality of opponent, it opens up the possibility for a more inclusive and holistic picture of the sport.

Here is a look at the top 25. The full rankings can be found here.

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Baylor
  3. Tennessee
  4. Illinois
  5. Villanova
  6. Michigan
  7. Iowa
  8. Houston
  9. Texas
  10. Missouri
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Saint Louis
  13. Boise State
  14. Colorado
  15. Clemson
  16. Colgate
  17. Rutgers
  18. Texas Tech
  19. Oregon
  20. Drake
  21. Arizona
  22. Florida
  23. LSU
  24. Arkansas
  25. Syracuse

—–

January 3rd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Four-game homestand could decide CU’s tournament fate

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs just finished their first week of Pac-12 Conference play with three games on the road. Two of those matchups, at UCLA and certainly at Arizona, typically are among the toughest venues for visiting teams in the league. CU went 1-2, falling to 7-3 overall, but now the Buffs get to return home for four consecutive games.

Normally, four straight games at the CU Events Center likely would be the exact remedy needed for a competitive Buffs team to get back on track. After sampling life on the road in the Pac-12 in college basketball’s pandemic season, CU head coach Tad Boyle believes two factors still will play to his team’s advantage at the Events Center — the altitude, and the fact Boyle is confident his team will answer the bell every night.

“It’s a wash. To me, it’s a wash,” Boyle said. “I look at Arizona, there weren’t 14,000 fans in the stands but they played with unbelievable energy. I think it really gets down to the players and the coaches and the mindset of the team that you’re playing. Do they really want to play? I think that’s the one thing that we’re going to find out. It’s going to become more and more obvious as the season plays out. Who really wants to play? Who’s really ready to play? Because you don’t have home court advantage to kind of lift you up.

“Now, when we come back to Colorado, the one thing that we do have an advantage on is the altitude. We know that. That’s a factor. We don’t have our fans in the building, but nobody else does either. So that’s a wash. Our job is to make sure our players are ready to go mentally, emotionally, spiritually. In every sense of the word they’ve got to be ready to play and want to play. The one thing I know about our team is they want to play. We have not come out flat all year long. We’ve been ready to go. We haven’t always played well, but we’ve been ready to play. We want to play. That’s what you’re going to see play out as the season unfolds, in my opinion.”

The Buffs run of four consecutive home games is scheduled to begin Thursday night against No. 21 Oregon (9 p.m. MT, FS1). CU already will have some ground to make up in the Pac-12 race, as the Buffs begin the week as one of only four teams with a losing record within the league. Certainly that disparity is skewered somewhat by the jumbled number of Pac-12 games teams have played so far — Arizona State, for instance, has played only one Pac-12 game, and four others have played just two. Yet the Buffs will try to establish some normalcy to the season by staying afloat via success at home.

“It’s huge for us,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “We’re a good team at home. We’ve got to take care of business. It’s going to be huge for us. These four games are all must-wins in my eyes.”

—–

January 2nd – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU’s comeback against UCLA falls just short in 65-62 road loss

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s offense went cold Saturday and a second-half comeback fell just short as the Buffaloes dropped a 65-62 defeat to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

The Buffs dropped to 7-3 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play while UCLA improved to 7-2, 3-0.

McKinley Wright IV and Maddox Daniels led Colorado with 12 points apiece while Jeriah Horne and Eli Parquet each added 10 for the Buffs. CU shot just 11-for-27 in the second half, including 3-for-13 from 3-point range.

The Buffs played their second straight game without 7-foot center Dallas Walton, out with an injury. Their problems in the post were compounded in the second half when big man Evan Battey was whistled for three quick fouls, limiting him to just 11 minutes on the floor after intermission.

UCLA managed the win despite missing standout guard Chris Smith, who suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier in the week against Utah. Jaime Jaquez led five Bruins in double figures with 14 points.

The Buffs trailed for nearly the entire second half, but still had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, gaining possession with 38 seconds remaining and trailing by three, 62-59. But two Daniels 3-point tries missed their mark and the Bruins salted the win away with three more three throws in the final five seconds.

“We just weren’t able to get over the hump,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We had some awful good looks … But our guys battled. Obviously, this program is way, way past the point of moral victories, but I really liked the way our guys played with competitiveness and toughness and grit tonight against a solid, good UCLA basketball team. I felt like we could have won but we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to get it done.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: After entering the half tied at 29-29, the Buffs trailed for almost the entire second half. Colorado did pull into a 54-54 tie with 5:01 left on a Wright three-point play. But the Bruins then answered with baskets on three of their next four possessions, part of an 8-1 run to take a 62-55 lead.

“We couldn’t get enough consecutive stops in a row down the stretch,” Wright said. “We needed to get a couple kills in the second half and we failed to do so. It was tough to get over the hump.”

But after falling behind by seven, CU answered with baskets from Daniels and Wright, and Wright then came up with a big block on the defensive end. That gave CU one more opportunity to tie the game. After a timeout with 27 seconds remaining, Daniels got two good looks from long range, but neither found the net.

“He’s our best 3-point shooter,” Wright said. “We’re going to live with him taking those shots. We can’t be mad about those. What we can be mad about is tightening up our defense and gang rebounds. Those last two looks were great looks.”

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Buffs look for redemption in road tilt at UCLA

… CU at UCLA, 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … 

From the Daily Camera … For last year’s Colorado men’s basketball team, it all began to unravel in the second half of what, to that point, had been a jubilant home finale.

On Feb. 22, the 18th-ranked Buffs led UCLA by nine points with less than 13 minutes to play. It was senior day at the CU Events Center, and a victory by the Buffs in front of a packed house would have been their sixth win in seven games. It also would have kept CU squarely in the hunt for the Pac-12 Conference regular season crown.

But the Bruins rallied, and as all Buffs fans know, nothing has been the same since.

That setback was the start of a five-game, season-ending losing streak for the Buffs, whose misery was compounded when they were denied a chance at redemption when the NCAA Tournament was canceled during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The memory of that loss, and a season sweep of CU by the Bruins last season, remains fresh for the Buffs as they visit Pauley Pavilion Saturday night in the finale of a Pac-12-opening three-game road swing.

“They’re a really good offensive team,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “They run their sets to a T. They execute at a high level and they’re a really good defensive team. They’re a team that swept us last year. We still have a bad taste in our mouths. It’s one we believe we can go in and win. We saw Utah play them to two points (Thursday), so we know we’re able to do the same and hopefully come out of there with a win. We’re going to go in and give it our all.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes picked up their first conference win of the season with a 72-62 decision at USC on Dec. 31. It’s just the second time in 16 years that the Buffaloes’ first conference win in a season has come on the road (at Stanford in 2015-16).

The Buffaloes entered the week having received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls for the second-straight week. Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 85.6 percent, a number that increased slightly after hitting 14 of 16 (.875) from the line against the Wildcats. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 by a wide margin in that  category with second place Oregon State shooting 72.9 percent.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: USC is 6-2 overall and improved to 2-0 in the Pac-12 after edging Utah 72-70 on Dec. 31. The Bruins are a
perfect 5-0 at home. UCLA is averaging 76.6 points while shooting 37 percent from the field. UCLA is second in the Pac-12 in assists
(16.0 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5). Defensively, the Bruins allow 67.8 points per game while opponents shoot 43 percent from the field. UCLA commits just 10.6 turnovers per game, ranking 18th in the nation.

Sophomore guard Jaime Jaquez, Jr., leads UCLA at 13.3 points per game while hitting 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from 3-point range. Senior guard Chris Smith averages 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, hitting 50 percent from 3-point range. Sophomore guard Johnny Juzang is averaging 11.3 points through his first four games. Sophomore guard Tyger Campbell averages 10.9 points and leads the Pac-12 in assists at 7.3 per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 20th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding an 13-6 advantage. UCLA swept the series in 2019-20, winning 72-68 at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 30, 2020, and then spoiling Senior Day for the Buffaloes with a 70-63 decision in Boulder on Feb. 22, 2020. Colorado did have a four-game win streak against UCLA prior to last year, including a pair of wins in Pauley Pavilion – the first two in program history. UCLA holds a 9-2 all-time edge in Los Angeles.

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January 1st – Happy New Year!

… CU in the Arena … 

D’Shawn Schwartz posts first career double-double in 72-62 road win over USC 

Related … “Big bounce-back win for CU Buffs men’s basketball at USC” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado fought off a second-half USC rally and regained control down the stretch Thursday night as the Buffaloes collected a key 72-62 road win at the Galen Center.

The victory, CU’s fifth in a row over the Trojans, improved Tad Boyle‘s Buffs to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play while USC fell to 5-2, 0-1.

McKinley Wright IV led CU with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists. CU’s D’Shawn Schwartz added 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, Evan Battey had 11 points and Jeriah Horne had 10.

Defensively, the Buffs were outstanding against a team that entered the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring and shooting percentage. CU held the Trojans’ leading scorer, 7-foot Evan Mobley, to 12 points on 5-for-14 shooting as the Trojans shot just 38.3% (23-for-60). CU also held a 38-35 rebound edge that led to a 16-10 Colorado edge in second-chance points.

The Buffs’ defensive effort was magnified by the fact that they played without 7-footer Dallas Walton, who missed the game with a lower leg injury.

“Obviously a road win against a quality team in this league, they’re hard to come by,” Boyle said. “USC is long, they’re tall, they have good athletes. I thought our guys really battled tonight and showed a lot of grit and a lot of toughness.”

After five early lead changes, Colorado took a 15-12 edge on a Schwartz 3-pointer six minutes into the game and never trailed again, but the Trojans didn’t succumb easily. CU saw a double-digit lead in the first half shrink to one momentarily and another double-digit cushion narrowed to two in the second half.

But the Buffs had an answer for every USC rally and finally took control in the final minutes to clinch the win.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led 44-33 lead at intermission after finishing the first half with a 12-2 run, then pushed the margin to 15 early in the second half on a Jabari Walker tip-in, 50-35.

But the Trojans surged back into the game. With Wright on the bench after his third foul, USC used a 9-0 run to narrow Colorado’s lead to just two, 57-55, with 9:41 still to play.

The Buffs, however, righted themselves after a timeout and slowly rebuilt their lead, putting together an 11-3 surge to take a 68-58 lead with 1:38 to play. Schwartz had four free throws to start the run and Battey finished it with a 3-point play, grabbing an offensive rebound for a putback, then hitting a free throw after getting fouled.

Battery also played a big role in keeping USC’s Mobley brothers in control for most of the night, especially with Walton not available. Evan and Isaiah Mobley came into the game averaging a combined 27.5 points and 17.5 rebounds per game, but finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

“Evan is a warrior,”  Boyle said. “He plays with such heart, such passion, such intensity. He did a really good job tonight of staying out of foul trouble (ended up with two). He just battles. He’s got the heart of a lion.”

Schwartz, meanwhile, hit the boards all night for his career high 10 rebounds, and tallied his 13 points despite having just one 3-pointer. The CU senior was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

“He’s big, he’s strong and I thought he really battled on the boards tonight,” Boyle said. “He played well tonight. He really competed.”

Wright, meanwhile, delivered his usual clutch performance. After USC pulled to within 61-58 with just under seven minutes to play, the Buffs’ senior point guard hit back-to-back floaters from the lane to give CU a seven-point cushion and breathing room.

Colorado then held the Trojans off down the stretch for the win.

Continue reading story here

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December 31st – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs look to bounce back against Trojans + Game Notes (Thursday, 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN)

… Buffs looking for third straight win in the Galen Center … 

From the Daily Camera … Tad Boyle could not, or perhaps would not, reveal the extent of the ankle injury suffered earlier this week by his star point guard.

Yet Colorado’s men’s basketball coach knows this much: If McKinley Wright IV can play, he will play.

As the Buffaloes attempt to bounce back from a disappointing Pac-12 Conference opener with a visit to USC on Thursday night, the state of Wright’s right ankle will take center stage. CU’s senior floor general suffered the injury late during the Buffs’ 88-74 loss at Arizona on Monday, and he was favoring his leg heavily on the bench as the final seconds ticked away.

“It’s getting better. I think he’ll be OK,” Boyle said. “McKinley is a tough guy. If he can play, he will.”

Any absence by Wright, either on Thursday or beyond, would be problematic for a Buffs team that leans heavily upon Wright in all facets of their game. If Wright is back up to speed on Thursday, the Buffs will take aim at a foe they have fared well against on the road in recent seasons.

A contentious rivalry between the programs was sparked three years ago at the Galen Center when USC coach Andy Enfield took a late time out to cheer alongside his squad in the waning seconds of a game the Trojans had in the can. The Buffs have posted season sweeps against USC each of the past two seasons, including two straight wins at the Galen Center.

“I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason, to be honest with you,” Boyle said. “I know for Evan (Battey) this is a big game. He’s a southern California kid and he gets up for this game. I’m sure he gets his teammates up for it as well. He feels the same way about UCLA and we haven’t played well there, so I don’t know.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 6-2 overall, seeing its four-game winning streak end with an 88-74 setback at Arizona to open the Pac-12 Conference schedule on Dec. 28. The Buffaloes entered the week having received votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Top 25 polls for the second-straight week.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 85.4 percent, a number that dipped slightly after hitting 14 of 17 (.824) from the
line against the Wildcats. The Buffaloes lead the Pac-12 by a wide margin in that category with second place Oregon State shooting
72.9 percent.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 5-1 overall, defeating Santa Clara 86-63 on Dec. 29 in its first game in 21 days after pausing its program for COVID-19 related issues. Thursday’s game will be the conference opener for USC; the last team to begin Pac-12 play. The Trojans are the top scoring team in the Pac-12 at 80.8 points per game. USC also leads the conference in shooting at 49 percent and scoring margin at plus-17 points per game. USC allows 63.7 points per game while opponents shoot 30 percent. The Trojans lead the
Pac-12 in shot blocking at 5.7 per outing.

Freshman forward Evan Mobley leads USC at 17.5 points per game while shooting 63 percent from the field. Senior guard Tahj Eaddy averages 11.3 points and has a team-best 10 3-point field goals. Junior guard Drew Peterson tops the Trojans in assists at 3.2 per game while averaging 11.2 points per contest. Sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley leads USC in rebounding at 8.8 per game while
pitching in 10 points per contest.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 21st meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding an 13-7 series lead. Colorado has won the last four, sweeping the series in each of the last two years. Colorado is 5-4 against the Trojans in Los Angeles and has won the last two.

 

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December 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs remain winless at McKale Center, fall on the road to Arizona, 88-74

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s offense went cold in the second half Monday as the Buffaloes dropped an 88-74 decision to Arizona in their Pac-12 opener.

CU fell to 6-2 overall (0-1 Pac-12) while Arizona improved to 7-1, 1-1.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs led, 44-42, with just two minutes left in the first half, only to see the Wildcats close with an 8-0 run for a 50-44 halftime lead. CU cut the deficit back to three early in the second half before Arizona used a 10-2 surge to take control and the Buffs could never climb back into striking range.

Evan Battey led the Buffs with 18 points — 14 in the first half — and Maddox Daniels added 12, all on 3-pointers. McKinley Wright IV had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists while Jeriah Horne grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

James Akinjo led UA with 22 points.

The Buffs were outscored 38-18 in the paint and 18-0 in fastbreak points. CU also shot just 33% from the field in the second half after hitting 51.6% of its shots in the first 20 minutes. Arizona shot 52.6 percent for the game.

“Arizona was better tonight,” said Boyle, whose Buffs dropped to 0-9 on the Wildcats’ home floor since joining the Pac-12. “They deserved to win the game … We had some good individual performances but as a team we didn’t get things going, especially in the second half. That’s on me. I take responsibility for that. We hang our hat on defense and that’s the second team in a row that’s shot 52 percent or higher on us.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: After a see-saw first 18 minutes that featured 13 lead changes, Colorado held a 44-42 lead following a Maddox Daniels 3-pointer with 2:09 left in the half.

But the Buffs then went scoreless down the stretch — including missing the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity — while the Wildcats scored the final eight points of the half for a 50-44 halftime edge. The UA run included six points in the final 35 seconds, with James Akinjo hitting a running 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Buffs did manage to cut the deficit back to three early in the second half after D’Shawn Schwartz’s second 3-pointer of the half pulled CU to within 53-50. But the Wildcats answered with a 10-2 run to take control and the Buffs were never able to pull closer than eight again.

“You give up 38 points in the paint to 18, so you’re down 20 there,” Boyle said. “Then you have fastbreak points where you get zero and they get 18 — that’s 38 points. In a 14-point game, if we even those tides a little bit it’s anybody’s game. But we didn’t do that.”

The Buffs were hurt by foul troubles in the second half, with Battey — who had 14 points in the first half — drawing his second and third fouls early in the period, then getting whistled for his fourth midway through the half.

CU also struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the second half.

“That comes from lack of patience, lack of understanding that against Arizona it’s not going to be one pass, jump shot and get back in the game,” Boyle said. “We’re a veteran group. We’ve got to be more mature and more patient, understanding that against a good defensive team you’re not going to score right away.”

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December 28th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

From CUBuffs.com … CU at Arizona (7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) …

Game Notes … Colorado is 6-1 overall, bouncing back with four straight wins after its only loss on the season. The Buffaloes are coming off a pair of wins at the Far West Classic, a 92-69 nonconference win over Washington on Dec. 20 and a 74-64 decision over Grand Canyon on Dec. 22.

Colorado has shot 50.4 percent from the field during this three-game streak, including 43.4 percent from the 3-point line. The Buffaloes have had 65 assists against 37 turnovers during that span and 31 assists against 14 turnovers the last two games.

Colorado had its season low of seven turnovers in both games of the Far West Classic. The 14 turnovers in back-to-back games are CU’s fewest since March 9 & 15, 2017 when the Buffs had seven each in games against Arizona and UCF.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 85.8 percent. The Buffaloes had season-highs in makes and attempts against the Huskies draining 26 of 28 from the line. Defensively, Colorado ranks 12th in the country in scoring defense, at 57.4 points per game, and 34th field goal defense, holding the opposition to 38.0 percent shooting.

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is 6-1 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-12, dropping their league opener to Stanford, 78-75, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Monday’s game was supposed to be the Pac-12 opener for both teams, Wednesday, Dec. 2, but coronavirus issues with the Buffaloes’ program forced the postponement until Dec. 28. The
Wildcats are averaging 77.0 points while shooting 45.7 percent from the floor. Arizona and Colorado are tied for the Pac-12 lead in 3-point shooting, with both teams at 37.5 percent. Defensively, the Wildcats allow 62.6 points while holding opponents just under 40 percent from the field. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in both rebounding
defense (29.3 rpg) and rebounding margin ( +11.3).

Junior guard Jermarl Baker, Jr., leads Arizona at 15.4 points per game while hitting 51 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range. Junior guard James Akinjo averages 13.4 points while leading the Wildcats in assists at 4.7 an outing. Sophomore forward Jordan Brown leads Arizona in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and field goal percentage (.651) while averaging 10.7 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 35th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 20-14 series lead. The teams met just once last season with the Wildcats taking a 75-54 decision at the McKale Center. Arizona leads the series 15-6 since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011-12. The Buffaloes are 3-11 all-time in Tucson with their last win a 77-73 triple overtime decision on Dec. 20, 1965.

McKinley Wright picks up second Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week honor (4th of career)

Press release from CUBuffs.com … University of Colorado senior guard McKinley Wright IV was named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, for the second time this season, the league office announced on Monday.

Wright becomes the first Colorado men’s basketball player to win four conference Player of the Week honors during his career; he had been tied at three with Chauncey Billups and Askia Booker. Wright is the third player in the Pac-12 era to earn two Player of the Week honors in one season, joining Josh Scott (2015-16) and Askia Booker (2013-14).

A native of North Robbinsdale, Minn., Wright scored 21 points and dished out seven assists in Colorado’s lone game last week, a 74-64 triumph over Grand Canyon at the Far West Classic in Las Vegas. He made 8 of 14 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the free throw line to help the Buffaloes to their fourth-straight win.

Wright recorded his 20th career 20-point game and third this season, leading the Buffaloes in scoring for the fifth time in seven games. He is closing in on two major milestones. Wright needs 16 points to become the 11th CU player to reach 1,500 and 20 assists to catch Jay Humphries’ school career record of 562 set from 1980-84.

According to College Basketball Reference, Wright is one of five guards nationally – the only one from a Power 5 conference – to average better than 16.0 points, and 60 percent shooting in multiple games played so far this season. He is the only player in the Pac-12 in the league’s top 10 in scoring (16.3 ppg, 8th), field goal percentage (.608, 8th) and assists (5.9 apg, 2nd).

 

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December 27th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs’ three-game road trip to open Pac-12 play could define their season

From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes’ schedule takes a hard left turn into serious territory beginning this week.

After wrapping up an abbreviated non-conference slate last week, the 6-1 Buffs will open Pac-12 play with three games in six days — all on the road —  beginning with a 7:30 p.m. game Monday at Arizona (Pac-12 Network). That will be followed by a weekend trip to Los Angeles that will see CU play at USC on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN2) before a Saturday contest at UCLA (6 p.m., Pac-12).

If that’s not a difficult enough start to the league season, the Buffs will get no break when they finally open the home portion of their schedule. First on the list is a Jan. 7 meeting with 25th-ranked Oregon (9 p.m., FS1), the only Pac-12 team to be included in the most-recent Associated Press top 25.

But the Buffs shouldn’t be lacking any confidence heading into the brutal road swing, as they played well in their non-conference games. Colorado wrapped up its preseason schedule last Tuesday with a 74-64 win over Grand Canyon in their second game of the Far West Classic in Las Vegas. The victory came on the heels of perhaps one of their most impressive performances of the year, a 92-69 throttling of Washington in the Far West opener.

Still, there’s no doubt CU coach Tad Boyle would have liked more than seven games to prepare for a 20-game conference slate, particularly one that opens with three on the road against teams picked in the preseason poll to finish ahead of Colorado in the league standings.

Throw Oregon into the mix, and it is four picked to finish better than the Buffs. UCLA was picked by the media to win the league, with Oregon third, Arizona fifth and USC sixth — all ahead of Colorado’s seventh-place prognostication.

But while the upcoming road trip is no doubt a daunting one, it might not be as daunting as it would be in normal circumstances. Thanks to conference regulations that do not allow fans to attend during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Buffs won’t see the regular sold-out, raucous crowd that always comes with a trip to Arizona’s McKale Center. Neither will there be a crowd advantage for the home teams at USC and UCLA.

That’s something that should help blunt the normal edge that comes with a home court advantage.

Of course, the same can be said for the Buffs’ home floor edge, one that has been a nice boost for Colorado in the Boyle era, particularly against big-name opponents. There might be no better example than the Ducks, who are 0-9 all-time in Boulder, including an 0-7 mark in Pac-12 play.

One more factor in the Buffs’ favor on the upcoming road trip is that they have become accustomed to playing away from home this year. Five of Colorado’s seven games thus far have been either on opponents’ home floors or neutral courts.

A quick look at the week ahead:

WHAT’S AT STAKE:  The Arizona game is a makeup contest for a game originally scheduled for early December, when CU had two Pac-12 games postponed because of Covid-19 issues. Now, the rescheduled UA game means three road contests in six days —  a brutal way to start conference play.

Still, the Buffs have to play the hand they’ve been dealt. That means figuring out a way to get a win or two out of the first three. If they can do that, they’ll return to Boulder for a four-game homestand and a chance at some great momentum for what they hope will be a run at the Pac-12 title.

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December 22nd – GameDay!

Buffs battle past Grand Canyon, 74-64, behind McKinley Wright’s 21-point effort

From CUBuffs.comTad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes used a late surge Tuesday night to propel themselves past Grand Canyon, 74-64, at T-Mobile Arena.

The Buffs improved to 6-1 while the Lopes fell to 4-3.

McKinley Wright IV led the Buffaloes in scoring with 21 points as well as assists with seven. Evan Battey notched 16 points and Jeriah Horne added 12 off the bench.

While Colorado led for most of the game, the Buffs could not put GCU away until the final minutes. After GCU cut Colorado’s lead to one point with 5:17 left in the contest, the Buffs used a 10-0 surge to take a 70-59 lead and then kept the Lopes at bay down the stretch.

“This team is resilient and tough,” Boyle said. “We got outrebounded by 13, they (GCU) shot almost 51% on us, and we won by 10. I knew, even after the Tennessee loss, that there was something about this team that’s special that you can’t put into words. There’s a toughness and a resiliency that they have.”

Colorado committed just seven turnovers the entire game and forced 17 from GCU. The Buffs were also able to score 21 points off those miscues.

Jovan Blacksher Jr. led Grand Canyon with 17 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Grand Canyon used a 6-0 run at the end of the first half to tie the score at 27-27 going into the break. Colorado struggled offensively to end the period, failing to score in the final 5:16. The Buffs also shot just 36.4% (8-for-22) in the first half.

Colorado began the second half aggressively and got a steal from Eli Parquet on the Lopes’ first possession, which led to a Battey layup. The basket was part of a 12-4 run, which gave the Buffs a 39-31 lead.

But Grand Canyon did not go away, and used a 3-pointer from Chance McMillian out of a timeout to bring the Lopes to within five. The Lopes kept the game close until the Buffs went on an 8-2 run capped off by a Maddox Daniels 3-pointer for a 57-48 lead.

The Lopes responded again, however, and used a 6-0 burst out of a timeout to get the game to within three 57-54. Then, after Wright hit a layup and a free throw, Blacksher hit a 3-pointer and Jayden Stone came up with a steal to produce a GCU layup to shrink CU’s lead to just one point, 60-59.

But after a Colorado timeout, Horne hit a 3-pointer, which sparked the decisive 10-0 CU. The run produced a 70-59 Colorado lead with 2:32 remaining and the Lopes never came closer than nine again.

Horne had five points in the surge, Battery added a pair of free throws and Wright had three points including a jumper off an offensive rebound from Dallas Walton.

Wright came up with some key moments down the stretch including the final two buckets for the Buffaloes that secured the win for the team.

“When you have your head coach believe in you the way coach Boyle believes in me, it makes my job so much easier,” Wright said. “He gives me the freedom to go out there and play my game, make the reads that I see, and just take control of the team.”

Continue reading story here

Buffs to take on (a tougher than you think) Grand Canyon team in Las Vegas (9:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

… The Antelopes barely lost to No. 22 Arizona State, falling 71-70, with their other loss being a 68-65 setback to a good San Francisco team (the Dons beat No. 4 Virginia, and lost by two points at Cal) … 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 5-1 overall, bouncing back with three straight wins after its only loss on the season. The Buffaloes are coming off a 92-69 nonconference win over Washington in their first game of the Far West Classic.

Colorado has shot 50.5 percent from the field during this three-game streak, including 42.4 percent from the 3-point line. The Buffaloes have had 55 assists against 30 turnovers and held a plus-13.3 advantage on the boards. Against Washington, Colorado had a season-high 21 assists and a season-low seven turnovers.

Colorado scored a season-high 92 points against Washington. The Buffs have back-to-back 90-point games for the first time since  Nov. 24 & 28, 2018 (93 at Air Force, 93 vs. Portland)

ABOUT THE LOPES: Grand Canyon is 4-2 overall, currently on a two-game slide after a 4-0 start. The Lopes fell to San Francisco, 68-65, on Dec. 20 at T-Mobile Arena, their first game away from home this season. GCU is averaging 78.8 points while hitting an  impressive 51.1 percent from the field. Defensively, the Lopes have held opponents to 63.5 points per game and 38.3 percent from the floor. Grand Canyon has outrebounded their opponents by 12.5 boards per game.

Grand Canyon is led by the big front court tandem of 6-foot-10 center Alessandro Lever and 7-0 senior Asbjorn Midtgaard. Lever averages 16.5 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field. Midtgaard averages a double-double at 13.7 points and a team-best 10.0 rebounds while shooting 71 percent. Sophomore guard Jovan Blacksher Jr. averages 13.3 points while leading Grand Canyon at 6.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Grand Canyon. The Buffaloes are 17-8 against teams that  make up the current Western Athletic Conference with the last meeting against Seattle U., a 67-55 Colorado win on Nov. 14, 2016.

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December 20th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Dallas Walton’s career-high 22 points leads Buffs to 92-69 rout of Washington 

Related … “Jeriah Horne providing big spark off the bench” … from the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.comDallas Walton scored a career-high 22 points Sunday night as Colorado rolled to a 92-69 win over Washington in the Far West Classic at T-Mobile Arena.

The Buffaloes improved to 5-1 while the Huskies fell to 1-6 in a game between two Pac-12 teams that will not count as a league contest.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs built a big early lead and never let up, playing well on both ends of the floor. The Buffs led 52-30 at halftime and built the margin to as much as 36 points, 90-54, before UW used a 13-0 run down the stretch to close the gap.

Walton hit double figures for the third straight game as the Buffs had no problems against Washington’s zone defense. He was joined in double figures by Jeriah Horne (16), D’Shawn Schwartz (13), Maddox Daniels (10) and Keeshawn Barthelemy (10).

The Buffs shot 48.3 percent from the floor (29-for-60), hit 26 of their 28 free throw attempts and held a comfortable 43-28 rebounding edge, including 12 offensive rebounds that produced 15 second-chance points.

Washington shot 43 percent from the floor (27-for-63), but was just 12-for-32 in the decisive first half. Riley Sorn led the Huskies with 16 points.

“When you win a game going away against a conference opponent who has given you problems in the past, it’s a good sign,” Boyle said. “We have a good team when we play together. We executed our game plan offensively really, really well.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs jumped out to a big early lead, using a 9-0 run in the first four minutes to take an 11-2 edge, then steadily built on that margin for much of the rest of the half.

Washington called time out after Colorado extended its margin to 21-5 at the 12:19 mark, but the Buffs continued to pile on. CU led by as much as 26, taking a 47-21 edge on a Jabari Walker layup with three minutes left in the half, and still held a comfortable 52-30 cushion at the half.

Walton had 12 of his 22 points in the first half, and he finished the night shooting 6-for-7 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.

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December 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs taking on 1-5 Washington in non-conference game in Las Vegas (Sunday: 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … On occasion, Colorado has lit up the active zone defense employed by Washington. At other times, the Huskies have completely shackled the Buffaloes’ attack.

Sometimes those extremes have occurred within the same game.

The last time the two Pac-12 foes met, in January at the CU Events Center, the Buffs prevailed but not without running extremely hot and then ice cold against the defense UW coach Mike Hopkins helped make famous as an assistant at Syracuse.

In that game, it was the proverbial tale of two halves for CU against the Huskies’ zone. During the first half, the Buffs torched that UW zone for seven 3-pointers and 51 points. In the second half, CU held on for the win while going 0-for-8 from long range and scoring just 25 points.

The lesson, according to CU head coach Tad Boyle, is to not relent against a defense adept at putting the clamps down. The Buffs will put that to the test on Sunday night in Las Vegas as the rivals collide in a contest that will be played as a nonconference game.

“They’re a talented team and they’re a team that can lull you to sleep,” Boyle said. “Last year, for example, we scored 51 points in the first half against Washington in the first half at home and we made seven threes. In the second half, we made zero threes and we scored 25 points. Not that you’re going to have 51 in every half, but we can’t have those 25-point halves. We have to figure out a way to score if the jump shot’s not going in. They way you do that is get the ball in the paint, get the ball inside, attacking the basket, getting to the foul line, playing inside-out.”

While Washington’s defense still has the ability to make any game miserable for opposing offenses, it is the Huskies’ struggling offense that has led to a rough start in Hopkins’ fourth season at the helm.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes ... Colorado is 4-1 overall after a successful two-game homestand that saw the Buffaloes roll to big wins over Northern Colorado (81-45) and Omaha (91-49).

Colorado shot 51.6 percent from the field in the two wins, including 43.6 percent from the 3-point line. The Buffaloes had 34 assists against 23 turnovers and held a plus-12.5 advantage on the boards. Defensively, the Buffaloes remained solid, holding both opponents under 50 points and limiting them to a combined 30 percent from the field. Colorado has held its last four opponents under 60 points. Overall, Colorado ranks sixth in the country in scoring defense, at 53.8 points per game, and 12th field goal defense, holding the  opposition to 34.4 percent shooting

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington is 1-5 overall coming off consecutive home losses to Oregon and Montana. The Huskies are averaging 59.7 points while shooting 39.3 percent from the field. Defensively, the Huskies allow 66.7 points while opponents are shooting 39.5 percent. Washington ranks third in the Pac-12 in blocked shots at 5.3 per game.

Senior guard Quade Green leads the Huskies at 14.8 points and 3.2 assists per game along with a team-best 10 3-point field goals. Forward Nate Roberts tops Washington in rebounding at 7.8 per game while averaging 8.0 points per contest. RaeQuan battle averages 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds off the bench.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 30th meeting between Colorado and Washington with the Huskies holding a 17-12 advantage. Colorado won the only meeting last season, a 76-62 decision in Boulder that snapped a five-game Washington winning streak in the  series.

Washington holds a 2-1 advantage on a neutral floor. The last neutral site meeting came at T-Mobile arena as the Huskies defeated Colorado 66-61 in the semifinals of the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament

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December 16th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs make quick work of Nebraska-Omaha, cruising to 91-49 win to raise record to 4-1

From CUBuffs.com …  Colorado broke to a big lead early and never let Omaha back in the game Wednesday en route to claiming a 91-49 win at the CU Events Center.

The Buffaloes improved to 4-1 while the Mavericks fell to 2-6.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs used balanced scoring and solid shooting from the floor to produce the win. CU finished with four players in double figures, led by McKinley Wright IV, who finished with 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and no turnovers. Jabari Walker added 15 for CU, Dallas Walton chipped in 14 and D’Shawn Schwartz had 11.

The Buffs led 47-25 at the half, the built their cushion into the 30s early in the second half and led by as much as 41 late in the game.

La’Mel Robinson led the Mavericks with 11 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado put the game away early, using a 10-0 run in the first four minutes of the game to take a 15-4 lead, then using a 14-0 surge midway through the half to build a 32-9 cushion.

The Buffs used the 3-point line throughout the half, getting a pair of treys from D’Shawn Schwartz in the first three minutes, then getting one each from Maddox DanielsJabari Walker and Dallas Walton in the decisive 14-0 run.

Defensively, CU kept the heat on in the first half, holding the Mavericks to 34.5% shooting (10-for-29) while also forcing eight turnovers.

Schwartz led CU in the first half with 11 points, Walker added nine and Wright had seven points and four assists.

The Buffs kept up the pressure in the second half, building their lead into the 30s with an 11-0 run that gave Colorado a 61-30 cushion just six minutes into the half. Battey had a nice feed to Walton for a dunk and then had back-to-back buckets in the surge, one coming off a beautiful assist from Wright in the lane.

Colorado then kept its lead at a comfortable margin the rest of the game, pushing the lead into the 40s in the final minutes.

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Businessman’s Special – CU v. Nebraska-Omaha (3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … In a “normal” college basketball season, there is ample time for coaches to break in young players.

Of course, this season is anything but normal. The pandemic-adjusted schedule has greatly reduced the number of non-conference games, meaning every non-league game is magnified in importance, especially when it comes to providing teaching moments for young players.

Monday night’s 81-45 Colorado Buffaloes win over Northern Colorado provided the perfect example.

With roughly five minutes left in the game, the Buffs held a comfortable 24-point lead and most of the starters had found a seat on the bench.

But during a timeout, CU head coach Tad Boyle was intently diagramming a play in the Buffaloes’ huddle, looking very much like a coach who was involved in a tie game in the final minutes.

The reason?

Every minute of every game counts, no matter the score.

“When those freshmen are in there late, it’s not garbage time,” Boyle said. “It’s time to get better. It’s time to play unselfishly and play the right way. I thought for the most part our guys did a really good job of that down the stretch.”

In a normal season, the Buffaloes would play 31 games — 13 non-conference affairs and 18 Pac-12 contests. But this year, the NCAA is allowing just 27 games — and at the same time, the Pac-12 increased the number of conference contests to 20.

That means CU has only seven non-conference games — just a little more than half of the regular number — to get young players up to speed and ready for conference play.

Now, the 3-1 Buffs have just three more non-conference games before the open Pac-12 play against Arizona on Dec. 28, the first of a 20-game conference schedule Boyle says, “are just going to be bloodbaths.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 3-1 overall, bouncing back from its first loss of the season with an 81-45 decision over Northern Colorado on Monday. The Buffaloes shot a season-best 53 percent from floor with a season-high 32 field goals made.

Colorado’s defense has remained solid through its first four games, ranking 10th in the nation in scoring defense at 55 points allowed per game and 16th in field goal defense, limiting opponents to 35.4 percent shooting. In the win over Northern Colorado, the Buffaloes limited the Bears to 28.8 percent from the field and forced 21 turnovers. Colorado had season-highs in steals (10) and blocked shots (eight).

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS: Omaha is 2-5 overall with all seven games played away from home and a pair of Top 10 teams in Creighton and Kansas. The Mavericks are averaging 61.7 points per game shooting 38 percent from the field. Defensively, UNO allows 77.1 points per game while opponents are shooting 46 percent.

Junior wing Marlon Ruffin has the top scoring average for UNO, averaging 13.4 points in five games off the bench. Senior forward Matt Pile averages 9.7 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds while hitting 52 percent from the field. Senior guard Ayo Akinwole leads the Mavericks at 2.3 per game while averaging 8.6 points per contest. Junior forward Wanjang Tut averages 8.4 points while ranking second on the team in rebounding at 4.6 per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the third meeting between Colorado and Omaha. The Buffaloes won the two previous meetings, both in Boulder; 87-82 on Nov. 22, 2015 and 79-75 on Nov. 16, 2018.

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December 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs roll past Northern Colorado in home opener

From CUBuffs.com … Tad Boyle’s Colorado Buffaloes dominated in their home opener Monday night with an 81-45 win over the Northern Colorado Bears at the CU Events Center.

Colorado improved to 3-1 and the Bears fell to 2-1.

Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV led Colorado in scoring with 19 points. Evan Battey added 14 points and led the team in rebounds with eight. Dallas Walton also scored in double figures, notching 12 points.

The Buffs used a 16-0 first-half run to help push their lead out to 45-21 at intermission. The Bears tried their best to claw back into the game early in the second half, but the Buffs were able to hold them off the rest of the way.

“I thought everybody that played had some really good things that we can build upon,” Boyle said. “Overall, I’m pretty pleased.”

Bodie Hume led the Bears with 11 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs were able to build some cushion towards the end of the first half, going on a 16-0 run that began with a Wright 3-pointer. Colorado shot 17-for-31 in the first half and had just four turnovers while forcing 12 from the Bears.

Colorado’s defense forced 21 total turnovers for the game and forced the Bears to shoot just 28.8% from the field (15-52).

“Our ball screen defense was the key to holding them to 28% and not letting them get going from three,” Boyle said. “We got that lead in the second half and we talked about the fact that the only they would get back into this game was with 3-point jump shots, and we took those away for the most part.”

The Buffs opened the second half with a Walton 3-pointer, which extended their lead to 27, 48-21. The Bears did not go away, however. UNC outscored the Buffaloes 17-16 in the first 10:26 after the break and Hume began the second half with eight points in the opening six minutes. The Bears also forced 10 second-half CU turnovers.

But Colorado responded and never really allowed the Bears to get back into the game. The Buffs went on another surge late, hitting three 3-pointers in a row, two from Wright and one from D’Shawn Schwartz, to push the lead to 74-40. A layup from Luke O’Brien then gave the Buffs their largest lead of the night at 41, 81-40. The Bears scored the final four points of the contest.

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December 14th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs finally get home opener; take on UNC tonight (7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado is 2-1 overall, dropping its first game of the season in a 56-47 setback at No. 12/16 ranked Tennessee on Dec. 8.

After averaging 80 points over the first two games, the Buffaloes were held to just 47 at Tennessee, their fewest points since scoring 33 at Wyoming on Nov. 22, 2014.

Colorado’s defense has remained solid, allowing opponents 58.3 points per game on 37.5 percent shooting. The Buffaloes’ scoring defense ranks 28th in the nation and second in the Pac-12. CU’s field goal defense is the 38th best in NCAA Division I.

Colorado opened the 2020-21 season with a pair of wins at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan. Colorado cruised to an 84-61 win over South Dakota on Nov. 25 and then downed former Big Eight/Big 12 rival Kansas State, 76-58 on Nov. 27. It marked the first time since 1960-61, that the Buffs started 2-0 with both games being away from Boulder. That season started with three straight wins away from Boulder beginning with back-to-back wins at Arizona and a third at New Mexico.

FOR OPENERS: The Buffaloes are 93-24 all-time in home openers and have won their last 12, making Boyle a perfect 10-0 in home openers. The Buffaloes have won 17 of their last 18.

With the win over South Dakota, Colorado improved to 83-35 (.703) in all-time season openers and has won its last five. The Buffaloes are 9-2 under head coach Tad Boyle and 36-5 in overall season openers since 1980-81.

The Buffaloes began with a neutral site game for the second-straight season and third time in five years. Colorado defeated Arizona State, 81-71, in last year’s Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai. In 2015-16, the eventual NCAA Tournament bound Buffaloes dropped a 68-62 decision to Iowa State in Sioux Falls, S.D.

NONCONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 98-32 (.754) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 51-15 mark (.773) since the beginning of the 2014-15 season. Colorado is 74-5 in nonconference home games under Boyle, a record which includes a perfect 6-0 mark in postseason action.

ABOUT THE BEARS: Northern Colorado is 2-0, opening with a pair of home wins over regional NCAA Division II foes Colorado Christian (87-62) and Regis (83-58). The Bears, who have had three games canceled, have shot well hitting 54.4 percent from the field.  Defensively, the Bears held their first two opponents to 38 percent from the field and enjoyed a plus-18.5 rebound margin. UNC, which finished 22-9 last season, was picked to finish third in the Big Sky Preseason Media Poll, and fifth by the coaches.

Junior guard Bodie Hume has led the Bears through the first two games averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field. Junior guard Daylen Kountz, a transfer from Colorado, is averaging 15 points and three assists. Matt Johnson is averaging 11.5 points and has hit 53 percent of his shots. Forward
Kur Jockuch is averaging 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 40th meeting between Colorado and Northern Colorado in a series that dates back to 1918. The Buffaloes hold a 21-18 edge. This is just the seventh meeting since 1937, with Colorado winning all previous six.

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December 8th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs can’t overcome early deficit, fall on the road to No. 12 Tennessee, 56-47

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado cut a big early deficit down to two in the second half Tuesday, but could never quite get over the hump and the Buffaloes dropped a 56-47 decision to No. 12 Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena.

CU fell to 2-1 with the loss while the Volunteers won their season opener.

Grad transfer Jeriah Horne led the Buffs with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double, including seven points in a 14-2 first-half CU run that helped the Buffs back in the game. McKinley Wright IV added eight points and seven rebounds for Colorado.

 The Buffs trailed by as many as 16 midway through the first half, but cut the gap to seven by intermission, then pulled to within two, 33-31, with a 7-2 burst to start the second half. But that was as close as the Buffs could get, as Tennessee slowly built the lead back to double digits and then held Colorado off down the stretch.

Colorado committed 22 turnovers that led to 16 Tennessee points, and the Buffs shot and CU shot just 33% from the field .

HOW IT HAPPENED: After coming back to cut Tennessee’s big early lead to seven, 31-24, at the half, the Buffs put together a 7-2 surge to start the second half. Maddox Daniels hit a 3-pointer, Dallas Walton added a dunk and Keeshawn Barthelemy reaped a fast break dunk off an assist from Wright to cut UT’s cushion to 33-31.

But following a timeout, the Vols scored five quick points, then slowly pushed their lead to 11, 50-39.

Colorado did make one more run down the stretch, twice closing the gap to five. CU couldn’t, however, come any closer as the Vols kept the Buffs at bay over the final minutes.

Colorado started slowly, as the Vols threatened to turn the game into a blowout early. The Buffs missed eight of their first 10 field goal tries, and committed six turnovers as well in that stretch to help Tennessee carve out a 19-4 lead with 11:20 still to play in the first half.

UT then stretched its cushion to 16 points, building a 26-10 lead with just under eight minutes to go in the half.

But just when it looked like the Buffs might be down for good, they put together a 14-2 run to cut Tennessee’s lead to 28-24 with 53 seconds left in the half.

Senior forward Jeriah Horne had seven points in the run, including a 3-pointers to start the surge. Guard Keeshawn Barthelemy added five in the run, including a 3-pointer, and McKinley Wright added two free throws.

Tennessee then closed the half with a Santiago Vescovi 3-pointer to take a 31-24 edge into intermission.

NEXT UP: The Buffs are scheduled to play host to Northern Colorado next Monday at 7 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

CU at No. 12 Tennessee (4:00 p.m., MT, SEC+)

Game Notes from CUBuffs.com … Colorado opened the 2020-21 season with a pair of wins at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan. Colorado cruised to an 84-61 win over South Dakota on Nov. 25 and then downed former Big Eight/Big 12 rival Kansas State, 76-58 on Nov. 27.

Colorado begins the season with a 2-0 record for the fifth straight season. It’s the first time since 1960-61, that the Buffs have started 2-0 with both games being away from Boulder. That season started with three straight wins away from Boulder beginning with back-to-back wins at Arizona and a third at New Mexico. Colorado shot 44.4 percent over the first two games and shared the ball well, with 33 total assists, including 20 in the win over South Dakota. The Buffaloes were exceptional from the line, hitting 32 of 36 attempts during the week (.889).

All-Pac-12 senior guard McKinley Wright IV earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, averaging 22.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals at the Little Apple Classic. He shot a blistering 64.3 percent from the field (18 of 28), including 43 percent from 3-point range (3 of 7).

NON-CONFERENCE NUMBERS: Colorado is 98-31 (.760) in nonconference regular season games under head coach Tad Boyle including a 51-14 mark (.785) since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.

Colorado is 74-5 in nonconference home games under Boyle, a record which includes a perfect 6-0 mark in postseason action.

ABOUT THE VOLUNTEERS: Tennessee, ranked 12th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, has yet to play a game in 2020-21. The Volunteers have had four games cancelled, and a fifth called off against UT Martin that would have Wednesday, Dec. 9. Prior to Saturday’s announcement, Tennessee’s next regularly scheduled
game wouldn’t have been until Saturday, Dec. 12.

Tennessee welcomes the nation’s fifth-ranked signing class, which includes three top-75 prospects and a pair of five-star guards in Keon Johnson and McDonald’s All-American Jaden Springer. That crop of freshmen is joined by incoming grad transfer E.J. Anosike, who was a 1,000-point scorer and one of the top rebounders in Division I during his three seasons at Sacred Heart. Tennessee’s returners are led by rising senior forwards John Fulkerson and Yves Pons. An All-SEC performer this past season, Fulkerson led the Vols in scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg)—and he capped his breakout year with a 27-point performance in UT’s upset win at sixth-ranked Kentucky on March 3. Pons tied the school record for blocks in a season with 73 rejections and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He also averaged 10.8 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Buffs v. Volunteers: “It was too good an opportunity for our guys to pass up”

From CUBuffs.com … Just a few weeks into the college basketball season, the coronavirus pandemic has created previously inconceivable circumstances when it comes to scheduling.

Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have already had two games postponed and another date hold three different opponents.

But Tuesday, that ever-changing schedule will actually present the Buffs with a nice opportunity — a shot at the 12th-ranked team in the country. Thanks to some last-minute juggling, 2-0 Colorado will tip it off at 4 p.m. against 0-0 Tennessee on the Volunteers’ home floor (SEC+).

The original schedule had Colorado playing host to Colorado State on Tuesday. But that game was canceled when CSU had to pause its program because of coronavirus difficulties. Then, Colorado Mines agreed to play in Boulder in what would have been an exhibition game for Mines.

But last week, CU director of player development Nate Tomlinson began talking with Tennessee assistant Kim English, a former Colorado assistant. The Vols were also having issues getting a game played, with their first four contests of the season all canceled.

When yet another contest — Wednesday night’s scheduled tilt with Tennessee-Martin — was also scratched, it opened up an opportunity for Colorado to head to Tennessee. After some late-week discussions, the two programs finalized the deal, which is actually a three-game series. The Vols will visit Boulder next year and the two teams will then meet in Nashville in the 2022-23 season.

“When the Tennessee opportunity came up, it was too good an opportunity for our guys to pass up,” Boyle said Monday. “We talk to our players a lot about controlling what you can control. From my standpoint as a coach, I’m going to try my best to get 27 games (the NCAA maximum this season). A guy like McKinley Wright comes back for his senior year and we have four other seniors. They deserve to play games in terms of what they’ve done and the sacrifice they’ve made and hard work they’ve put in.”

The game is no doubt an opportunity for the Buffs to put their name squarely in the national conversation. Rick Barnes’ Volunteers were picked in the preseason media poll to win the SEC, and while they have yet to play a game, they’re still ranked No. 12 in the latest AP poll.

Continue reading story here

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December 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs to face No. 13 Tennessee on Tuesday (4:00 p.m., MT, SEC Networks)

From CUBuffs.com …  The University of Colorado men’s basketball team has added a game with Tennessee set for Tuesday, Dec. 8, in Knoxville. The game will tip at 4 p.m. MT and will be streamed on SEC Network+.

With that change, the Buffaloes will not host Colorado School of Mines in what would have been an exhibition game for the Orediggers. Colorado Mines originally replaced Colorado State on the Buffs’ schedule when the Rams had to cancel the game set for that same date due to COVID-19 concerns in their program.

Tennessee, ranked 13th in the first Associated Press Top 25 poll has yet to play a game in 2020-21. The Volunteers have had four games cancelled, and a fifth called off against UT Martin that would have Wednesday, Dec. 9. Prior to Saturday’s announcement, Tennessee’s next regularly scheduled game wouldn’t have been until Saturday, Dec. 12.

The two programs have met twice, with Tennessee sweeping a home-and-home in 1980 and ’81. Tennessee assistant coach Kim English was a Colorado assistant for two seasons. Colorado head coach Tad Boyle was the Volunteers’ Director of Operations for the 1997-98 season.

Colorado is 2-0 overall, having been off since defeating Kansas State on Nov. 27. The Buffaloes had temporarily paused operations on Tuesday, which forced the postponement of their game at Arizona. Colorado was able to resume practice on Thursday with the approval of the school’s medical staff and campus health officials after two days of successful tracing and testing.

Colorado was scheduled to play Washington State on Saturday, before COVID-19 concerns in the Cougars’ program forced the postponement of that contest.

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December 4th

… CU in the Arena … 

Washington State calls off Saturday matchup with Buffs

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball game against Washington State scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Cougars’ men’s basketball program.

An update on the direction of rescheduling the contest will come on Saturday.

CSU game canceled/replaced by Mines; Arizona game re-set for December 28th

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team has scheduled Colorado School of Mines, in place of Colorado State, on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the CU Events Center. Game time will remain at 6 p.m. and will air on the Pac-12 Network.

In addition, the Buffaloes’ postponed Pac-12 Conference game at Arizona, originally scheduled for on Dec. 2, has been rescheduled for Monday, Dec. 28, in Tucson. Tip time and television arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Colorado State determined this week it would not be able to participate in the Dec. 8 contest due to COVID-19 concerns. The Rams’ basketball program originally went on pause Nov. 20 and has yet to play a game.

Colorado School of Mines is an NCAA Division II school located in Golden, and a member of the prestigious Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, a league the Buffaloes were charter members of in the early 1900s. The Buffaloes hosted the Orediggers in an exhibition game to tip off the 2018-19 season; a game in which Colorado prevailed, 66-57.

Mines has had three of its first four games postponed, defeating MSU Denver, 82-48, on Nov. 28 in its lone game so far. The Orediggers are scheduled to host South Dakota Mines on Friday.

The Buffaloes had temporarily paused operations on Tuesday, which forced the postponement of their game at Arizona. Colorado was able to resume practice on Thursday with the approval of the school’s medical staff and campus health officials after two days of successful tracing and testing. The Buffaloes, 2-0 overall, will host Washington State Saturday at 2 p.m. in their home opener.

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December 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs back at practice – game against Washington State Saturday a go

From CUBuffs.com …  The University of Colorado men’s basketball team resumed operations Thursday and Saturday’s home opener against Washington State is on as scheduled for 2 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

“After proper due diligence by our medical staff and in consultation with campus health officials, our men’s basketball team has resumed practice today,” Colorado Athletic Director Rick George said. “Case investigation and contact tracing of the most recent case within the basketball program, as well as diagnostic PCR testing of all team members on Tuesday and Wednesday and our daily antigen testing cadence, indicated that no further pause in team activities is necessary. We are moving forward with plans to host Washington State on Saturday pending results of our regular testing the rest of this week.

“We will continue daily testing and symptom monitoring of our student-athletes and adherence to guidance from national, state, local and campus public health officials to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes, opponents, staff, campus and community.”

The Buffaloes had temporarily paused operations on Tuesday due to positive cases of COVID-19 within the program, which forced the postponement of their game at Arizona on Wednesday.

Colorado is 2-0, beginning the 2020-21 season last week with a pair of wins at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan.

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December 1st 

… CU in the Arena … 

CU Men’s Basketball “pauses operations” – Arizona game postponed 

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado Athletic Department has temporarily paused operations of the men’s basketball program due to COVID-19, forcing the postponement Wednesday’s scheduled Pac-12 Conference opener at Arizona.

“We have temporarily paused our men’s basketball operations due to positive cases of COVID-19 within the program,” Colorado Athletic Director Rick George said. “This includes the postponement of Wednesday’s game at Arizona. The status of other upcoming games is dependent upon contact tracing and subsequent testing of team members and basketball staff this week.

“As we have since the pandemic began, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff, campus and community as we navigate this season. We will continue daily testing of our student-athletes to ensure positive cases are identified early and isolated quickly, in addition to adhering to guidance from state, local and campus public health officials.”

Colorado is 2-0, beginning the 2020-21 season last week with a pair of wins at the Little Apple Classic in Manhattan, Kan. The last interruption of CU men’s basketball regular season games came in December 2006, when the Buffaloes had back-to-back home games against UC Davis (Dec. 23) and TCU (Dec. 30) called off due to hazardous winter weather conditions in the Denver Metro area.

Pac-12 statement regarding Colorado at Arizona men’s basketball game

“After consultation with Colorado, the Pac-12 Conference announced the game involving Colorado at Arizona scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 has been postponed. This decision was made under the Pac-12’s basketball policy – Colorado does not have the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for the game due to previously reported COVID-19 issues within the program and associated contact tracing protocols. The Conference will work with both programs to attempt to find a mutually agreeable date to reschedule the contest.

“Not contesting this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans. While all of us want to see our men’s basketball student-athletes on the court competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 men’s basketball programs.”

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53 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. Bi polar Buffs were in a depressive state and still survived. Maybe they will be in a manic state against Cal and kick them to the curb. Oh wait ….the only people Cal has beaten have been tomato cans. An unusually large number of them on their schedule. They did beat Washington but Campbells have stuffed them in to a can as well.
    as VK implores…take the vaccine…or meds…or whatever it takes.
    Please Buffs be in a manic state anyway.

  2. NET, bracketology blah blah blah. In spite of their modicum of success the Boyle Buffs have always been a bi polar team. Beat Dayton one night and then dive off the cliff at the end of the season….and until the end of the season gets here I wont pay a bit of attention to all this masturbatory pundit analysis

  3. Surprised to see such a high NET ranking for the Buffs, but it certainly bolsters their chances of making the tourney if they can take care of business moving forward in league play. One head scratching thing for me is their struggles on simply in-bounding the basketball (and defending the in-bound pass)? Seems like every in-bound play pushes the limit of the 5 second clock before ultimately throwing a risky lob pass into traffic (often to a player in the corner who is then easily trapped). Conversely, other teams routinely get great looks against the Buffs’ defense during in-bounding situations. Easily a 6-10 point swing over the course of each game. I can’t imagine that Tad & Co. are simply ignoring this facet of the game, but I see very little rhyme or reason to what sort of play they are attempting to run in these situations.

  4. Was able to see the final minutes of OSU/Cal, all of CU/UCLA, and the final minutes of regulation and overtimes of WSU/U of A. Each of the three winning teams ran an offense that saw shots emerge from a set system, while the three losing teams suffered breakdowns in offense that led to ore-on-ones at key moments. CU consistently loses the assists (13-9 vs UCLA). In addition to the focus on winning the rebounding stat, it would be good to win the assist stat as well (demonstrates an offense that creates shots and shares the ball). This team has the potential to do something special (as do teams down the road . There will not be a big drop off when Bartholemy takes the reins next year). Hopefully, the offense will improve in close contests.

  5. The one thing that is optimistic about our 2020-21 Buffs is that we have BENCH STRENGTH…. as in “DEEP Bench Strength.

    Can’t wait to see if the NEWLY found talent can prevail in Calif’.

    GO BUFFS

  6. Wow, the half court offense was working. A good thing as USC got back on D pretty quick.
    If Walton ever made it in the game it must have been when I was going for another beer. USC’s post man pretty much had his way when they managed to get the ball to him under the basket and I figured Walton may have a chance of altering some of those point blank shots.
    And then there is always the the other weed addled Walton.
    “the Buffaloes are stampeding…who would have thought?”
    This is the best road victory in history for Colorado”

    How many thoroughly enjoyed the howling and the redundant countdowns etc?
    yeah its all pretty funny but in an embarrassing manner.

  7. There were large portions of the first half when it appeared the starters and first off the bench could play with any team in the country. That was an impressive offensive display AND tremendous rebounding effort! A combination of some fatigue and Battey’s foul situation brought the team back to earth at the key moments in the second half. There is an extra effort observed in the play of the basketball team in Tucson that serves as a reminder of the football team performances against the Huskers. It seems Coach Boyle “really” wants the “W’s” against the likes of U of A and USC. Hopefully, the play in the first half will return in Los Angeles.

  8. Why are all of the Buffs’ games only on PAC12? Not a single games has been on a major network. I understand the smaller games, but they have played a couple of good teams.

    1. That will finally change New Year’s Eve, with the Buffs game against USC will be on ESPN2. The home opener against Oregon on January 7th will be on FS1.

      1. I already have that one scheduled, but still, there were a few other games that could have been on a major network. But good call on, calling me out on, THE next game after this will finally be on a major… 😉 haha.

  9. Dial 911…………..if you aint Gonzaga. Just watched them dismantle, crush, suffocate and totally obliterate Virginia who as supposed to be one of the best teams in the ACC. Gonzos were ahead by over 30 with over 5 minutes left when they cleaned the bench. Every one on the floor for that team looked fundamentally perfect, as was their half court offense.
    If the Buffs make the dance lets hope they aren’t assigned the same region.

  10. It was great seeing the Buffs’ SHARE the “V” against the Huskies. SHARE, as in share the ball, pass like crazy, look for the open man.

    SO, WHAT’S UP WITH THE LADY BUFFS ?????? Can’t SHARE the ball when the ‘Cats start catching the Buffs ???? That’s exactly what happened. Our little PG can only pass to a couple of players when the going gets tough….. but, look what happened when our “EU Dagger” gets the ball in the last 10 sec. and she pops a 3 faster than the mind can comprehend what just happened. Can’t our PG recognize that ? NOPE. She wants the glory herself…. or, just her friends. It definitely looks like she doesn’t want the European girl to shine. Can’t the coach see that ? Can’t she teach that ???? Can’t she coach the PG ????

    And, Can’t the coach teach how to shoot FT’s ????????

    It just makes me angry. It’ll all be better when they blow out the Cardinal.

    I’m pretty damned disappointed in our Lady Buffs.

  11. I hope this is the beginning of a new period in Buff offense instead of exploiting a weak opponent.
    Balanced scoring, Wright taking care of the ball and solving a zone. Keep it up…..please.

  12. The Tad offense strikes again………ice cold shooting and a multitude of turnovers……hard to expect much else most of the time. Tonight the D and rebounding wasnt enough to overcome the former.
    sigh

    1. Tad is building a new house on the Boulder Country Club. Of course it’s gonna be nice and well deserved for all he has brought to Colorado BB.

      Go Buffs.

      Note: I would like a Lamborghini but I guess I will have to be satisfied with my Q7

      1. you really dont want a Lamborghini. Its not German.
        and as long as we are using cars as a ridiculous metaphor for Tad’s offensive coaching its closer to a Lada

  13. We know that RG has his coaches supporting the Covid protocols that have been put in place for CU athletes, so this comes as a disappointment….. especially the first athlete testing positive.

    If the protocols are observed by an athlete, they should remain negative, but when the first athlete tests positive, the breach will expose other athletes. At that point, it’s a snowball on a Keystone slope….. Black Diamond at that.

    Sad day. I’m certain there are some correction protocols in place…..just hopin’ for the best.

    GO BUFFS

  14. will the other shoe ever drop on sweaty? Is the NCAA allowing him to plea bargain? Even though there is only a shred left that would completely wipe out any confidence I have in them

  15. Terrible news about the Covid
    but
    Playing the game later when the Mighty Buffs are a full strength may be a good thing.
    Beating the zonas is so much fun

    Go Buffs

  16. REDSHIRT…. BONFIRE…. IN….. MANHATTAN

    Wright showed what he could do in the first half and why he should be considered one of the absolute best PG in the nation. And…..boy, did the newbies look good. It’s going to be a thrill to watch this team go forward for the next three to four years.

    Another advantage of having all this talent is that it’s going to give the Buffs a lot more exposure to a higher level of recruits, especially when Tad gets them to The Dance.

    EXCITED……..GO BUFFS

  17. Um, it was only one game, but was definitely worth my $6 subscription to watch the game on demand. Wow…again. Dallas Walton congrats!! Looking fully recovered and spry, and ready to make an impact. Jabari Walker/KeShawn – what a difference that extra year can make, they don’t look like Froshs’ on the court, Walker is much farther along offensively than Bey was in year 1 and looks to have the potential to be an all-around better player. The depth is legitimate…trying to temper excitement, but just the number of guys, the length, the fact that a few of them look ready to go off on any night (add Horne to that list). Impressive debut and can’t help to think even better days are ahead for the program overall.

  18. got Nov 25 circled on the calendar. Rooney is slipping up again. I did my own research on SD. They look a little better than a cupcake and maybe on the same level as SD St

  19. What an exciting and high potential recruiting class. It has been enjoyable to see some good talent come through the program in this Boyle era. And a special tip of the cap to assistant head coach and head recruiting coordinator Mike Rohn who quietly and without fanfare has been key in these matters ever since arriving here along with Tad 11 years ago.

    1. Tad’s branding as a brilliant HC may come to be tested by (my opinion) retaining all the excellent talent on the bench in successive years, especially when you have super, lower-classmen in the playing rotation. (This precise dilemma gives me pause, especially when the perennial top programs deal with this year after year).

      Stuart, how in the hell do you retain (so-called) strong bench-talent when a lot of that talent has calluses on their butts (?)

      (Guess that’s why I never made it to the upper echelon of coaching circles at the “Y”).

      Hmmmmmmmmm. GO BUFFS

  20. Wow…my reaction reading the recruiting bios. Thank you for providing.
    Welcome to Boulder, wishing you all the success on/off the court.

  21. I PREDICT: This next season is going to be fun to watch with a couple of “Bigs” on the floor and 3 G’s with moves and speed. FAST BREAKS SHOULD BE THE….”NORM”…. FOR THE BUFFS.

    Will the opponents be gassed by the time we’re in 8-10 min. of the second half ? LET’S HOPE.

    GO BUFFS

  22. What entity has possessed Tad? He’s recruiting like never before (new staff additions with recruiting prowess?)

    So what if its a guard heavy class. In this basketball era you can get by with a smaller squad. As long as they can play.

    At least he is not wasting scholarships and recruiting stiffs like the piano player, the slow Serbian, and Dombek whom everyone was salivating over because of his height but was nothing but a bench cobweb. It was pretty clear from the get go Dombek was not physically ready and had only played against unknown competition before setting foot in the US.

    Tad still has the Wyoming kid in the fold.

    Shaping up to be one of Tad’s most interesting teams (for the next few years) that I can remember.

      1. Tad said he had “unlimited upside” and a chance to be a “very good player at CU.” That’s a vanilla statement from every coach after signing a player.

        It was mostly Bill Grier and Kim English blowing sunshine up everyone’s keister –mostly Grier because Dombek came out of Grier’s coaching academy.

        I’m pretty sure that once he turned up on campus weighing 185 pounds, couldn’t pack on weight, then caught mono which was a further setback to the whole body- conditioning process of adding strength to bang with D1 post guys then it became obvious he was a bench cobweb. And no more superlatives from the staff.

        When Alex Strating is ahead of you in the rotation then you are not D1 material. I wish him luck at Hartford.

  23. With all the guards you would think Tad would install a motion half court offense. Too many times I see 4 statues and a guy with the ball in the half court. I do believe this team could easily be a sweet 16 participant if they could get it together in the half court on offense.
    Tad recruits all these guys who are supposed to be 3 point gunners but it seems they always flame out as much as the get en fuego. Maybe Ruffin will break the mold.

  24. The addition of Javon Ruffin, 6’5″ -G, will make BUFFS’ backcourt one of the best in the PAC-12, and, seemingly loaded. Watching highlights against quality teams, Ruffin already has collegiate moves. Holy smokes, Tad, how many guards are you recruiting ? Not that I’m necessarily complaining, but how many is enough ?

    Stuart, is this a wise move being we’ll have some height in the lane ? …. It also seems we need adequate rebounding power, especially on the offensive boards. Are we loaded enough ?

    Always concerned. GO BUFFS

    1. Tad does seem to be putting a lot of eggs into his Lawson Lovering basket. If the seven-footer from Cheyenne lives up to his four-star billing, the Buffs could be very good.
      But I would agree that it would be nice to see him recruit another “big”. As the saying goes: “You can’t teach height” … 😉

  25. With McKinley Wright returning + the addition of Tristin da Silva, The Buffs should be able to run the court unlike anything we’ve seen in some time.

    FAST BREAK BUFFS (don’t ya think Stuart ? ).

    Can’t wait……..GO BUFFS

  26. can the hoops teams in the conference keep the virus of their teams? Should be a lot easier with only 1/5th the roster than football.
    An open question for the players. How bad do you want to play? I know how bad I would like to watch you play

  27. Unless he makes strides in his outside shooting and overall game, the 3rd best point guard in CU history (behind Chauncey Billups and Jay Humphies) wasn’t/isn’t going to be drafted. Good move on his part.

  28. I just checked out Quincy Allen on YouTube….. HE LOOKS LIKE THE “REAL DEAL.” —- He might be more athletic than many of the top names in Buffs’ recent history. He will be really good, no matter. By the time he’s a junior, he should have some more bulk on that slender frame….. if not, it won’t matter. He’s got the CHOPS.

    GO BUFFS BB

  29. just remembered that Wright’s decision on his hoop future is growing near. I’m not sure if its a good sign for the Buffs that its taking this long. Did he already say and I missed it?

  30. I read somewhere, exactly where I dont remember, saying Ray fits in with Tad’s D first philosophy.
    Sigh
    I guess we are doomed to continue an O without much structural efficiency. Maybe Tad will finally find those 3 point shooters that dont go on too many cold streaks.

  31. Thanks for your response Stuart. I see we have some nice YouTube videos on both Buford and Jones.

    I decided I can sleuth a little bit myself. (I don’t know why we ( I ) get so dependent on you). For beginners, I trust you and your sources much better than the Camera…..however, I see we have another recruit from Denmark, Frida Formann, whose YouTube highlights are nothing short of spectacular. This is just a prediction: I think she will become the next star of Buff greats. The girl has beautiful moves and appears to have a very high BB I.Q.

    It will be interesting to see. GO BUFFS.

    1. The Buffs signed Madison Buford last month … Buford, a 5’9″ guard, wrapped up her high school career at Lutheran North in 2019 and then attended Rend Lake Community College this past season. She started all 33 games as a freshman for the Warriors and lead the team with 21.1 points per game. Buford was 37.8 percent (233-616) from the field and finished the season 30.0 percent (67-223) from 3-point range. Her 67 3’s were 18-better than the leading Buff in 2019-20.

      They also added transfer Tayanna Jones … Jones, a 6’2″ guard, played in 27 games for the Hoyas last season and earned three starts. She averaged a career-highs with 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season. She totaled a season-high 15 points in her start at Loyola Marymount. Jones’ best rebounding performance came late in the season against DePaul, snagging 12 boards. In two years at Georgetown, Jones averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. She has 166 career points and 98 total rebounds. Jones is a 31.3 percent shooter and has averaged just over 13 minutes per game.

  32. Tyler Bey, welcome to the G-league. Nice player yet too short w/ a limited outside shot. Sorry to see you go. Get your degree!

  33. Ya know 2020 seems like a very good year
    It is a very good year for blue-blooded girls
    Of independent means, we’ll ride in limousines their chauffeurs will drive
    While I am 35……………….

    Aaaaaah the
    The shrooms
    The shrooms

    Buffs:

    Note: I need to get outta the damn house

      1. I just now read this little back and forth between VK & ep, and all I want to add to it is what ep wrote, a great big……..YEAH!!!!!!!

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