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Colorado Basketball

February 25th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Jeriah Horne and McKinley Wright lead Buffs to an 80-62 win over No. 19 USC

Related … “Hot shooting, strong defense power CU Buffs to thorough win over No. 19 USC” … from the Daily Camera 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado’s Jeriah Horne and McKinley Wright IV both recorded double-doubles Thursday night and the Buffaloes’ defense was outstanding as CU rolled to an 80-62 win over No. 19 USC at the CU Events Center.

Colorado improved to 18-7 overall and 12-6 in conference play, giving the Buffs their most-ever Pac-12 victories. USC, which entered the game leading the conference standings, fell to 19-5, 13-4.

The win was the Buffs’ sixth straight over the Trojans and gave them sole possession of fourth place in the league standings, guaranteeing them a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

Horne finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, tying his CU career high in scoring, while Wright had 15 points and a career-high 14 assists, just one off the CU single-game record. D’Shawn Schwartz added 12 points for the Buffs and Eli Parquet chipped in 10.

The Buffs dominated in nearly every statistical category.

Defensively, Colorado held USC’s Evan Mobley and Tahj Eaddy to just 13 points each, both under their season scoring average, as the Trojans shot just 38 percent (23-for-60) from the floor.

Colorado, meanwhile, shot 47 percent, including a solid 12-for-22 from 3-point range, led by Horne’s 6-for-9 night from beyond the arc. The Buffs also finished with 20 assists, tying their season high, and they produced 17 points off 12 USC turnovers.

Colorado controlled the tempo for most of the game, taking a 42-29 lead at the half and never allowing the Trojans to cut the lead back to single digits after intermission.

“When we play at a high level on the defensive end and rebound the ball, we can beat anybody and that is why we beat USC tonight,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “It just so happened our shots were going in … Guys were dialed into the scouting report. When we share the ball and have 20 assists on offense we’re a joy to watch and a joy to coach, and the guys are a joy to play with.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs took control early, building a 19-8 lead early and never allowing USC to get on track. The Trojans did manage to momentarily cut the gap to three, 25-22, but the Buffs responded by outscoring the Trojans 17-7 over the final five minutes of the half to take a 42-29 lead into intermission.

Wright provided the spark for the Buffs’ surge. After the senior point guard was whistled for a technical foul — his first at Colorado — he scored two quick layups, then assisted on three 3-pointers — two from Horne — over the final minutes of the half.

“I let my emotions get the best of me,” said Wright, who apologized to his teammates for the out-of-character moment. “Their bench kept yelling at our players every time we shot that it was off, and I said some words I shouldn’t have said. But it was a big momentum change for me. That’s my first technical since I’ve been to Colorado so that’s not who I am but it just happened tonight. That’s not something that’s going to happen again.”

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Buffs finally home, facing No. 19 USC (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2) – McKinley Wright: “It’s going to be a fun one”

Related … “Buffs Host Trojans In Crucial Pac-12 Battle” … From CUBuffs.com 

From the Daily Camera … It certainly won’t be an easy road for Colorado. Yet the current configuration of the final two weeks of the Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball might prove advantageous for the Buffaloes once the conference tournament tips off.

Among the top five teams in the Pac-12, only the Buffs and Stanford are scheduled to play just three games over the final two weeks. Oregon began a stretch of six games in 14 days with Monday’s loss at USC. For the Trojans, Monday’s win began a stretch of five games in a span of 13 days. When Arizona State visits CU for the March 4 regular season finale, it will be the Sun Devils’ fifth game in 10 days.

After that ASU game, the Buffs are in line to enjoy a full week off before tipping off in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament. Of course, that’s a favorable schedule in regard to the format. Taking advantage of it will be more challenging on the floor, as the Buffs begin their regular season-ending three-game homestand on Thursday against 19th-ranked USC.

“I think (USC) has cranked their defense up to another level,” CU point guard McKinley Wright IV said. “Having (guard) Ethan Anderson back is a big key to their defensive scheme and what they like to do. Evan Mobley is playing at a high level. We gave them some bunnies that he missed at USC. We don’t expect him to continue to miss. It’s going to be a collective effort. It’s going to be a fun one, but I have every bit of confidence that we can come out with a win.”

The Buffs put together one of their most impressive wins of the season on Dec. 31 at USC, shackling Trojans all-everything freshman Evan Mobley while holding USC to a .383 mark, which remains its lowest in Pac-12 play and the second-lowest of the season.

USC, though, has been the hottest team in the Pac-12 since, going 14-2 and strengthening its grasp on the top spot in the conference with a thorough dismantling of Oregon on Monday. The Trojans played that first matchup against CU without Anderson, who has averaged 5.9 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in 15 games, mostly off the bench.

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Game Notes … Colorado is 17-7 overall and in fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 11-6. The Buffaloes split their final road series of the season, dropping a 60-56 decision at No. 25 Oregon on Feb. 18th then rebounding for a 61-57 triumph at Oregon State on Feb. 20th. The Buffaloes, who have won 10 of 14 overall, won at least once on all four two-game Pac-12 road trips this season.

CU’s 11 conference wins tie for its most in the Pac-12 era. The Buffaloes were 11-7 in 2011-12 and would go on to win the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament. The win at Oregon State gave Colorado five road conference wins, the program’s most since the 1961-62 Big Eight Conference championship team had six (6-1). The Buffaloes’ 6-6 overall road record is their best since the 2000-01 team also finished 6-6. CU’s six overall road wins are its most since 2003-04 (6-7 road record).

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 82.7 percent making 335 of 405 attempts. The Buffaloes hit 19 of 22 at Oregon State and 27 of 31 overall on the Oregon road trip. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 16 games and at least 90 percent in four.

ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC is 19-4 overall and leads the Pac-12 with a record of 13-3. The Trojans are ranked No. 19 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. USC saw a seven-game winning streak snapped on Feb. 20th vs. Arizona, but rebounded with a 14-point home win over Oregon on Feb. 22nd. The Trojans average 75.7 points per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field. USC allows opponents 64.1 points per game while holding teams to a Pac-12 best 38.6 shooting. The Trojans also lead the Pac-12 in rebounding (40.2 rpg) and blocked shots (5.5 bpg).

Freshman forward Evan Mobley leads USC at 16.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 60 percent from the field. Senior guard Tahj Eaddy averages 14.3 points and has a team-best 47 3-point field goals. Junior guard Drew Peterson tops the Trojans in assists at 3.0 per game while averaging 9.4 points per
contest. Sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley is second on the team in rebounding at 7.7 per game while averaging 9.6 points an outing.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 22nd meeting between Colorado and USC with the Buffaloes holding a 14-7 series lead. Colorado has won the last five, including a 72-62 decision in Los Angeles on Dec. 31st. Colorado holds a 7-2 advantage over the Trojans in Boulder.

MORE FREE THROW NUMBERS: Colorado’s 82.7 percent figure from the free throw line is ahead of the NCAA Division I, Pac-12 and Colorado single-season record pace:

Single Season Free Throw Records:
NCAA I: Harvard, .822 (535-651), 1983-84
Pac-12: Arizona, .786 (511-650), 2003-04
Colorado: .778 (679-873), 2010-11

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February 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

Arizona fansite: In defense of Sean Miller (seriously)

… Getting rid of Miller “seems like a silly and impulsive move” … 

From zonazealots.com … With only one year remaining on the contract for Arizona Basketball head coach Sean Miller, now is not the time to part ways.

Where there is smoke, there is usually fire but in this case, I hope that the rumors of Arizona Basketball head coach Sean Miller being let go after this season are untrue.

The frustration has certainly finally reached a tipping point for the Wildcat faithful, as we are approaching four-plus years of this dark cloud hanging above our beloved basketball program.

The frustration of fans can be seen and felt everywhere, and it has led to numerous, unwarranted calls for Miller to lose his job at the end of this season.

When fans call for a coach’s job to be taken away, my first response is always “who would the program replace him with that could do a better job?”

Outside of the program, there are not many options that the University of Arizona could pursue or should want to pursue. Bringing in a new coach, to get rid of the sour taste leftover by the FBI Investigation and one-year postseason ban, only to replace it with a rebuild that could take many years depending on how well the coach can recruit seems like a silly and impulsive move.

If you’re Arizona Basketball and your hope is that by replacing Sean Miller, it means the NCAA will be more lenient? Then, it is a bold and risky strategy that may not even pan out.

Yes, Miller’s results at the University of Arizona have been a bit un-Arizona-like these past few years, and the optics have been bad, to stay the least, so the calls for a “cleaner” program are at least somewhat reasonable. However, at some point fans and the Wildcat Community have to look past the FBI Investigation and look to the future of the program.

The future of the program could be led by a coach (Miller) who reached 300 wins at Arizona and was the third-fastest all-time in the Conference, who has dominated the in-state rival at every turn, and continues to recruit and adapts as the college game continues to evolve.

Not to mention the fact that he has embraced the culture that Lute Olson has set for the program by inviting alumni back to speak and even be part of the program like Jason Terry, something that Wildcat fans have been screaming for from the rooftops. Sean has been doing it and seemingly does not get the praise and recognition that he deserves.

With Sean Miller being compliant with the FBI and the University of Arizona during this investigation, even going as far as imposing a one-year postseason ban, and still going out there to empower his players to play hard each game day mainly for no other reason besides “Pride”. We as University of Arizona fans, need to give our coach another chance! Another chance to make a deep run in the tournament and regain the momentum we captured just a few years back.

I know, we as Wildcat fans can talk in the circles on this subject and it all goes back to the “FBI Investigation”. To that I say, Miller has done everything in his power to clear his name and move on.

To no fault of his own, the NCAA has drug their feet and the process has moved at a snail’s pace. If and when the NCAA wraps this up and they come back with concrete evidence against Coach Miller, then yes, move forward and go in a different direction if you feel it is best. Until then, we as fans and as a University need to back Coach Miller just like we did the day after the report broke and we played the Oregon Ducks.

There are brighter days ahead for this program and it could be a soon as next year as Miller and company are expected to return most, if not all of their core players from this squad. Stay loyal, stay strong, and as always Bear Down!

February 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Alex Strating relishing his final homestand: “I want to leave a legacy of teamwork and hard work”

From the Daily Camera … As always, Alex Strating has been putting in his work in the background.

Every day at practice Strating executes the plays, mentors the wealth of youngsters on the Colorado roster, and even absorbs a few occasional bruises all in the daily effort to make the Buffaloes a little better.

CU’s fifth-year senior forward has always been a so-called glue guy for the Buffs, a dutiful worker and mega-supportive teammate whose athleticism will never be confused with those of the players head coach Tad Boyle sends to the court every night.

Nevertheless, Strating has been an integral part of the program since arriving late in the summer in 2016. Given his lack of playing time and the fact his time at CU is likely drawing to an end, Strating finds himself savoring every practice the way his more decorated classmates, like McKinley Wright IV and D’Shawn Schwartz, might be looking forward to the Buffs’ final three home games, a run that begins Thursday night against No. 19 USC (7 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPNU).

“This season means a lot to me because it’s obviously my last season here,” Strating said. “I’ve had a really great time here. I really want to leave a legacy of teamwork and hard work behind for our younger guys to pick up on and just continue with what we’ve been building here.”

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February 22nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Arizona State game re-scheduled – Buffs to finish season with three home games 

… The makeup game will give CU a full 20-game Pac-12 conference schedule this season … 

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado and the Pac-12 Conference have rescheduled the Buffaloes’ home game with Arizona State for Thursday, Mar. 4, at the CU Events Center.

Tip time is still to be determined but the game is scheduled to air on ESPN2 or ESPNU as well as KOA 850 AM and 94.1 FM.

The game with the Sun Devils was originally scheduled for Feb. 4 but was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the ASU program.

Colorado is 17-7 overall and in fourth place in the Pac-12 at 11-6. The Buffaloes will finish the regular season with three at home, starting with USC on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.

REMAINING 2020-21 COLORADO MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

DATE                                OPPONENT                                         LOCATION                                      TIME (MT) (TV)
Thursday, Feb. 25            *USC                                               BOULDER                                         7 p.m.  (ESPN/2/U)
Saturday, Feb. 27             *UCLA                                             BOULDER                                         8 p.m.  (ESPN/2/U)
Thursday, Mar. 4              *ARIZONA STATE                            BOULDER                                     TBA  (ESPN/2/U)

New Associated Press poll: CU slipping (No. 35), but still receiving votes

From CBS Sports … A busy weekend in college basketball has set the stage for some adjustments in the rankings, as the top five teams remained the same but Alabama moved up to No. 6 and Oklahoma jumped to No. 7 in the new AP Top 25 released on Monday.

With Baylor on pause and Gonzaga going 2-0 against Saint Mary’s and San Diego with a 29-point average margin of victory between the wins, there was no change with the Bulldogs at No. 1 with 60 first-place votes and the Bears at No. 2 with four first-place votes. What we did see is some voters moving around the rest of the top five with No. 5 Illinois closing the gap with No. 4 Ohio State, but the Buckeyes held on to their top-four status in the wake of a tough home defeat to No. 3 Michigan in one of the best games of the year.

Houston fell from No. 6 to No. 12 after losing to Wichita State during the week and Virginia fell from No. 7 to No. 15 after losing to both Florida State and Duke. That opened the door for Alabama to move up two spots to No. 6, with No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 8 Villanova and No. 9 Iowa to all move up two spots as well.

West Virginia’s thrilling comeback win against Texas in Austin on Saturday set the stage for a three-spot move up for the Mountaineers to No. 10 and a two-spot drop from the Longhorns down to No. 14. Another Big 12 result from Saturday allowing for some shifting in the rankings was Kansas, now up to No. 17 just two weeks removed from seeing a 12-year AP poll ran snapped, beating Texas Tech, which dropped from No. 15 to No. 18 after the loss.

No. 19 USC and No. 25 Tennessee lost over the weekend but held on to their spots in the rankings as no teams fell out of the rankings after this week’s balloting.

RANKTEAMRECORDPOINTSPREVIOUS
1Gonzaga (60)22-01,5961
2Baylor (4)17-01,5402
3Michigan16-11,4723
4Ohio State18-51,3704
5Illinois16-51,3565
6Alabama18-51,1968
7Oklahoma14-51,1509
8Villanova14-31,13210
9Iowa17-61,08811
10West Virginia15-61,01413
11Florida State13-396716
12Houston18-39216
13Creighton16-583614
14Texas13-673012
15Virginia15-56907
16Virginia Tech14-454518
17Kansas17-753223
18Texas Tech14-747715
19Southern California18-442317
20Arkansas17-534624
21Loyola Chicago19-428822
22San Diego State17-422225
23Wisconsin16-820021
24Missouri14-614920
25Tennessee15-614519

Others receiving votes: Oklahoma St. 92, Belmont 80, Purdue 53, Oregon 53, LSU 32, BYU 19, Drake 19, UCLA 17, Clemson 13, Colorado 8, North Carolina 6, Wichita St. 6, Boise St. 5, Toledo 4, UC Santa Barbara 2, Western Kentucky 2, Winthrop 2, Xavier 2

RANKTEAMRECORDPOINTSPREV.
1Gonzaga (27)22-07951
2Baylor (4)17-07712
3Michigan (1)16-17373
4Illinois16-56575
5Ohio State18-56484
6Villanova14-36087
7Alabama18-55899
8Oklahoma14-555210
9Florida State13-349016
10Houston18-34835
11Creighton16-546812
12Iowa17-646514
13West Virginia15-646215
14Virginia15-53618
15Virginia Tech14-431417
16Texas13-630813
17Texas Tech14-722411
18USC18-421818
19Kansas17-716824
20Arkansas17-5134NR
21Oklahoma State14-613222
22Loyola Chicago19-412423
23Oregon14-411525
24Wisconsin16-810521
25San Diego State17-496NR

Others receiving votes: Missouri 83; Tennessee 74; Purdue 64; Belmont 45; Drake 22; UCLA 17; Clemson 16; LSU 13; Winthrop 9; Brigham Young 9; Boise State 8; Wichita State 7; North Carolina 5; Connecticut 3; Seton Hall 1.

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February 21st 

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women run win streak to four with road win over Washington

From CUBuffs.com …  Weekend sweeps in the Pac-12 don’t come easy, especially when on the road. The Colorado women’s basketball team fought off a late Washington charge, to pick up its first weekend sweep in eight years, leaving Alaska Airlines Arena with a 55-50 win.

“It was tough down the stretch,” head coach JR Payne admitted. “It’s even harder when you only have 24 hours to prepare for them [Washington]. In hindsight, maybe we should have taken more time earlier in the week to try and prepare for them but regardless, we held on down the stretch which I’m sure thankful for.”

The win moves Colorado to over .500 (10-9) for the first time since being 2-1 to start the season. Sunday’s victory also draws the Buffaloes to even in the Pac-12, with an 8-8 record.

Freshman Frida Formann was a key piece to the Buffs’ success. Formman, who went scoreless the previous game at Washington State, responded with 17 points to lead CU. She finished 5-for-10 from the field and hit a pair of crucial free throws in the final seconds to propel the Buffs. Formann also led the team with her six rebounds.

Senior Mya Hollingshed was the only other Buff to reach double figures. She closed the game with 12 points on just 3-of-10 shooting. Hollingshed finished 6-for-8 from the free-throw line, all coming inside the game’s final 1:47.

Colorado didn’t allow the Huskies to score more than nine points in each of the first three quarters and led by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter. UW battled back to within two points in the final three minutes, but Colorado dug deep and never gave in.

“I thought our defense really helped us down the stretch,” Payne explained. “I mean we were really struggling to score there in the fourth quarter.”

Washington (6-12, 3-12 Pac-12) had three players score in double digits. Tameiya Sadler led UW with 17 on 6-of-9 shooting. Haley Van Dyke and Darcy Rees finished with 16 and 14, respectively.

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Emotional week ahead as McKinley Wright prepares for his final home games

From the Daily Camera … It will come as no surprise to Colorado fans that the focus this week for McKinley Wright IV is directed solely on winning a few basketball games.

Still, during the upcoming week it will be difficult to keep the emotions in check. A few spine-tingling moments, and maybe even a few tears, might be inevitable.

… “It’s crazy. I’m going to try my best not to get emotional,” Wright said. “Colorado man, this place gave me a home. Like to the point where I wasn’t going to Minnesota for my summers. I was staying in Boulder. Boulder welcomed me, my coaches welcomed me. Coming where I come from, in a rough neighborhood and stuff, Boulder made it easy for me to stay and keep myself from getting into any type of trouble. I miss home, but Boulder kind of gave me the outlet to stay out of the way, stay level-headed, stay grounded, continue to work on my game.

“I’m going to try not to get emotional, but this place gave me a real home and I love the Events Center, the fans, everybody who’s been with me on this ride. It’s going to be fun and we’ve got to get these two wins at home. Potentially three if we make up the ASU one.”

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February 20th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs complete a sweep of Oregon State with a 61-57 road win

Related … “CU Buffs hold off Oregon State for critical road win” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.comMcKinley Wright IV scored 21 points and the Colorado Buffaloes held off Oregon State down the stretch Saturday to collect a 61-57 win over the Beavers at Gill Coliseum.

The Buffs, who ended a two-game losing streak, improved to 17-7 overall and 11-6 in Pac-12 play while the Beavers fell to 11-11, 7-9.

The win was CU’s fifth on the road in Pac-12 play, the most conference road wins by a Colorado team since the 1961-62 season. CU’s 11th conference win also ties for the most by the Buffs in the Pac-12 era.

Evan Battey and Jeriah Horne each added 10 points to CU’s total while D’Shawn SchwartzDallas Walton and Battey each grabbed six rebounds.

Ethan Thompson led OSU with 18 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by six at the half, 35-29, but the Beavers quickly tied it up  with a 6-0 run to open the second half.

The Buffs, though, regrouped and regained the lead. Wright ended a four-minute CU scoring drought with a 3-pointer — his first in five games — on a play aided by a wild Schwartz toss at the basket that just beat the shot clock and an offensive rebound by Evan Battey.

The Buffs then pushed the lead back to five by the midway point of the half as Wright scored Colorado’s first 11 points of the period. CU took a 48-43 edge on a Tristan da Silva bucket inside, then extended the margin to 10 with 4:19 to play on a Schwartz basket to cap a 7-2 run. Da Silva had a three-point play in the run and Wright added a 12-footer.

Oregon State then cut CU’s edge to four with 30 seconds to play, but Horne hit two free throws with 26 seconds remaining to give CU a 61-55 lead and OSU managed just one more basket in the final seconds.

Colorado fell behind early, 9-3, but used an 11-0 run to take a lead the Buffs held for the rest of the half.

Horne had five points in the run on a 3-pointer and dunk while CU’s defense was recording five straight defensive stops to help Colorado to a 14-9 lead.

CU extended its lead to eight at a couple different junctures of the second half, but the Beavers sliced the margin to three in the final minute with six unanswered points.

The Buffs, though, had the last word in the half, getting a Horne 3-pointer just before the buzzer to take a 35-29 lead into intermission.

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Buffs looking for redemption (Oregon State, 6:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From CUBuffs.com … There’s nothing wrong with the Colorado Buffaloes that a road win won’t go a long way in fixing.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs get that chance for some healing away from home Saturday when they travel to Oregon State for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Beavers at Gill Coliseum (ESPNU).

The 16-7 Buffs (10-6 Pac-12) are currently towing a two-game losing streak after a loss at Oregon on Thursday — the first time this year they have suffered consecutive losses. But a win Saturday over the Beavers (11-10, 7-8) would still give them a 2-2 record to wrap up four straight games on the road,  a relatively acceptable if not exactly desirable outcome.

It would also provide a little feel-good momentum heading into next week’s two-game home stand that will see USC and UCLA pay visits to the CU Events Center to wrap up the regular season.

But the Buffaloes aren’t looking ahead to anything past Saturday night’s matchup. While everyone in their peripheral sphere is anxious to draw comparisons to a season-ending five-game skid a year ago, the Buffs are simply looking to get over a hump that saw them come oh-so-close at Oregon on Thursday before finally dropping a 60-56 decision.

Boyle believes his team can find the winning formula if they bring the same competitiveness to the arena on Saturday.

“The belief I have in this team is unwavering,” Boyle said after the loss to the Ducks. “It was confirmed tonight, even though we didn’t win the game. We can take some good things out of it. We’re never going to be satisfied with a loss, that’s for sure. We just have to regroup and come out with that same kind of fight on Saturday.”

It is yet one more matchup for the Buffs against a team they have already beaten this season — but those rematches haven’t turned out so well for Colorado lately. CU beat Utah early in the year, then lost in the return game, and it was the same with Cal and Oregon.

It’s a trend the Buffs no doubt need to reverse.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 16-7 overall and tied with Stanford for fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-6. The Buffaloes dropped a 60-56 decision at Oregon on Feb. 18, losing consecutive games for the first time this season. Overall the Buffaloes have still won nine of their last 13 games.

CU remains one win away from matching its best total in the Pac-12 era. The Buffaloes were 11-7 in 2011-12 and would go on to win the
inaugural Pac-12 Tournament. The 10 wins matches the Buffaloes’ conference total from last season (10-8).

At 4-5 in conference road contests, the Buffaloes have equaled their best win total in the Pac-12 era. CU’s best Pac-12 road finish was 4-5 in 2012-13. The Buffaloes have at least three road conference wins for the third straight season (CU finished 3-6 in both 2018-19 & ’19-20).

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 82.5 percent making 316 of 383 attempts. The Buffaloes hit 8 of 9 at Oregon. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 15 games and at least 90 percent in four.

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 11-10 overall and seventh in the Pac-12 at 7-8. The Beavers snapped a three-game skid with a 74-56 win over Utah on Feb. 18. Ten of OSU’s 11 wins have come at home (10-4). Oregon State averages 71.0 points while shooting 42.3 percent from the field. Defensively, OSU allows 68.6 points while opponents shoot 42.9 percent overall. Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in 3-point defense (.296), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads Oregon State at 16.1 points and 4.0 assists per game. Sophomore guard Jarod Lucas leads Oregon State with 49 3-point field goals made while ranking second on the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. Lucas leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.915) and is second in 3-pointers made (2.3 3mpg). Junior forward Warith Alatishe leads the Beavers and ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 8.2 per game while pitching in 9.1 points an outing. Senior guard Zach Reichle averages 7.6 points and is second on the team in assists (3.4 apg).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 27th meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 17-9 series edge.
Colorado won the first game of the series, just a couple weeks ago, with a 78-49 decision at the CU Events Center on Feb. 8. Oregon
State holds a 6-4 advantage in Corvallis.

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February 18th – GameDay!

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall on the road to Oregon, 60-56

Related … “Turnovers lead to another missed opportunity for CU Buffs in loss at Oregon” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … A stretch of costly turnovers hurt Colorado in the second half Thursday as the Buffaloes dropped a 60-56 decision to Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Buffs fell to 16-7 overall and 10-6 in Pac-12 play while Oregon improved to 13-4, 8-3. It was the second straight loss for CU, the first time this season the Buffs have dropped back-to-back games.

D’Shawn Schwartz led CU with 16 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. Jeriah Horne added 11 points and seven rebounds for CU and McKinley Wright IV had 10 points for the Buffs.

Chris Duarte led the Ducks with 18 points.

Colorado finished with 17 turnovers — 11 in a nine-minute stretch in the second half — that led to 22 Oregon points. CU also shot just 34% for the game (21-for-61), including only 6-for-27 from 3-point range. Oregon shot 43% for the game but was 50% from the floor in the second half.

Still, the Buffs had their chances. A free throw from Schwartz tied the game at 53-53 with 2:39 to play, and CU had an open 3-pointer with 1:30 left to play and trailing by just two.

But the shot didn’t go in and the Ducks answered with a driving layup on the other end to take a four-point lead with a minute remaining and CU couldn’t come closer than three in the final seconds.

“There were two things in this game,” CU head coach Tad Boiyle said. “This is not a real difficult one to dissect as a coach. Our inability to take care of the ball and our inability to guard the ball in the second half. We have to have the gumption to step up and get a stop.”

But Boyle did find some positives, even in the loss. Despite not shooting well, the Buffs did have a 43-29 rebound edge, including 16 offensive rebounds.

“I love the fight of our team,” he said. “If we can have that fight every single night out, we’ll win our fair share of games here. We really will.”

 HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by five at intermission, 30-25, and built the cushion to seven early in the half on a pair of Dallas Walton free throws.

But the turnover bug then began to bite the Buffs and the Ducks slowly chipped away at CU’s lead. A 9-0 Oregon run midway through the half turned a 43-39 Colorado lead into a 48-43 Ducks lead, with the Buffs committing four turnovers in the run.

“We were rushing for whatever reason,” Boyle said. “I thought we got sped up all night long. They were just rushing the ball. We had some veteran guys that just got sped up. We missed some bunnies, but that’s going to happen.”

The Buffs finally ended the drought with a Keeshawn Barthelemy 3-pointer at the 8:31 mark to cut the deficit to 48-46 and Wright tied the game at 48-48 with a floater from the lane three minutes later.

But the Ducks answered with five points from Duarte sandwiched around a Horne basket to regain the lead before the Buffs tied it again at 53-53 with 2:39 remaining on a Schwartz free throw.

Oregon took the lead again a minute later on two free throws before the Buffs missed a 3-pointer and the Ducks got a Will Richardson layup for a 57-53 lead with a minute to play.

The Ducks then held the Buffs at bay over the final seconds.

“We still had a chance,” Boyle said. “We had a great look, down two, great look from three and they come down and we can’t stop them. Their players down the stretch made plays.”

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Buffs looking to avoid first back-to-back losses of the season 

From CUBuffs.com … One thing Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes have done particularly well this season is bounce back from losses.

The 16-6 Buffs (10-5 Pac-12) have not suffered back-to-back defeats all year.

But that trend will receive its most difficult test of the season Thursday when CU, coming off a disappointing 71-62 loss at Cal, heads to Oregon for a 9 p.m. (MT) matchup with the surging Ducks (12-4, 7-3).

“It speaks to the leadership, the resiliency this group has, the competitiveness,” Boyle said Wednesday, just before the team left for a weekend road trip to Oregon. “This team, this version of the Colorado Buffaloes, from my standpoint as their coach, they hurt and they’re as mad and they’re as disappointed after our losses as much as the coaching staff. I can tell you, not every team is like that. Sometimes players just brush off the loss like it’s no big deal. It’s like taking a shower, we’ll get another one tomorrow. Our team’s not like that and that’s one reason we have bounced back after losses.”

Of course, as Boyle added, bouncing back against the Ducks on their home floor will be a tall order. After battling injuries and Covid-19 pauses throughout the season, Oregon has all of its key players back in uniform and has won three in a row, including a road trip sweep of Arizona and Arizona State.

Throw in the fact that Colorado has lost five in a row on the Ducks’ home floor, and the Buffs know they have their work cut out for them.

“We’re going to get their best shot, I can promise you,” Boyle said. “It’s a big game for both teams.”

Indeed, there’s plenty at stake for each program.

The Buffs have dropped into fourth place in the conference standings and need a win to maintain their position. The Ducks, ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/Coaches poll this week, have climbed into third place and are also anxious to maintain that position.

“They have really good players and a lot of firepower offensively from a lot of different positions,” Boyle said. “Our defense is going to be challenged as much as it has been all year. They can score so many different ways.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 16-6 overall and in fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-5; just percentage points behind Oregon. The Buffaloes are coming off a road split in the Bay Area, topping Stanford, 69-51, on Feb. 11th before falling at Cal, 71-62 on Feb. 13th.

Colorado has won four of six and nine of its last 12. CU’s 10-5 conference mark equals it’s best 15-game record in the Pac-12 era joining the 2019-20 squad and the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team. The 10 wins matches the Buffaloes’ conference total from last season (10-8).

At 4-4 in conference road contests, the Buffaloes have equaled their best win total in the Pac-12 era. CU’s best Pac-12 road finish was 4-5 in 2012-13. The Buffaloes have at least three road conference wins for the third straight season (CU finished 3-6 in both 2018-19 & ’19-20).

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 82.4 percent making 308 of 374 attempts. The Buffaloes tied their season low for percentage at 71.4 after hitting 15 of 21 at California. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 14 games and at least 90 percent in four.

ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 12-4 overall and in third place in the Pac-12 at 7-3. The Ducks have won their last three and are ranked 25th in the latest USA Today Coaches poll. Oregon sports the Pac-12’s second-best scoring offense at 75.4 points per game.

The Ducks lead the Pac-12 in 3-pointers made at 8.1 per game while shooting 35.8 percent from long range. Defensively, Oregon allows 67.0 points while opponents shoot 41.6 percent. The Ducks led the Pac-12 in steals at 7.6 per game.

Eugene Omoruyi leads Oregon and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 at 17.8 points per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. Chris Duarte is right behind him in fifth on the Pac-12 scoring charts at 17.2 per game and has a team-best 38 3-point field goals. Will Richardson, who returned to the lineup two weeks ago from an injury is averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 assists over his first four games. Eric Williams, Jr., is averaging 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. LJ Figueroa is averaging 10.6 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 23rd meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding an 13-9 series lead. Colorado claimed the home win with a 79-72 decision on Jan. 7 in Boulder. That is the trend in this series as the home team has won the last 12 regular season games. The last road win was a 48-47 Colorado triumph in Eugene on Feb. 7, 2013. Oregon holds an 8-2 lead in Eugene.

Oregon Game Notes … 

• 1 – Last Thursday’s game at Arizona State was the only time this season that Oregon’s top five scorers – Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, Will Richardson, LJ Figueroa and Eric Williams Jr. – have all played in the same game.
• 2 – With Eugene Omoruyi scoring his 1,000th point as a collegian Saturday at Arizona, Oregon is now just one of two schools nationally with four 1,000-point scorers on the roster. Ole Miss is the other. Amauri Hardy, LJ Figureoa and Eric Williams Jr. are the other three 1,000-point scorers on the Ducks’ roster.
• 3 – Chris Duarte is one of just three players in the nation averaging at least 17.0 points and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field, and is the only major conference player putting up those numbers.
• 4 – Eugene Omoruyi has scored in double figures in 15-of-16 games this season. He is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.8 points per game. He had his second double-double of the season Feb. 11 at Arizona State (18 points, 10 rebounds).
• 5 – Oregon leads the Pac-12 in steals (7.6 per game) and three-point field goals (8.2 per game).

 

—–

February 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs to face an Oregon team which plays its best basketball late in season

From the San Jose Mercury NewsCommentary on Pac-12 developments on and off the court …

Rising: Oregon basketball.

USC (11-2) leads the conference by one game in the loss column and has won six in a row, but we’re not convinced the Trojans are the best team.

And we’re deeply skeptical they will be the last team standing in Las Vegas (assuming there’s a Pac-12 tournament).

The team to beat, in our view, is Oregon.

The Ducks finally have a healthy starting backcourt with scorer Chris Duarte, who missed most of January, and point guard Will Richardson, who was out for two months with a thumb injury.

Because of multiple COVID pauses, the Ducks (7-3) have played three fewer games than the L.A. schools (and five fewer than some others).

But they have won three in a row entering a stretch run schedule that presents opportunities for additional momentum.

Although the circumstances are unprecedented, the arc of Oregon’s season looks familiar.

No program in the conference consistently finishes stronger than the Ducks.

Their record the previous four seasons, from Feb. 1 through the Pac-12 tournament:

2017: 10-2
2018: 8-4
2019: 10-4
2020: 6-3
Total: 34-13

Of note: Oregon’s lone matchup against USC was postponed and may not be rescheduled, adding intrigue to a potential showdown on the final day in T-Mobile Arena.

Falling: Pac-12 outlook.

Viewed through the prism of Selection Sunday, the conference has split into four tiers:

— Tier One: USC, UCLA, Colorado and Oregon.

These four are either locks or likely candidates for the at-large pool.

— Tier Two: Arizona.

The Wildcats would be in solid shape for an at-large berth but are ineligible for the postseason (both the Pac-12 tournament and the NCAAs).

— Tier Three: Stanford.

The Cardinal (13-8/9-6) is very much on the bubble with a NET ranking in the high 50s.

— Tier Four: Arizona State, Utah, Cal, Oregon State, Washington State and Washington.

These six have no chance to make the NCAAs without the automatic berth that comes from winning the conference tournament.

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Home game against Arizona State may not be re-scheduled

From the Daily Camera … An unintended consequence of Colorado fading from the chase for the Pac-12 Conference regular season title might make a mark on the Buffaloes’ schedule.

The less a makeup date against Arizona State will impact the league standings, the less likely it is that date will see the light of day.

As it stands, the Buffs have four scheduled games remaining in the regular season — the two-game trip through Oregon that begins late Thursday night against the Ducks (9 p.m. MT, ESPN2), and next week’s home dates against Pac-12 frontrunners USC and UCLA.

CU still has an outstanding makeup date against ASU that has yet to be rescheduled. But given the Sun Devils have six potential makeup dates to fill, while Oregon has five, the Buffs-ASU date is a matchup that could fall down the list of the Pac-12’s priorities.

“I think it’s up in the air right now, given Arizona State’s situation and how many games they have to make up” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We’ll see. I don’t know.”

Barring a late collapse by an Oregon team that finally is playing nearly at full strength after suffering through personnel issues all season, the Ducks likely will take precedence when it comes to rescheduling their five lost games. Almost all of them could have an impact on who ultimately claims the regular season title, with the Ducks still in need of rescheduling games against ASU, Arizona, USC, and two games against UCLA.

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February 16th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs (frustratingly) playing to the level of their competition

From the Daily Camera … The numbers can be parsed in all sorts of ways, but at the end of the day there is one primary reason why Colorado is looking more like a team angling to stay atop the crowded middle pack in the Pac-12 Conference than one taking aim at the regular season championship.

Simply put, the Buffaloes generally are playing to the level of the competition, whether that is posting wins against the NCAA Tournament-caliber teams ahead of them in the standings or continually stubbing their collective toes against the teams trailing them.

“It’s frustrating as hell is what it is,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “It’s frustrating. It doesn’t matter what league you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Big Ten or the Pac-12 or the Big Sky, you name the league. You’d better be ready to play every night you step out, because you can get beat. The last-place team can beat the first-place team or the fourth-place team or whatever the heck we were going in (to Cal). It can happen on any night if you let it happen. And we let it happen (at Cal). We let this happen.

“We’ve got to get better, and I’ve got to do a better job.”

CU begins the week at 10-5 within the league, falling two games back in the loss column to third-place Oregon, which the Buffs visit late Thursday night (9 p.m. MT, ESPN2). Saturday’s stunning loss at a Cal squad that entered the game just 2-13 in league play occurred 48 hours after the Buffs posted an impressive road win against a much more talented Stanford team.

Continue reading story here

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February 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs looking to regroup: “We just have to try and win our next game”

From the Daily Camera … Each basketball season operates independently from previous seasons. But fairly or not, the frustrating finish to last season has had Colorado fans bracing for the worst even in the best of times in 2020-21.

Saturday certainly gave Buffs backers reason to fret.

Continuing their two-steps-forward, one-step-back pattern in Pac-12 Conference play, CU squandered a welcome opportunity to gain a rare two-game road sweep on Saturday, as Cal, previously just 2-13 in the league, led the Buffs throughout the second half before handing CU a 71-62 defeat.

… The challenge going forward, beginning with a two-game trip in Oregon that starts Thursday night against the Ducks (9 p.m. MT, ESPN2) will be to avoid letting the Cal loss snowball into a similar fade as last season, when CU lost its final five games before the NCAA Tournament was canceled.

“We just have to try to win our next game,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “That’s all we’ve got to worry about. That’s all we’ve got to think about, is getting better. We’ve got a couple guys banged up. We’ve got to get better. We’re facing an Oregon team on Thursday who’s playing better. They’ve got all hands on deck now. They’ve got Will Richardson back. (Chris) Duarte is back. We’ve just got to figure out how to win the next game. We can’t worry about anything other than that, and stay focused on that. Getting better every day, improving, and win the next game.”

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February 13th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs struggle on offense; can’t make crucial stops late in falling to Cal, 71-62

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado struggled on the offensive end all night and the Buffaloes couldn’t come up with key defensive stops down the stretch Saturday as the Buffaloes dropped a 71-62 decision to Cal at Haas Pavilion.

The Buffs fell to 16-6 overall and 10-5 in Pac-12 play while seeing their three-game win streak come to an end. The Bears, who prevented CU from gaining a Bay Area road trip sweep, improved to 8-15 and 3-13.

McKinley Wright IV led CU with 13 points and also collected his 600th career rebound, making him the first player in Pac-12 history with 1,600 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds. Eli Parquet added 10 points for CU and Jeriah Horne had eight points and 12 rebounds.

Matt Bradley, who did not play in an 89-60 Colorado victory in mid-January in Boulder, led Cal with 29 points.

The Buffs shot just 40 percent for the game, including just 3-for-15 from 3-point range. Cal also shot only 40 percent, but the Bears hit 20 of 28 free throws while CU was 15-for-21 from the line. The Bears hit seven 3-pointers.

CU also had a season-low five assists — only their second time in single digits all season — while the Bears’ 28 free throws were the most by a Buffs opponent this year.

“This one stings,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We talked about in the pregame, Cal is a team that’s playing better. They’re a helluva lot better than their record, I can tell you that. With that being said, this is a game we should have won, but we weren’t good enough tonight. We weren’t good enough defensively and we weren’t good enough offensively. When you put those two things together, it’s hard to win in any league.”

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado trailed 36-33 after a first half that featured 10 lead changes, but quickly seized the lead with a 5-0 burst to start the second half on an Evan Battey basket and Parquet 3-pointer.

But the Bears quickly regained the edge with a 12-4 run and the Buffs could never completely close the gap again. Even when Cal endured a seven-minute stretch without a field goal, the Bears managed to hold CU at bay by hitting free throws and forcing empty Buffs possessions.

“We did a lot of standing around,” Wright said. “The coaches had the perfect scouting report and we just didn’t execute.”

Colorado pulled to within one, 50-49, on a Wright three-point play with 10:45 remaining, but Cal again answered, building a seven-point lead — its biggest of the game — with 3:36 to play.

The Buffs then managed to shave the deficit down to two at a couple junctures in the final minutes. Wright hit two free throws with 1:02 on the clock to pull CU to within 62-60, but Bradley then delivered a dagger 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to give Cal a 65-60 lead.

The Buffs then missed a 3-pointer on their next possession and Cal hit free throws in the final seconds to sew up the win.

Buffs look to post elusive road sweep by beating last place Cal (8:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From the Daily Camera … History is well within reach for the Colorado men’s basketball team. And now is the time the Buffaloes can start truly vanquishing some demons that have been simmering for an entire year.

Putting together arguably their finest all-around performance of the season, the Buffs thoroughly dismantled Stanford on Thursday for a 69-51 win. The win was meaningful on a number of fronts.

Combined with a loss by suddenly-struggling UCLA at Washington State, the Buffs, in third-place in the Pac-12 Conference, moved to within one game of the second-place Bruins in the loss column with a home date still remaining between the teams. It was CU’s fourth road win in Pac-12 play this season, matching the program’s most in the Pac-12 era with ample opportunities to add more.

Most importantly, the road win moved the Buffs into the top 12 as of Friday morning in both the NET (12th) and at KenPom.com (11th). The NCAA Tournament bid that was denied CU when last year’s tournament was canceled is well within reach. But after limping into the abrupt end of last season with a five-game losing streak, the Buffs are after more this year, and CU can make another statement that this stretch run will be different by gaining a rare road sweep Saturday night at Cal.

“I think what you’re seeing with this team is a bunch of seniors who know what happened last year,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “They had the NCAA Tournament pulled out from underneath them last year. They don’t want to let that happen this year. They’re sacrificing off the court. They’re sacrificing for each other on the court. This is a really cohesive group and a mature group.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 16-5 overall and in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 10-4. The Buffaloes’ 10 conference wins match first-place USC, but the Trojans have a two-game advantage in the loss column. Colorado has won four of five and nine of its last 11.

CU’s 10-4 conference mark equals it’s best 14-game record in the Pac-12 era joining the 2019-20 squad and the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team. The 10 wins matches the Buffaloes’ conference total from last season (10-8).

At 4-3 in conference road contests, the Buffaloes have equaled their best win total in the Pac-12 era. CU’s best Pac-12 road finish was 4-5 in 2012-13. The Buffaloes have at least three road conference wins for the third straight season (CU finished 3-6 in both 2018-19 & ’19-20).

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 83.0 percent, making 293 of 353 attempts. The Buffaloes tied season lows for free throws made and attempted at Stanford, but by connecting on 5 of 6 Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 14 games and at least 90 percent in four.

Along with owning the Pac-12’s top spot in free throw percentage, the Buffaloes top the conference in turnovers (11.0 topg), 3-point shooting (.381) and scoring margin (+12.3). Colorado ranks second in field goal percentage (.465), 3-pointers made (8.0 3mpg), scoring defense (63.2 ppg), rebounding defense (30.8 rpg), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and turnover margin (+2.9), third in scoring (75.5 ppg) and fourth in assists (14.6 apg) and rebounding margin (+4.0).

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 7-15 overall and in last place in the Pac-12 at 2-13. The Bears have dropped their last seven, including a 76-75 setback against Utah on Feb. 11th. The Bears average 66.8 points while shooting 44.0 percent from the field. Defensively, California allows its opponents 70.5 points per game on 47.0 percent shooting, that number ranking last in the Pac-12.

Junior guard Matt Bradley averages 18.5 points per game and is third on the team in rebounding at 4.4 per contest. Junior forward Andre Kelly averages 10.4 points and leads California in both rebounding at 6.2 per game and shooting at 58.6 percent. Senior forward Grant Anticevich averages just under 10 points while grabbing 4.6 rebounds per game. Graduate transfers Ryan Betley and Makale Foreman share the team lead in 3-pointers with 41 each.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 36th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 19-16 advantage. The Buffaloes have won seven of the last nine overall in the series including an 89-60 decision on Jan. 14th in Boulder. Colorado is 12-2 all-time against California in Boulder and has won the last four. The Bears hold a 13-2 advantage in Berkeley.

—–

February 11th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs dominate Stanford, 69-51, to collect a big road win

… McKinley Wright (14 points, nine rebounds, nine assists) just shy of a triple double … 

From CUBuffs.comMcKinley Wright IV just missed a triple-double and Colorado used balanced scoring and solid defense Thursday to collect a 69-51 win over Stanford, giving the Buffaloes a season sweep of the Cardinal.

CU improved to 16-5 overall and 10-4 in Pac-12 play while Stanford fell to 12-8, 8-6. The win kept the Buffs firmly in third place in the Pac-12 standings and gave them their fourth conference road win of the season, tying the most in their Pac-12 history.

Wright finished with 14 points, nine assists and nine rebounds, Eli Parquet added 10 points, and D’Shawn Schwartz and Jeriah Horne each chipped in nine.

Oscar da Silva led Stanford with 22 points.

The Buffs started the game with a 10-0 run before Stanford rallied to take a momentary 13-12 lead. But another 10-0 Colorado run put the Buffs back in the lead and they never trailed again, as the closest Stanford could come was within six midway through the second half. The Buffs then answered that Stanford rally with yet one more 10-0 run to put the game away.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by 11 at the half, 34-23, before Stanford made one more run to shave the margin to six, 49-43, with 11:32 to play.

But the Buffs then regained control to put the game away with their third 10-0 run of the game. Horne and Maddox Daniels each had 3-pointers in the surge before a Horne dunk with 9:26 to play gave CU a 57-43 edge.

Colorado then pushed its lead to 14 on a Battey basket before Stanford finally ended a four-minute scoring drought to pull within 59-45. But Wright then scored back-to-back buckets to give CU an 18-point cushion, 63-45, with seven minutes to play.

The Buffs then held Stanford at bay down the stretch to win their third game in a row and ninth in their last 11.

Colorado jumped out to a 10-0 lead, only to see Stanford respond with a 13-2 run to take a 13-12 lead midway through the half.

But the Buffs regained control over the last 10 minutes. CU put together another 10-0 run, getting 3-pointers from Tristan da Silva and Dallas Walton in the surge to take a 22-13 lead. The Buffs then extended their cushion to 11 points by halftime, with Eli Parquet hitting a 3-pointer and Schwartz scoring four points in the final five minutes.

The Buffs then maintained that cushion throughout the half, taking a 34-23 lead into intermission.

Buffs (15-5, 9-4) looking to create separation in conference standings v. Stanford (12-7, 8-5)

From the Daily Camera … The sibling rivalry between the da Silva brothers is going to be a brief one in college basketball.

Yet for those back home in Munich, Germany, who know Stanford star Oscar da Silva and his younger brother, Colorado freshman Tristan da Silva, their brotherly battles already have become must-see TV.

While Oscar da Silva has been the steady, standout anchor for a Stanford squad that has dealt with personnel issues for much of the season, Tristan da Silva is coming off the biggest game of his young career. Barring a Buffs-Cardinal matchup in the Pac-12 Conference tournament next month, or the elder da Silva making the unexpected decision to remain at Stanford rather than pursuing a pro career, the da Silva brothers will match up for the final time when the Buffs visit Stanford on Thursday for a key Pac-12 Conference showdown.

… The Buffs will face a Stanford team boasting a much different look than the one that lost in Boulder on Jan. 16, yet the Cardinal might be equally short-handed. In that previous matchup, Stanford played without defensive ace Bryce Wills as well as 3-point specialist Spencer Jones.

Jones missed only that one game due to an injury he suffered two days earlier at Utah. Wills missed nine games overall before returning on Sunday during the Cardinal’s home win against Cal, coming off the bench to go 3-for-3 with two assists in 15 minutes. However, since that game at CU, Stanford has played without starting guard Daejon Davis and standout freshman Ziaire Williams, both of whom have missed the past six games.

Regardless of who has been in the rotation, Stanford’s efficient, Oscar da Silva-led attack leads the Pac-12 in league games with a .478 team field goal percentage.

“They run their offense with great pace,” Boyle said. “They move hard. They cut hard. They move the ball from side to side, and then they attack you. A lot of teams will come down and they’ll run a set. Or they’ll run some sort of false motion into a set. What Stanford does is they run their offense at a really good pace and move the ball from one side to the other, and then they hit you with a set. And they know the set’s coming. You may not know the set’s coming.”

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Game Notes … Colorado is 15-5 overall and in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 9-4. The Buffaloes’ nine conference wins match current co-leaders USC and UCLA (9-2), but the L.A. schools have a two-game advantage in the loss column. Colorado won three of four during its recent home stand and overall has won eight of its last 10.

CU’s 9-4 conference mark equals it’s best 13-game record in the Pac-12 era joining the 2019-20 squad and the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team; both of those teams improved to 10-4.

At 3-3 in road Pac-12 contests, the Buffaloes have at least three road conference wins for the third straight season, with four more to play (CU finished 3-6 in both 2018-19 & ’19-20). CU’s best Pac-12 road record was 4-5 in 2012-13.

FREE THROW NUMBERS: Colorado’s 83.0 percent figure from the free throw line is ahead of the NCAA Division I, Pac-12 and Colorado single-season record pace:

Single Season Free Throw Records:
NCAA I: Harvard, .822 (535-651), 1983-84
Pac-12: Arizona, .786 (511-650), 2003-04
Colorado: .778 (679-873), 2010-11

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 12-7 overall and in fifth place in the Pac-12 at 8-5; just one game behind Colorado. The Cardinal are coming off back-to-back wins over California last week. Stanford will be playing just its third game at Maples Pavilion, returning for the first time against USC on Feb. 2. Stanford averages 72.3
points while shooting a Pac-12 best 46.9 percent from the field. The Cardinal allow just 68.4 points per game while holding opponents to 40.1 percent shooting, the latter being the second-best figure in the Pac-12. Stanford averages 7.1 steals per game, ranking third on the league charts.

Senior forward Oscar da Silva leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 19.4 points per game and ranks fifth in field goal shooting at 57.6 percent. Da Silva, an all-Pac-12 forward, leads the Cardinal in rebounding as well at 7.2 per game. Senior guard Daejon Davis, limited to seven games this year, averages 13.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Freshman Ziaire Williams averages 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds. Spencer Jones averages 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds and leads Stanford in both steals (27) and 3-pointers made (26). Jaiden Delaire averages 13.1 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 26th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding a 14-11 series edge. Colorado took care of its home floor with a 77-64 decision on Jan. 16. The Buffaloes have won 11 of the last 13 over the Cardinal. Stanford holds a 6-4 edge on their home floor and has won the last two at Maples.

—–

February 10th

… CU in the Arena … 

Rout of Oregon State allowed starters some much needed rest: “My goal is to keep this team fresh”

From the Daily Camera … “I went down to McKinley, 12 minutes to go, asked him how he was feeling, ‘Do you want to go?’” Boyle said. “He was like, ‘I’ll take the rest of the night off.’ And Evan, that ankle is just now where we need it to be. Certainly both those guys are banged up. We need them healthy as we head down the stretch here.”

Wright’s court time of 25 minutes, 19 seconds was his second-fewest of the season. Battey, who turned his ankle just 48 hours earlier in the waning moments of the win against Arizona, played for a season-least 11:54. CU’s junior forward picked up two fouls by the 13:27 mark of the first half and didn’t return until after halftime. Starters D’Shawn Schwartz and Eli Parquet also played less than their average minutes.

Battey can thank freshman Tristan da Silva for giving him a chance to rest that ankle. Da Silva more than picked up the slack, going 6-for-6 with 15 points and four rebounds.

… Rather than going through a traditional practice on Tuesday, Boyle said he planned to make it a lighter day of film work and individual workouts. And it likely meant extra treatment for Battey’s ankle and Wright’s knee.

… “My goal is to keep this team fresh mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally as we head through February. Because this has been a long year. And a trying year on everybody. So we’re just going to try to stay fresh and take care of business.”

Read full story here

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February 8th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena …

Buffs build a big lead – and then make it stand up in 78-49 rout of Oregon State

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado built a big early lead Monday, then refused to allow Oregon State to mount a comeback, as the Buffaloes put the hammer down in the second half and ran away with a 78-49 win over Oregon State at the CU Events Center.

The Buffs improved to 15-5 overall and 9-4 in Pac-12 play while the Beavers fell to 10-8 and 6-6 while also seeing their two-game win streak at the Events Center come to an end.

CU had three players in double figures, led by Jeriah Horne’s 16 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Tristan da Silva had career highs in points (15) and rebounds (four) and senior Dallas Walton chipped in 12 points and seven boards.

Ethan Thompson led OSU with 10 points — eight under his average — as the Buffs limited him to just 3-for-8 shooting. CU also held OSU’s second-leading scorer, Jarod Lucas, to just four points, nine under his season average.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado took control midway through the first half and never let up. The Buffs used 9-2 and 12-2 runs to take a 13-point lead at the half, 40-27, then built the margin to 24 five minutes into the second half with a 13-2 run.

Eli Parquet had two buckets in the run to open the half, getting great feeds from Horne and Walton. Horne also had a 3-pointer in the surge as well as a fast-break dunk off a long pass from Wright.

Horne’s dunk gave Colorado a 24-point cushion, 53-29, with 15:15 still to play — and unlike their last two outings, the Buffs didn’t allow their opponents to mount a comeback.

Instead, the Buffs kept up the pressure, maintaining their big margin down the stretch. Da Silva had six straight CU points — two baskets inside and two free throws — just past the midway point of the half and with 7:53 to play, CU still had a 24-point edge, 61-37.

The Buffs then kept the pressure on down the stretch, pushing their lead to as much as 33 in the final minute.

Colorado surged to a 13-point lead at the half, 40-27, thanks to 9-2 and 12-2 runs over the last 10 minutes of the period.

Offensively, the Buffs got a big boost off the bench in the first 20 minutes. Horne tallied 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting while Tristan da Silva, who came in when Evan Battey was whistled for his second foul less than 7 minutes in, had seven points, two rebounds and an assist.

Defensively, Colorado forced 11 turnovers by the Beavers, who were averaging just 11 per game coming into the contest, and CU converted those miscues into 19 points.

NEXT UP: The Buffs hit the road for a four-game trip, beginning with a Thursday game at Stanford (5 p.m., ESPNU) and followed by a Saturday tilt at Cal (8 p.m., ESPNU). After that, CU plays Feb. 18 at Oregon (9 p.m., ESPN2) and Feb. 20 at Oregon State (6 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU).

No rest for the weary: CU v. Oregon State (5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … Of all the Pac-12 Conference teams that could easily trample the usually-reliable home court advantage of the Colorado Buffaloes, one of the least likely to fit that bill is Oregon State.

Still, since the start of the 2018-19 season, the Buffs have topped every Pac-12 Conference foe at home except one. And that’s Oregon State.

Coming off a tough 82-79 home win on Saturday night against Arizona, the Buffs will have an opportunity to generate some momentum ahead of a challenging run on the road while vanquishing some orange-and-black demons when they take on the Beavers on Monday evening.

The game originally was scheduled for Jan. 9 but was postponed due to coronavirus issues at OSU. The Beavers have won their past two games at the CU Events Center, stunning the Buffs both times with comeback victories.

“They’re playing very well right now,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “They swept the Washington schools at home and they beat Oregon at Oregon, which a lot of people don’t do. Oregon State is going to come in and they’re going to play a lot of zone. We know that. They’ve got a lot of new players that our players aren’t familiar with. They’re playing really well right now and we’re going to have to work on our zone offense (on Sunday) and that’s what we’re going to do to be ready for the Beavers.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 14-5 overall and in third place in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-4, one and one-half games behind co-leaders USC and UCLA (9-2). The Buffaloes rebounded from their first home loss of the season with an 82-79 triumph over Arizona on Feb. 6.

Colorado’s 8-4 conference mark equals it’s best 12-game record in the Pac-12 era joining the 2019-20 squad and the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team.
The win over Arizona gave head coach Tad Boyle his 100th career conference win at Colorado, in his 11th season with the Buffaloes. He is the second Colorado coach to reach that milestone – Sox Walseth won 148 Big 7/8 games from 1956-76.

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 10-7 overall and 6-5 in the Pac-12. The Beavers are coming off a home sweep of Washington (91-71) and Washington State (68-66). The will be Oregon State’s fifth game away from home on the season, having gone 1-3 in the previous four. Oregon State averages 72.5 points while shooting 42.9 percent from the field. The Beavers are the Pac-12’s second-best free throw shooting team at 76.6 percent. Defensively, OSU allows 68.3 points while opponents shoot 42.6 percent overall. Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in 3-point defense (.296), assists (16.1 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).

Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads Oregon State at 16.1 points and 4.2 assists per game. Sophomore guard Jarod Lucas leads Oregon State with 41 3-point field goals made while ranking second on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game. Lucas leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.922) and is second in 3-pointers made (2.4 3mpg). Junior forward Warith Alatishe leads the Beavers and ranks second in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 8.3 per game while pitching in 8.9 points an outing. Senior guard Zach Reichle averages 8.5 points and is second on the team in assists (3.5 apg).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 26th meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 16-9 series edge. The teams split last season, with the road team claiming the victory in both games. Colorado holds a 9-3 advantage in Boulder, but the Beavers have won their last two played at the CU Events Center.

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February 6th – GameDay!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs build a big early lead, blow it, then rally in final minutes to defeat Arizona, 82-79

From CUBuffs.com … Evan Battey scored 21 points, including four free throws in the final 15 seconds, to lift Colorado to an 82-79 win over Arizona on Saturday at the CU Events Center.

CU improved to 14-5 overall and 8-4 in Pac-12 play while Arizona dropped to 13-6, 7-6.

McKinley Wright IV chipped in 17 points and six assists for the Buffs, including a basket with 37 seconds remaining in the game, and Jeriah Horne added 10.

Benedict Mathurin led Arizona with 22 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado built an early 19-2 lead and still had a nine-point cushion at the half, 41-32.

But the Wildcats continued to chip away at CU’s lead and finally took the lead, 53-52, with 10:48 to play in the game.

Colorado momentarily regained the lead, but the Wildcats came back and pushed their cushion to four with just more than six minutes to play, then kept the Buffs at bay over the next five minutes.

But CU finally tied it up with 1:11 remaining when Wright found an open Eli Parquet on the wing, who drained a 3-pointer to knot the score at 76-76.

Colorado then took a 78-76 lead after Battey came up with a big block on the defensive end before Wright hit a floater with 37 seconds remaining to give CU a 78-76 lead.

Arizona then quickly tied it at 78 before Battey gave CU an 80-78 edge with 15 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws.

The Wildcats then had a chance to tie it with 5.6 seconds remaining, but Terrell Brown made just one of two free throws and Colorado held on to an 80-79 lead.

Battey was then fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds on the clock, despite an ankle injury that made it difficult for him to walk.

Arizona then missed a last-second 3-point attempt to give Colorado the win.

Read full story here

Buffs hoping to bounce back against Arizona: “It’s a big time game” (6:00 p.m., FS1)

Related … “Arizona visit a chance for CU Buffs to get back on track” … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.com … It has no doubt been a long week for the Colorado Buffaloes.

With a scheduled Thursday night game against Arizona State postponed, the Buffs have now had an entire week to first think about last Saturday’s stunning loss to Utah, then put the game behind them.

Now, Tad Boyle‘s Buffs (13-5 overall, 7-4 Pac-12) will finally get that chance Saturday when they play host to Arizona (13-5, 7-5) in a 6 p.m. game at the CU Events Center (FS1).

The tendency, of course, is to put a “must win” tag on Saturday’s game, especially in light of last week’s end-of-game collapse against the Utes, when the Buffs let a 19-point lead melt away in the final eight minutes of the game.

But while the Buffs no doubt want to win — and need a win to stay firmly in position for a top-four Pac-12 finish — Boyle has stressed that there is no such thing as a make-or-break affair at this point of the season.

There is, after all, plenty of basketball yet to be played.

“We want to win, we want to get back on that track, we know how important it is,” CU’s coach said in a Friday afternoon press conference. “But it’s not like if we don’t win on Saturday, our season’s over with, because it’s not. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. Sometimes you can put too much pressure on yourself or your team. I want them to play with confidence, with a free spirit from the standpoint of ‘I’m not afraid to make mistakes.'”

In a weird twist of the schedule, both teams are coming off losses to Utah. The Buffs dropped a 77-74 decision at home to Utah last Saturday while the Wildcats suffered a 73-58 loss in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

But the Buffs also know how good the Wildcats can be. In their first meeting this season, the Wildcats handed Colorado it’s worst loss of the season, an 88-74 decision in Tucson in late December.

“Sean Miller is a helluva coach and they’re going to be ready to go,” Boyle said. “They have competitive young men in that program and it’s going to be a different animal (Saturday) in Boulder than we saw in Salt Lake (Thursday).”

The Wildcats are also playing with a little different motivation. Because of an NCAA inquiry into alleged violations within the program, Arizona self-imposed a postseason ban this year. That means no Pac-12 tournament or NCAA Tournament.

Thus, as Boyle said, “This regular season is their season.”

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 13-5 overall and 7-4 in the Pac12 Conference. The Buffaloes are coming off their first home loss of the season, a 77-74 setback to Utah on Jan. 30. Colorado was supposed to host Arizona State on Feb. 4, but that game has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns in the Sun Devils’ program.

Head coach Tad Boyle will be in search of his 100th career conference win at Colorado, in his 11th season with the Buffaloes. He would be the second Colorado coach to reach that milestone – Sox Walseth won 148 Big 7/8 games from 1956-76.

Colorado’s 7-4 conference mark equals it’s second-best 11-game record in the Pac-12 era. The 2019-20 team began 8-3 while the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team also began 7-4.

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is 13-5 overall and 7-5 in the Pac12. The Wildcats saw a four-game road winning streak end with a 73-58 setback at Utah to begin their week. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 77.6 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field. The Wildcats also top the conference in 3-point percentage (.378). Arizona allows 68.0 points per game while opponents shoot 42.2 percent. The Wildcats allow the fewest rebounds per game (30.8 rpg) and own the best rebounding margin (+8.5).

Junior guard James Akinjo leads Arizona at 14.6 points, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Akinjo leads the Pac-12 in assists during conference games at 6.3 per game. Freshman forward Azuolas Tubelis tops the Wildcats in rebounding at 6.3 per games while ranking second in scoring at 11.2 points per contest. Freshman Bennedict Mathurin also averages 11.2 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Sophomore center Christian Koloko averages 5.2 points and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 51.5 percent.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 36th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 21-14 edge. Arizona won the first game of this season’s series, taking an 88-74 decision in Tucson on Dec. 28. Colorado has a 10-3 all-time lead over Arizona in Boulder and has won the last three. In a scheduling quirk, this will be just the third time in the last 11 games of the series where the two teams meet in Boulder (three of those in that time frame are neutral site Pac-12 Tournament games).

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February 5th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU to join CSU in Virgin Islands tournament in November

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team will participate in the 2021 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, Nov. 19-22, in St. Thomas.

The event returns to the Virgin Islands after COVID-19 forced the event to be played in Washington D.C. in 2020.

Colorado will join Bradley, Brown, Colorado State, Creighton, Duquesne, Northeastern and Southern Illinois, guaranteeing each team three games. All games will broadcast live on ESPN3 or ESPN+. The bracket and schedule will be announced at a later date, as well as the women’s tournament field.

Colorado won the 2017 Paradise Jam that was relocated to Lynchburg, Va., due to damage in the Virgin Islands from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“We’re so excited to return to the islands in 2021 after having to host the event away from the territory in 2020 for the second time in four years,” said Paradise Jam Executive Director Nels Hawkinson. “The hurricanes in 2017 and COVID-19 last year have presented us a ton of challenges, but the U.S.V.I. is where this tournament belongs and we can’t wait to be back home with a men’s field as strong as this one.”

Creighton has also participated in the Paradise Jam once before, winning the event in 2016.  Bradley, Brown, Colorado State, Duquesne, Northeastern, and Southern Illinois are making their debuts in the islands.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming a competitive group of men’s teams to St. Thomas next fall,” said Tournament Director Jennifer Ashby. “This was a difficult year, deciding to relocate the 2020 tournament, but ultimately it was the safe and responsible decision for everyone. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the U.S.V.I. community and especially the Department of Tourism. Now, we’re excited to return to the territory and bring Paradise Jam back to the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Information on fan packages and travel will come later this year. For updates on the tournament visit paradisejam.com.

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February 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

ASU cancellation gives extra prep time for Arizona: “I’ve got no reason to believe our guys won’t be resilient”

From the Daily Camera … Instead of preparing to host an Arizona State team that finally was showing signs of play more in line with the Sun Devils’ lofty preseason expectations, Colorado took an unplanned day off on Wednesday.

That gave the Buffaloes another 24 hours to stew over, and try to get past, last weekend’s collapse against Utah.

With Thursday’s home date against Arizona State postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the ASU program, head coach Tad Boyle opted to give his team a day off Wednesday before reconvening on Thursday to begin preparations for Saturday’s home date against Arizona, a matchup moving forward as planned (6 p.m., FS1).

That will give CU one more practice than planned to prepare for a Wildcats team that handed the Buffs an 88-74 defeat in their Pac-12 Conference opener. More pertinent to the Buffs than gaining a little payback, as well as a regular season split, against the Wildcats will be CU’s ability to shake off the disaster against Utah that saw the Buffs waste a 19-point lead with less than 9 minutes remaining.

Before going into a forced hiatus for a few days, CU head coach Tad Boyle said he was pleased with the way his team responded at practice early this week.

“The thing I’ve learned in 27 years of coaching is how resilient young men are,” Boyle said. “I’ve got no reason to believe our guys won’t be resilient. Big picture scenario, the thing I shared with them is we’ve got four losses in conference play, and three of those four losses have been one-possession games. Every one has been a different kind of scenario, but they’ve been one-possession games so we’re right there. We’ve got to figure out how to turn those into wins.”

Continue reading story here

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February 2nd 

… CU in the Arena … 

Arizona State game Thursday postponed (ASU COVID issues)

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball game against Arizona State originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4, has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Sun Devils 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 Arizona on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. at the CU Events Center (FS1, KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM).

This is the sixth schedule change of the Buffaloes’ season and fourth 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 played on Jan. 27. The Buffaloes Jan. 9 game against Oregon State was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Beavers. That game has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 8, 5 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

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February 1st 

… CU in the Arena … 

Buff suffering from an identity crisis as March Madness approaches

From the Daily Camera … Colorado is enjoying a solid year offensively, and the star point guard McKinley Wright IV is enjoying a career year as a senior.

It is the pillars coach Tad Boyle has built his program upon, defense and rebounding, that aren’t supporting the Buffaloes.

Saturday’s loss offered a new low for the Buffs, who squandered a 19-point lead with less than 9 minutes remaining as senior guard Alfonso Plummer shot the Utes to victory by leading a game-ending 31-9 run.

It was a devastating setback, and one the Buffs will be challenged to shake off before hosting Arizona State on Thursday (9 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPNU). Yet since the start of Pac-12 play a month ago, a CU program that, generally speaking, has featured strong defense and rebounding with an inconsistent offense throughout coach Tad Boyle’s 11-season tenure suddenly is facing an identity crisis.

The offense has shown up consistently. The defense and rebounding have not.

When CU opened Pac-12 play at Arizona on Dec. 28, the Buffs made 12 3-pointers but the Wildcats shot .526, which remains a season-high for a CU opponent. The Buffs also were outrebounded and lost.

In a loss at Washington on Jan. 20, the Buffs shot .464 overall, despite a 1-for-18 night on 3-pointers. They committed only five turnovers, CU’s lowest total in nine years, and scored 80 points on the road, but UW hit a season-high 12 3-pointers.

Continue reading story here

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January 31st

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs proving to be a tough team to love (or trust)

From the Daily Camera … Colorado fans want to jump on board.

Thanks to nearly a full year of staying home and watching games at empty venues on TV, Buffaloes fans are as starved as ever for something to get behind. A men’s basketball team with a program all-time great at point guard and a likeable roster making midseason noise at a Pac-12 Conference title run for the second consecutive year seemingly would be a great place to start.

Yet Saturday’s collapse, epic by any standard, offered a jarring reminder why it’s so difficult to fully embrace this team. They can’t be trusted to avoid laying the occasional egg.

For a program that suffered mind-numbing collapses last year and even in the most recent NCAA Tournament season of 2015-16, Saturday’s 77-74 loss to Utah was perhaps a new low. CU is in the midst of a five-game homestand being looked at as an opportunity to cement the Buffs’ place in the Pac-12 hunt. The Utes never are an easy out, but this veteran bunch of Buffs led by 19 points after pair of McKinley Wright IV free throws with 8 minutes, 46 seconds remaining.

Good teams get the job done from there. The Buffs did not.

Utah outscored the Buffs 31-9 the rest of the way. Dissect the Xs and Os as much as anyone wants, and there were plenty of issues to point at, but the bottom line is good teams don’t lose these games at home, whether it’s in front of a sold-out crowd or before no fans at all. Now the Buffs and head coach Tad Boyle have to head back to the drawing board to try to make sure Saturday’s gut punch doesn’t turn into the sort of prolonged swoon that marred the end of last season.

Continue reading story here

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January 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs blow a 19-point lead before falling to Utah at home, 77-74

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado allowed a 19-point lead to disappear in a five-minute second-half stretch Saturday and the Buffaloes dropped a critical 77-74 decision to Utah at the CU Events Center.

CU fell to 13-5 overall and 7-4 in the Pac-12 while Utah improved to 7-7, 4-6.

McKinley Wright IV led Colorado with 15 points and Jeriah Horne chipped in 10 for the Buffs.

But CU had no answer on the defensive end for Utah’s Alfonso Plummer, who finished with 23 points, all in the second half.

The Buffs had a seven-point lead at the half, 43-36, and appeared to be in complete control when they extended the cushion to 19, 65-46, with just under nine minutes to play. But the Utes then put together a 26-4 run that produced a 70-69 lead with 3:24 to play and a three-point edge, 72-69, a minute later.

Colorado managed to tie it up at 72-72 with 1:22 to go, but the Utes put the game away in the final minute.

Utah shot 52% from the floor in the second half (16-for-31) while the Buffs were just 13-for-30. CU also lost the rebound battle, 31-30, and the Utes were 16-for-19 from the free throw line while the Buffs attempted just six free throws and made five.

It was the third time in the last four games that the Buffs have had trouble closing out second-half leads. They lost at Washington two weeks ago and managed to hold off a Washington State rally earlier this week.

But their inability to close hurt them in a big way Saturday.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever been more disappointed in a loss in my career,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “To have a game in hand like that and not finish it … It’s not like we didn’t talk about the way they could get back in the game. At some point you have to stop talking about things and you have to do them.”

Continue reading story here

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January 29th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Boyle: Taking Utah for granted would be a mistake (Sat., 12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks)

From CUBuffs.com … Halfway through the Pac-12 season, the Colorado Buffaloes (13-4, 7-3) find themselves in third place in the league standings — well within striking range of league-leading UCLA — and a favorable schedule down the home stretch.

The question is whether the Buffs can take advantage of the schedule and make their regular season finale — at home against the Bruins — one with championship implications on the line.

But looking 10 games into the future is not a formula for success. As CU coach Tad Boyle pointed out Friday afternoon, one of the oldest cliches in sports rings true: “It’s just taking care of business one game at a time.”

That starts with Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. tipoff against Utah at the CU Events Center (Pac-12 Networks), the second game of a five-game homestand. The Buffs will then wrap up their longest conference homestand in program history next week with three games in five days: Arizona State on Thursday, Arizona on Saturday and Oregon State on Monday.

The next four games will no doubt be critical to the Buffs’ hopes, as they will then face four games on the road before finishing with two at home. If the Buffs are going to make a title run, they can’t afford to let any of their home opportunities slip away.

“You have to hold serve at home and you have to figure out a way to win road games,” Boyle said. “To me, that’s the separating factor. You can’t take anything for granted, especially when you’re in the upper half.”

Saturday’s meeting will be the second between the Buffs and Utes this year, with Colorado taking a 65-58 win in Salt Lake City in early January. But while the Utes have struggled lately — they have lost six of their last eight — Boyle warned his team that taking the Utes lightly would be a mistake.

He pointed to last week’s loss at Washington as a costly lesson in that regard. The Buffs entered the game riding a four-game win streak, only to allow the Huskies to end their eight-game losing skid and produce their first conference win of the season.

Continue reading story here

Game Notes … Colorado is 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Buffaloes completed the season sweep of Washington State by defeating the Cougars 70-58 in the second of their back-to-back meetings. Colorado has won six of its last seven and seven of its last nine overall.

Head coach Tad Boyle will be in search of his 100th career conference win at Colorado, in his 11th season with the Buffaloes. He would be the second Colorado coach to reach that milestone – Sox Walseth won 148 Big 7/8 games from 1956-76.

Colorado’s 7-3 conference mark equals it’s best 10-game record in the Pac-12 era. The 2019-20 and the 2011-12 Pac-12 Tournament championship team also started 7-3. Last year’s squad won that 11th game to start 8-3.

Colorado leads the nation in free throw shooting at 84.2 percent making 235 of 280 attempts. The Buffaloes were 20 of 23 against Washington State, their 17th straight game to begin the season shooting 73.3 percent or better from the line. Colorado has shot 80 percent or better in 12 games and at least 90 percent in four.

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 6-7 overall and 3-6 in the Pac-12. The Utes have dropped their last three including a 79-73 decision to Oregon on Jan. 9th. This will be the Utes’ third-straight road game. Utah averages just under 70 points per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. The Utes lead the Pac-12 in assists (16.1 apg) and rank second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and third in free throw shooting (.751). Utah allows 66.7 points per game while opponents are shooting 42.6 percent.

Junior forward Timmy Allen leads Utah at 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Alfonso Plummer averages 12.9 points and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 at 2.2 3-pointers made per game. Sophomore forward Mikael Jantunen averages 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 64.9 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Rylan Jones tops the Utes in assists at 4.3 per game. Jones ranks second in the Pac-12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 55th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 30-24 advantage. Colorado’s 65-58 win in Salt Lake City snapped a six-game run by the home team in the series and was the Buffaloes’ first win at Utah since 2012. Colorado is 20-6 all-time at home against Utah and has won the last three.

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54 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. ESPN is terrible. Five live minutes of action in the second half wasted by listening to three bozos discussing Mobley’s NBA draft prospects. Who gives a $#%!
    I almost always mute the sound during the game unless it is an announcing team adding value which I thought Adrian Branch would provide but that was a mistake .

    Nice win by the Buffs.

  2. Note: The finish………………he needs per game 12 points 12 assists 12 rebounds NO TURNOVERS

    Above is what I ask for from Wright IV

    What I got
    15………………………….14…………………………………….3

    Sweep,

    Buffs

    Note: Next….shoulda beat ucla the first game..sheesh….Pay back

    Nice

    Beat UCLa
    so
    Against
    usc………………..2-0
    ucla……………….1-1
    oregon……………1-1
    arizona……………1-1
    stanford…………..2-0

    Whatever………………………….I just really want 2 wins in the big dance………….and then who knows

    GET THE TWO AND THEN WHO KNOWS

    MORNING BABBLE………..STARBUCKS DARK ROAST

  3. Praise the lord and pass the invitation
    Wrap Horne is some blankets, Dont let him cool off
    20 assists, 14 by Wright as opposed to 11 turnovers. It can be done. Leads to 4 guys in double digits.
    First round draft picks cant beat a team effort.
    Tad loves beating the cheaters

  4. Aah good morning. Fifties here in Beautiful Boulder.

    So is USC that good……………………or the Ducks that bad really. Sheesh what a start to the game.

    The Mighty Buffs don’t have that USC Guard. Or do they?

    So does adding ASU help or hurt the tourney position chances.

    It’s all so confusing……………..but entertaining………………….

  5. wOW, covering the Mighty Buffs Women’s Basketball team

    Bandwagon

    Go Lady Buffs………………..though you can’t call them that any more…………..I always like

    “Buffettes” You know like there are Dudes and Dudettes

  6. I’m going to try not to get emotional, but this place gave me a real home and I love the Events Center, the fans, everybody who’s been with me on this ride. It’s going to be fun and we’ve got to get these two wins at home. Potentially three if we make up the ASU one.”

    He will be missed.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: The finish………………he needs per game 12 points 12 assists 12 rebounds NO TURNOVERS

  7. Tad will never be considered a great coach until his teams can break a press and in bound the ball under it’s own basket, it’s really not that hard.

  8. Welp a split on the road is pretty dang good.

    Play………win your homies………….split the roadies…………….15-5………..take it.

    As of right now………….. 17-7………….home 8-1………..away 6-6………..take it

    2 home games to go.
    Tied for the league lead.
    On the road earlier Buffs split with them

    Time to put the home advantage on em……………..win em both.

    Mein Gott……………….handle it boys………and coaches

    Go Buffs.

  9. Get to 70 points and you give yourself a chance in college basketball. CU is 14-3 when scoring 70 or more ( and 2-4 when scoring less than 70 with a point total of 65 and 69 in the two wins). 70 means you are at least efficient on offense. CU is #33 overall in efficiency for the year but slipped to #270 over the last three games. That’s always the key to Tad ball. For the most part this team has been Tad’s best offensive team since his first with Burks, Higgins et.al. Defensive/Rebounding alone is not enough over the course of a season to get in the tourney and to win a few.

    This team has flaws (especially off the bench without Walker) but Tad has done a nice job wringing out as many wins as they have but left a few on the table also.

    Rest of the year will be interesting.

  10. I havent tried to buy any lately but I have heard if a fan wants tickets to the dance they almost have get them right after the previous dance is over. Has to be even more impossible to get them this year with the restricted attendance.
    Maybe Tad is waiting for the pandemic to subside so all us Buff fans can show up before he makes any noise on the national stage.
    I was there in Albuquerque for the only tournament win. It was awesome Buff hats, shirts and chants everywhere but there was one guy in our seat row wearing a Taylor Made ball cap. Was that you? Same question for you AZ

  11. Uh Oh…………or not

    Yur poll question

    “And we’re surprised? Just like last year, CU is beginning its late season swoon. The Buffs might still make the tournament, but as a low seed which will be bounced (57%, 50 Votes)”

    Can’t look at just the pieces.

    Each year as a whole looks the same over and over and over

    IF you expect more, you are not in tune with the reality of the Buff BB situation……..top to bottom

    Go Buffs…
    Win the last 3
    Get a bye
    Win the next 3
    get a 5 seed

  12. If you like to dance it helps to have some rhythm. Even if the Buffs stagger to the dance they will open by dancing against one of the stars

    1. This a strange team. Or is it just the normal “Tad-ball” team?

      Tournaments by Tad
      1–4 (NCAA Division I)
      5–3 (NIT)
      1–1 (CIT)
      1–1 (CBI)
      11–6 (Pac-12 Tournament)
      2–1 (Big 12 Tournament)

      So that is kinda where it is eh?

      Record ………………….over all……conf
      2011–12 Colorado 24–12 11–7 T–5th NCAA Division I Round of 32
      2012–13 Colorado 21–12 10–8 5th NCAA Division I Round of 64
      2013–14 Colorado 23–12 10–8 T–3rd NCAA Division I Round of 64
      2014–15 Colorado 16–18 7–11 T–8th CBI Quarterfinal
      2015–16 Colorado 22–12 10–8 5th NCAA Division I Round of 64
      2016–17 Colorado 19–15 8–10 7th NIT First Round
      2017–18 Colorado 17–15 8–10 T–8th
      2018–19 Colorado 23–13 10–8 5th NIT Quarterfinal
      2019–20 Colorado 21–11 10–8 T–5th NCAA Division I Canceled
      2020-21 Colorado 16–7 10–6
      Colorado: 226–141 (.616) 102–92 (.526)

      Ya know, ya just got to appreciate all the wins, cause there are a lot of them.

      Buffs.

      Note: ep, if they stagger in i am predicting right now they win the first game. The ten year itch.

      1. Brings to mind Lou Saban’s “half a loaf”

        Turn overs happen on offense. For what I have seen the Buffs have as much individual offensive talent depth as any team in the conference. If they could be coached to work as a team in an organized offense they could probably hit the sweet 16. I just dont see much of that going on right now.

  13. Ah good morning.
    Got the first shot.

    So what does this all mean.
    Supposed to play 20 conference games

    Your poll says next 4 games
    What about the 5th?

    Is there gonna be a make up game that was “ppd”OSU

    So the regular season will end with teams playing a different amount of conference games?

    Come on Stu tell me how it is

    Buffs.

    Note: Win the next four errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Five

    1. The Oregon State game was made up. The lone conference game CU won’t play was a home game against Washington (too bad the rout in Las Vegas doesn’t count).
      Oregon is 7-3 in conference play, with only four remaining scheduled games – you do the math.
      So, if your question is will the regular season end with teams playing a different amount of conference games, the answer is “yes”.

      1. Okay thanks,

        So it will all come down to win percentage regardless of games played.

        Okay then gonna be fun to watch

        Ya its pretty goofy

        Cal is 3 and 13 and it shows 5 conference games left

  14. You know how they are always talking about a team’s best win and bad loss when they are discussing bracketology? Well the Buffs have 3 bad losses now….or half of all losses.
    I cant decide if Boyle is holding this team back or, Wright excepted, getting them to overachieve.

    1. ep,

      “Come on Man” (yur favorite presidents most famous line)

      This is how it is. This how it has been.

      No whining from your bub……………………yur living reality.

      Buffs

      1. lets try answering my question instead of telling me how I am. I hear from a lot of people (to use your favorite president’s words) that this group of players is the deepest Tad has had since he has been here. Yet its deja vue all over again. If this isnt the best collection of recruits then Tad must be doing a good job. If it is…..”well then”
        My personal opinion is that Tad doesnt apply enough tough love. The players dont seem to need it when they know the difficulty of the coming task at hand….and on the other hand the dregs of the conference have their way with the Buffs.
        A little more Bobby Knight might be what the Buffs need to really get to the next level. That and a cohesive half court offense.

        1. Welp, Not sure the BK approach works with these modern day kids. Like HCKD says, he wants he and his staff to be teachers.

          Maybe that’s the issue.

          So

          Buffs

  15. Washington, Utah, California, and almost WSU, but also U of A, Oregon, and USC – could have seen this one coming, but did not. The 4 games in 8 days coupled with the loss of Walker (and big free throw misses in the final minutes) got in the way of the Buffs taking a lead (that they probably would have kept). California ‘s cold shooting could have been overcome. Ouch. This one hurt. Oregon next.

    1. AZ,

      This ain’t Disney World
      This is Buff World
      Yur dreams don’t come true out here in Buff World

      Just how it is.

      Buffs can’t expect nice things

      Just how it is

      Dang nab it

      Go Buffs

      Note: Just once let the Buffs into the NCAA with the“TAD-BALL CURSE” not being present. Just once please.
      Win 3 games……………When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are……………..except if you are Buff

  16. Is Rooney trying to jinx the Buffs by talking about a “Bay area sweep?”
    If anything history has shown us this is a classic trap game for the Buffs. After a couple of outstanding efforts please dont sleep walk to the level of the competition and let it get away in the last minute.
    Show no mercy.

  17. It should be noted that if USC does lose once more prior to their upcoming trip to Boulder (their contest against U of A comes to mind), and CU takes care of business against Cal, Oregon, and Oregon State, the CU vs. USC contest in Boulder would be for the # 1 seed AND, possibly, PAC 12 Player of the Year (Wright Vs. Mobley) honors. Coach Boyle attempts to build a team “the right way.” It would be wonderful to see his approach validated (rather than the approach taken by the coaches from either USC or U of A) with a # 1 league tournament seed and PAC 12 Player of the Year during this special season.

  18. I was watching last night’s game against Stanford on espnu & on the half hour they switched it to espn2 (not on my cable) to put on an espn 150 show about Michigan, but the guide still showed that the game was still playng on that channel… why take a live event off a channel & move it it another channel in the middle of a game to put up a show that was on tape & probably has played numerous times?

    Why even move it?

    Checked espn on the interweb & sure enough they had moved the game to the espn2! So frustrating!

    1. It doesn’t help at all when you tape the game in order to watch it later that night and they cut it off after a couple of minutes with the Buffs leading 5-0.

  19. Win this Thursday at Oregon (coupled with U of A defeating USC this coming week as well), and the following week’s home game against USC would be for the #1 seed in the PAC 12 tournament. This CU team is on the cusp of something quite special.

  20. 6 games scheduled.
    4 on the road
    2 at home
    All on an espn channel No pac 12 network
    ASU??? Reschedule when? One more home game…. so
    7 to go 4 on the road 3 at home.

    Next 4 road 2 and 2????

    Last week is gonna be much fun

    Is this Tads year?
    Finally?
    Hope so?

    buffs

  21. Finally nice to have one more stomping. We have another date with OSU and you know what happened with Washington on the 2nd time after we stomped them….and of course Utah should have been a stomping.
    Too bad Walker isnt walking (without the boot) Then again there might not be enough balls with DaSilva and Horne on a rampage. One of the writers said the future is looking good….but the future is now. No more backsliding this season. Keep the pedal to the metal and put last year’s collapse in the rear view mirror….first round Bye please.

  22. Was nice to see the Buffs waltz to an easy win over the Beavers to keep a firm grip on their 3rd place conference standing at (9-4). Here’s hoping they can keep it up down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how talented but Covid ravaged Oregon (5-3) conf. and ASU (3-5) impact the pecking order going forward with all of their postponed games to make up. For now anyway it looks as if their regularly scheduled Thursday head to head tilt in Tempe is still on.

    1. Exactly, looked/played like the Big East Teams that used to wipe us from the tourney.
      I’ll even say O’Brien looked a ton more confident/competent in the garbage minutes, had no idea he had such handles (granted he should be moving the ball).

    1. Been in a boot on the sideline the past two games. Only described as a “foot injury”.
      Not expected for Bay area trip, and may miss the Oregon trip as well …

  23. Great win and a needed win. Yup love it.
    but
    Welp the ‘ol’
    “almost let the opponent come back and win”
    or
    “let the opponent mount the comeback and lose”……………

    has been a trait of the Mighty Buffs for say 10 years. Yup the ol comeback loss happens a lot in basketball. You know “they got on a run” but it just appears the Mighty Buffs let this happen a lot.

    Hmmm
    The players change but the coach stays the same.

    Go Buffs.

    Note: Yup best coach CU has ever had. Still fixable flaws.?? rear their head yearly. at tournament time.

    #STOPTHERUN
    #STOPTHECOMEBACK
    #CALLTIME OUTASSOONASYOUSEEIT
    #DON’TWAIT.

  24. The Buffs delivered 14 minutes of hell anyway. Can we get 16 or 20 next time? I watched the first half of the UCLA/USC game and they were both awful. Hard to believe they are the 1st and 2nd place teams.
    No reason the Buffs cant come out on top of the conference this year.
    And how bout sweaty’s new stylin? It looks quite a bit like a wrestler’s training suit. It has to be a win win for him. You cant see him soaking himself and he does need to lose weight. He is looking like an overfed hamster.

  25. Well It appears to be lucky The Mighty Buffs played
    Washington State 2 out of the last 4 games. Too bad they can’t play em like 9 more times

    9 to go. 5 at Home 4 on the road. Gotta win all the homeies and then what?

    Buffs in the typical dog fight to get into the top four. Happens most every year.

    Buff suffering from an identity crisis as March Madness approaches !!!(</b)
    Hmmmmm I gotta look up this time frame for say the past ten years.

    Gonna be fun

    Go Buffs

    Note: I really really would like to see the Buffs go into "PEAK mode agains Arizona and go into the pac12 tournament and then the dance where they are on a roll and really really have defined who the heck they are as a team………….and coaching staff.

    Dang it screw that covid crap and get rolling

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