Colorado Basketball

March 30th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Women’s basketball coach JR Payne receives a contract extension with a “huge” raise

From the Daily Camera … After leading the Colorado women’s basketball team to its first Sweet 16 in 20 years, head coach JR Payne has a new contract and a raise.

On Thursday, CU announced it has signed Payne to a new five-year contract that extends through the 2027-28 season. The new deal replaces the contract extension she signed in June of 2021. That deal ran through the 2025-26 season at an annual salary of $417,500.

CU did not announce Payne’s new salary, but a BuffZone source said the raise is “huge.”

“It’s awesome and I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Payne told BuffZone about getting a new contract. “We love it here and our family’s happy. It’s great. … We’re thrilled to be here.”

Originally introduced as CU’s head coach on March 28, 2016, Payne, 45, has posted a 119-93 record in her seven seasons with the Buffs, while leading them to the NCAA Tournament twice and the WNIT twice.

Already the second-longest tenured head coach in program history, Payne’s 119 wins rank second to Ceal Barry (427-242 in 22 seasons).

“JR Payne has done an outstanding job with our basketball program,” CU athletic director Rick George said. “I have a lot of confidence in her ability to lead and create an outstanding culture in her program and I’m excited that we have extended her contract. After reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and making a run to the Sweet 16, I felt that this was the right time to make this change to her contract. I look forward to the program continuing its upward trajectory moving forward.”

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March 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU signee Cody Williams participates in the McDonald’s All-American game

… McDonald’s All-American game … Tuesday night, 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN … 

From SBNation … The 2023 boys McDonald’s All-American Game has some obvious points of intrigue as the top high school basketball players in the country come to Houston for the annual All-Star showcase. This has long been considered a star-making event as the last chance for players to make impressions before the final recruiting rankings are locked in. Having NBA scouts in the gym only raises the stakes and the level of play during practice sessions, which can be more meaningful than the game itself.

The big question coming into this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game is the race for the No. 1 overall player. There is typically a consensus choice for the best player in the class by the time the All-Star circuit arrives, but that’s not the case this season. ESPN has Philadelphia-bred wing Justin Edwards at No. 1247 Sports has Atlanta-based point guard Isaiah Collier in the top spot, and On3 has Arizona native Cody Williams ranked first in the class. Will anyone stand out and solidify themselves as the No. 1 prospect during the week?

Beyond that, everyone else is wondering what’s next for Bronny James. James was selected for the McDonald’s Game and still hasn’t made his decision on where he’ll play next, though most expect he’ll go the college route.

Cody Williams is the fastest-riser because of his NBA brother

Jalen Williams has been one of the best rookies in the NBA this season after the Oklahoma City Thunder selected him at No. 12 overall following a standout three-year college career at Santa Clara. College evaluators who let Williams slip to the mid-major level were determined not to do the same thing with his younger brother Cody Williams. Jalen’s rise into a lottery pick and stud rookie sure seems to have helped his brother, who is suddenly the fastest-rising prospect in his high school class.

Cody Williams was ranked around No. 80 in his class after his junior year at Perry High School in Arizona, according to Rivals. By the time he committed to Colorado, he was ranked No. 42 in his class. Now Williams is being projected as the No. 2 overall pick ESPN’s early 2024 NBA mock draft.

Williams has a great frame for a wing at 6’8 with long arms (his brother measured at 6’6 with a 7’2 wingspan). He’s comfortable handling and passing the ball on the perimeter, and has shown improved finishing craft near the basket. His three-point shot has been streaky to this point, and will certainly be a big factor in his long-term evaluation. It’s tough to know what to make of such a fast riser so late in the process, but Williams certainly won’t be flying under the radar like his big brother did.

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Tad Boyle to serve as head coach for USA Basketball U19 National Team at World Cup

From … University of Colorado’s Tad Boyle will serve as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s U19 National Team at the 2023 FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup, June 24-July 2 in Debrecen, Hungary, USA Basketball announced on Friday.

Boyle will be assisted by Mike Boynton Jr. (Oklahoma State) and Leon Rice (Boise State). The trio coached the 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U18 Junior National Team to a gold medal at the FIBA U18 Men’s Americas Championship in Tijuana, Mexico, last summer.

Boyle’s time with USA Basketball dates to the 2013 USA Men’s World University Games Team training camp, where he served as a court coach. He was also a member of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, where the U.S. took home a bronze medal. Additionally, Boyle was an assistant coach for the 2017 Men’s U19 Junior National Team that won bronze in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt.

Boyle has 17 years of collegiate head coaching experience, the last 13 with the Buffaloes. He is the institution’s all-time leader in men’s basketball wins coached with 272 and has led Colorado to postseason play in 11 of 12 possible appearances (no postseason in 2020), including five NCAA Tournaments. Boyle is the first coach in school history to lead the program to three-straight NCAA Tournaments in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“I’m once again honored and humbled to have the opportunity to coach with USA Basketball and this summer with the 19-and-under national team,” Boyle said. “Anytime you have the opportunity to represent your country, it’s a responsibility that needs to be taken very seriously, and I’m looking forward to doing that and working with a bunch of great young men.

“I’m very excited to be working with Mike Boynton and Leon Rice for another summer. We had great synergy and chemistry last year as we won the gold medal with the 18-and-under national team. We look forward to the same challenges as we go to Hungary to try and accomplish the same.”

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March 24th – Game Day!

… CU in a few minutes … 

Buffs rally falls short against Iowa, 87-77, ending CU’s NCAA tournament run

From … Colorado staged a furious comeback in the fourth quarter Friday but the Buffaloes came up just short as CU dropped an 87-77 decision to Iowa in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 at Climate Pledge Arena.

The sixth-seeded Buffs, who were ranked 21st in the nation and were making their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003, saw their season come to an end at 25-9. Third-seeded Iowa — ranked third in the nation — improved to 29-6.

Colorado led by one at the half, 40-39, but the Hawkeyes took control with a 13-0 run early in the third period. Iowa still led by as much as 14 early in the fourth period before the Buffs rallied to shave the deficit to four, 78-74, with 1:31 to play.

But that was as close as Colorado could come as the Hawkeyes hit their free throws in the final minute to keep the Buffs at bay.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado fell behind early as Iowa jumped out to a 15-5 lead.

The Buffs didn’t flinch. Led by two 3-pointers from Frida Formann and a pair of buckets inside from Aaronette Vonleh, Colorado manufactured a 10-0 run to tie the game as the Buffaloes were more than happy to shoot over Iowa’s zone defense.

From that point, the game see-sawed, with five lead changes before halftime.

Colorado trailed by one, 23-22, after one quarter but used a 7-0 run midway through the second period to take a 37-32 lead. Kindyll Wetta had five points in the surge and Formann had two of her 19 first-half points to give CU a 37-32 lead with just more than four minutes left in the half.

Iowa then manufactured a 7-0 run to regain the lead, but Colorado took a 40-39 edge into the break thanks to a Tameiya Sadler layup just before the half.

But the Hawkeyes grabbed control after intermission, putting together a 13-0 run in the first 4:20 of the half to take a 54-42 lead. Colorado called time out but Iowa extended its lead to as much as 15 before the Buffs shaved the deficit to 11, 64-53, by the end of the third quarter.

Colorado shot just 5-for-15 in the third period while the Hawkeyes were 9-for-13. The Buffs were also hampered by foul trouble in the third period as Formann — who scored 19 points in the first half — drew her fourth foul and had just two points in the period.

Formann then drew her fifth foul less than four minutes into the fourth quarter, ending her night and dealing a blow to Colorado’s offensive attack.

But the Buffs wouldn’t quit. After falling behind by 14 early in the final period, Colorado staged a comeback. Sadler and Quay Miller each hit 3-pointers in a 10-4 run and with just more than four minutes to play, CU had narrowed the deficit to six, 76-70.

Colorado’s surge forced Iowa to call a timeout. The Hawkeyes quickly bumped their cushion back to eight after the break but the Buffs responded with a Vonleh bucket and with 2:31 to play, Colorado still trailed by just six, 78-72.

The Buffs then cut the margin to four a minute later on a Jaylyn Sherrod steal and bucket, sending a surge through the CU fans on hand.

But the Hawkeyes pushed their cushion back to six on a Monika Czinano basket with just 1:11 left on the clock and the Buffs came up empty on their next possession.

Iowa then hit its free throws in the final minute to keep the Buffs at bay and end their NCAA Tournament run.

No. 6 seed CU women taking on No. 3 seed Iowa for a berth in the Elite Eight (5:30 p.m., MT, ESPN)

Related … Jaylyn Sherrod at heart of CU Buffs’ NCAA Tournament success … from the Daily Camera

Related … CU Buffs women’s basketball locked in, ready to face Iowa … from the Daily Camera 

From … Colorado’s whirlwind week continues with a Sweet Sixteen matchup against No. 3 ranked and second-seeded Iowa on Friday (5:30 p.m. MT/ESPN). The Buffaloes will be looking to secure their first Elite Eight appearance since 2002.

The Buffs have been in three different time zones in the span of 72 hours.

CU (25-8) started the week with a thrilling 61-53 overtime win over third-seeded Duke in Durham, N.C. The Buffs flew back to Colorado on Tuesday and had a quick layover in Boulder before packing back up and jetting off to Seattle on Wednesday.

“This week has definitely been a whirlwind,” head coach JR Payne explained. “We played such a late game [on Monday]. I think we tipped off at 9 p.m. in Durham. We were up really late, of course, that night and then flew back the next day. It was maybe about 24 hours later we were already back on the plane to come West.”

“It was definitely just a quick turnaround,” sophomore Aaronette Vonleh added. “We got home Tuesday morning and we’re gone the next afternoon. It was just go home, do laundry, pack your suitcase, and leave kind thing.  It’s definitely a lot, especially with school and everything, trying to make sure you’re getting your assignments done. But it’s just an exciting time, so we’re just making it work.”

The Buffs will be making their seventh Sweet Sixteen appearance when they tip off a Climate Pledge Arena. The path to CU’s six previous Sweet Sixteens all started in Boulder. This year’s trip is the first time Colorado has advanced this far in the tournament without playing on its home court.

“We have such a storied tradition of success,” Payne said of the team’s history. “Ceal Barry was our coach and [went to] many Sweet 16s, several Elite 8s, and things like that. We knew that the potential was here, although it had been a long time since we had been on this stage. We believed in our ability to recruit the right type of players that could thrive at Colorado and it’s been definitely a challenge in seven years to recruit and work and grind and it’s just been a long road.  We knew that the potential was there, so we’re incredibly proud to have been able to build it into this type of team.”

The Buffs have been tabbed as somewhat of a surprise team in this year’s tournament by some of the nation’s “experts.” Many of the prognosticators had Middle Tennessee, the 11th seed, beating CU in the first round and then the Buffs were heavy underdogs to Duke on its home court.

While it’s unusual to have a Power 5 school designated as a Cinderella story, it’s something the Buffs have embraced all season long.

“I think we could play anyone and we would feel that way, just because it’s so in our DNA to just focus on what we need to do to be successful,” Payne expressed. “We do that in our pre-season training. We do it throughout our pre-season games. We’re really big on identifying our roles, how can I help us be successful, and kind of lock into those.  We revisit those throughout the year.”

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March 23rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Two more Buffs – Nique Clifford and Quincy Allen – join Lawson Lovering in the Transfer Portal

From the Daily Camera … Everyone knew there would be changes within the Colorado men’s basketball team this offseason. That starting center Lawson Lovering was the first to hit the transfer portal was a shock to just about everyone that follows the Buffaloes program.

That includes head coach Tad Boyle.

On Thursday, Boyle spoke with BuffZone regarding Lovering’s decision, and he confirmed that Nique Clifford and Quincy Allen also will be leaving the CU program via the transfer portal.

The loss of Clifford, an in-state recruit from Colorado Springs, and Allen were far less surprising than the loss of Lovering, who started 34 of 35 games for the Buffs this season and was consistently lauded by Boyle for his steady defense.\

“It was a shock and surprise and I’m still scratching my head a little bit,” Boyle said. “But we’re moving forward. For 24 hours, I was down in the dumps. I was disappointed. I was shocked. Name the emotion, I had it. But today I’m fine. We’re going to be fine. The University of Colorado is a great place to go to school. It’s a great place to play basketball. It’s our job to go out and find somebody who can come in and help us compete for and win championships. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Clifford started all 35 games for the Buffs, but while he may have been a junior, in his second year as a full-time rotation player, he suffered through a classic sophomore slump. While playing almost the exact same number of total minutes as last year, Clifford endured significant drops in scoring average (6.7 to 5.9), rebounding average (4.6 to 3.9), field goal percentage (.453 to .374), 3-point percentage (.400 to .288), and free throw percentage (.667 to .532).

Allen’s departure is the least surprising of the entire trio, as one of the prizes of CU’s highly-touted 2021 recruiting class (Allen was ranked No. 71 overall by 247Sports) appeared in only 11 games, logging more than five minutes just once when he played 17 minutes in a home loss against USC on Feb. 23. In limited chances, Allen shot just .292 overall (7-for-24) with a 3-for-15 mark on 3-pointers. The 6-foot-8 wing missed his entire true freshman season of 2021-22 due to a hip injury.

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March 21st

… CU in the Arena … 

Center Lawson Lovering enters the Transfer Portal

From On3.comColorado center Lawson Lovering has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal, according to On3’s Jamie Shaw.

He just finished his sophomore season with the Buffaloes, starting all 34 games at center. Lovering averaged 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He also made only 42.1% of his free throw attempts.

The 7-foot-1 center played in 18 games off the bench as a freshman.

Lovering was a four-star recruit and No. 64 overall recruit in the 2021 On3 Industry Ranking. The On3 Industry is a proprietary algorithm that compiles ratings and rankings from all four major recruiting media services.


March 20th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU takes down No. 3 seed Duke on the road in overtime, 61-53, to advance to Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2003

Related … CU Buffs stun Duke to advance to Sweet 16 … From the Daily Camera

From … How Sweet (16) It Is! The Colorado women’s basketball team is headed to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in program history and the first time in 20 years on the strength of a 61-53 overtime win against Duke Monday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium

Quay Miller broke out of her recent shooting slump in style, scoring a game-high 17 points and pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds. Jaylyn Sherrod added 14 points and six rebounds and Aaronette Vonleh scored 12 points with six rebounds of her own.

“I freaking love my team,” coach JR Payne said afterward. “I love each and every one of them. I’m so unbelievably proud of our tenacity, our ability to just never wilt. When things get hard, we dig in, we lean into each other and just continue to fight and play defense. Our team did a really great job of preparing in a short amount of time. Super proud and onward we go.”

Colorado advances in the Seattle Regional where the Buffs will face No. 2 seed Iowa Friday (5:30 p.m MT/ESPN). The other side of the bracket has No. 5 seed Louisville facing No. 8 seed Ole Miss, who beat top-seeded Stanford.

“I knew we could do it,” Miller exclaimed. “It was just a matter of actually doing it. Right now. I just feel extremely blessed.”

Colorado got off to a quick start, opening up a 15-2 lead in the first quarter and Sherrod was clutch at the end of the fourth quarter, scoring the game’s final four points in the final 91 seconds, helping the Buffs to a 15-3 run to close the game, outscoring the Blue Devils 11-3 in overtime.

“Being here for four years, from where we started to where we are now, I’m just really proud of this program and how far we’ve come and the work we put in, the hours, the belief when nobody else believed,” Sherrod added. “It was tough. It’s hard being in a group and working toward something you can’t see in front of you. All the 6 a.m’s. The runs up the mountain. It’s all preparing for this moment. When you’re doing it, you don’t really see that outcome, but it’s all worth it in the end when you get to this point.”

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CU women battling Duke for an NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From the Daily Camera … Securing the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory in 20 years required some celebration.

“We definitely spent a good amount of time after the game, just enjoying that feeling and living in the moment,” Colorado’s Aaronette Vonleh said about an 82-60 win against Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

By Sunday, that moment was gone and it was onto the next.

The sixth-seeded and 21st-ranked Buffaloes will face third-seeded and 13th-ranked Duke on Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the second round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

Monday’s winner will advance to the Sweet 16 and CU (24-8) wasted no time in preparing for the Blue Devils (26-6).

CU assistants spent part of last week putting together a scouting report of Duke and then the staff and players had a chance to watch the Blue Devils’ 89-49 rout of Iona on Saturday.

“The scout was done and then (Saturday) night you watch the game and sort of verify, ‘OK, what we saw on film is the same thing as they’re doing now,’” CU head coach JR Payne said. “The hard thing about Duke is that they run a lot of stuff and they play a lot of players, so it’s a lot of information to try to ingest in 24 to 48 hours. That’s the biggest thing is making sure that we’re trying to learn as much as we need to learn.

“We won’t know them as well as we would know UCLA or Stanford or someone that we’ve seen for many years, but we’ll know them well enough to know what they want to get out of certain things and what we will try to do to slow them down.”

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Buff season ends with a second round 81-69 loss to Utah Valley – Boyle: “There are no bad teams playing anymore at this time of the year”

From … Colorado’s defense had no answer for Utah Valley’s offense Sunday night and the Buffaloes dropped an 81-69 decision to the Wolverines in the second round of the NIT at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs ended their season 18-17 while the Wolverines, the WAC regular season champs, improved to 27-8 and will host Cincinnati in the NIT quarterfinal round.

The two teams traded the lead eight times in a first half that ended up knotted at 38-38. But UVU used a 7-0 run to open the second half, then put together another 7-0 run midway through the period to break a 58-58 tie and the Buffs never came closer than four again.

Colorado 7-foot sophomore Lawson Lovering led CU with a career-high 21 points and he also had a team-high seven rebounds. Ethan Wright scored 17 points, including Colorado’s only four 3-pointers, and Tristan da Silva added 12.

Trey Woodbury led four Wolverines in double figures with 25 points.

Colorado shot a respectable 47 percent (29-for-62) from the floor, but the Buffs hit just four of their 19 3-point tries — with Wright hitting all four.

That was no match for UVU, as the Wolverines shot 56 percent (33-for-59), including 60 percent in the second half (17-for-28), and 9-for-17 for the night from long range.

The Buffs also lost the rebound battle, 32-30, as CU was outscored 43-31 after intermission.

“There are no bad teams playing anymore at this time of the year and Utah Valley is a helluva team,” Boyle said. “My thanks go out to everybody that came tonight. Our fans have been great. We just didn’t give our part defensively. When you’re watching NCAA Tournament games or NIT games, it doesn’t matter, the teams that guard are the teams that advance and we didn’t get stops tonight.”

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March 19th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs taking on 26-8 Utah Valley in second round of the NIT (7:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From … Colorado makes its second-straight  National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance and 13th overall. The Buffaloes are a No. 3 seed in one of four eight-team regions.

With its 65-64 win over Seton Hall in the first round, Colorado improved to 14-11 all-time in the NIT and advances past the first round for the seventh time in 13 appearances.

Overall, this is Colorado’s 29th postseason tournament past the conference level. Head coach Tad Boyle leads the Buffaloes into their 11th national-level postseason appearance in 12 possible seasons (no postseason in 2020 due to covid). Included in that span is a school-record seven-straight appearances from 2011 to 2017. Prior to that seven-year run, no Colorado team had participated in the postseason more than two consecutive years.

Colorado is 55-74 in all-time postseason play, including conference tournaments; 26-29 on the national level (NCAA, NIT, CBI). The Buffaloes won the NIT title in 1940. Colorado also has a runner-up finish in 1938, a third place showing in 1991 and a semifinal appearance in 2011.

THE SEASON: Colorado is 18-16 overall and has won three of its last four. The Buffaloes were 1-1 at the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament. As the No. 9 seed, Colorado defeated No. 8 Washington 74-68 in the first round on Nov. 8, before falling to top-seeded UCLA, 80-69, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 9. The Buffaloes have clinched a .500 or better overall record for the eighth-straight season and 12th time in 13 years under head coach Tad Boyle.

Colorado will play its 35th game of the season on Sunday, tying for the fourth most in team history. The 2013-14 Buffaloes played 35 games, finishing 23-12 advancing to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The school record for games played in one season is 38 set by the 2010-11 NIT semifinalist squad (24-14). Colorado would have a chance to equal that mark with a run to the NIT Championship game.

ABOUT THE WOLVERINES: Utah Valley is 26-8 overall after defeating New Mexico, 83-69, in an NIT first round game on Mar. 15. The Wolverines won the Western Athletic Conference regular season title with a 15-3 record, but fell to Southern Utah in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament. Utah Valley averages 77.2 points while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. The Wolverines lead the WAC in both free throw percentage (.741) and assists per game (16.1). Defensively, the Wolverines allow 68.2 points while holding opponents to 39 percent shooting, the latter ranking sixth in NCAA Division I. Utah Valley leads the nation in blocks at 6.7 per game.

Junior guard Le’Tre Darthard leads Utah Valley at 14.0 points per game, hitting 44 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free throw line. Junior guard ranks second on the team in both points (13.7 ppg) and assists (2.9 apg). Senior guard Trey Woodbury averages 13.4 points and a team-best 4.5 assists. Sophomore center Aziz Bandaogo averages a double-double at 11.4 points and 10.2 rebounds. He ranks fourth in the nation in blocks (2.9 bpg) and 11th in rebounding.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Utah Valley. The Buffaloes are 14-8 against teams that currently make up the Western Athletic Conference. Colorado’s last game against a WAC opponent, was earlier this season, an 86-78 home win over Southern Utah on Dec. 21. Utah  Valley was 1-2 against Southern Utah this season.

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March 18th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women pick up first NCAA win since 2003 with dominating 82-60 win over Middle Tennessee

Related … Formann Shoots Buffs Into Second Round … from

… The Buffs will take on No. 3 seed Duke on the Blue Devils’ home court on Monday (TBD). Duke mauled No. 14 seed Iona, 89-49, Saturday night … 

From the Daily Camera … Several of the experts picked Colorado to be an upset victim.

At the very least, a tough wire-to-wire battle with Middle Tennessee figured to be on tap for the Buffaloes.

But this? This was not expected.

Led by Frida Formann catching fire from 3-point range, the CU women’s basketball team dominated Middle Tennessee, 82-60, on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Sixth-seeded CU (24-8) will face Duke or Iona on Monday night at Cameron. This is CU’s first win in the NCAA Tournament since reaching the Sweet 16 in 2003.

Formann finished with 21 points and hit 5-of-8 3-pointers, but she wasn’t alone in firing and hitting from beyond the arc.

Overall, CU was 13-of-27 from 3-point range. It’s the most 3-pointers ever made by a CU team in the NCAA Tournament and just the 10th time in program history the Buffs have hit that many in a game.

Jaylynn Sherrod added 13 points and six assists, while Aaronette Vonleh had 11 points.

MTSU (28-5), the Conference USA regular season and tournament champs, had won 10 in a row coming in, but couldn’t find its rhythm all night. The Blue Raiders were just 4-of-24 from 3-point range.

CU’s lead reached 31 points in the fourth before MTSU closed the game on an 11-2 run over the last 6 minutes.

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No. 21 CU women taking on Middle Tennessee in first round of NCAA Tournament (5:00 p.m., MT, ESPNews)

Related … CU Buffs ready for first-round matchup with Middle Tennessee … from the Daily Camera 

From … Sixth-seeded Colorado is set to open its NCAA Tournament run against 11th-seeded Middle Tennessee at the historic Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday (5 p.m. MT/ESPNews).

The first-round game will be Colorado’s first-ever experience in one of college basketball’s most storied venues.

“I don’t think I really thought about it,” senior Jaylyn Sherrod commented about playing at Cameron Indoor. “That’s all you hear growing up as a kid, maybe more so on the men’s side, but it’s another opportunity to get out here [and play].”

The Buffs met the media on Friday and got their first chance to step on Coach K Court, an experience that was brand new to the roster last season in Iowa City. Colorado, who is making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and third-consecutive postseason, has been able to lean on last year’s experience to prepare for Saturday.

“I think most of us that were part of last year have been fueled by last year’s result for most of the season and have worked really hard to make sure that we’re not just physically prepared but also mentally prepared for a game or a moment like this,” head coach JR Payne expressed.

Five players got their first NCAA Tournament experience last season against Creighton and sophomore Aaronette Vonleh played sparingly last season for Arizona in the tournament before her transfer to Colorado.

“I would say [I learned] from last year’s experience that you have to play every game like it’s your last,” senior Quay Miller explained. “For me, that means I have to play like that’s probably going to be my last game. I can’t take any reps off. Every possession counts. Every mistake is going to count. You just have to prioritize every decision.”

Vonleh could be the missing piece to the puzzle for the Buffs in this year’s tournament. She starts the weekend ranked 16th in the NCAA with a Pac-12-best 58.7 field goal %. The Pac-12’s Co-Most Improved Player averaged 16.5 points per game in the Pac-12 Tournament and shot 71.4% from the field (15-21). Voneh has averaged 12.8 points per game since the start of February, shooting a 60.2% clip (59-63) in the CU’s last 10 games.

“She’s incredible,” Payne noted. “She’s a great teammate. She works hard. She’s one of the most athletic players I’ve probably ever coached as far as having the rare combination of size, skill and mobility. She’s definitely had a great year and continued to get better and better. I think her best basketball is still ahead of her.”

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March 16th

… CU in the Arena …

Note … With Utah Valley upsetting New Mexico in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday night, the Buffs will get to host a second round game (and the third, if they win). The game against Utah Valley is set for Sunday night at 7:30 p.m., MT, on ESPNU … 

March 15th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hold on to take down Seton Hall in first round of the NIT, 65-64

Note … The No. 1 seed on CU’s side of the bracket, Rutgers, lost to Hofstra Tuesday night. As a result, if the Buffs win their second round game against either New Mexico or Utah Valley State, they will host the third round game with the winner of that contest advancing to the semifinals in Las Vegas … 

Related … Moving on: Colorado knocks off Seton Hall to advance in NIT … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado’s Julian Hammond III hit a layup with 20 seconds remaining Tuesday night and the Buffaloes then came up with a big defensive stop to clinch a 65-64 win over Seton Hall in a first-round NIT game at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 18-16 and will face the winner of Wednesday night’s New Mexico-Utah Valley game in the second round.

Seton Hall ended its season 17-16.

The game featured 10 lead changes, with Colorado leading by as much as nine in the first half and the Pirates by as much as five in the second half. The Buffs then rallied to grab a six-point edge with just more than four minutes to play — only to see Seton Hall come back to take a 64-63 lead with 32 seconds on the clock.

But Colorado reaped the final bucket with 20 seconds remaining when Hammond took a pass in the paint from Jalen Gabbidon and cashed in the winning bucket. The Buffs then produced one more defensive stop in the final seconds for the win.

Ethan Wright came off the bench to lead the Buffs in scoring with 18 points — his best as a Buff —  including four 3-pointers. Tristan da Silva scored 14, Hammond added 10 points and five assists, and Luke O’Brien had eight points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

KC Ndefo led Seton Hall with 18 points.

Colorado shot just 39 percent (21-for-54) but hit 10 of 18 3-point tries. Seton Hall finished 22-for-60 from the floor. CU had a 39-36 rebound edge as well as a 23-8 edge in points off the bench.

“You just knew it was probably going to come down to the end,” said Boyle, who is now 89-7 in home non-conference games as CU’s coach. “Seton Hall is a tough, hard-nosed team. It’s great to win when you don’t play your best and it’s hard to do that in March. But I thought it was appropriate, the way we stress defense every day in practice, to win that game on a defensive possession.”

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March 14th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs taking on Seton Hall in first round of NIT (Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., ESPN2)


NIT POSTSEASON FACTS: Colorado makes its second-straight  National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance and 13th overall. The Buffaloes are a No. 3 seed in one of four eight-team regions.

The Buffaloes are 13-11 all-time in the NIT, winning the title in 1940. Colorado also has a runner-up finish in 1938, a third place showing in 1991 and a semifinal appearance in 2011.

Overall, this will be Colorado’s 29th postseason tournament past the conference level. Head coach Tad Boyle leads the Buffaloes into their 11th national-level postseason appearance in 12 possible seasons (no postseason in 2020 due to covid). Included in that span is a school-record seven-straight appearances from 2011 to 2017. Prior to that seven-year run, no Colorado team had participated in the postseason more than two consecutive years.

Colorado is 54-74 in all-time postseason play, including conference tournaments; 25-29 on the national level (NCAA, NIT, CBI).

THE SEASON: Colorado is 17-16 overall coming off a quarterfinal appearance at the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament. The Buffaloes, the No. 9 seed, defeated No. 8 Washington 74-68 in the first round on Nov. 8, before falling to top-seeded UCLA, 80-69, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 9. Colorado has clinched a .500 or better overall record for the eighth-straight season and 12th time in 13 years under head coach Tad Boyle.

The Buffaloes finished 8-12 in league play, tying with Washington for eighth place in the final league standings. Colorado finished sub-.500 in league play for the first time since the 2017-18 team was 8-10. The 12 league losses are the most in the Boyle era (7-11 in 2014-15).

ABOUT THE PIRATES: Seton Hall is 17-15 overall and tied for sixth in the Big East Conference with a 10-10 record. The Pirates fell to DePaul in the first round of the Big East Championship. Seton Hall has dropped four of its last five and six of eight overall. The Pirates are the second-best scoring and shooting defense in the Big East allowing only 65.1 points per game on 41.6 percent from the field. Offensively, Seton Hall averages 68.5 points while shooting 44.2 percent. The Pirates average 8.3 steals per game.

Senior guard Al-Amir Dawes leads Seton Hall at 12.6 points per game and is an 83 percent free throw shooter. Graduate KC Ndefo averages 8.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Senior forward Tyrese Samuel averages 10.9 points per game and leads the Pirates in rebounds (5.8 rpg) and shooting percentage (.555).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the first meeting between Colorado and Seton Hall. The Buffaloes are 13-8 against teams that currently make up the Big East Conference. Colorado’s last game against a Big East opponent was its 96-73 win over Georgetown in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

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March 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

Boyle: “I was expecting to be traveling rather than hosting”

From the Daily Camera … The Buffs have been awaiting their postseason fate since their time at the Pac-12 Conference tournament came to an end on Friday in a quarterfinal-round loss against UCLA. Despite falling to 17-16 overall, the Buffs’ NET ranking has been on sturdier ground than their record throughout the season, thanks mostly to early-season, neutral-floor wins against Tennessee and Texas A&M. That strength of schedule led to a surprisingly high seed for the Buffs, who were settled mostly between a No. 4 seed and a No. 6 seed in most NIT projections.

While the Buffs went just 1-8 against the Pac-12’s four entrants in the NCAA Tournament — UCLA, Arizona, USC and Arizona State — several of CU’s nonconference opponents ultimately enjoyed strong seasons. Grambling State, Yale, Southern Utah and Boise State all fit that description. CU was ranked 69th in the NET on Sunday.

“I guess I am a little bit (surprised),” Boyle said. “I was expecting to be traveling rather than hosting. The one thing you just don’t know about with the committee is if they’re going to put more emphasis on good wins versus bad losses. Obviously I think they probably went with the former, because we had some really good wins in nonconference.”

Pac-12 rival Oregon received one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NIT alongside Oklahoma State, Clemson and Rutgers, the top seed in CU’s region. Washington State also received an NIT berth as a No. 4 seed.

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March 12th

... CU in the Arena … 

CU men earn No. 3 seed in NIT tournament, to face Seton Hall at CEC (Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

From … The University of Colorado has accepted a bid to the 2023 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and will host Seton Hall in a first-round game on Tuesday, Mar. 14, at the CU Events Center.

The Buffaloes are the No. 3 seed in one of four eight-team regions and will host the Pirates for a 9 p.m. MT tip on ESPN2 as well as KOA 850 AM & 94.1 FM. The winner of Tuesday’s game will play the winner of No. 2 seed New Mexico and Utah Valley in the second round, Mar. 18-19, at a time to be announced.

Second round games and the regional finals (March 21-22) will be played on campus sites and will be at the highest seeded team if applicable and barring any institutional conflicts. The NIT semifinals will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 28, at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, with the championship game on Thursday, Mar. 30.

This season, NIT will be played in Las Vegas for the first time. The tournament ended an 83-year run with Madison Square Garden in New York City last year.

Seton Hall is 17-15 overall and tied for sixth in the Big East Conference with a 10-10 record. The Pirates fell to DePaul in the first round of the Big East Championship. The Buffaloes and Seton Hall have never met in men’s basketball.

Colorado makes its second-straight NIT appearance and 13th overall. Colorado is 13-11 all-time in the NIT, winning the title in 1940. The Buffaloes also have a runner-up finish in 1938, a third place showing in 1991 and a semifinal appearance in 2011.

“I’m excited and I know our players are too, we live to see another day, which is all you can ask for,” Colorado head coach Tad Boyle said. “We know from first hand experience how good of a tournament this is; good teams, players and coaches. St. Bonaventure came to our place last year and it was a great game and they made it to the final four. I know Seton Hall will come in with that same mindset and I’m sure we’ll be ready.”

Overall, this will be Colorado’s 29th postseason tournament past the conference level.

Colorado is 17-16 overall and tied for eighth in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-12. The Buffaloes were the No. 9 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament, winning a first-round game over No. 8 Washington before falling to regular season champion and No. 1 seed UCLA in the quarterfinals.

Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Monday at the CU Athletic Ticket Office, by calling 303-49BUFFS or online at Season ticket holders will have until 5 p.m. on Monday to purchase their seat locations.

CU women earn No. 6 seed in NCAA tournament, to face No. 11 Middle Tennessee on Saturday

From … The No. 20 Colorado women’s basketball team will enter the 2023 NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed in the Seattle 4 Region. The Buffaloes will play the No. 11-seeded Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Saturday, Mar. 18 in Durham, N.C.

“I was excited to see our name pop up,” head coach JR Payne expressed as CU wasn’t announced until the final portion of the broadcast. “We waited so long for a couple of our players asked, ‘Are you sure we’re in?’ I was like, ‘Yes. We’re in, don’t worry.’ I am excited. I was born in Tennessee. I have a lot of family in Tennessee and grew up hearing about Middle [Tennessee]. I have a lot of family members that went to school there. I know they’re really good. I have yet to watch them this year, but they’re good. We’re excited.”

The selection to the field of 68 marks CU’s second consecutive trip to the Big Dance. The last time the Buffs made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament was the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.

“This is the second year in a row we have gone to the tournament and we knew we were going to be in it, but we’re just excited to get back and get a second chance,” junior Frida Formann explained. “This year I think we have just shut out any outside noise and just work on our thing. I’m so happy that it worked out well in the end for us. It is also not a coincidence that we are in the tournament because we have been working hard and have a really good team.”

The Buffs draw the No. 6 seed for the fourth time in what is now 15 trips to the NCAA Tournament. CU is 3-3 all-time as a sixth seed. The last time CU was a sixth seed was in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

“There’s a bunch of talks over the weeks,” sophomore Aaronette Vonleh said of CU’s projected seeding. “You never know where you’re going to end up. I mean, six is still pretty good. Middle Tennessee, I don’t know much about them, but we just have to be ready to play whomever we get matched up with.”

Colorado (23-8) enjoying its best season since the 2012-13 campaign. The Buffs’ 23 wins this season bested last season’s 22 and are the most since the 2012-13 season (25). CU scored its best finish in the Pac-12, closing the year third in the conference with a 13-5 record. The Black and Gold made its second consecutive trip to the Pac-12 semifinals in Las Vegas, before bowing out to eventual tournament champion Washington State.

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March 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs still holding out hope for an NIT bid

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado men’s basketball team has nothing to do for a few days except wait and cross its collective fingers that the 2022-23 season isn’t quite over.

Among the Buffaloes, that waiting game might be a little more nerve-racking for Jalen Gabbidon and Ethan Wright.

While everyone else on CU’s roster has more basketball games ahead of them whether or not the Buffs receive an NIT bid on Sunday, Wright and Gabbidon, the Buffs’ graduate transfers out of the Ivy League, are two players left to wonder if they have played their final games.

The NIT selection show will be held on Sunday (7 p.m. MT, ESPNU) after the NCAA Tournament selection show, with first-round games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at campus sites.

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March 9th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs compete, but ultimately fall to No. 2 UCLA, 80-69, in Pac-12 Quarterfinals

From … Colorado’s upset bid came up short Thursday as the Buffaloes dropped an 80-69 decision to second-ranked UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals at T-Mobile Arena.

Tad Boyle‘s ninth-seeded Buffs fell to 17-16 and will wait to see if a postseason invitation is offered. The top-seeded Bruins improved to 28-4 and will play in Friday night’s semifinals.

In a game that featured 17 lead changes and six ties, this one wasn’t settled until the final minutes. But the Buffs came up empty on some key possessions down the stretch and the Bruins hit their free throws in the final minute to clinch the win.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by one at the half and still led by three, 49-46, after a Julian Hammond III 3-pointer five minutes in.

But the Bruins manufactured a 9-0 run to take a 55-49 lead as the Buffs committed four turnovers in four minutes.

Colorado, though, didn’t go away quietly. The Buffs turned in a 9-4 surge, getting five points from Tristan da Silva to cut UCLA’s cushion to one, 59-58, with 7:17 to play.

Two minutes later, the Buffs briefly grabbed a 61-60 lead on da Silva’s third 3-pointer of the day, only to see the Bruins reel off a 7-0 run to regain control. Two free throws from UCLA’s Amari Bailey gave the Bruins a 67-61 lead with four minutes remaining and UCLA extended the run to 9-0 after a timeout to take a 69-61 lead with 3:22 to play, the biggest lead of the game for either team.

But the Buffs had one more comeback. Da Silva and Lawson Lovering both cashed in buckets and with just more than two minutes to play, Colorado shaved UCLA’s lead to four, 69-65.

That, though, was as close as the Buffs could come. CU came up empty on its next three possessions and the Bruins hit their free throws in the final minutes to sew up the win.

CU head coach Tad Boyle was also hit with two technicals in the final minute, helping the Bruins extend their lead.

The first half featured 10 lead changes and three ties, with Colorado taking a  38-37 lead into the break.

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Buffs face tall task against No. 2 UCLA (1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) – Boyle: “This tournament now starts”

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado men’s basketball team got some payback against a team that defeated the Buffaloes twice during the regular season.

CU will have a chance to do the same thing on Thursday. But the challenge will be much more difficult.

Colorado advanced out of the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament on Wednesday by knocking off Washington 74-68 at T-Mobile Arena. The ninth-seeded Buffs will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and while the Bruins topped CU in a pair of tightly-contested games during the regular season, they also enter the league tournament dealing with a devastating injury setback to Jaylen Clark.

“This tournament now starts,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “This was kind of the warm-up game, so to speak, and now we’re faced with playing UCLA, who’s one of the top teams in the country. Who just had an injury to their lineup.

“We know what they’re all about. We’ve battled them. We’ve come up short, just like we had battled Washington and came up short. But UCLA’s a different animal. They’re the best team in our league. We’ve got to get rest, get these guys off our feet, and be ready to rock and roll (Thursday).”

The Buffs twice played stellar defense against the No. 2-ranked Bruins during the regular season but fell short both times. CU led by nine points in Los Angeles on Jan. 14 before the Bruins caught fire and outscored the Buffs 33-10 the rest of the way. A week and a half ago in Boulder, CU led by a point with 3 minutes, 10 seconds remaining before dropping a four-point decision.

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March 8th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU survives and advances to Pac-12 quarterfinals with a 74-68 win over Washington

Related … CU Buffs men’s basketball holds off Washington to advance in Pac-12 tourney … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado’s Julian Hammond III scored a career-high 21 points and the Buffaloes used a key 7-0 run in the final minute Wednesday to take a 74-68 win over Washington in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at T-Mobile Arena.

The ninth-seeded Buffs, who lost twice to the No. 8 Huskies in the regular season, improved to 17-15 and will face No. 1 seed UCLA in Thursday’s 1 p.m. (MT) quarterfinal.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado led by as much as 14 in the first half and still held an eight-point edge at the break, 28-20. But the Huskies hit two quick 3-pointers to open the second half and make it a game.

CU managed to hold onto the lead for 10 minutes as Tristan da SilvaLuke O’Brien and Julian Hammond III each had big buckets to answer UW scores.

But the Huskies finally took their first lead of the game with 9:44 to play, setting up a see-saw stretch that saw the lead change three more times.

Colorado finally went back up by four on buckets from Ethan Wright and Nique Clifford, then extended the edge to five with five minutes to play on a long 3-pointer and layup from Hammond and a Lawson Lovering free throw.

The Huskies cut Colorado’s lead back to one with 3:30 to play, but the Buffs pushed it back to five on a Lawson Lovering offensive rebound and bucket and an Ethan Wright dunk in transition off a da Silva steal.

But Washington narrowed CU’s lead to two, 66-64, with under two minutes to play on three Cole Bajema free throws, then tied it up on a Bajema layup with 1:26 to play.

Colorado needed just one possession to regain the lead. Da Silva drove underneath, then found O’Brien open at the top of the arc and the junior drained a long 3-pointer to give CU a 69-66 lead with just under a minute to play.

Following a timeout, Nique Clifford then came up with a big steal and 20 seconds later, Hammond hit a floater from the lane to give Colorado a 71-66 lead with 26 seconds remaining.

Da Silva then capped a 7-0 Colorado run by grabbing a defensive rebound off a UW miss and hitting two free throws with 18 seconds left to give the Buffs a 73-66 lead.

Colorado then held onto the lead in the final seconds for the win.

The Buffs used some stellar first-half defense and opportunistic offense to take a 28-20 lead over the Huskies at intermission.

Colorado led from the outset, getting a Tristan da Silva 3-pointer to open the game and steadily building its cushion. The Buffs pushed their cushion to 26-12 late in the half, thanks in part to four points from da Silva and five from Julian Hammond III over a three-minute stretch.

Defensively, Colorado produced 10 consecutive empty UW possessions that helped the Buffs build their big lead.

The Huskies did manage to close the gap in the final minutes of the half with back-to-back buckets, but UW shot just 27 percent in the first half (7-for-26), including 1-for-10 from 3-point range.

The Buffs, meanwhile, found enough holes in the UW zone to collect 12 field goals. Da Silva had nine points in the first half and Hammond and Luke O’Brien each added six. O’Brien and Nique Clifford also had five rebounds apiece, helping Colorado to a 25-17 edge on the boards and 10 second-chance points.

NEXT UP: Colorado will face No. 1 seed UCLA in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.

Buffs must overcome Washington zone in order to advance in Pac-12 tournament 

From the Daily Camera … Usually it’s a clash of styles when the Buffaloes meet the dedicated zone defense of Washington. That may not be the case on Wednesday, when the ninth-seeded Buffs square off against the eight-seeded Huskies in the opening game of the Pac-12 Conference tournament at T-Mobile Arena.

CU’s chances of advancing and keeping its precarious NIT hopes alive might be less contingent on what form of defense the Buffs deploy than CU’s ability to execute offensively against the Huskies’ zone. UW won both regular season matchups against the Buffs, who committed 18 turnovers in a Dec. 4 loss in Seattle before going 3-for-19 on 3-pointers at home while losing to the Huskies on Jan. 19.

In the two games combined, CU shot just .222 (8-for-36) from long range.

“They like to gamble a lot and they get a lot of steals in there,” CU forward Tristan da Silva said. “They want you to settle for jump shots early in the possession, or just swing it back-and-forth and settle for a 3-pointer. But we’ve got to attack their zone. We’ve got to get the ball inside and then kick it out for open shots or get easy buckets at the rim.”

In a dramatically inconsistent season that has balanced extreme highs (a win against Tennessee in Nashville on Nov. 13) with embarrassing lows (like being one of the victims of the 3-28 California Golden Bears), Buffs fans might struggle with managing the odds in Las Vegas.

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PAC-12 POSTSEASON FACTS: Colorado is in its 12th Pac-12 Tournament, coming in as the No. 9 seed. The Buffaloes tied with Washington for eighth in the final Pac-12 standings (8-12), but the Huskies took the No. 8 seed due to a sweep of the season series.

Colorado is a No. 9 seed for the first time in this tournament and its the program’s lowest since 2015, when the Buffaloes were the No. 10 seed. Colorado also tied for eighth in the 2014-15 standings, but lost tiebreakers to drop to No. 10.

Colorado holds an overall record of 16-10 in the championship. The Buffaloes have two Pac-12 Tournament championship game appearances, winning the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament title in 2012, as the No. 6 seed, winning four games in four days in Los Angeles. The Buffaloes were the runner up in 2021.

Colorado is 7-8 in the championship as the lower seeded team, 9-2 as the higher seed. Six of Colorado’s 10 Pac-12 Tournament losses have come to the top two seeds.

The Buffaloes were the last Pac-12 program to walk away from the annual event without a win. Colorado had won eight-straight first round games before falling to Washington State in 2020, just hours before the rest of the Pac-12 Tournament, and NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Buffaloes followed up that setback with a run to the 2021 championship game and the 2022 semifinals.

Colorado is 29-45 all-time in conference postseason tournaments. The Buffaloes were 4-20 in the Big Eight Tournament between 1977-96 and 9-15 in the Big 12 Championship between 1997-2011.

Head coach Tad Boyle owns more than half of Colorado’s all-time conference tournament wins. He is 18-11 in conference tournament action, including a 2-1 mark in Colorado’s final year of the Big 12.

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March 7th

… CU in the Arena … 

Tristan da Silva and KJ Simpson named to Pac-12 All-Conference teams

From … University of Colorado’s Tristan da Silva and KJ Simpson received All-Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball honors, voted on by coaches, the league office announced on Tuesday.

Da Silva, a junior forward, was one of 10-members of the All-Pac-12 First Team while Simpson, a sophomore guard, was selected to the All-Pac-12 Second Team.

Da Silva leads Colorado at 15.9 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting while averaging 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals an outing. He is fifth in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting (.402) while ranking sixth in scoring, eighth in overall field goal percentage, ninth in steals and 15th in free throw percentage.

Da Silva is the eighth different Buffalo to be named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and the 12th honor overall. The Buffaloes have had at least one All-Pac-12 First Team member each of the last five seasons.

Simpson leads Colorado in assists (111), steals (43) and free throw percentage (.817) while sitting just a fraction behind da Silva in scoring at 15.9 points per game. On the Pac-12 charts, Simpson is sixth in free throw percentage and steals, seventh in scoring and assists, 12th in minutes played (31.8 mpg) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).

The Buffaloes have had at least one player on either the All-Pac-12 First or Second Team all 12 seasons of their conference membership. It’s the fourth time in the last five years Colorado has had multiple players represented on the all-conference teams, and sixth time overall.

Colorado, 16-15 overall, finished tied for eighth in the Pac-12 at 8-12 and is the No. 9 seed at the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, Mar. 8-11, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.


March 6th

… CU in the Arena …  

CU back into The Basketball Tournament with younger alumni 

From the Daily Camera … For the first time in four years, the Colorado men’s basketball alumni team will take aim at the jackpot in The Basketball Tournament.

Following a delay of four years sparked mostly by the COVID pandemic, the organizers of Team Colorado announced on Friday the Buffaloes’ alumni team is planning to renew its participation this summer in The Basketball Tournament, the $1 million, winner-take-all competition that has evolved into one of the top basketball events of the summer.

Team Colorado is set to be coached by Zach Ruebesam, CU’s director of player development. His coaching staff will include former Buffs players Dominique Coleman, currently the interim head coach at Hillsboro Community College in Florida, and Tory Miller, who has begun cutting his teeth in the coaching profession with Overtime Elite, a premier pro league for prospects opting for a different course to the NBA than through NCAA basketball.

Also scheduled to be on the staff is David Pavlakovich, a former CU team manager who has been coaching in Germany.

While injuries or a change in pro commitments still could alter the roster before the team’s training camp in July, a number of more recent Buffs players have committed to play. That list includes Evan Battey, D’Shawn Schwartz, Dallas Walton, Lucas Siewert and Jeriah Horne. All of those players except Horne were part of the 2019-20 team that had its expected NCAA Tournament appearance scuttled by the start of the pandemic. After Siewert graduated, all those players plus Horne were part of the CU team that reached the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Also committed to play are George King, Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Dominique Collier and Shannon Sharpe. There likely will be at least one and possibly two roster additions before the team is finalized.

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CU women down to a No. 5 seed in latest NCAA Bracketology

From ESPN … The women’s NCAA tournament will undergo significant change for the second consecutive season. The field expanded to 68 teams last year. This season, the customary four regional sites have been reduced to two: Seattle and Greenville, South Carolina. The top 16 teams will continue to host the first and second rounds, and the First Four games will again be played at the site of the first-round games to which they feed. Defending champion South Carolina is the heavy favorite, and the Gamecocks seek to become the first repeat champions since UConn in 2015-16. The Final Four is March 31 and April 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Three weeks ago, Virginia Tech wasn’t even in the conversation for a No. 1 seed. The Hokies were fighting for a top-three spot in the ACC and hadn’t even reached the most difficult part of their schedule. Taking on that schedule head on, Virginia Tech won every one of those games and has now won 11 in a row following Sunday’s ACC championship over Louisville. The Hokies are the hottest team in the country not named South Carolina and now occupy the same seed line as the Gamecocks. One caveat that will determine whether Virginia Tech is a No. 1 on Selection Sunday: How the committee view the Hokies’ relatively weak nonconference schedule. They played six teams outside of the NET 230 and their nonconference schedule ranks 129th overall. Iowa and Maryland, Virginia Tech’s chief competitors for a 1-seed, both have top-10 rated schedules.

From the Pac-12 … 

  • No. 1 seed – Stanford
  • No. 2 seed – Utah
  • No. 4 seed – UCLA
  • No. 5 seed – Colorado
  • No. 6 seed – Washington State
  • No. 6 seed – Arizona
  • No. 8 seed – USC
  • First Four out – Oregon
  • Next Four out – Washington


March 5th 

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs finish the regular season with a 69-60 win over Utah; to face Washington in first round of Pac-12 tournament

From … Colorado’s Julian Hammond III stepped in for an ailing KJ Simpson to score 15 points and Nique Clifford recorded his first career double-double Saturday to lead the Buffaloes to a 69-60 win over Utah in the regular season finale at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 16-15 overall and 8-12 in Pac-12 play while Utah fell to 17-14, 10-10.

The Buffs finish as the No. 9 seed in the conference standings and will face No. 8 Washington in the Pac-12 tourney opener Wednesday in Las Vegas at 1 p.m. The winner will play top seed UCLA on Thursday at 1 p.m.

Boyle said after the game that Simpson had been diagnosed with mononucleosis and will not be available for the conference tournament.

Hammond, however, was outstanding in his starting role. The sophomore finished with a career-high five assists, five steals and three rebounds to go with his 15 points while Clifford tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds. Regular starter Tristan da Silva, nursing a sore ankle, came off the bench to score 15 points in 23 minutes and Ethan Wright had 10 points in a starting role.

Rollie Worster led Utah with 15 points.

Colorado trailed in the early minutes but used a 9-0 run to take a 15-7 lead with 11:34 to play in the first half and never trailed again. The Buffs led by 12 at the half and built a 16-point cushion early in the second half. They then fought off several Utah surges down the stretch, never letting the Utes get closer than eight until the final minute.

Boyle, a staunch believer in man-to-man defense, surprised the Utes by employing a zone defense for nearly the entire game. CU held Utah to 33 percent shooting (21-for-63), including 9-for-30 from long range.

Colorado shot 46 percent (25-for-54) and hit eight of 21 tries from beyond the arc. The Buffs also had a 39-33 rebound edge and had 20 fast break points to Utah’s three.

“The challenge I gave our team today before the game was, whether we’re going to finish this year with a winning record or losing record in the regular season — your choice,” Boyle said. “We have three seniors who deserve to be sent out the right way and our guys really got into it. They played their tails off. I wasn’t planning on playing 38 minutes of zone but it worked. It was effective and we stuck with it and they did a good job.”

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March 4th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs looking to finish the regular season with a win (v. Utah, 3:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From … Colorado is 15-15 overall and tied with Stanford for ninth in the Pac-12 Conference at 7-12. The Buffaloes have lost three in a row, tying their longest such streak of the season, and four of five. Two of those setbacks have come against Top 10 opponents.

Colorado will either be the No. 9 or No. 10 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament next week. If the Buffaloes win against Utah, they will finish tied with Washington for eighth place in the conference standings and will face the Huskies at the No. 9 seed on Wednesday, Mar. 8, due to the Huskies’ season series sweep. For Colorado to drop to the No. 10 seed, the Buffaloes would have to lose to Utah and Stanford would have to win at Oregon Saturday afternoon. In that case, Colorado would most likely face Washington State in
Wednesday’s first round.

The Buffaloes will finish sub-.500 in league play for the first time since the 2017-18 team was 8-10. The 12 league losses are the most in the Tad Boyle era (7-11 in 2014-15).

Colorado is 11-4, wrapping up the regular season Saturday. The Buffaloes are averaging 72.1 points at home, nearly seven points per game more than on the road (65.4 ppg). The Buffaloes have enjoyed a plus-10 scoring margin at home. Colorado is shooting 45.5 percent at home, compared to 40.1 percent in road games. The Buffaloes are holding opponents to 62.2 points on 41.8 percent from the field at home compared to  71.5 points and 45.4 percent in road contests.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (7.8) and offensive rebounds (11.5 orpg), third in overall rebounds (37.5 rpg) and turnover margin (+0.7), fourth in scoring defense (66.5 ppg) and 3-point defense (.322) and fifth in rebound margin (+3.8) and defensive boards (26.0 drpg).

In addition, the Buffaloes gave up just 59 points at Arizona State, the lowest by an opponent on their own home floor this season. It’s the fewest allowed by Colorado in a Pac-12 road game since Stanford had 53 on Feb. 19, 2022.

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 17-13 overall and seventh in the Pac-12 at 10-9. The Utes could still finish as high as a tie for fourth place in the league standings, but tiebreakers have them most likely the No. 6 or No. 7 seed at the Pac-12 Tournament. Utah has lost four straight and six of eight overall. The Utes have the second-best scoring defense in the Pac-12 allowing just 63.4 points per game.

Senior center Branden Carlson leads Utah at 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game while hitting 50 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Lazar Stefanovic averages 10.2 points and leads the Utes in steals with 34. Marco Anthony averages 10.0 points and is second on the team in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and steals (22).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 59th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 32-26 edge. Utah won the first meeting of the season in Salt Lake City, 73-62, on Feb. 11. Colorado is 21-7 against the Utes all-time in Boulder.

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No. 20 CU women waste a golden opportunity, fall to Washington State in Pac-12 semi-finals

… The Buffs were the No. 3 seed, and both No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed Utah had already been upset. CU had a clear path to a Pac-12 title, but now it will be No. 5 seed UCLA v. No. 7 seed Washington State for the championship … 

From … Missed opportunities. Third-seeded Colorado saw its Pac-12 tournament run come to an end late Friday night with a semifinal loss to the seventh-seeded Washington State Cougars, 61-49.

After an ice-cold first half during which the Buffs scored just 16 points and trailed by as many as 16, CU used a 12-0 run to end the third quarter by tying the game at 38-38. Washington State then used a 12-2 run to open up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and that proved too much for the Buffaloes to overcome.

The Buffs fall to 23-8 and will now wait until a week from Sunday evening to see where they will be selected in the NCAA Tournament. Washington State will now advance to the Pac-12 Championship game against fifth-seeded UCLA, as each of the top four seeds failed to advance to the title game.

“I would just start with saying congratulations to Washington state who played an incredible game tonight,” head coach JR Payne expressed after the loss. ‘They’re a really well-coached, really tough, gritty team. I thought they execute a game plan and as always so congratulations to them. I’m proud of our team for our fight which I think was clearly on display for a large part of the second half. We’re disappointed with the outcome, disappointed with some things that we could have executed more effectively, things that we really felt like we needed to do to win the game but this time of the year, every team can beat every team and I think we know that and unfortunately learned it firsthand today. I’m proud of the season we’ve had so far and very excited for the season that will continue in a couple of weeks.”

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March 3rd – Game Day!

... CU in the Arena … 

No. 20 CU Buffs rally to take down Oregon State in Pac-12 quarterfinals, 62-54; Washington State up next (9:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From … Third-seeded Colorado defeated No. 11 Oregon State 62-54 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament late Thursday night to advance to the Pac-12 semifinals for the second consecutive season.

CU overcame a nine-point deficit against the No. 11 Beavers to improve to 9-11 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament. Thursday was the largest comeback for the Buffs in a Pac-12 Tournament game. The win was Colorado’s 23rd of the season, marking the most since going 25-7 in the 2012-13 season.

The Buffaloes struggled early on in the game and found themselves in a tough spot as OSU shot lights out from 3-point range, making 6-of-9 in the first half. Colorado was able to produce enough in the second quarter to tie the game 33-33 at halftime before exploding both offensively and defensively in the third.

“That was not the prettiest game we’ve ever been a part of, but I think what we all witnessed was two teams that are just going to fight and scrap and do everything they can to win the game,” head coach JR Payne stated. “I was just telling these guys in the hallway, really proud of how we never lost our cool. We kept our composure through Oregon State’s hot shooting, through some cold spells for us offensively and we just never really got too flustered. I love that about this team. So really proud of being able to win and keep going.”

After giving up 20 points in the first quarter, Colorado’s defense allowed just 21 total points in the entire second half. The third quarter was crucial for CU as the Buffs outscored the Beavers 18-8 in the quarter. Jaylyn Sherrod was the catalyst on defense, especially in the second half.

“We really take a lot of pride in our defense. I don’t know that we were particularly great today defensively, but we typically take a lot of pride in our defense,” Payne emphasized. “We believe that every single player on our team can guard. I don’t know that it was one person that made a difference. But Jaylyn certainly can be disruptive on the basketball.”

Up next …

Colorado will take on No. 7 Washington State in the Pac-12 semifinals on Friday at 9:30 p.m. MT. The Cougars upset No. 2 Utah today after beating No. 10 Cal in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

“We truly believe that any team in this league can beat any team in this league. And that’s saying something when you have typically five or six top-25 teams,” said Payne. “I think you can play a team that’s going to be unbelievably athletic on a Friday night and the next day maybe not as athletic but so skilled in scheme X and O so well that it challenges you as a player to be able to make those types of adjustments. It challenges you as a coach. But I think without a doubt it’s the best women’s basketball conference in the country.”

Continue reading story here ….


March 2nd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 20 CU women taking on upset-minded Oregon State in Pac-12 Quarterfinals (9:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … In Scott Rueck’s 13 seasons as head coach, the Oregon State women’s basketball team has grown accustomed to winning.

That’s why this season has been so odd for the Beavers, who came into the Pac-12 Tournament with their lowest seed ever, at No. 11. Suddenly, however, they’ve found their mojo.

On Wednesday night, the  Beavers stunned sixth-seeded USC, 56-48, in the first round of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at Michelob Ultra Arena.

OSU (13-17) will face third-seeded Colorado (22-7) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. MT. It’ll be the 10th consecutive quarterfinal appearance for OSU, joining Stanford as the only teams to reach that round every year in the past decade.

“We’re used to winning,” Rueck said. “That’s what we do and that’s what we’ve done. It’s why they all come here. We’re all winners. We lost nine straight games (this season) and that’s only happened to me two other times and it was year one and three of this complete rebuild. It’s never happened to these (current players).”

… Now, Oregon State gets a shot at the Buffaloes, who dominated the regular season matchup in Corvallis, 67-48 on Feb. 5. CU raced out to a 28-6 lead after the first 14 minutes, 10 seconds and OSU never threatened from there.

“They were at a different level than we were to start that game,” Rueck said. “They came in and absolutely beat us up in that first quarter. They beat us to every basketball. They played at a completely different level of intensity. Before you know it, the game’s basically over at the end of the first.”

Rueck expects CU to open with the same fire and intensity on Thursday.

“(CU guard Jaylyn Sherrod) is going to be everywhere, all over the floor, and so we’re going to need to be ready for it,” he said. “I believe we will be. But they bring a ton of energy. They play really fast, and so you’ve got to be on your A game from the tip. So it should be a great game, a big test.”

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March 1st

… CU in the Arena … 

Entering Pac-12 tournament play, No. 20 CU (and No. 4 seed) holds last home field seed

From ESPN … The women’s NCAA tournament will undergo significant change for the second consecutive season. The field expanded to 68 teams last year. This season, the customary four regional sites have been reduced to two: Seattle and Greenville, South Carolina. The top 16 teams will continue to host the first and second rounds, and the First Four games will again be played at the site of the first-round games to which they feed. Defending champion South Carolina is the heavy favorite, and the Gamecocks seek to become the first repeat champions since UConn in 2015-16. The Final Four is March 31 and April 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The top 16 seeds (and the right to host first- and second-round NCAA tournament games) will largely take shape this weekend. And teams 14 through 21 on the S curve — in order, Villanova, North Carolina, Colorado, UCLA, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan and Arizona — are so tightly packed that plenty can change by the time championship games are played Sunday in the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. Which of those eight will wind up in those coveted three final spots within the top 16? UCLA and Arizona are likely to meet in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals; the loser will be eliminated from top-16 contention, narrowing the list to seven. From there, it’s a combination of math and musical chairs. The Sooners still have two regular-season games left and might know exactly what they need to do to reach a No. 4 seed when the Big 12 tourney opens March 9. The others will be playing, and perhaps scoreboard watching, this weekend, making Friday, Saturday and Sunday must-see TV for the top 16.

From the Pac-12 ...

  • No. 1 seed … Stanford
  • No. 1 seed … Utah
  • No. 4 seed … Colorado
  • No. 5 seed … UCLA
  • No. 6 seed … Arizona
  • No. 10 seed … USC
  • No. 10 seed … Washington State
  • First Four out … Oregon
  • Next Four out … Washington

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February 26th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs push No. 4 UCLA to the final minute before falling, 60-56

Related … No. 4 UCLA clinches Pac-12 crown by holding off CU Buffs men’s basketball … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado took No. 4 UCLA down to the wire Sunday but the Buffaloes came up just short in the end, dropping a 60-56 decision at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 15-15 overall and 7-12 in Pac-12 play while the Bruins won their eighth in a row to improve to 25-4, 16-2.

The Buffs led for almost the entire first half and took a two-point edge into the break, 30-28. But UCLA opened the second half with a 7-0 run and kept the lead until the midway point of the period.

But the Buffs didn’t quit. CU finally regained the lead with eight minutes to play, setting the stage for a see-saw affair over the final minutes that featured six more lead changes.

The Bruins finally took the lead for good with two minutes to play and held the Buffs off down the stretch.

KJ Simpson led Colorado with 14 points, Luke O’Brien recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Tristan da Silva also scored 13. Da Silva, though, left the game with an injury with five minutes left to play, leaving the Buffs short handed over the final crucial minutes.

Jaime Jaquez led UCLA with 17 points and Tyger Campbell added 14.

The Buffs struggled on the offensive end throughout the game, hitting just 33 percent of their shots (18-for-54). Colorado held UCLA to 40 percent shooting (22-for-54), including 1-for-14 from beyond the arc, and CU held a 40-35 edge on the boards.

But the Buffs also left too many points on the free throw line, hitting only 13 of their 23 attempts from the stripe.

Still, Colorado’s effort from beginning to end was much different than that in their 84-65 loss to USC on Thursday.

“I told the guys, ‘You are silent today because you are disappointed. You fought your tails off, gave it everything you had and came up short,'” Boyle said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to feel because you invested something in the game. I don’t want anybody to take this the wrong way. There’s no moral victories in the Colorado basketball program, but I can live with the fight that our guys showed tonight. I can live with that.”

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Buffs taking on No. 4 UCLA (2:00 p.m., MT, CBS)

Related … Head coach Tad Boyle says practice habits have kept Quincy Allen from CU Buffs rotation … from the Daily Camera

From the Daily Camera

TIPOFF: Sunday, 2 p.m., CU Events Center.

TV/RADIO: TV — CBS. Radio — KHOW 630 AM.

RECORDS: UCLA  24-4, 15-2 Pac-12 Conference; Colorado 15-14, 7-11.

COACHES: UCLA — Mick Cronin, 4th season (92-34, 457-205 overall). Colorado — Tad Boyle, 13th season (269-169, 325-235 overall).

KEY PLAYERSUCLA — G/F Jaime Jaquez Jr. 6-7, Sr. (17.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, .488 FG%); G Jaylen Clark, 6-5, Jr. (13.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg); G Tyger Campbell, 5-11, R-Sr. (12.4 ppg, 4.8 apg); G David Singleton, 6-4, Sr. (9.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .435 3%).  Colorado — F Tristan da Silva, 6-9, Jr. (16.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .509 FG%); G KJ Simpson, 6-2, So. (15.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.9 apg); F Luke O’Brien, 6-8, Jr. (5.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg); G Nique Clifford, 6-6, Jr. (6.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg).

NOTES: CU has lost six of its past seven games against UCLA, including a 68-54 loss in Los Angeles on Jan. 14. The Buffs held a nine-point lead in that game with 10:21 remaining, but the Bruins outscored CU 33-10 the rest of the way. … Barring a matchup against either the Bruins or Arizona at the Pac-12 tournament, this will be CU’s final shot at a ranked opponent this year. The Buffs are 2-2 against ranked teams, winning neutral-floor games against Tennessee and Texas A&M in November before losing at UCLA and Arizona in conference play. This will be the only home game of the year against a ranked team, and CU hasn’t gone an entire season without defeating a ranked opponent at home since 2014-15 (excluding 2018-19, when the Buffs didn’t play a single ranked opponent). … The Bruins have won seven consecutive games. … In conference games, UCLA leads the Pac-12 in average rebound margin (plus-4.7). The Bruins also rank third in league games in overall defensive field goal percentage (.406) and defensive 3-point percentage (.304). … CU completes the regular season at home on Saturday against Utah (3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

ABOUT THE BRUINS: No. 4/3 (AP/Coaches) UCLA is 24-4 overall and leads the Pac-12 at 15-2. The Bruins have won seven straight including a 78-71 decision at Utah on Feb. 23. UCLA averages 74.2 points per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field. Defensively, UCLA allows a league-low 59.8 points per game. The Bruins also top the Pac-12 in steals (8.6 spg), offensive rebounds (11.8 orpg) and turnover margin (+6.1).

Senior Jaime Jaquez, Jr., leads UCLA at 17.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. Jaylen Clark averages 13.1 points and leads the Pac-12 in steals at 2.6 per game. Tyger Campbell averages 12.4 points and is fourth in the Pac-12 in assists at 4.8 per game. Amari Bailey averages 10.1 points while shooting 48.9 percent from the field.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding  a 17-7 advantage. UCLA won this season’s first meeting, 68-54 in Los Angeles on Jan. 14, and has won six of the last seven overall. The series is tied at 5-5 in Boulder.


February 25th – Game Day!

CU women have no trouble dispatching Cal, winning regular season finale, 95-69

From … No. 21 Colorado went coast-to-coast on Saturday, taking down the California Golden Bears 95-69 to lock up the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament.

A dominant 25-point third quarter by the Buffs helped CU (22-7, 13-5 Pac-12) match its win total from last year and match its best conference record since the 2012-13 season. The win also marked the seventh straight over the Bears.

“It is a great way to end the regular season,” head coach JR Payne exclaimed. “I am really proud of how we played particularly in the second half. The first half wasn’t too pretty. I just said in the locker room that great teams figure out a way to fix it and it wasn’t our best effort in the first half.  We thought we dug in and played really good basketball in the second half. So just a great team effort tonight.”

Colorado put together a strong defensive performance against Cal, turning the Bears over 17 times for 18 points on the offensive end. The Buffs also were dominant inside the point, scoring a season-high 52 points from close-range.

Aaronette Vonleh turned in her best performance of her career, helping CU hit 90 points in a game for the first time since 2019. She recorded career-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Vonleh also added three rebounds, two steals and one assist.

“I was just kind of like pissed off after our last loss [in double overtime to Stanford],” Vonleh said of her performance. “[I was] just trying to channel that into my energy today to be successful.”

Two other key contributors on offense were Frida Formann and Jaylyn Sherrod. They combined for 35 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field and 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Sherrod recorded six assists while Formann totaled three. Formann, who missed the last game against Stanford due to illness, was plus-32 points in just 24 minutes on the floor.

“I don’t know too many people that can wake up after a couple of days off and go out there and play like Frida did today,” Sherrod said of her teammate. “Frida is such a big part of our team and she brings so much positivity and confidence. I think her confidence gives everybody else confidence as well. It was just good to get her back out there after missing her on Thursday.”

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Senior Day for No. 21 CU women – or is it? (CU v. Cal, noon, MT, Pac-12 Networks)

… The Buffs are hovering between a No. 4 seed and a No. 5 seed in the NCAA bracketology. In the women’s tournament, the top four seeds in each region host the first two games of March Madness … 

From the Daily Camera … Despite a tear-producing loss that was so painfully close to being a win on Thursday afternoon, the Colorado women’s basketball team actually moved up in at least one NCAA Tournament projection.

ESPN’s latest bracketology, posted on Friday morning, has the Buffaloes (21-7, 12-5 Pac-12) as a No. 4 seed and hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Boulder. CU was a No. 5 seed in the previous projection.

While the ESPN projection, produced by bracket guru Charlie Creme, isn’t a guarantee of where the Buffs currently stand in the eyes of the selection committee, it’s certainly a reminder that the 73-62 double-overtime loss to No. 3 Stanford, while painful, wasn’t a bad loss in the big picture.

There’s no time to brood over Thursday because there’s a lot on the line for the Buffaloes moving forward, starting with Saturday’s regular season finale against California at the CU Events Center.

“We are super resilient,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “We don’t spend very long being either too happy or too sad about the outcome of a game because we understand the importance of the next game. It’s OK to be sad and be disappointed. But by (Friday), this game is done, and we have to really focus for Cal. Every game is an opportunity to get better and this game provided a lot of windows that we could say we could be tighter here, we could be a little bit better there.”

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February 23rd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs not competitive in 84-65 loss to USC, drop to 15-14, 7-11

From … Colorado struggled on the offensive end and had no answer for USC on the defensive end Thursday as the short-handed Buffaloes dropped an 84-65 decision to the Trojans at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 15-14 overall and 7-11 in Pac-12 play while the Trojans improved to 20-8, 12-5.

KJ Simpson led CU with 18 points and Luke O’Brien added 12.

Boogie Ellis led five Trojans in double figures with 21 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs trailed by 13 at the half and saw USC build its cushion to 17 early in the second period, 53-36.

But Colorado finally manufactured a comeback, outscoring the Trojans 11-2 over the next two minutes. Quincy Allen started the surge with a 3-pointer, Ethan Wright drained back-to-back treys and Lawson Lovering slammed home a dunk to cut the Trojans’ cushion to 55-47 with 12:58 still left to play.

But that was as close as the Buffs could come. USC slowly built its lead back to double digits as Colorado endured a 1-for-8 stretch on the offensive end and couldn’t come up with consecutive stops defensively.

USC extended its cushion to 19 with seven minutes to play with a 10-0 run and the Buffs never really threatened again as USC built its lead to 20 in the final minute.

Colorado opened the game by jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead on buckets from Nique Clifford and KJ Simpson in the first two minutes, and still held a 14-12 lead at the 14:02 mark after a Lawson Lovering basket.

But the Trojans began to catch fire — especially from beyond the arc — and the Buffs’ offense went stale at the same time. Southern California put together a 13-2 run that saw the Trojans hit five straight field goal tries while the Buffs went 1-for-7 over the same stretch.

Midway through the half, USC had a 25-16 lead.

Colorado finally ended its offensive woes but never found an answer for USC’s 3-point shooting. The Trojans hit six of their first nine attempts from long range, and with 4:41 left in the half the Buffs were down by 15.

CU did manage to briefly shave the deficit to 10 on a KJ Simpson basket and Quincy Allen 3-pointer. But the Trojans responded and sent Colorado into intermission trailing 43-30.

USC finished the half shooting 17-for-27, including 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. The Buffs shot just 13-for-31 and just 2-for-10 from 3-point range.

NEXT UP: The Buffs play host to UCLA on Sunday in a 2 p.m. game at the CU Events Center, then wrap up the regular season March 4 with a 3:30 p.m. game at home against Utah.

Sooo close – No. 21 Buffs fall in double overtime to No. 3 Stanford

From CUBuffs.comJaylyn Sherrod hit the game-tying shot in regulation and two critical free throws near the end of the first overtime, but No. 3 Stanford then outscored No. 21 Colorado 13-2 in the second overtime period to leave Boulder with a 73-62 win and come one step closer to winning the Pac-12 regular season championship here Thursday afternoon at the CU Events Center.

In a rare weekday afternoon game, the Buffaloes pushed the nation’s third-ranked team to the brink, as has been the case against the two teams in recent memory in Boulder.  The Cardinal improve to 27-3 overall and 15-2 in league standings and the Buffs fall to 21-7 and 12-5, respectively.

The Buffs started the game on a tear, opening up a 13-0 lead out of the gate with Tianna Jones and Quay Miller doing most of the scoring in that early run, which was capped off by a 3-pointer from Jada Wynn at the two-minute mark of the quarter.  Stanford in fact didn’t score until 8:46 into the game with a pair of free throws and after a 3-pointer from Broke Demetre, the Buffs held an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

Jones remained hot for the Buffaloes, who quickly pushed the lead to 14 points at 19-5 after she hit a 3-poitner of her own.  The Buffs maintained about a 10-point advantage through the remainder of the half and led 22-12 with just under two minutes remaining.  Stanford put together a 6-2 run to cut the Buffs lead to six at 24-18 at halftime.

The Cardinal shot just 6.3% in the first quarter and 20.7% at the half, hitting 6-of-29 from the field.

Neither team scored for the first two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter, but the Cardinal then scored on three straight possessions to take its first lead at 25-24 and scored the first eight points of the quarter to go up 27-24 half way through the quarter.  After four lead changes, the Cardinal used a 7-0 lead to end the quarter up 38-32.

After Cameron Brink put Stanford up 40-32, its biggest lead of regulation, the Buffs began to chip away at the lead. Sherrod hit a 3-pointer, then got a steal and lay-up to bring the Buffs within three at 40-37 and the lead stayed between three and four points the next five minutes until Miller hit four straight free throws to tie the game at 46-46 with 2:40 remaining.

Stanford hit two free throws with 1:42 left to take a two-point lead.  With 33 seconds left, Kindyll Wetta got a steal and Sherrod made her layup to tie the game 48-48 with 28 seconds left and that’s where the score remained through regulation.

Aaronette Vonleh gave the Buffs a 50-48 lead a minute into overtime and after a quick 4-0 run by Stanford, Quay Miller tied it again at 52-52 with 2:27 left.  Miller hit two free throws with 1:46 left and Vonleh hit two with 1:19 left to give the Buffs two point advantages each time.  Miller was called for a foul with 58 seconds and Haley Jones tied the game at 56-56.  Sherrod hit a driving layup with 45 seconds to give the Buffs a 58-56 advantage.  Jones then hit a layup and was fouled to give the Cardinal a 59-58 lead when Sherrod hit two free throws with 29 seconds left to put the Buffs up one at 60-59.  Miller was again called for a foul, this time with three seconds left, but Lauren Betts hit just one of her two free throws to tie the game at 60-60 and force double overtime.

The Cardinal came out of the gate quickly in double OT and the Buffs couldn’t respond.  CU’s only points came at the midpoint of the period when Sherrod hit two free throws to pull CU within 65-62.  A combination of breaking pressure and hitting free throws allowed Stanford to go on an 8-0 run to end the game.

No. 21 CU women taking on No. 3 Stanford (3:00 p.m.): “We are going to do whatever it takes to win”

Related … CU Buffs ready for marquee matchup with Stanford … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado women’s basketball enters the final week of the regular season in somewhat unfamiliar territory. The Buffaloes have positioned themselves for a first-round bye in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament for the first time since 2014.

At 12-4 in Pac-12 play, Colorado is currently No. 3 in the standings. The Buffs, who host No. 3 Stanford (Thursday, 3 p.m. MT) and California (Saturday, Noon), can finish no worse than fourth in the standings and with some help across the league could get as high as the No. 2 seed and a split of a regular season title is not out of the realm of possibilities.

But the mindset for the Buffs has not changed all season. The team that was picked to finish eighth in the conference preseason voting, continues to play with that underdog mindset.

“We never want to get too big-headed,” senior Quay Miller commented. “We learned our lesson after we beat UCLA and then lost to USC. We took a step back and tried to relax a little, but we need to be able to be a mature group and not take a step back and play to our full potential. Anytime we do take a step back, we come out with a loss. I think that each loss we have had, we have ground from and that always reminds us that no matter the number that is in front of our name, we are still the underdog. It took us a lot to get here and we still have a lot of work to do.”

Another key factor in the success of the Buffs this season is the unselfish narrative that surrounds the team. Miller, Jaylyn SherrodFrida Formann and Aaronette Vonleh have all shared the title of “leading scorer’ in 24 games of CU’s 27 games. The Buffs have also won 25 consecutive games when collecting at least 17 assists.

“We are going to do whatever it takes to win,” Miller added. “Last year we depended on a few players and when they did not show up, we did not know what to do. This year we are all trying to take over and whoever has the hot hand we will just keep feeding this person.”

Continue reading story here


February 20th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women remain No. 21 in AP Poll despite loss; take on No. 3 Stanford Thursday

From the Daily Camera … A loss in the desert didn’t hurt the Colorado women’s basketball team in the national rankings.

Despite a 61-42 loss to Arizona on Sunday, the Buffaloes remained at No. 21 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 rankings that were released on Monday.

CU (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) had a five-game winning streak snapped in Tucson, Ariz., but this is the first time the Buffs have been ranked in three consecutive weeks since a five-week run in November and December of 2016.

The Buffs will look to rebound on Thursday against third-ranked Stanford (25-3, 13-2) at the CU Events Center (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

“We’ve got to brush it off right now,” CU guard Tameiya Sadler said after Sunday’s loss. “We can’t really be sad about it. You just have to go in tomorrow and really lock in on Stanford and the next couple of scouts that we have because that’s the next biggest game that we have.”

CU defeated last-place Arizona State, 70-62, on Friday before falling to Arizona on Sunday. The Buffs sputtered a bit throughout both games. After not having 20 turnovers in a game since November, the Buffs had 20 in each of the games this past weekend.

Still, the split in Arizona has CU in a good spot going into the final week of the regular season.

The Buffs are in third place, one game behind Utah and a game ahead of Arizona. The top four teams will get a first-round bye for next week’s Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

“Oh, yeah, absolutely,” head coach JR Payne said of the Buffs being in a good position. “I mean, you have to have a pretty short memory either way. When you play great or you don’t play great, the next game is going to come very quickly. It’s important that we learn from it and move on.”

Continue reading story here

CU men facing USC (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2): “We have three home games that are all winnable”

Related … Colorado men’s basketball hopes a final push begins in rematch against USC … from the Daily Camera

From … Time is running short for Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes.

But with three regular season games remaining — all at home —  Boyle’s Buffs still have a chance to collect some quality wins, gain some confidence and build momentum heading into their annual trip to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament (March 8-11).

CU has endured an up-and-down season this year and has struggled on the road (2-8). But the Buffs are 11-2 at home and they do have some quality wins — in particular over Tennessee and Texas A&M, two teams currently in the top 30 in the NCAA NET rankings. They have also looked good in wins over Oregon and Stanford, and just last weekend won at Arizona State.

Overall, however, they sit at 15-13 and their 7-10 mark in the Pac-12 has them in a tie for eighth in the conference standings. Their only hope for an NCAA tourney bid is to run the table in Las Vegas.

But they are also one of “those” teams — a team with the ability to beat anyone in the league, especially on a neutral floor. That means they are the kind of team opposing coaches don’t want to see in a conference tournament, especially if they arrive with a little confidence and momentum.

It’s a message Boyle has been delivering to his team.

“We have three home games that are all winnable,” Boyle said after last weekend’s loss at Arizona. “Now they’re not going to be easy … (But) we need to finish strong and understand that we can beat any team in this league on any given night when we go to Las Vegas … We have to play to the level of our ability. If we do that I like where this team is headed.”

Indeed, the final three regular season games are all against teams currently sitting in the top four in the league standings. They should no doubt provide a crucial barometer as to how the Buffs will stand when they head into the conference tourney.

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February 19th

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 18 Arizona exacts revenge on No. 21 Colorado women with 61-42 rout

From … The No. 21 Colorado women’s basketball team fell 61-42 to the No. 18 Arizona Wildcats at the McKale Center on Sunday, snapping a five-game winning streak for the Buffaloes.

Colorado (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) had its struggles in Tucson continue, having not won at UofA since the 2014-15 season. The Buffaloes struggled with turnovers and couldn’t get shots to fall throughout the afternoon.

The Buffs suffered long scoring runs made by the Wildcats (21-6, 11-5 Pac-12) in the first and third quarters which proved to be more than Colorado could come back from. Offensively, CU scored just 42 points, matching its lowest points in a game since December 6th, 2015, when it played at Long Beach State.

“They’re a really good defensive team,” Head coach JR Payne expressed. “Typically Colorado and Arizona are two of the best defensive teams in the league. So they do defend. We just have to go back and watch the film and figure it out. I thought in the first half we got a lot of great looks right at the rim. We missed a lot of layups early and free throws, things that we normally make.”

The Buffs committed 20 total turnovers which resulted in 10 points off those turnovers for Arizona. Colorado also had a rough day shooting from the field, making just 15-of-53 shots (28.3%). From three-point range, CU shot just 8.3%, making 1 of 12 threes.

“Both teams had 10 points off turnovers, so the turnovers weren’t necessarily contributing to their scoring, it was just keeping us from scoring,” Payne said. “So debilitating in that way just felt very jumbled from beginning to end. Our effort was fine. Our effort was there but just no rhythm, no sync.”

Tameiya Sadler led the Buffs in points with 12 off the bench. She was the only Buff to make a 3-pointer in the game and also had three rebounds and three steals. Another bright spot for Colorado was Quay Miller who recorded a double-double made up of 10 points and 10 boards. Miller had two steals on the defensive end.

“I feel like it’s very big for me, but JR always had that confidence throughout the beginning of the year regardless,” said Sadler. “She kept pushing me to be the player that she knew I can be. I think this weekend it was just me feeding into the confidence that she was giving me.”

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Buffs fail to maintain early lead, fall at No. 8 Arizona, 78-68

Related … No. 8 Arizona makes quick work of CU Buffs men’s basketball … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado’s offense couldn’t match Arizona’s firepower Saturday and the Buffaloes dropped a 78-68 decision to the eighth-ranked Wildcats at the McKale Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 15-13 overall and 7-10 in Pac-12 play while also losing their 13th in a row to the Wildcats on their home court. Arizona improved to 24-4, 13-4.

Colorado took an early 18-6 lead after forcing five Arizona turnovers. But the Buffs couldn’t maintain their hot hand and the Wildcats found their offensive rhythm. The Buffs’ offense also took a hit when leading scorer Tristan da Silva went out with his second foul with 11:33 still remaining in the half, and Arizona outscored the Buffs 40-16 in the final 15 minutes to take a 46-34 lead at intermission.

The Buffs momentarily cut the deficit back to seven early in the second half, and they outscored UA 34-32 in the final 20 minutes. But after Colorado’s initial surge, the Wildcats pushed their cushion back to double digits and managed to hold the Buffs at bay down the stretch.

Da Silva still led the Buffs with 18 points, Javon Ruffin scored 13 and KJ Simpson added 12. Luke O’Brien finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Oumar Ballo led four Wildcats in double figures with 18 points, and he also had 16 rebounds.

Colorado shot just 39 percent from the floor (24-for-62) while the Wildcats were 27-for-55. After hitting three of their first five 3-pointers, the Buffs finished 7-for-24 from long range while UA was 5-for-13.

The biggest damage came in the paint, where the 7-foot Ballo helped the Wildcats to a 40-24 scoring advantage. Arizona also held a 37-36 rebound edge.

“I was really pleased with our guys’ fight,” Boyle said. “But we got to thinking scoring was going to be easy because we played so well offensively out of the chute. Then we came down and we took four or five quick jump shots and those jump shots turned into transition points for them. The one thing you have to be careful of in this building is if you shoot the ball in five seconds, and you don’t make it, it’s the first pass of their fast break. Their offense got going off of our bad offense. And that’s what killed us in the first half.”

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February 18th – Game Day!

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs seek their first win over Arizona in Tucson since 1965 (6:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)

Related … Return to form by Javon Ruffin a good sign for CU Buffs MBB going into battle at No. 8 Arizona … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado is 15-12 overall and tied for seventh place in the Pac-12 Conference at 7-9 after picking up a road win at Arizona State, 67-59, on Feb. 16.

The Buffaloes snapped a six-game road losing streak, it’s longest since the 2018 calendar year (five games in 2017-18, one in 2018-19), and improved to 2-8 in true road games this year.

Colorado had entered the Arizona State game giving up 72.2 points on the road, but held the Sun Devils to 59 points, the lowest by a Buffaloes opponent on the road this season. It’s the fewest allowed by Colorado in a Pac-12 road game since Stanford had 53 on Feb. 19, 2022. The Buffaloes are 20-3 in the Pac-12 era when holding their conference opponent under 60 points on their  home court and have won the last 12.

Colorado has made 39 of its last 42 free throws over the last three games. While still shooting a Pac-12 low 69.2 percent from the line overall, Colorado has improved its mark to 71.5 percent in conference games.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (7.9) and offensive rebounds (11.5 orpg), third in rebounding margin (+4.4) and turnover margin (+0.7), fourth in scoring (70.7 ppg), rebounding (37.7 rpg), defensive boards (26.2 drpg) and scoring defense (65.7 ppg) and fifth in scoring margin (+5.1) and 3-point defense (.323).

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: No. 8 (AP & Coaches) ranked Arizona is 23-4 overall and second in the Pac-12 at 12-4. The Wildcats are 14-1 at home this season after defeating Utah 88-62 on Feb. 16. Arizona is the top scoring and field goal shooting team in the Pac-12 at 83.4 points per game while hitting 49 percent from the field. The Wildcats also lead the Pac-12 in rebounding (40.5 rpg) and rebound margin (+7.3). Arizona ranks last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense at 70.7 points per game.

National Player of the Year candidate Azuolas Tubelis leads the Pac-12 in scoring (19.9 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg) while shooting 57.4 percent from the field. Center Oumar Ballo averages 14.5 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 65.6 percent. Kerr Krissa leads the  Wildcats in assists (152) and 3-pointers made (69) while averaging  10.8 points per game.  Courtney Ramey averages 10.8 points and is second in 3-point field goals made (66).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 40th meeting between Colorado and Arizona with the Wildcats holding a 23-16 series lead. Arizona won two of three meetings last year. The teams split the regular season series, both winning at home. The Wildcats got the rubber match, 82-72, in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. The teams split the regular season series, both winning at home. Arizona holds a 13-3 all-time lead in Tucson. The Buffaloes last win at Arizona came on Dec. 20, 1965.

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February 17th

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 21 CU women pick up first win at Arizona State in ten years

… Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of CU’s last win against Arizona State, a come-from-behind 71-63 victory in Tempe on Feb. 17, 2013 … Other than a forfeit win earlier this season, the Buffs had lost 14 straight to ASU … 

From … It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but the No. 21 Colorado women’s basketball team picked up its 21st win of the season on Friday afternoon. The Buffaloes led by as many as 15 and held on late for the 70-62 win over Arizona State.

The Buffs (21-5, 12-3 Pac-12) held a 42-31 lead at the half but got outscored 31-28 by the Sun Devils in the second half. Colorado struggled with turnovers throughout the day, coughing the ball up 20 times. ASU took advantage, scoring 18 points directly off the turnovers.

“We felt like we were doing what we needed to do,” head coach JR Payne explained after the win. “We had several people in foul trouble so that’s tough. They [ASU] are a good, scrappy, defensive-minded team and I thought they did a good job of being disruptive. Some shots that typically fall [for us] didn’t. It was sort of a combination of all those things that made for kind of a jumbled game.”

Senior Quay Miller led the Buffs with her fifth double-double in the last seven games, closing with 17 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Tameiya Sadler had her best outing in a Colorado uniform, going 6-for-6 from the field and a CU-high of 16 points.

“I thought Tameiya was great,” Payne added. “6-for-6 from the floor and not just the scoring but like the aggressive offensive presence that she brought to the table. When we needed a buck, she went and got one. It’s not that we had to run something for her she just made a really aggressive effort to produce and we certainly needed every point.”

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February 16th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs hold Sun Devils scoreless in final 3:50 to pull out 67-59 road win 

From … Colorado closed the game with a decisive 17-3 run Thursday and the Buffaloes ended a six-game road losing streak with a 67-59 win over Arizona State at Desert Financial Arena.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 15-12 overall and 7-9 in Pac-12 play while ASU fell to 18-9, 9-7.

The victory also helped the Buffs avenge a home loss to the Sun Devils in early December, a game in which ASU came back from a 15-point deficit to get the win.

Tristan da Silva led CU with 23 points, including a huge 3-pointer with 1:11 left to play that gave the Buffs a 64-59 lead. KJ Simpson added 12 points, Javon Ruffin came off the bench to score 10 and grab seven rebounds and Luke O’Brien had nine points and 10 rebounds in his second career start.

DJ Horne led ASU with 15 points.

The Buffs trailed for most of the first half before closing the period with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 32-32, getting a Simpson 3-pointer at the buzzer. CU then momentarily took the lead midway through the second half before the Sun Devils rallied with a 12-3 surge to take a 56-50 lead with just under six minutes to play.

But the Buffs had one more rally in their pocket as they closed with their 17-3 run. CU switched to a zone defense and limited the Sun Devils to just one basket in the final six minutes while da Silva and Ruffin both added a pair of 3-pointers in the game-clinching run.

Colorado shot just 42 percent from the floor (24-for-57) but held ASU to 37 percent shooting (24-for-65), including an 8-for-29 effort from long range. The Sun Devils hit four of their first six 3-point tries, but made only four of their next 23 the rest of the night.

CU also held a 42-34 edge on the boards and hit 10 of 11 free throws.

“The reason you get into coaching is for the young men,” Boyle said. “It’s not for you and your record, it’s about the kids you coach and the experience they’re having. One thing about this team, they’ve kept their heads up, they’ve kept their spirits up. Nobody likes to lose but this team hung together and tonight they showed some real  toughness down the stretch.”

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Buffs (1-8 in road games) open final regular season road trip at Arizona State (6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Network)

Related … ASU’s early, stunning win at CU typified Buffs’ season-long shortcomings … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado is 14-12 overall and tied for seventh place in the Pac-12 Conference at 6-9 after falling 73-62 at Utah on Feb. 11, in its lone game last week.

Colorado dropped its sixth-straight on the road and is 1-8 in true road contests this season. The six-straight road losses are the Buffaloes most since 2018, spanning the final five games of the 2017-18 season and the first road game at San Diego in 2018-19. It’s the first six-game road losing streak during the course of the same season since 2014-15.

Colorado is averaging 64.9 points per game on the road compared to 73.8 at home. The Buffaloes are shooting 40.0 percent on the road compared to 47.1 percent at home. Colorado has allowed 72.2 points on the road while the hosts are shooting 46.1 percent. At home, the Buffaloes have held opponents to 60.7 points on 40.7 percent shooting.

Colorado committed a season-low six turnovers at Utah and its fewest since having six against Stanford on Nov. 28, 2021. It’s CU’s fewest on the road since committing just five at Washington on Jan. 20, 2021.

Colorado has made 29 of its last 31 free throws over the last two games. The Buffaloes made their first 11 at Utah before finishing 12 of 13. While still shooting a Pac-12 low 68.7 percent from the line overall, Colorado has improved its mark to 70.6 percent in conference games.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.0) and offensive rebounds (11.6 orpg), third in turnover margin (+1.0), fourth in scoring defense (65.9 ppg), scoring margin (+5.0), rebounding (37.5 rpg) and rebound margin (+4.3) and fifth in scoring (70.9 ppg) and  defensive rebounds (25.9 drpg).

ABOUT THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State is 18-8 overall and tied with Oregon for fifth place in the Pac-12 standings at 9-6. The Sun Devils have won three of their last four including a road sweep in the Bay Area last week. Arizona State averages 71.2 points while shooting 41.9 percent from the field. Defensively, the Sun Devils are holding opponents to 66.7 points per game and has the second-best field goal percentage defense in the Pac-12 at 38.8 percent.

Senior guard Desmond Cambridge, Jr., leads ASU at 13.7 points and 1.5 steals per game. Sophomore guard Frankie Collins averages 11.2 points and ranks fifth in the Pac-12 at 4.6 assists per game. Senior forward Warren Washington averages 8.6 points and leads the Sun Devils in rebounding (7.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg) while shooting 57.4 percent from the field.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 26th meeting between Colorado and Arizona State with the Buffaloes holding a 14-11 series lead. Arizona State won the season’s first meeting, a 60-59 decision on Dec. 1 in Boulder. ASU has won the last two meetings, but the Buffaloes have still had the advantage in seven of the last 11. The Sun Devils hold an 8-3 advantage in Tempe, but Colorado has its last two appearances at Desert Financial Arena.


February 14th

… CU in the Arena … 

Boyle’s 2022-23 team the most disappointing of his tenure at CU?

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado men’s basketball team is limping to the finish line.

That isn’t breaking news to anyone who has followed the Buffaloes this season. Yet for a program that has improved between November and February more often than not in 13 seasons under head coach Tad Boyle, the idea that Buffs fans are playing out the string in order to turn their attention to spring football seemed inconceivable when the season tipped off on Nov. 7.

Certainly, there is time, and opportunity, to rewrite the script on 2022-23. CU faces two Quad 1 road games this week, first at Arizona State on Thursday (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network) and again on Saturday at No. 11 Arizona. CU generally has played much better at home, and a team that usually rises up to knock off at least one ranked foe in Boulder nearly every year still gets a shot at No. 4 UCLA on Feb. 26 at the Events Center.

Still, the writing on the wall is starting to set. A Buffs team that is just 1-8 in true road games and that has won more than two games in a row just once all season will have to completely break the trends formed through the first 27 games in order to make a run.

Falling short of the NCAA Tournament is one thing. Being so far beyond NIT consideration at this point is quite another. This year’s bunch isn’t the most disappointing team in the Boyle era. But, being on track to be just the third Boyle team to fall short of both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT, it’s in the conversation.

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February 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women up to No. 21 in AP poll; Jaylyn Sherrod earns Pac-12 Player of the Week honors

From … Colorado senior Jaylyn Sherrod earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, following the Buffaloes’ weekend sweep over the Washington schools.

Sherrod, a Birmingham, Ala., native, led the Buffs with 17.5 points per game last week. She averaged 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals and finished with a 1.6 assist/turnover ratio. Sherrod is the only player in the Pac-12 averaging at least 10 points and five rebounds per game this season (11.0 ppg, 5.2 apg).

The weekend started with Sherrod matching her career-high with 27 points in CU’s 71-68 come-from-behind win over Washington State. The Buffs trailed by 11 in the third quarter and Sherrod was instrumental in the comeback effort, going a perfect 5-for-5 with 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Sherrod capped off the weekend with a six-assist day in CU’s 65-43 win over Washington. She was 3-for-6 from the field with eight points in the decisive victory.

Sherrod currently ranks 29th in the NCAA in both total assists (124) and assists per game (5.2). She starts this week leading the conference with 2.4 steals per game, second in total steals (58) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.94).

The weekly honor is the first for the Buffaloes this season and the second for Sherrod’s career. It is just the seventh Player of the Week honor in program history for the Buffs.

… From the Daily Camera … The 2021-22 Colorado women’s basketball team was a good story.

It was a program that had been down for years rising up to snag the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament, making a run to the semifinals and then a long-awaited return to March Madness.

Then, after their first NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years, the Buffs lost three multi-year starters to graduation. That included Mya Hollingshed, a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer and a first-round pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft.

In the fall, Pac-12 coaches and media picked the Buffs to finish eighth.

With four games remaining in the regular season, however, the Buffs (20-5, 11-3 Pac-12) are on the verge of clinching a top-three finish. And, on Monday, they vaulted to No. 21 in the Associated Press Top 25 – the program’s highest ranking since December of 2016.

“I think we’re playing great basketball,” CU head coach JR Payne said after Sunday’s 65-43 rout of Washington. “What I love most about it is we knew that we had all the pieces we need to be successful. We knew that.

“You could argue that on paper we lost as much as anybody in the conference (after last year). For us to be able to do what we’re doing speaks volumes to who we have on our current roster, the type of development that they’ve poured into themselves.”

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February 12th 

… CU in the Arena …

No. 25 CU women pick up win No. 20 with 65-43 rout of Washington – Payne: “Today was a great team win”

From … Colorado picked up its 20th win of the season in front of the home crowd at the CU Events Center on Sunday. The Buffaloes started hot and ran away with a 65-43 win over Washington to finish off the weekend sweep.

Colorado (20-5, 11-3 Pac-12) secured its first back-to-back 20-win seasons since 2011-12 and 2012-13 and did so in front of a large number of alumni that included CU’s first Elite Eight team from 1992-93.

“I think it was cool [to meet the ’93 team], especially for us because we’ve kind of got everything that we need to be at the level that they were,” Kindyll Wetta explained. “Talking to them and kind of hearing things that they would have done differently or focus more on — Looking back on it 20 years now, they were able to give a lot of good advice and I think that was really good for us.”

Colorado led by double-digits at the half and never had the lead slip below 11 in the second half.

CU’s offensive game wasn’t at its peak the entire game, going 28-for-68 from the field. Instead, the Buffs’ defensive presence caused problems for the Huskies. UW’s starting five accounted for just 17 of the team’s 43 points and the Huskies hit just 33.3% (16-48) as a team.

“[That’s] nothing new [for us],” Wetta added about the team’s defensive play. “We just do what we do and do it well.  We know that we can always control that.”

Quay Miller led the way for Colorado with her sixth double-double of the season. She topped all players with 15 points and 11 rebounds in just under 24 minutes of action. Frida Formann and Aaronette Vonleh each had nine points apiece and Wetta and Jaylyn Sherrod each dished out six assists.

“[Today] was a great team win,” head coach JR Payne “It really is hard as much as we focus on flushing Friday night’s game when it’s a really emotional game and it takes a lot of energy to win a game – it’s still really hard to do. I continue to be proud of just our mental focus and our leadership that made sure we were ready for today’s game. Washington’s a really good team that’s playing very well, and we knew that we’d have to be ready. I’m proud of our team for that. Lots of great stats, Kindyll Wetta had six assists and no turnovers, making that 11 assists and no turnovers this weekend. Quay Miller had a double-double and a lot of great things. I was so proud that we could get the win this weekend.”

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CU’s Road Woes Continue, Buffs fall 73-62 to Utah – Boyle: “Their defense was better than ours”

Related … Colorado men’s basketball beaten down at Utah … from the Daily Camera

Note If you are interested in some quality CU basketball, No. 25 CU women take on Washington at the Events Center this afternoon (Noon, Pac-12 Networks – Alumni weekend)

From … Colorado’s road woes continued Saturday night as the Buffaloes dropped a 73-62 decision to Utah at the Huntsman Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 14-12 overall and 6-9 in Pac-12 play with their eighth loss in nine road games this season. CU also saw a two-game win streak come to an end.

Utah improved to 17-9, 10-5.

Colorado’s offense, which has struggled all year on the road, suffered through another difficult night. The Buffs never led in the game, as Utah used an early 14-3 run to break a 7-7 tie and Colorado never came closer than four again.

CU trailed by just six at the break but the Utes took control for good with a 9-0 run early in the second half, building their lead to as much as 18 down the stretch.

KJ Simpson led the Buffs with 14 points, Julian Hammond III added 11 and Luke O’Brien chipped in 10 points and had a team-high six rebounds. CU’s Tristan da Silva, who had scored at least 20 points in each of his last five games, was limited to just six points on 3-for-12 shooting.

Marco Anthony and Branden Carlson each scored 17 for the Utes.

The Utes shot almost 50 percent from the floor and dominated the boards as well, holding a 41-29 rebound edge.

Colorado shot just 37 percent from the floor, including a 4-for-18 night from 3-point range.

“Their defense was better than ours and their rebounding was better than ours,” Boyle said. “They were the better team, they were the tougher team and that’s that’s a little bit disheartening as you come into a game like this with a little bit of momentum. We just can’t get over the hump on the road because our defense isn’t good enough.”

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February 11th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs open three-game road swing with a must-win game at Utah (8:00 p.m., FS1)

Related … Defensive collision awaiting Colorado men’s basketball at Utah … from the Daily Camera 

From … Colorado is 14-11 overall and in seventh place in the Pac-12 Conference at 6-8 after gaining a sweep of the Bay Area schools at home last week. The Buffaloes cruised to a pair of double-digit wins, taking down California 59-46 on Feb. 2 and then Stanford, 84-62, on Feb. 5.

Colorado’s 84 points against the Cardinal marked its most in a conference game this season and the most since scoring 86 against Southern Utah on Dec. 21. The Buffaloes opened the second half of that game on a 16-0 run, its longest run of the season. The Buffaloes improved to 82-5 in the Tad Boyle era (since 2010-11) when scoring at least 84 points. Colorado shot 52.7 percent against the Cardinal and a season-best 94.4 percent from the line (17-18).

The Buffaloes will look to flip the script on the road, having dropped their last five and are just 1-7 in true road games this season. Colorado is averaging 65.3 points per game on the road compared to 73.8 at home. The Buffaloes are shooting 40.4 percent on the road compared to 47.1 percent at home. Colorado has allowed 72.1 points on the road while the hosts are shooting 45.7 percent. At home, the Buffaloes have held opponents to 60.7 points on 40.7 percent shooting.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.2), rebounding margin (+4.9) and offensive rebounds (11.7 orpg), third in scoring defense (65.6 ppg), turnover margin (+0.8) and rebounding (37.8 rpg), fourth in scoring (71.2 ppg), scoring margin (+5.6) and defensive rebounds (26.1 drpg) and fifth in field goal percentage (.442) and rebounding defense (32.9 rpg).

ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 16-9 overall and fourth in the Pac-12 at 9-5. The Utes have dropped two of their last three after splitting with the Bay Area schools last week. Utah averages 70.4 points per game, hitting 44.2 percent from the field. The Utes are the best field goal defense team in the Pac-12 allowing teams just 38 percent and boast the second-best scoring defense at just 61.8 points per game. Utah has the second-best rebounding offense in the league at 39.3 per game.

Senior center Branden Carlson leads Utah at 16.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game while hitting 53 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Lazar Stefanovic averages 10.6 points and leads the Utes in steals with 30. Junior guard Rollie Worster tops Utah in assists (130) while averaging 9.0 points per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 58th meeting between Colorado and Utah with the Buffaloes holding a 32-25 edge. The Buffaloes have won two-straight and five of the last seven. Utah holds a 17-10 lead in Salt Lake City, but the Buffaloes have won the last two.

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No. 25 CU women rally in the fourth quarter to take down Washington State, 71-68 – Payne: “I freaking love my team”

Related … “Jaylyn Sherrod, CU Buffs rally past Washington State” … from the Daily Camera

From … A 27-point effort from Jaylyn Sherrod helped erase an 11-point second-half deficit and Colorado held on in the final seconds for a thrilling 71-68 win over Washington State at the CU Event Center on Friday.

The win in front of a crowd of 2,055 gave the Buffaloes their first season sweep of the Cougars in program history.

“I’m so proud of our team,” head coach JR Payne exclaimed after the win. “I freaking love my team. We play hard, we have fun, we don’t wilt. We’re tough. When things get crazy we dig in and stay together. This is just such a fun team to coach. I’m incredibly proud of how we played and how we executed when we needed to. That was all guts, we just were tough enough to win the game so super proud.”

Sherrod scored 15 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter to match her career-best effort. Colorado (19-5, 10-3 Pac-12) trailed 52-41 late in the third quarter and entered the final quarter down by nine. The Buffs exploded for 28 points in the final 10 minutes to complete their largest comeback of the season.

I think coming out of halftime, I felt like we started to get a little flat and I took that personally because I know my role on this team is to bring a lot of energy and tenacity,” Sherrod noted. “I think my mentality was [that the game was] 0-0 coming out of halftime. I just wanted to push my team in whatever way and normally it’s with defense but tonight we were scoring.”

Frida Formann and Quay Miller also contributed double figures on the night. Formann finished the evening with 14 points, going 4-for-7 from the 3-point line. Miller put in 10 points and led the team with seven rebounds in 34 minutes of playing time.

Colorado, who lost its last game at home against USC in disappointing fashion, was inclined not to have a repeat performance on Friday.

I think in one timeout coach T [Toriano Towns] said ‘This feels like the USC game,'” Formann explained. “We all felt like we can’t let that happen again. I think it’s just learning from last time. Jaylyn did a great job of just leading by example, having high energy and going and getting the job done. I think we all did a good job of following [Sherrod’s example]. Even though we were close and then they scored again and then we were up and they scored again – we never really let that get us down in any way. I think it was just a huge difference in how we responded.”

Washington State (16-8, 6-7 Pac-12) was led by Charlisse Leger-Walker and her 17 points. Leger-Walker, who missed the first game of the series in Pullman, played all 40 minutes and picked up 10 rebounds.


February 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women back in the polls; in at No. 25

From the Daily Camera … A weekend sweep has carried the Colorado women’s basketball team back into the national rankings.

On Monday, the Buffaloes jumped into the Associated Press Top 25, at No. 25.

CU (18-5, 9-3 Pac-12) defeated Oregon and Oregon State on the road over the weekend. It was the Buffs’ first weekend sweep in Oregon since the 2012-13 season.

The Buffs are in the Top 25 for the third time in the past four weeks and receiving votes for the fifth consecutive week. They dropped out of the rankings last week after a home loss to USC, but rebounded with an impressive set of games in Oregon.

“This was a big one for us,” senior guard Jaylyn Sherrod said after the Buffs’ 67-48 win at Oregon State on Sunday. “You know me, I take everything personal: a loss, wins – (looking at) what I can do better.

“So I think last week (losing to USC) just really allowed me, as one of the leaders on this team, to say you can never take nothing for granted. … And I think we learned the hard way, in a sense; not in the sense that we took USC for granted, but we just didn’t come out and play this game. So we just knew no matter what, no matter what the opponent record is, you just come out and fight because it can literally be anybody’s night.”

It has been CU’s night a lot this season, as the Buffs are off their best 12-game start to conference play since the 2000-01 team started 9-3 in the Big 12.

CU, which moved up to No. 20 in the NET rankings on Monday, will host Washington State on Friday at 7 p.m. at the CU Events Center.

CU is one of five Pac-12 teams in the rankings. Stanford (22-3, 10-2) dropped four spots to No. 6 after its loss at Washington on Sunday, while Utah (20-2, 10-2) remained at No. 7.

Arizona (18-5, 8-4) moved up five spots to No. 17 after overtime wins at UCLA and USC. UCLA (18-6, 7-5) slipped four spots to No. 18 after its loss to Arizona.

USC (17-6, 7-5) was among the others receiving votes.


February 5th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs open up a tie game with 16-0 run to open second half; cruise to an 84-62 win over Stanford

From … Colorado’s Tristan da Silva scored 25 points, KJ Simpson added 21 and the Buffaloes used a strong second half Sunday to collect an 84-62 win over Stanford at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 14-11 overall and 6-8 in Pac-12 play with their second straight win. The Cardinal saw its five-game win streak come to an end while falling to 10-13, 4-8.

After the two teams entered halftime tied at 39-39, the Buffs took control with a 16-0 run to open the second half. CU built its cushion to as much as 26 and Stanford never threatened after the Buffs’ dealt their opening haymaker to start the second half.

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Buffs led by as much as 11 in the first half before Stanford finished the period with a 10-4 run to tie the game at 39-39 at halftime.

But Colorado took control for good with a 16-0 run to start the second half. Tristan da Silva had six points in the burst, Julian Hammond III and Luke O’Brien each added 3-pointers and Jalen Gabbidon and Nique Clifford each had a basket to give CU a 55-39 lead less than seven minutes into the period.

Defensively, the Buffs stepped up the pace as well. Colorado held Stanford scoreless over the first seven minutes, forcing 10 straight missed Cardinal shots in the process.

Stanford finally broke the ice with a Spencer Jones bucket but the Buffs continued to build their cushion. With five minutes to play, the Buffs’ lead hit 26 when a KJ Simpson floater in the lane gave CU a 76-51 edge.

The Buffs then maintained a healthy lead down the stretch for the win.

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CU women earn weekend road sweep with a 67-48 rout of Oregon State: “This was a big win for us”

From … The Colorado women’s basketball team took down Oregon State 67-48 in an all-around dominant performance, marking CU’s second win ever against the Beavers in Corvallis.

The last time the Buffaloes won in Corvallis was in the 2012-13 season. Before Sunday, Colorado had a tough history matching up with OSU, losing 11 straight games from 2015-16 to 2021-22, however, CU has now won two straight against the Beavers.

The Buffaloes were able to jump out to a huge lead early on and prevented any effort at a comeback throughout the entire game.

“Oregon State has been down in games,” Payne said. “Even on Friday night, they were down 18 in the third quarter and came back and went to overtime.  We talked about the fact that this team is never down and out and so you have to keep your foot on the gas pedal as far as playing fast, playing hard and not letting them get going.”

With the road sweep this weekend, Colorado still sits in the No. 3 spot in the conference (18-5, 9-3 Pac-12) as it travels back to Boulder for a pair of home games against Washington State Friday at 7 p.m. and Washington Sunday at Noon.

Jaylyn Sherrod led Colorado on both ends of the court Sunday, totaling 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. She also recorded a game-high seven assists and made her defensive presence felt with seven steals.

“This was a big win for us,” Sherrod said. “I take everything personally, losses, wins, what I can do better. I think last week just really allowed me, as one of the leaders on this team, to just say you can never take a break.  I just wanted to come in and fire the team up because I know my best attribute to this team is my energy.”

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Buffs look for season sweep against Stanford (5:00 p.m., MT, FS1)

Related … Loss of J’Vonne Hadley could lead to better offensive spacing for CU Buffs … from the Daily Camera 

From … Colorado is 13-11 overall and 5-8 in the Pac-12 Conference after its 59-46 home win over California on Feb. 2. The win snapped a two-game skid and gave the Buffaloes 10 home wins (10-2 in 2022-23) for the 14th consecutive season.

Colorado will finish the regular season with four of its last seven at the CU Events Center. Colorado is averaging 73.0 points at home, nearly eight points per game more than on the road (65.3 ppg). The Buffaloes have enjoyed a plus-12.4 scoring margin at home. Colorado is shooting 46.7 percent at home, compared to 40.4 percent in road games. The Buffaloes are holding opponents to 60.6 points on 40.6 percent from the field at home compared to  72.1 points and 45.7 percent in road contests.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.3) and offensive rebounds (11.8 orpg), third in rebound margin (+4.5) and turnover margin (+0.9), fourth in overall rebounds (37.8 rpg) and defensive boards (26.1 drpg) and fifth in scoring defense (65.8 ppg), rebound defense (33.3 rpg) and scoring margin (+4.9).

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford is 10-12 overall and 4-7 in the Pac-12. The Cardinal have won five straight, including a 78-72 decision at Utah on Feb. 2. Stanford averages 68.9 points while shooting 44.1 percent from the field. Defensively, the Cardinal allow 65.5 points on 43.5 shooting. Stanford sports the top rebounding defense in the Pac-12 (30.9 rpg) and is second in rebound margin (+4.5).

Senior forward Spencer Jones leads the Cardinal at 13.3 points and 1.1 blocks per game. Graduate senior Michael Jones averages 9.8 points and 2.0 assists per game. Sophomore forward Harrison Ingram tops Stanford in assists (73) while averaging 9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds. Sophomore forward Maxime Raynaud leads the Cardinal in rebounding (5.9 rpg) while averaging 8.0 points and shooting 53.8 percent from the field.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the  30th meeting between Colorado and Stanford with the Buffaloes holding an 18-11 series edge. The Buffaloes have won five straight and 15 of the last 17 over the Cardinal. Colorado is 11-3 all-time against the Cardinal in Boulder and has won the last eight.

STEALING THE SHOW: Colorado tied a season-high with 13 steals in the home win over California, hitting that mark for the third time this year. It’s the sixth time this season the Buffaloes have had 10 or more steals in a game. Colorado had only one game of double-digit steals in each of the previous two seasons (2021-22 & ’20-21).

The Buffaloes rank second in the Pac-12 and 45th in the nation at 8.3 steals per game. Colorado has 200 steals on the season, its most since 2015-16 (254). The Buffaloes had 181 steals in 33 games last season (5.5 spg).

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February 3rd

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs rally from ten-point deficit to take down Cal, 59-46 – “It’s nice to get in the win column again”

Related … Tristan da Silva powers second-half surge that lifts Colorado men’s basketball past Cal … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado’s Tristan da Silva scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half Thursday to rally the Buffaloes to a 59-46 win over Cal at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 13-11 overall and 5-8 in Pac-12 play while ending a two-game losing streak. Cal fell to 3-19, 2-9.

The Buffs trailed by as much as 10 in the first half before cutting the deficit to three by intermission. Da Silva then scored CU’s first 12 points of the half, including the first eight of a decisive 13-0 Colorado run to give the Buffs their first lead of the game and the Buffs never trailed again.

Da Silva recorded his fourth straight game with at least 20 points and ninth of the season. KJ Simpson added 10 points, four assists and three steals while Luke O’Brien had nine points and seven rebounds and Jalen Gabbidon added nine points and four boards.

Kuany Kuany led Cal with 10 points.

While CU shot just 25 percent from the floor in the first half (6-for-24), the Buffs were 13-for-26 in the second half. But it was Colorado’s defense that made the difference. The Buffs held Cal to 37 percent shooting for the game (16-for-43) and CU forced 22 Bears turnovers — 12 in the second half — that Colorado converted into 23 points.

CU’s bench also outscored their Cal counterparts 25-10.

“It’s nice to get in the win column again,” Boyle said. “It’s a testament to their grit and their toughness and not letting that frustration on offense bleed over into defense. I’ve gotten on our guys about that at times this year when that’s happened, and tonight it didn’t happen. That credit goes to them.”

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February 2nd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs look to right the ship against struggling Cal (8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … Schedule quirks highlight second half of Pac-12 slate for CU Buffs … from the Daily Camera 

From … Colorado is 12-11 overall and 4-8 in the Pac-12 Conference after being swept on the road at the Oregon schools last week. The Buffaloes fell at Oregon, 75-69, on Jan. 26 and then at Oregon State, 60-52, on Jan. 28. Colorado has lost five of its last six games overall and is 1-7 on the road this season.

Colorado will finish the regular season with five of its last eight at the CU Events Center where the Buffaloes are 9-2 this season. Colorado is averaging 74.3 points at home, 9.0 points per game more than on the road (65.3 ppg). The Buffaloes have enjoyed a plus-12.4 scoring margin at home. Colorado is shooting 47.4 percent at home, compared to 40.4 percent in road games. The Buffaloes are holding opponents to 61.9 points on 40.8 percent from the field at home compared to  72.1 points and 45.7 percent in road contests.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.1) and offensive rebounds (11.8 orpg), third in rebound margin (+4.7) and turnover margin (+0.5), fourth in overall rebounds (38.0 rpg) and defensive boards (26.3 drpg) and fifth in scoring (71.2 ppg), scoring margin (+4.6) and rebounding defense (33.4 rpg)

Sophomore KJ Simpson leads Colorado at 16.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. He also tops the Buffaloes in free throws made (76) and is tied for the top spot in 3-pointers made (33) and steals (31).

On the Pac-12 charts Simpson is fourth in scoring, sixth in free throw percentage, seventh in assists, eighth in steals and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank in the Top 10 in all five of those categories.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California is 3-18 overall and 2-8 in the Pac-12 after dropping a 75-46 decision at Stanford on Jan. 28. The Bears have lost five straight overall and are 0-6 on the road this season. California is averaging 60.2 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, both figures ranking last in the Pac-12. Cal is fourth in the Pac-12 in free throw accuracy at 73.4 percent. The Bears allow opponents 68.7 points on 45.6 percent from the field.

Devin Askew leads California at 15.5 points an outing but missed eight of the last 12 games and has played only once (Jan. 22 vs. Oregon State) since the beginning of the New Year. Lars Thiemann averages 10.5 points and a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 51.5 percent. Joel Brown has dished out a team-best 61 assists while averaging 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 40th meeting between Colorado and California with the Buffaloes holding a 21-18 lead. California won the first meeting of the season, 80-76 in Berkeley on Dec. 31. Overall the Buffaloes have won eight of the last 11 meetings. Colorado is 13-2 all-time against California in Boulder and has won the last five at the CU Events Center.

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January 29th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to 4-8 in Pac-12 play with 60-52 loss to Oregon State – Boyle: “I wish I had the answers right now. It’s nobody’s fault but mine”

From … Colorado’s offense went cold after a hot start Saturday and the Buffaloes’ road woes continued as CU dropped a 60-52 decision to Oregon State at Gill Coliseum.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 12-11 overall and 4-8 in Pac-12 play while losing for the seventh time in eight road games this season. The Beavers improved to 9-13, 3-8.

Colorado led by seven early and still had a two-point edge seven minutes into the second half. But the Beavers used an 11-0 run to take control and CU never came closer than three again.

Colorado’s Tristan da Silva recorded his second career double-double, finishing with a career-high 15 rebounds and 22 points, including CU’s last 13 points of the game. But J’Vonne Hadley was the only other Buff in double figures, finishing with 11 points. KJ Simpson, the Pac-12’s third leading scorer, had his second straight off night, finishing with just four points on 1-for-13 shooting.

Jordan Pope led the Beavers with 19 points, including five 3-pointers in the second half.

The Buffs once again hurt themselves with turnovers, committing 13 miscues that led to 15 OSU points. Colorado shot just 35 percent from the floor (21-for-60), including an 11-for-36 effort in the second half. The Beavers shot just 38 percent (18-for-47), but hit 17 of their 22 free throws while the Buffs were 3-for-7 from the stripe.

“I wish I had the answers right now,” Boyle said. “I don’t, but it’s my job. It’s nobody’s fault but mine and I have to do a better job with this basketball team.”

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January 28th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs look to regroup against 8-13 Oregon State (8:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

From the Daily Camera … Repeating what they did the first time against Oregon State might be a little much to ask. The Colorado men’s basketball team learned as much on Thursday night at Oregon.

Still, the Saturday night Pac-12 Conference battle in Corvallis (8:30 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network) represents an opportunity to stop the bleeding in regard to the Buffaloes’ road woes. The Buffs held Oregon State to a season-low 42 points in a home win on Jan. 7, harassing the Beavers to a .340 mark from the field while forcing 19 turnovers.

Two days prior to that win, the Buffs held Oregon to 42 points, the lowest scoring total for the Ducks in 13 seasons under head coach Dana Altman. The Ducks got their revenge on Thursday, shooting .491 while defeating CU 75-69. It was a stark reminder for the Buffs it won’t be as easy to pick up a win against OSU in the rematch.

“We’ve got to make sure our defense is still on-point,” CU wing Nique Clifford said. “That’s the biggest thing for us. Defense and rebounding, like always. I think we have to finish better as a team at the rim. Easy shots weren’t falling for us (at Oregon), but we got to find a way to win when that’s not happening. Which is where the defense comes in. We have to be ready to go when the time comes on Sunday.”

Notes … CU was at No. 63 in Saturday’s NET rankings and began the day at No. 55 at OSU was No. 224 in the NET and No. 211 at KenPom…The Buffs have won six of the past seven matchups with OSU and lead the all-time series 21-10…OSU guard Jordan Pope is the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after he averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists during a road split in the Bay Area last week. He went 5-for-11 but just 1-for-5 on 3-pointers with 11 points during a home loss on Thursday against Utah…The Buffs are forcing 14.7 turnovers per game, good for second in the Pac-12.

No. 25 CU women knock off No. 8 UCLA in OT, 73-70, with last-second three-pointer

From …  For the second time this season, the No. 25 Colorado Buffaloes knocked off the No. 8 team in the country. The UCLA Bruins were the victims this time, with the Buffs prevailing on a last-second shot in overtime, 73-70.

“First of all, thanks to the huge crowd that came out tonight,” head coach JR Payne expressed. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to grow [in size]. Also, unbelievably proud of our ballclub tonight. So many different people stepped up in the first half. We had some foul trouble in the first half. Other people came in, gave great minutes, executed down the stretch and executed new plays and new positions. Huge shots, Kindyll that shot was just one of the biggest shots that we’ve seen all year, and I’m just so proud of Kin. She’s been working on her game and putting in that time and has gotten so much confidence. I’m unbelievably proud of our team tonight. And I just think it was a great night.”

Sophomore Kindyll Wetta hit her first-ever game-winning shot with 1.9 seconds left in overtime sending the crowd of 2,227 into a frenzy. The win was the Buffs’ 12th straight at the CUEC and the team’s third against a top-15 team this season.

“I’ve never made a game-winning shot,” Wetta said after the win. “Not even in middle school or high school, but tonight I mean, it felt good. I knew that I was probably in the open. I saw them sag early, so I was ready to shoot.”

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January 27th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs fall to Oregon on the road, 75-69 – “Our guys battled their tails off, but they didn’t finish”

Related … Comeback bid falls short as Oregon holds off Colorado men’s basketball … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado kept it close down the stretch but could never quite get over the hump Thursday and the Buffaloes dropped a 75-69 decision to Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 12-10 overall and 4-7 in Pac-12 play with their sixth loss in seven road games while the Ducks improved to 12-9, 6-4.

Tristan da Silva led CU with 23 points and Nique Clifford added a career-high 17. KJ Simpson had eight points — only the second time this year he has not scored in double digits — and Luke O’Brien had a team-high seven rebounds.

Quincy Guerrier led the Ducks with 16.

Colorado trailed by six at intermission and by as much as 11 midway through the second half. But the Buffs’ full-court press forced a string of Oregon turnovers and CU managed to cut the gap to one, 63-62, with five minutes to play.

That, however, was as close as the Buffs could come. Oregon stretched its lead back to six, then hit six free throws in the final 1:08 to keep Colorado at bay.

The Buffs managed to stay in the game despite shooting just 37 percent from the floor (24-for-65) while Oregon shot 26-for-53. CU forced 18 Oregon turnovers and converted them into 13 points — but the Buffs still fell to 1-6 this year when forcing at least 18 miscues by the opponent.

“Our guys battled their tails off,” Boyle said. “When you shoot 36 percent and they shoot 49 percent and you’re still in the game, it shows our fight, our competitiveness and our grit. All you can ask us is that they give you everything they’ve got and I felt like they did tonight — but we didn’t finish.”

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January 26th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs in need of a road breakthrough in order to get back in the Pac-12 race (at Oregon, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … Different Oregon squad awaiting CU Buffs men’s basketball in Pac-12 rematch … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado is 12-9 overall and 4-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after splitting a home series with the Washington schools last week. The Buffaloes dropped a 75-72 decision to Washington on Jan. 19 and bounced back with a last-second, 58-55, win over Washington State on Jan. 22. The win snapped a three-game skid as the Buffaloes improved to 9-2 at home on the season. Overall Colorado has won eight of its last 12.

Colorado was held under 60 points for the fourth time this season, but first in a win. The Buffaloes shot an even 50 percent from the field hitting 21 of 42. The last time Colorado shot at least 50 percent in a game, but was held under 60 points was Feb. 23, 2008, in a 60-53 loss at Missouri (shot 51.1 percent, 24-47).

The 42 field goal attempts were a season-low and fewest since shooting 41 against Stanford on Feb. 8, 2020; an 81-74 win at the CU Events Center. The Buffaloes were 30 of 40 from the line in that game.

The Buffaloes held Washington State, the top 3-point shooting team in the Pac-12 entering the game (8.8 made per game, .364), to a 25.0 shooting percent from that range (4-16).

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.1) and rebounding margin (+5.3),  third in offensive rebounds (11.6 orpg), defensive rebounds (+26.7 drpg) and turnover margin (+0.2), fourth in scoring (72.2 ppg)  and rebounding (38.3 rpg) and fifth in shooting (.449) scoring margin (+5.7).

ABOUT THE DUCKS: Oregon is 11-9 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12 after splitting on the road at the Bay Area schools last week. The Ducks average 70.2 points while shooting 44.8 percent from the field. Defensively, the Ducks allow 66.3 points while opponents shoot 41.6 percent.

Will Richardson leads Oregon at 14.0 points, 5.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He is second in the Pac-12 in assists and third in steals.  N’Fale Dante averages 13.2 points and leads the Ducks in field goal shooting (.620) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). Jermaine Cousinard averages 13.7 points and is hitting 46.3 percent from the field. Former Buffalo Keeshawn Barthelemy has returned to action after missing the game in Boulder with an injury. He is averaging 8.4 points and 2.0 assists over eight contests.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 28th meeting between Colorado and Oregon with the Buffaloes holding a 16-11 series lead. Colorado won the first matchup of the season, a 68-41 decision at the CU Events Center. Last year, the Buffaloes snapped a six-game losing skid in Eugene, with an 82-78 triumph on Jan. 25. Oregon holds a 9-3 edge over the Buffaloes in Eugene.

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January 24th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU signee Cody Williams named to McDonald’s All American team

From ESPN … Headlined by Bronny James and four Kentucky signees, 22 of the top 23 prospects in the ESPN 100 have been named to the 46th annual McDonald’s All American Game.

The rosters were unveiled Tuesday on ESPN’s “NBA Today.”

Kentucky, which has the No. 1 recruiting class in 2023, leads the way with its four signees. Top prospect Justin Edwards, No. 3 D.J. Wagner and No. 4 Aaron Bradshaw headline the Wildcats’ group, while No. 21-ranked Reed Sheppard rounds out the quartet. Robert Dillingham, the fifth member of John Calipari’s top-ranked class, was ineligible since he joined Overtime Elite after leaving Donda Academy (California).

Overall, 15 colleges and the G League Ignite program are represented on the rosters.

Only one uncommitted player was selected to this year’s roster: Bronny James, son of LeBron James. James, a 6-foot-3 guard from Sierra Canyon High School (California), has consistently improved his game during his high school career and is now considered one of the better two-way guards in the class. He’s being recruited by Oregon, Ohio State, USC and others.

The McDonald’s All American Games, both boys’ and girls’, will take place in Houston on March 28 at the Toyota Center.


Xavier Booker, 6-10, 210 lbs., C, Michigan State (No. 7)

Aaron Bradshaw, 7-0, 215 lbs., C, Kentucky (No. 4)

Matas Buzelis, 6-9, 195 lbs., SF, G League Ignite (No. 9)

Stephon Castle, 6-6, 190 lbs., PG, UConn (No. 15)

Justin Edwards, 6-7, 190 lbs., SF, Kentucky (No. 1)

Kwame Evans, 6-9, 200 lbs., PF, Oregon (No. 13)

Aden Holloway, 6-1, 165 lbs., PG, Auburn (No. 17)

Elmarko Jackson, 6-3, 185 lbs., SG, Kansas (No. 22)

Mackenzie Mgbako, 6-8, 195 lbs., Duke (No. 8)

Sean Stewart, 6-8, 230 lbs., PF, Duke (No. 16)

D.J. Wagner, 6-2, 175 lbs., PG, Kentucky (No. 2)

Cody Williams, 6-7, 185 lbs., SF, Colorado (No. 6)


Omaha Biliew, 6-9, 210 lbs., PF, Iowa State (No. 10)

Isaiah Collier, 6-4, 205 lbs., PG, USC (No. 3)

Mookie Cook, 6-7, 210 lbs., SF, Oregon (No. 18)

Baye Fall, 6-11, 217 lbs, C, Arkansas (No. 19)

Jeremy Fears, 6-2, 180 lbs., PG, Michigan State (No. 20)

Brandon Garrison, 6-9, 205 lbs., C, Oklahoma State (No. 30)

Ron Holland, 6-8, 200 lbs., PF, Texas (No. 5)

Bronny James, 6-3, 180 lbs., PG, Undecided (No. 28)

Jared McCain, 6-3, 195 lbs., SF, Duke (No. 12)

Reed Sheppard, 6-2, 175 lbs., SG, Kentucky (No. 21)

Andrej Stojakovic, 6-7, 185 lbs., SF, Stanford (No. 23)

Ja’Kobe Walter, 6-5, 185 lbs., SG, Baylor (No. 14)

…. Read full story here


January 22nd – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

KJ Simpson three-pointer with four seconds remaining gives CU a 58-55 win over Washington State

Related … Slow start dooms Buffs as No. 4 Stanford takes down No. 24 CU, 62-49 … from

From … Colorado’s KJ Simpson hit the deciding 3-pointer in the final seconds and Tristan da Silva scored 27 points to lead the Buffaloes to a 58-55 win over Washington State on Sunday at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 12-9 overall and 4-6 in Pac-12 play while breaking a three-game losing streak. WSU fell to 9-12, 4-6.

Simpson’s 3-pointer came with 4.8 seconds on the clock after the Cougars had tied the game at 55-55. WSU then missed a shot at the buzzer to help the Buffs end their skid.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado took a 26-25 lead at the half, thanks to a closing 13-2 run. But the Buffs gave up the lead early in the second half, opening the door for five lead changes and two ties over the first 12 minutes of the period.

Colorado finally broke a 43-43 tie when J’Vonne Hadley hit a free throw with 7:48 to play, the beginning of a 4-0 CU run. The Buffs kept their lead at four over the next four minutes, getting a KJ Simpson dunk and a Tristan da Silva bucket inside off a Simpson assist for a 51-47 CU edge with 3:23 to play.

But the Cougars cut Colorado’s lead to one, 53-52, with 1:43 to play on a TJ Bamba basket, then got another Bamba bucket after a timeout to take a 54-53 lead with 42 seconds to play.

Simpson hit two free throws to give the Buffs the lead again with 35 seconds remaining. But Bamba hit one of two from the stripe to tie the game at 55-55 with 26 seconds on the clock and Colorado called a timeout to set up its final possession.

Simpson then dribbled to the top of the circle and calmly drilled a 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds on the clock to give Colorado a 58-55 lead. The Cougars missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Buffs walked off with a much-needed win.

Turnovers plagued the Buffs early as 11 miscues in the opening 14 minutes led to 11 points for the Cougars and a 23-13 WSU lead.

But Colorado finally found its rhythm late in the half while the defense stepped up its pressure. The Buffs put together a 13-0 run over a four-minute span to take a 26-23 lead with 2:17 to play in the half. Tristan da Silva had eight of his 14 first-half points in the surge, KJ Simpson had three and J’Vonne Hadley had a steal and dunk.

Defensively, Colorado forced seven straight empty WSU possessions in the run.

WSU finally ended a four-minute scoring drought with a basket in the final two minutes, sending Colorado into the locker room at intermission with a 26-25 lead.

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On a three-game losing streak, Buffs in desperate need of a win over Washington State

Related … Colorado men’s basketball looks to small goals in hopes of ending slide against WSU … from the Daily Camera

Related … Women’s basketball: No. 24 CU Buffs, No. 4 Stanford battle for first place … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado is 11-9 overall and 3-6 in the Pac-12 Conference after dropping a 75-72 decision to Washington on Jan. 19 at the CU Events Center. The Buffaloes have lost three in a row for the first time this season and four of six games overall. Colorado fell at home for just the second time this season (8-2), seeing a six-game home winning streak end at the hand of the Huskies.

Colorado dropped back-to-back games on the L.A. road swing last week. It was a rare road sweep against the Buffaloes. Colorado had gone eight-straight multi-game Pac-12 road trips with at least one win. The Buffaloes left L.A. without a win on the standard two-game road trip for just the second time in the Pac-12 era and first since 2015-16.

Colorado leads the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds (11.9 orpg) while ranking second in steals (8.3 spg) and rebounding margin (+5.4), third in scoring (73.0 ppg) and rebounding (38.7 rpg), fourth in turnover margin (+0.2) and defensive boards (26.9 drpg) and fifth in scoring margin (+5.8).

Colorado had 13 steals against Washington, tying a season high (at Grambling State) and reaching double-digits for the fifth time this season, but is only 2-3 in those contests. The Buffaloes had just one instance of double-figure steals in each of the previous two seasons (2020-21 and ’21-22).

Colorado forced Washington into 22 turnovers, the most by a Buffaloes’ opponent since UC Irvine had 22 on Nov. 18, 2019. It’s the most turnovers forced in a loss since Dec. 9, 2006, when Colorado State had 24, but defeated the Buffaloes 72-69 at the CU Events Center.

On an odd note, Colorado dropped to 1-5 this season when forcing 18-plus turnovers and 0-2 forcing 21 or more (21 by Cal). Prior to this season, the Buffaloes had won 21 of 24 games when forcing at least 18 turnovers dating back to March of 2012. Washington moved to 2-0 when committing at least 20 turnovers this season (23 vs. St. Mary’s).

Sophomore KJ Simpson leads Colorado at 17.4 points and 3.8 assists per game. He also tops the Buffaloes in field goals (117), 3-pointers (32) and free throws made (65). Simpson’s numbers have stayed steady during league games, averaging 16.6 points with a team-best 29 assists.

ABOUT THE COUGARS: Washington State is 9-11 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12 after dropping a 77-63 decision at Utah on Jan. 19, snapping a three-game winning streak. The Cougars are 2-5 in road games but sport a huge win at Arizona, 74-61, on Jan. 7. Washington State averages 68.7 points on 43.3 percent shooting. The Cougars are the top 3-point shooting team in the Pac-12, making 8.8 per game and 36.4 percent from downtown. Washington State allows 65.5 points per game, ranking third-best in the Pac-12.

Junior guard TJ Bamba leads Washington State in scoring at 15.1 points per game, but has missed the last three contests. Sophomore forward Mouhamed Gueye is averaging 14.0 points while leading the Cougars in rebounding (8.0 rpg), blocks (18) and field goal percentage (.493). Junior guard Jabe Mullins averages 11.2 points, primarily off the bench, and is the Pac-12’s leader in 3-point shooting at 48.2 percent.  Junior guard Justin Powell averages 10.1 points and paces Washington State in assists (3.0 apg) and 3-pointers made (43).

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 25th meeting between Colorado and Washington State, and the only regular season meeting in 2022-23, with the Buffaloes holding a 17-7 series edge. The teams split last season, each winning at home. Colorado has won eight of the last 12 in the series and is a perfect 11-0 against Washington State in Boulder.

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January 21st

… CU in the Arena … 

No. 24 CU women take down Cal for seventh straight win; to face No. 4 Stanford in showdown for Pac-12 supremacy

Note … No. 24 Colorado (15-3, 6-1) will take on No. 4 Stanford (16-2, 6-1) for the Pac-12 lead on Sunday at 3:00 p.m., MT (Pac-12 Networks) … 

From … Colorado’s Quay Miller put in a career-high 26 points to help the Buffaloes pick up their seventh consecutive win on Friday. The Buffs overcame a 3-point fourth-quarter deficit on their way to the 73-66 win at Haas Pavilion.

“I think that my scoring came from my energy—everyone’s energy to be honest,” Miller said of her career day. “We tend to find the person with the hot and a lot. It comes naturally. It’s not like we’re trying to force it to me, Netty [Vonleh], Frida [Formann] or anyone who is going off. That’s just the flow of our offense. If someone’s in a rhythm, we just keep that rhythm going.”

Colorado (15-3, 6-1 Pac-12) trailed to start the fourth quarter for just the third time this season. The Buffs weren’t phased, using a 30-point effort in the final quarter to put away the Golden Bears. CU went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and went 80% (16-20) from the line on the day.

“I 100% expected the game to look like this—an athletic matchup with a lot of back and forth,” head coach JR Payne expressed after the win. “They have players that have the confidence and ability to hit really big shots when they need to and they rebound. I expected it to be exactly how it was. I was really proud of our team down the stretch. We executed and hit some big shots. Kindyll [Wetta] had a baseline runner. Quay some in a row that were huge and we got stops and hit free throws when we needed to.”

CU has now won seven in a row…The Buffs are now 6-3 on the road this season…CU’s 30 fourth-quarter points were the most in a quarter this season and the most since posting 32 in the 1st quarter at Denver (Dec. 12, 2019)…Friday was Miller’s 8th career 20-point game (four this season)…Sadler tied a season-high with eight rebounds…Vonleh has scored 10+ points in 13 straight games…Formann passed Brittany Wilson for 13th on CU’s career 3-point list with 141.

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January 20th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buff rally falls short as CU falls at home to Washington, 75-72

From … Colorado struggled against Washington’s zone all night Thursday and a furious CU rally came up just short at the end as the Buffaloes dropped a 75-72 decision at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 11-9 overall and 3-6 in Pac-12 play while Washington improved to 12-8, 4-5.

The Buffs trailed for nearly the entire game and Washington led by as much as 13 early in the second half. But CU managed to shave the deficit down to 73-72 in the final minute and had a chance to take the lead after collecting a steal with 18 seconds remaining.

But the Buffs turned the ball over with six seconds left and Washington hit two free throws with 4.7 on the clock to complete the scoring.

Sophomore guard Julian Hammond III led CU with 18 points while Tristan da Silva scored 17 and KJ Simpson added 11.

Keion Brooks scored 25 for Washington.

Colorado shot just 44 percent from the floor (28-for-64), including a season-low 3-for-19 (16 percent) from 3-point range.

But the big difference for the Buffs came on the defensive end. The Huskies shot 54 percent from the floor for the game (27-for-50), including a 64 percent effort in the second half (14-for-22). UW also hit nine of its 20 3-point tries.

The Buffs connected on just 13 of their 20 free throw tries while the Huskies were 12-for-14 from the line.

Colorado’s defense did force 22 turnovers and collect 25 points off those UW miscues, but it wasn’t enough.

“This was a really, really disappointing loss,” Boyle said. “You score 72 points at home, it’s good enough to win. There’s a lot of ways you can look at this game and see how we lost it. You can look at the free throw line, you can look at our defense in the second half when they shoot almost 64 percent in our building. We did a great job creating turnovers but we just couldn’t get over the hump. We had some really good looks that didn’t go in and at some point you have to make shots to help yourself.”

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January 19th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU facing a must-win situation with Washington in town (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU)

From … While Tad Boyle‘s Colorado Buffaloes might not have their backs completely against the wall, there’s no doubt they have precious little wiggle room as they attempt to keep their postseason hopes alive.

But at the moment, Boyle isn’t as concerned about March possibilities as he is about January realities — and the reality is his Buffs (11-8 overall, 3-5 Pac-12) need a couple of wins to regain their confidence.

The good news is the Buffs are back at home this week after a disappointing Los Angeles road trip. CU had second-half leads against both USC and UCLA, but couldn’t close the deal in either game and came home empty-handed.

Now, they need to conjure up some home cooking and shift momentum back in the right direction. CU’s homestand starts Thursday with a 7 p.m. game against Washington (11-8, 3-5), followed by a 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon matchup with Washington State (9-10, 4-4).

The Buffaloes’ top concern this week will be correcting a turnover issue that served as the biggest reason for their last two losses. In the two games in California, the Buffs committed 45 turnovers and also had 20 of their shots blocked.

That adds up to 65 empty possessions over two games, the vast majority of which never even resulted in the Buffs getting the ball to the rim.

But there’s also no doubt Colorado has simply been a much better team at home. CU sports an 8-1 record at the Events Center this year, where they have averaged 15 more points per game than their opponents. On the road, they are 1-5 and have been outscored by an average of seven points per game.

There may be no better example of the home-road discrepancy than junior forward Tristan da Silva, who has been unstoppable at home — averaging 19.4 points and 6.7 rebounds — but has averaged just 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in road games.

Da Silva, though, isn’t the only key to Colorado’s success. Point guard KJ Simpson has been a steady force, averaging 17.8 points per game (second in the Pac-12),  freshman Javon Ruffin had 23 points last week for his first back-to-back double-digit scoring games as a Buff, and sophomore big man Lawson Lovering had his first career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds against USC.

QUICK LOOK WASHINGTON (11-8, 3-5): The Buffs and Huskies are currently tied in the Pac-12 standings, with Washington owning a 73-63 win over Colorado in early December. The Buffs committed 18 turnovers in the loss that led to 25 UW points.

The Huskies are led by junior forward Keion Brooks, who is averaging 16.9 points per game as well as a team-leading 7.3 rebounds.

UW brings a two-game win streak to Boulder with home wins last week against Stanford and Cal. But the Huskies are also 0-4 away from home this season.

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January 16th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women jump into Top 25: “It feels great”

From the Daily Camera … The Colorado women’s basketball team is on a roll and the nation is starting to notice.

On Monday, the Buffaloes (14-3, 5-1 Pac-12) jumped into the Associated Press Top 25 rankings for the first time this season, at No. 24.

CU knocked off then-No. 14 Arizona, 72-65, on Friday – a week after upsetting No. 8 Utah, 77-67, in Boulder.

“It feels great,” CU head coach JR Payne said after the Arizona game of having back-to-back upsets. “I think our coaching staff does a great job of just focusing on every single day.”

South Carolina remains at No. 1, while CU is one of six Pac-12 schools in the rankings, along with No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 Utah, No. 9 UCLA, No. 19 Arizona and No. 23 Oregon.

The Buffs quickly turned their focus to this week. They visit California (10-7, 1-5) on Friday before a road test at Stanford (17-2, 5-1) on Sunday.

“It’s great; we beat Arizona, but Sunday’s practice nobody cares about that anymore,” Payne said. “We’re very focused on: what do we need to do to be great today?  … We try to play the same brand of basketball every single day.”

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January 14th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs give up a 17-0 second half run (33-10 in final ten minutes) in 68-54 road loss to No. 7 UCLA

From … Colorado gave up a decisive 17-0 run to UCLA in  the second half Saturday, part of a 33-10 finishing surge by the Bruins, and the Buffaloes dropped a 68-54 decision at Pauley Pavilion.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play with their second straight loss. UCLA won its 13th straight game to improve to 16-2, 7-0.

The Buffs led by three at the half and by nine midway through the second half, 44-35, despite a raft of turnovers. But the Bruins stormed back with a 17-0 run over a five-minute span and ended up outscoring the Buffaloes 33-10 over the final 10 minutes.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Colorado weathered an early storm that saw the Buffs commit six turnovers in the first nine minutes to take a 31-28 lead at the half.

CU trailed 16-13 at the 9:21 mark but put together an 8-0 run to take the lead. KJ Simpson had a pair of buckets in the surge, Tristan da Silva added a pair of free throws and a Luke O’Brien basket gave the Buffs a 21-16 lead.

Colorado then pushed its lead to 29-0 on the heels of a 6-0 run. Simpson hit a pair of free throws, Javon Ruffin drove for a bucket and Javon Hadley scored inside to give Colorado its biggest cushion of the half.

But the Bruins put together an 8-2 run over the final two minutes of the half, leaving CU with a three-point edge at intermission.

The Buffs committed 10 turnovers in the first half that led to 14 UCLA points, and they also allowed the Bruins to turn eight offensive rebounds into seven second-chance points.

But Colorado was stellar on the defensive end, holding UCLA to 11-for-28 shooting in the first half, including an 0-for-7 goose egg from long range.

The Buffs appeared ready to take control in the opening minutes of the second half. Colorado built its lead to nine when a KJ Simpson three-point play gave the Buffs a 44-35 edge with 10:21 to play.

But the wheels fell off in a hurry. The Bruins proceeded to fashion a 17-0 run that included their first 3-pointer of the game and with 6:09 on the clock, UCLA held a 52-44 lead.

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CU faces tough road test v. No. 7 UCLA (Fox, 6:00 p.m., MT)

From … Colorado is 11-7 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-12 Conference after falling to USC 68-61 on Jan. 12th. The Buffaloes saw a two-game winning streak come to an end, but overall have won seven of their last nine overall.

Colorado has won at least one game on each of its last eight multi-game Pac-12 road trips and will need a win against a Top 10 UCLA team to keep that streak alive. The Buffaloes have dropped three of four Pac-12 road contests this season.

On the Pac-12 leaderboard, Colorado is second in steals (8.1 spg), offensive rebounds (11.5 orpg) and rebounding margin (+5.9), third in scoring (74.1 ppg) and turnover margin (+0.4), fourth in defensive rebounds (27.5 drpg) and overall rebounds (39.0 rpg) and fifth in field goal shooting (.454), 3-point percentage (.324), 3-pointers made (6.7 3mpg), assists (14.1 apg) and scoring margin (+7.4).

Sophomore KJ Simpson leads Colorado at 17.8 points and 3.9 assists per game. He also tops the Buffaloes in field goals (107), 3-pointers (31) and free throws made (58).

Simpson had 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting at USC, leading the Buffaloes in scoring for the 10th time this season. He has scored in double figures in 16 of his 17 games in 2022-23. The lone scoring effort was six against Oregon State, but in that game  he tied a career and team-season high with six assists and grabbed seven rebounds.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: No. 7 (AP) UCLA is 15-2 overall and leads the Pac-12 at 6-0. The Bruins are on a 12-game winning streak overall and are a perfect 10-0 at home this season. UCLA averages 77.2 points per game while shooting 48.0 percent from the field. The Bruins are the top 3-point shooting team in the Pac-12 at 37.1 percent. Defensively, UCLA allows a league-low 60.1 points per game. The Bruins also top the Pac-12 in steals (8.5 spg) and turnover margin (+6.9).

Senior Jaime Jaquez, Jr., leads UCLA at 16.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. Jaylen Clark averages 14.0 points and leads the Pac-12 in steals at 2.6 per game. Tyger Campbell averages 13.5 points and is sixth in the Pac-12 in assists at 4.8 per game. David Singleton averages 10.4 points and shoots 47.4 percent from 3-point range.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 24th meeting between Colorado and UCLA with the Bruins holding  a 16-7 advantage. UCLA swept the home and home last season and has won five of the last six overall. UCLA holds an 11-2 advantage in Los Angeles and has won the last three at Pauley Pavilion. Colorado’s two wins in Los Angeles came in back-to-back seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

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CU women take out No. 14 Arizona, 72-65

... Related … Frida Formann leads CU Buffs to upset of No. 14 Arizona … from the Daily Camera

From … The CU Event Center continues to haunt visiting opponents as the Colorado women’s basketball team won its 11th consecutive game on the home court on Friday. The Buffaloes defeated its second top-15 team in as many games, handing No. 14/10 Arizona a 72-65 loss on its way out of Boulder.

Prior to this season, CU had only beaten top-15 teams in consecutive games once, notching wins over No. 13 Oregon and No. 10 Tennessee. The Buffs defeated No. 14 Iowa State and No. 13 Texas Tech in the 2001-02 season but had two wins against unranked opponents sandwiched in between.

“I’m so happy, so proud and so many different people stepped up in huge key moments,” head coach JR Payne said after the win. “It wasn’t just Frida’s [Formann] 3 it was Tayanna’s [Jones] rebound it was Quay’s [Miller] box out and it was Jaylyn’s [Sherrod] attack to draw the foul. So many different people came up big, and our composure was great. Or free throws were not so great down the stretch, but so much composure execution, defensive switching and a great team win. I’m very proud of our ballclub.”

Colorado (14-3, 5-1 Pac-12) fresh off a 10-point win over then-No. 8 Utah, needed every bit of Friday’s contest to win its second ranked game of the season. Frida Formann went 5-for-8 from the 3-point line and finished with a season-high 23 points.

Quay Miller and Arizona transfer Aaronette Vonleh also had big nights for the Buffs. Miller totaled all nine of her rebounds on the defensive glass and finished with 13 points. Vonleh set a career-high with her nine rebounds and went 6-for-8 from the field against her former team.

“Honestly, going into it, I didn’t know what it would be like or what my emotions would be,” Vonleh said about playing her old teammates. “Once we got started, it was just a regular game for me.”

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January 13th

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs squander opportunities in 68-61 loss to USC

From … Colorado couldn’t overcome a season-high 22 turnovers Thursday and the Buffaloes dropped a 68-61 decision to Southern California at the Galen Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs fell to 11-7 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 play while the Trojans improved to 12-5, 4-2.

Colorado trailed by 12 early but cut the deficit to two at intermission, then took a four-point lead early in the second half. But CU’s turnovers continued to inflict a toll as the Trojans reeled off a 10-0 run to regain the lead and Colorado could never completely overcome the deficit again.

CU sophomore center Lawson Lovering recorded the first double-double of his career with 13 points and 14 rebounds, both career highs. KJ Simpson finished with 17 points, Tristan da Silva added 13 and Javon Ruffin chipped in 12.

Drew Peterson led USC with 15 points.

Along with committing 22 turnovers, the Buffs also had nine of their shots blocked. CU did have a commanding 44-29 edge on the boards and the Buffs held USC to 43 percent shooting (26-for-61).

But Colorado shot just 41 percent from the floor, including 5-for-17 from beyond the arc. Combined with the 22 turnovers that led to 20 USC points, the Buffs didn’t have enough down the stretch to steal a win and their three-game win streak on the Trojans’ home floor came to an end.

“When you get nine shots blocked and you turn it over 22 times you’re not going to beat anybody, I don’t care who you’re playing,” Boyle said. “Tip our hat to our guys. They competed their tails off. They really did, to have a four-point lead the second half and play that badly on offense. It says something about our grit and toughness, but we’re just not playing very smart.”

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January 12th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

CU Class of 2023 Signee Cody Williams becomes the highest-ranked hoops signee in school history 

From BuffStampede.comCody Williams was already the highest ranked signee in the modern recruiting era of Colorado men’s basketball. And now, with Williams’ move up to No. 8 on the updated 247Sports rankings for the class of 2023, he is the highest ranked Buffaloes hoops signee ever.

Colorado previously had two other five-star prospects sign in its history. David Harrison ranked No. 10 nationally by in 2001 and Chauncey Billups ranked No. 18 nationally coming out of George Washington High School in Denver in 1996.

“The ascension of Cody Williams has been both steady and consistent,” 247Sports national basketball director Eric Bossi wrote. “After seeing more of the 6-foot-8 wing from Arizona this winter, there was no way to deny him a fifth star. He’s moved all the way up to No. 8 overall and it is quite possible that he could keep rising.

“In addition to his ideal size and length for the wing, Williams is proving to be a deft ball handler, clever passer and skilled scorer. He’s improved his first step and overall explosiveness and still appears to be scratching at the surface of his long-term potential.”

Williams is also now part of 247Sports’ must-see “Big 8” list.

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Buffs try to sustain momentum on LA road trip (CU at USC, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)

Related … Rivalry renewed as Colorado men’s basketball looks to extend streak at USC’s Galen Center … from the Daily Camera 

From … After taking care of business last week on a crucial two-game homestand, Colorado heads west this week for a two-game road trip that could give the Buffaloes a big boost in several critical areas.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs open the trip Thursday with a 7 p.m. (MT) game at Southern California (Pac-12 Networks) followed by a 6 p.m. game Saturday at seventh-ranked UCLA (Fox).

While the Buffs (11-6 overall, 3-3 Pac-12) aren’t even at the halfway point of the conference season, this is one of those road trips that offers all kinds of opportunity.

One win would adhere to Boyle’s minimum standards for conference success — earn at least a split on the road and protect your home court.

But two victories would be huge in terms of the Buffs NET rating, their NCAA Tournament resumé and their place in the conference standings.

The Buffs are currently sitting in the low 60s in the NET, one of the key measuring sticks of the NCAA Tournament selection committee. They are also currently sitting in seventh place in the Pac-12 standings, well out of the top four spots that give a team a first-round conference tournament bye.

But two wins would improve those numbers significantly — especially one at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion against the league-leading Bruins (14-2, 5-0).

The Bruins, though, aren’t the Buffs’ major concern at the moment. Rather, all their attention is focused on the front end of the West Coast trip, Thursday’s meeting with the Trojans (11-5, 3-2). Andy Enfield’s team has had an up-and-down season thus far, but they are coming off a narrow 60-58 loss last week to UCLA, and they do own victories over Washington and Cal, two teams that have beaten Colorado this year.

Aside from the shocking loss at Cal, the Buffs have been playing some of their best basketball of the season over the last month. They have won two in a row, including last weekend’s sweep of Oregon and Oregon State, and seven of their last eight.

But now the schedule gets tougher.

QUICK LOOK USC (11-5, 3-2): The Trojans own wins over Brigham Young and Colorado State, but also lost to Tennessee (who CU beat) and Washington State.

Still, they are a talented bunch that is capable of playing at a high level. Guards Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson combined are averaging nearly 30 points per game while big man Joshua Morgan leads the league in blocked shots, averaging nearly three per game.

But perhaps most importantly, the Trojans are 7-1 at home this year, with their only Galen Center loss coming at the hands of Florida Gulf Coast in the season opener.

“We’ve got to make good decisions,” Boyle said. “They kind of funnel everything to Morgan because they want the ball coming at him and then he contests shots, blocks shots, changes shots and discourages shots.”

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January 11th

… CU in the Arena … 

CU women’s Sunday game v. Arizona State canceled due to Sun Devil forfeit

Press release from … Sunday’s basketball game against Arizona State, initially set for a noon tip-off has been canceled and ruled a forfeit in favor of Colorado.

Arizona State was forced to forfeit both of its games this weekend due to injuries within the Sun Devil program.

Per Pac-12 policy, the game will count as a win for the Buffaloes in the Pac-12 standings. Per NCAA policy, the game will not affect the team’s overall records.

The Buffs will still host No. 14/10 Arizona on Friday as scheduled. The game is set for a 7 p.m. MT tip and will be on the Pac-12 Networks.


January 9th

… CU in the Arena … 

For the second week in a row, a Buff has been named Pac-12 POTW – This time it’s Tristan da Silva

From …University of Colorado junior forward Tristan da Silva has been named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his efforts during week of Jan. 2-8, the conference office announced on Monday.

Da Silva, a native of Munich, Germany, averaged 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists during a Pac-12 home sweep of the Oregon schools last week. He shot 66.7 percent from the field (18-27), including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and 70 percent from the free throw line (7-10).

Da Silva scored a career-high 30 points on 11 of 17 from the field to lead the Buffaloes to a 68-41 win over Oregon on Jan. 5. He matched personal bests in steals with three as well as in field goals made and free throws attempted (seven).

A second-team Preseason All-Pac-12 team selection, da Silva had 17 points, on 7 of 10 shooting, five rebounds and a pair of steals in the 62-42 in over Oregon State on Jan. 7.

Defensively, da Silva helped the Buffaloes hold Oregon to its lowest point total since 2009 and the 83 points allowed during the week were the fewest in back-to-back conference games since the 1948-49 season.

The Player of the Week honor is the first for da Silva and the third for the Buffaloes this season as KJ Simpson has been honored twice, on Nov. 14 and last week (Jan. 2). It’s the second time two different Buffaloes have been named Pac-12 Player of the Week during the same season. The other came in 2012-13 when Askia Booker and Andre Roberson were both honored once.


January 8th 

... CU in the Arena … 

Buffs use stifling defense to take down Oregon State, 62-42

From The Colorado Buffaloes made sure complacency didn’t set in Saturday night.

Instead, Tad Boyle‘s Buffs ratcheted up the defensive pressure for the second game in a row and smothered Oregon State, 62-42, at the CU Events Center.

Colorado’s second straight win and seventh in its last eight games improved CU to 11-6 overall and 3-3 in Pac-12 play. The Beavers lost their 17th straight road game and fell to 7-9, 1-4.

Two nights after stifling Oregon in a 68-41 win, the Buffs did the same to the Beavers. The Buffs held OSU to 28 percent shooting in the first half en route to taking a 33-18 lead at intermission and never allowed the Beavers to mount a rally in the second half to wrap up the win. The 83 points combined by CU’s last two opponents were the fewest Colorado has yielded in back-to-back conference games since the 1948-49 season.

Tristan da Silva led CU in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with 17 points to go with five rebounds. J’Vonne Hadley added nine points, Nique Clifford chipped in eight and KJ Simpson returned to the lineup to tally six points, seven rebounds and six assists. Luke O’Brien led CU in rebounding for the second straight game, finishing with nine boards to go with four points.

Dexter Akanno finished with 10 points for OSU, the only Beaver in double figures. Oregon State’s top two scorers, Jordan Pope and Glenn Taylor, finished with a combined nine points on 4-for-20 shooting.

Colorado held OSU to just 34 percent shooting (18-for-53) and had a 38-34 edge on the boards. CU shot just 41 percent (21-for-51) but also collected 15 points off 19 Oregon State turnovers.

“That’s testament to our players and what they’re capable of,” Boyle said. “They really responded to the challenge that we gave them earlier this week and we put back-to-back efforts together. We weren’t at our best offensively, but when you can win going away and you’re shooting 41 percent, you know you’re doing something really good on the other end.”

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January 7th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs looking for consecutive strong outings, taking on Oregon State (7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) 

Related … Buffs seek home sweep against Oregon State … from the Daily Camera

From … Colorado is 10-6 overall and 2-3 in the Pac-12 Conference after defeating Oregon 68-41 on Jan. 5. The Buffaloes have won six of seven overall and five straight overall.

The Buffaloes picked up their first league win of the season with a 73-70 decision at Stanford on Dec. 29. Colorado then fell 80-76 at California on Dec. 31. Despite the setback, which snapped an overall five-game winning streak, the Buffaloes have won at least one game on their last eight multi-game Pac-12 road trips.

Colorado completed the nonconference portion of their schedule at 8-3. With the 86-78 win over Southern Utah on Dec. 21, head coach Tad Boyle earned his 262nd win at Colorado, breaking a tie with Sox Walseth for the program’s all-time mark.

Colorado held Oregon to 41 points and 26.9 percent from the field, the second fewest by a Buffaloes’ conference opponent in the Pac-12 era (33 vs. Utah, Dec. 31, 2011).

Colorado held Oregon to 19 points and six field goals made in the first half, the fewest by a Pac-12 opponent at the CU Events Center the since the Buffaloes held the Ducks to six field goals and 17 points on Feb. 2, 2019.

Oregon made just 1 of 14 from the 3-point line. The Ducks’ one 3-pointer made and 7.1 percent from the arc was the lowest by a CU opponent since Oregon State shot 5.9 percent (1-17) on Feb. 15, 2020 in Corvallis.

ABOUT THE BEAVERS: Oregon State is 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-12. The Beavers have dropped two-straight, both on the road, against Oregon (77-68) on Dec. 31 and Utah (79-60) on Jan. 5. Oregon State averages 65.1 points per game, ranking next-to-last in the Pac-12. The Beavers lead the conference in free throw shooting at 75.8 percent. Defensively, OSU allows 66.5 points while opponents shoot 41.1 percent.

Jordan Pope leads Oregon State at 12.8 points and 2.7 points per game. He also tops the Beavers with 26 3-point field goals and has the fourth-best free throw percentage in the Pac-12 (.857). Glenn Taylor Jr. is second on the team in scoring (11.9 ppg) and assists (38). Dzmitry Ryuny averages 6.1 points and leads OSU in rebounding at 5.3 per outing.

SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 31st meeting between Colorado and Oregon State with the Buffaloes holding a 20-10 advantage. Colorado has won five of the last six meetings including the season sweep last year. Colorado has won 11 of 14 all-time meetings in Boulder.

Continue reading story here

CU women hand No. 8 Utah its first loss of the season, 77-67

From … The day began with four remaining undefeated Division I basketball teams and ended with three.

Colorado (13-3, 3-1 Pac-12) shocked No. 8 Utah at the CU Events Center with a 77-67 win on Friday. The upset avenged CU’s 27-point loss at Utah and pushed the Buffaloes’ win streak to five in a row. The win also marks Colorado’s first over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 1 Stanford back on Jan. 17, 2021.

“What a game I am incredibly proud of our team,” head coach JR Payne exclaimed after the win. “It was a total team effort. So many people had such a huge impact at different times of the game, whether early or late. We had some foul trouble and people came in and did their job and helped us maintain our place. Some big possessions were late. Our defensive effort was tremendous. We wanted to be disruptive and made them work for their points. I think for every possession. They had to work for it, which was what we wanted to do. So just super proud of our group tonight.”

Junior Frida Formann totaled a game-high 20 points, going 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. Senior Jaylyn Sherrod stepped up in the clutch for the Buffs, finishing with 16 points and seven assists. Sophomore Aaronette Vonleh and senior Quay Miller also played big roles in the win with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

The Buffs keyed in on Utah’s Alissa Pili, who scored 25 points in the team’s first meeting. Pili had just five points at the end of the third quarter and finished with 14 on the night. The Buffs also flipped the script on the Utes, who scored 44 points in the paint at Utah. This time around it was Colorado with 46 points in the paint, holding Utah to just 24.

“We tried to be as disruptive as possible and play different angles on ball screens,” Payne said of the team’s defense. “They play so pretty.  Their basketball offensively is so smooth and free-flowing, and we just wanted to limit their comfort on the offensive end of the floor. And we did that well.”

Colorado took the lead midway through the second quarter and never relinquished it. CU’s lead hit 14 in the fourth quarter and the Buffs held on as Utah cut the advantage to as few as four down the stretch.

Utah (14-1, 3-1 Pac-12) had four players finish in double figures, led by Jenna Johnson. She totaled all 17 of her points in the second half.

Continue reading story here


January 6th

… CU in the Arena … 

Playing without KJ Simpson, Buffs still dominate Oregon, 68-41

Related … “Home cooking: Colorado men’s basketball bounces back with rout of Oregon” … from the Daily Camera

From … No KJ Simpson proved to be no problem Thursday for the Colorado Buffaloes.

With their leading scorer out with an illness, the rest of the Buffs stepped up and played one of their best games of the season, dominating Oregon in a 68-41 victory at the CU Events Center.

Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in Pac-12 play. The Ducks fell to 8-7, 2-2 while scoring the fewest points in Dana Altman’s 13 years at the Oregon helm.

The Buffs, coming off a disappointing loss at Cal, were a different team Thursday. CU jumped out to an early lead and never trailed. Colorado led by 18 at the half, 37-19, and extended the margin to as much as 27 in the second half as they never let the Ducks mount a comeback.

Tristan da Silva — who totaled just 15 points in CU’s two-game road trip last weekend — led three Buffs in double figures with a career-high 30 points, along with seven rebounds. Julian Hammond III stepped into the starting lineup in Simpson’s absence and tallied a career-high 16 points along with four rebounds and three assists. Nique Clifford added 13 points and Luke O’Brien had a career-high 11 rebounds.

The Buffs dominated nearly every statistical category. Colorado held a 46-28 edge on the boards and held Oregon to just 27 percent shooting (14-for-52), including a 1-for-14 night from long range. The Buffs shot a respectable 45.5 percent (25-for-55) and had a 14-3 edge in assists.

“You could tell from the get-go on the first couple of possessions that we were locked in defensively,” said Boyle, whose Buffs held the Ducks their lowest point total since 2009. “We got some deflections, we were active. It wasn’t Oregon’s best night, there’s no doubt about that. But I like to think we had something to do with that. I told the team today that whichever team rebounds the ball better is going to win the game and we were that team tonight.”

Continue reading story here


January 5th – Game Day!

… CU in the Arena … 

Buffs look (again) to right the ship, taking on 8-6 Oregon (7:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Related … “Another chance to get right on deck as Colorado men’s basketball hosts Oregon” … from the Daily Camera

From …  With 16 Pac-12 games still remaining — 80 percent of the conference schedule — it might sound like a stretch to say the Colorado Buffaloes are facing a must-win weekend in Boulder.

But if Tad Boyle‘s Buffs have any designs on an NCAA Tournament berth, home wins against Oregon on Thursday (7 p.m.) and Oregon State on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) would go a long way in keeping those hopes alive.

Just a week ago, the Buffs (9-6 overall, 1-3 Pac-12) were in decent shape in the postseason hunt. Despite some disappointing losses early, CU was situated comfortably in the mid-40s in the NCAA’s NET rankings, and they bolstered their situation with a road win at Stanford.

But a shocking New Year’s Eve defeat at Cal — only the second win this year for the struggling Bears — handed CU its first Quad 4 loss of the year and pushed Colorado down into the 70s in the NET.

Now the Buffs need to right the ship in a hurry, especially with their annual road trip to the Los Angeles schools coming up after this week’s two-game homestand.

No doubt, with 16 conference games still to play, plus the conference tournament, there are myriad ways the Buffs can put themselves back into the NCAA Tournament picture. A sizable win streak down the stretch could do the trick, and there’s always the possibility of a conference tourney title to guarantee themselves of a bid.

But the best way to insert themselves back in the conversation is to protect their home floor the rest of the season and steal a few more road victories along the way — then tack on a couple of wins in the conference tournament.

That could be enough to bump their NET ranking back to an acceptable level and potentially give them a tournament-worthy resumé.

But to achieve those goals the Buffs will need to establish some consistency, something that has evaded them for much of the year.

QUICK LOOK OREGON: Picked to finish third in the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll, the Ducks (8-6 overall, 2-1 Pac-12) have had their ups and downs this season as well. Their losses included defeats at the hands of UC Irvine and Utah Valley, as well as three straight defeats at the hands of ranked teams — Houston, Connecticut and Michigan State.

But they are still a very talented team and have put together a decent 2-1 start in conference play. Guard Will Richardson leads the Ducks in scoring at 15.6 ppg and is second in the conference in assists with 5.9 per game. The Ducks are also getting good production from big man N’Faly Dante, who is averaging 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

One interesting note: the Ducks have played just one true road game this year, a 65-56 loss at UCLA.

Continue reading story here


January 2nd

… CU in the Arena … 

Despite embarrassing loss to Cal, K.J. Simpson named Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week

From … University of Colorado sophomore guard KJ Simpson has been named the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his efforts during week of Dec. 26-Jan. 1, the conference office announced on Monday.

Simpson, a native of West Hills, Calif., averaged 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals during a Pac-12 road split of the Bay Area schools last week. He shot 48.8 percent from the field (21-43) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10-12).

Simpson scored a career and team season-high 31 points along with seven rebounds and four assists to lead Colorado to a 73-70 win at Stanford on Dec. 29. Simpson tied a career-high with 11 field goals made and his 23 attempts were the most by a Buffalo in regulation since Richard Roby had 24 against Pepperdine on Dec. 4, 2006. He was 8 of 9 from the free throw line and scored Colorado’s last 11 points to notch the first Pac-12 win of the season.

An honorable mention to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team, Simpson had 25 points on 10 of 20 shooting along with five assists and a pair of steals in an 80-76 loss to California on Dec. 31. He scored 16 of his points in the final 2:06 of the game, as the Buffaloes nearly erased a 21-point second half deficit.

The Player of the Week honor is the second for Simpson, the first coming on Nov. 14, 2022, the opening week of the season. Simpson was a two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week in 2021-22.


December 31st 

… CU in the Arena … 

CU falls to hapless Cal, 80-76 – Boyle: “Let’s just talk about one of the most pathetic defensive performances in Colorado basketball history”

From … Colorado fell behind early and saw a late rally come up just short Saturday as the Buffaloes dropped an 80-76 decision to Cal at Haas Pavilion.

The loss ended the Buffs’ five-game win streak and CU fell to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in Pac-12 play. Cal won for just the second time this season to improve to 2-13, 1-3.

Colorado gave up a 12-0 run early and trailed by 12 at intermission, 39-27. The Buffs then fell behind by as much as 21 in the second half before a furious rally cut the Bears’ lead to just three, 79-76, in the final seconds.

Cal, though, clinched the win with a free throw with six seconds to play and a last-second 3-pointer by the Buffs missed its mark.

The Buffs were dominated on both ends for most of the night by a Cal team that scored just 43 points two nights previously in a loss to Utah. CU allowed the Bears to shoot 58 percent from the floor (29-for-50) and Cal also had a dominating 36-23 edge on the boards.

CU shot 45 percent from the floor (30-for-66), but that number was inflated by the Buffs’ late hot streak. Colorado went on a 20-6 run in the final 2:06, with KJ Simpson scoring 16 points in the surge, before the Bears finally put the game away.

Simpson led the Buffs with 25 points and J’Vonne Hadley added 17.

Joel Brown led five Bears in double figures with 21 points while freshman Grant Newell had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The loss to the Bears — who opened the season with 12 losses before finally beating UT Arlington — is a particularly damaging one. Not only did it end CU’s win streak, it also ruined Colorado’s chances to pull to .500 in Pac-12 play as the Buffs squandered an opportunity for a valuable road win.

“Let’s just talk about one of the most pathetic defensive performances in Colorado basketball history,” an obviously irate CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I’ve only been part of it now for 12 and a half years but I can’t think of a more disappointing defensive performance than what I saw tonight. It didn’t matter what we did or what we ran, we couldn’t couldn’t stop them.”

Continue reading story here


December 30th

… CU in the Arena … 

K.J. Simpson’s career-high 31 points fuels CU’ 73-70 comeback road win over Stanford

RelatedKJ Simpson rallies CU Buffs men’s basketball past Stanford … from the Daily Camera

From CUBuffs.comKJ Simpson scored Colorado’s last 11 points of the game Thursday night, including the go-ahead bucket and two free throws in the final 18 seconds, to lift CU to a 73-70 road win over Stanford at Maples Pavilion.

Simpson finished with a career-high 31 points as Tad Boyle‘s Buffs improved to 9-5 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play with their fifth straight win. Stanford fell to 5-8, 0-3.

The Buffs trailed by four at the half and by as much as eight early in the second period. They closed the gap to one at multiple junctures after intermission but couldn’t get over the hump until Simpson hit two free throws with just more than two minutes remaining to give CU a 69-68 lead.

Stanford then momentarily regained the lead but the Buffs came up with a big defensive stop in the final minute. Simpson then delivered a drive along the baseline to give Colorado a 71-70 lead with 17 seconds left.

CU’s Luke O’Brien followed with another key defensive stop, Simpson rebounded and was fouled and he calmly hit two free throws with 3 seconds remaining to provide the game’s final points.

Joining Simpson in double figures for the Buffs were O’Brien with a career-high 12 and Lawson Lovering with a career-high 10. Simpson also led CU in rebounds with seven, O’Brien nabbed six and Lovering grabbed five.

Spencer Jones led Stanford with 25 points.

After a less-than-stellar first half effort, the Buffs kept themselves in the game after intermission with rebounding and defense. The Buffs outrebounded Stanford 23-15 in the final 20 minutes and held Stanford to just 30 percent shooting in the second half after the Cardinal had hit 52 percent of its shots in the opening half.

“We really got on them at halftime and challenged them,” Boyle said. “Boy did they respond. Our defense in the second half really cranked up.”

Continue reading story here

116 Replies to “Colorado Basketball”

  1. Its nice Tad gets selected to coach all these FIBA events for the kids but look at the venues. Egypt, Tijuana and now Hungary? whats wrong with Lausanne, Nice, Rio or Bangkok ……or even Boulder?

  2. I think I read where a 7 foot five star center from the Ducks who is in the portal who will also be on Tads U19 team. Prime chance to recruit him but its a little strange a 5 star 7 foot center would be leaving unless he is looking for one of the very top tier teams.
    I didnt get to watch him play this year but he has to be an improvement here at his position.

  3. portal is messing with me
    Clifford now ranked as a 4 star and Allen a 3 star
    and get this
    Lovering ranked as a high 4 star
    ai yi yi

  4. Just checked the portal
    for once Lovering landed on his feet. He is now at Utah.
    Clifford and Allen are both now no stars
    Graham still uncommitted

  5. Threw anything productive out the window last night and watched basketball from dinner to bed. UCon first puttin Ark in the popcorn machine. It could have been even worse if the refs hadnt given Ark the benefit of a lot of no calls for grabbing and bumping after Ucon got up by 20. Hard to believe Ucon lost 8 games last season.
    Then Zags and Bruins. Woooweee. Glad I didnt miss that one. Them more I watch Campbell the more I am impressed. He is short and slow but has unbelievable timing with his passes and shot….and he rarely misses. I’m sure he had a bushel of assists but if he had taken a few more shots it might have put the Bruins over the top. And Timme……Zags are mighty happy he didnt go pro last year.
    Next up FAU. I gotta see them play.

  6. so lets see
    Between the portal pushers and graduation in rotation players we lose
    Add Allen
    the possibility of Simpson and da Silva heading off to the draft or one of the lesser pro options.
    could be 7 roster players out the door including the only 2 real scoring threats
    got 3 coming in
    its almost a prime style roster makeover.

    1. so prime style roster makeover would include the coach.

      Okay hard times

      How wait long>

      Go big Tad

      Ze elephant is large

  7. just checked 247’s list of teams talking to Graham. Its pretty lengthy and includes Gonzaga, Kansas and Arizona. He says 2 things. He wants to be “at a great university” and “has to get back to the (dance).
    Can Tad reel him in? the Dance part is going to make it tough.

  8. Something unfortunately was rotten inside of Tad’s team this year, it was the root of the lack of grit/toughness and consistency (leadership clearly absent). Tad pointed out no one shoots after practice…
    Hence, thought there would be a ‘surprise’ or two heading into the Portal…Lovering a surprise even to me, given the consistent Tad love. Mentioned KJ before b/c it appears he and Tad have differences in how the O should be run. Really hope Tristan returns, though there is not much else for him to showcase in college (maybe stronger inside play on D?).

    1. I am shocked a player had and issue with roll-tad on how the offense should be run

      Welp, Hello Mr. Elephant

      go tad…………..??

        1. In many ways KJ was the offense this year. The Grad transfers got hurt earlier, and I think they were the 3-point threats. As the season progressed, there was not anyone other than KJ that could score/create in streaks to make the offense go. DeSilva was decent, but he really needed another scorer out there to open up his game more. Overall, this year CU was pretty limited offensively. Just not many guys who could dominate their defender in man-to-man. Hopefully, KJ welcomes the new talent and does not need to be the offense.

    2. Well put.

      I was hoping the reaction from Tad wouldn’t be surprise and head scratching over Lovering decision. But oh well. My guess is he didn’t feel he was developing as much as am he should and either blames the coaching or just thinks a new environment might help him grow more.

      Either way I always wondered about his demeanor. He always seemed to have a frustrated Napoleon Dynamite kind of scowl and look of self -disgust on his face after errors in games and never seemed to be one of the enthusiastic or “up” guys when on the bench. Seems to me he may have really been wracked by self doubt and possibly so hard on himself it got in his way perhaps.

      Oh well. Now Tad can fill it with a big guy with a big body already who is confident and can bang near the hoop. And step mr Hulburt and Diop and claim your prize of a lot of minutes next season.

    3. I’m not sure it is a Tad thing per se. He has been able to lead and put decent teams out there for a long time with different mixtures of players. TAD has been able to evaluate and recruit competitively. This could be a lull for a couple of years. I do not think the Buffs had an explosive player this year, on either side of the court.

      If you have “rotten insider(s)” having players move on is not a bad thing. I think KJ stays and the Frosh play + the guys that redshirted and whoever is left. Assuming the Buffs are decent, KJ will develop here, so I don’t think that he moves on. On the transfers:

      1. I talked about Lovering below. I wish him the best.

      2. Niq Clifford was a well regarded recruit, however he just had an awful Sophomore slump. You can’t have him shoot outside with a .288 average…. Then teams adjust to his drive game, and tools wise, he did not have it. Even in man-on-man, he could not play with his back to the bucket and draw a consistent double team. Decent/good on defense, but not a stand-out.

      3. I’m sort of sad to see Allen not work out, but he appears to have deep college adjustment issues, perhaps discipline issues. He was a highly regarded recruit. Tad tried to give him some minutes late in the season, but his play was not consistent enough for a defined role and substantial minutes (i.e 10+ min a game) even with a short bench.

      I expect all the guys, drop down a level or two and may resurrect their games.

  9. Seems like that big guy from Wyoming would be a nice addition. Originally from aurora. Come on home, big fella. Come on home.

    Go Buffs

    Also nice to see Kim English get the gig at providence

  10. I wish Lovering well if indeed he lands elsewhere. What would be interesting is if a case of the “homesick across the border blues” developed. Namely, Lovering going back home to play for Wyoming–who just lost Graham Ike to the portal. Ike, despite being listed as 6’9″ plays much taller and at 255# is already being listed as one of the best bigs in the portal. He has averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds a game as a Cowboy. Oh, and Ike played HS ball at Overland in Aurora. Many representative programs including Colorado have reportedly reached out to him.

  11. Pretty surprised to see Lovering is transferring. I thought he had finally started to show signs of confidence and improving his offense. GRII’s comments and observations are spot on. I am very curious if this was Tad giving him a bit of a nudge or all Lovering deciding he needed a better fit, different competition level (per GRII’s comments) or maybe he felt he wasn’t getting coached enough on improving his offensive skills. I hope it was Tad nudging him along and that this is what Tad prefers.

    I totally agree with GRII, though, that the kid just wasn’t seeming to bulk up and was going to continue to get pushed around, and even get his shots blocked by players several inches shorter than him at times. While he started to show some flash the last 8-10 games of improving he still seems like a project more than a sure contributor and I think his presence often left us playing 4 on 5 offensively and really disrupted the offensive flow overall.

    I’m surprised and was looking forward to see if he could improve over the offseason but am not really sure if this is a big loss or not. Looking forward to seeing if we can any insights from Tad or the Buffs beat reporters.

    1. I agree with you as well. The frame is just not filling out, and makes it tough for him to be a consistent threat with the O. I’m not sure the D was great but he was decent on the defensive side. He just gets pushed around a lot. That has to be tough. We will see. I could see him going to a smaller school filling more into his body, and playing with more confidence.

  12. Stu,
    Someone has to dig into the background story of why Lovering is leaving. I always felt he would develop into a really fine player, and still think that so this is a big loss. After 2 years to transfer is somewhat odd, especially with the great team chemistry we hear about. What happened, did he he want better coaching and why?, it could be family or personal issues not related to BB, and that’s OK we don’t need to know the details, just that our staff didn’t cause him to want a change.

    Next year would have been Joe and Lawson alternating with Joe better on Off and Lawson the king of Def. Diop getting a red shirt year to fill out. Now we will be tight on size again. Help us out as we are concerned.

    1. First of all, I wish LL all the best in his future endeavors, including basketball. I think he may be one of those guys where their body fills out post college (age 23-27), so I can see a basketball future as a possibility.

      Lovering transferring does not surprise me that much. This could be a mutual decision too, because I think Tad generally wants to do well by his players–(i.e. where will you develop the best). IMO, LL just did not look PAC12 ready or P65 ready on a daily basis. No doubt, he did have some good games and great moments. IMO, his body has just not bulked up (maybe out) as anticipated, and I did not think that the game slowed down for him much in season two. He does have some nice parts to his game, however most of it is still pretty raw and his body is growing too. At CU, I’m not sure that he was improving to the level that he wanted. Also, if Diop comes in game ready or another big, he could find himself coming off the bench.

      Some of leaving can be coaching, some on him, some of it just growth, and also some on the season grind. When I talk about coaching–it works both ways: (1) they coach tailored to your role on the team; and (2) they coach for individual improvement within the team concept. Given LL’s lack of bulk and footwork; that could make the Big-Man drills very difficult. This year, he could not go up and get his shot dominating 1on1 on a consistent basis in the PAC-12. I think his defense was okay, but he did get banged around some. Coaching wise at CU, their focus could be on help defense and some rebounding.

      Time will tell, but I think that if LL goes to a smaller school it may be a much much better experience. If he bulks out, he could be a monster. And, if he does not bulk out, I think playing against lesser competition and smaller guys overall will instill more confidence in him, and he probably plays with the ball more, so he can really polish his game. He will learn the footwork against smaller guys. At that level, the coaching could be more offense focused.

      Josh Scott was a great buff, but he had a limited ceiling–not really NBA career caliber. I sort of put Evan Battey in this conversation as well. Both had limitations to their game, however both were big and filled out enough to compete night in and night out, without getting beat up or the play taking an overall toll on their body. They could grow in the PAC12. Josh Smith improving his footwork exponentially and just making quick decisive moves made him a CU great. With Battie, it was again footwork but also using his body to hold off defenders for those soft hands. Defensively, they really improved and more than held their own.

      I don’t think this is a miss for CU recruiting or LL is a bust, rather his body has not filled out as predicted. We was a highly rated recruit and those rankings predicted him filling out faster. It may just take a few more years for him.

      1. “filling out” will help him prevent being pushed around. I’m just not sure if he will ever be a well rounded ball player. He doesnt seem to have any natural athleticism. Coordination seems to be a problem too.
        He had a great game against Utah Valley. Unfortunately I didnt see it. I heard Valley took the Buffs with the 3 so I’m wondering if he had a match up advantage there or actually impressed going against the other competent big guy.
        I hope he finds a home where he can succeed and enjoy the game too. I dont think we are going to be any worse off in the paint though, especially if Tristan stays. I will probably jinx it by saying it but maybe Allen will find a way to get in Tad’s good grace and become a contributor. Ditto for Hurlburt. At least the numbers are in favor of the front line next year.

        1. I think each of you touched on valid points. He was the guy I hoped he’d be, against utv. Too bad it was only one great game, but did show promise. His jumper was not pretty, but he hit them and played against their big guy really well. Puzzling move, but as people are saying probably not a huge loss. Hopefully he finds his groove.

          Go Buffs

  13. Happy for the lady buffs.

    But can’t stop thinking about the turd the men buffs laid on Sunday. Not going to lie I didn’t even know there was an Utah Valley U. And Lovering is leaving. Weird, he was underwhelming IMO given the recruiting ranking, then has a PR game before leaving.

  14. “The On3 Industry Ranking is the most advanced, complete and unbiased rating and ranking measurement in the industry.”
    uh huh
    If it is it looks like there is a wide open opportunity for someone else.

    They did it! … CU takes down No. 3 seed Duke on the road

    Come Tad……………..You can make it happen………….

    20 win seasons are nice. Half the college teams get them each year (maybe 19 ok)

    Ya gotta get to like 25 to 28 to really have something.

    Roll tad (AAron only one one superbowl in 17 years…………… got time

    Buffs win

    Note: I must say, it doesn’t matter which post season it is………………….just can’t past one win…………..and even then not one

  16. Absolutely delighted about the Lady Buffs making the Sweet 16. To think that the oddsmakers had them as 3 point underdogs to MTSU and 7 point underdogs to Duke. Heck last fall before the season began the PAC 12 prediction people had them finishing 8th in the conference!!. Go Ladies…Beat the Hawkeyes on Friday evening!!

    1. Yup,

      Big fan. So happy for them.
      Well when you get to the 16 gonna be some good teams.
      Hawkeyes are amazing. Got a really really good player.
      Rooting for them mighty buffs,………….high expectations
      But why not.

      (cb and sr)

  17. No question the committee stiffed the buff ladies even with the loss to wsu 5 seed who got kicked out the first round in the ncaa. Buffs should have had that seed, actually should have had the 4. No name recognition like stanford which lost 3 games at the end and still got a 1 seed. But now bye bye.

    I need to get on these committees so they will be fair

    Go lady buffs…………dukey win would be great Iowa? no chance

    Now the get #3 and if they duke the dukeys they get #2 iowa.

  18. So the boy Buffs go down again with no shooters. Historic.

    No zone, No offense = best Buff BB coach ever.

    Roll Tad.

    Note: One year with the #1 recruit coming up.

  19. Bummer of a loss. But if that is the Lawson we will see consistently next season? I’ll take it. Get the 15’ jumper and add the sky hook touch, and the kid will be dangerous.

    Go Buffs

  20. Like I said earlier, KJ is a better player but JH makes the team better. I’m betting they get a win tonight.

  21. Was hoping we didnt have face New Mexico and now I’m sorry we arent. First time I ever heard of Utah Valley so I checked their schedule. They lost a couple of games to other teams I never heard of but they were 2 out of 3 when facing D1. They beat Oregon and whacked BYU by 15 but lost to Boise like the Buffs did. They have one scoring machine and a couple other double digit scorers so the Tad D is going to have be functioning at a high level and once again hope the O takes care of itself.

  22. Welp women get a 6 seed. No Brand name……………..get bumped by committee.
    Welp men suck in a 2 seed in the NIT. Greatest (winningest) coach in CU history does it again.

    Go buffs.

    Note: CU Basketball seasons almost done. Great. On to track and field/lacosse

  23. nice try earache but you nor I and probably no one in here knows how Tad conducts practice or how bad Allen’s practice habits are. My take is…and this is speculation too, is that Allen’s skills dont fit Tad’s systems…such as they are…and Allen’s skills are obviously predominately on the offensive side.

        1. Me Neither.

          Go Buffs.

          Note: Rooney gets as much time “around” the BB team as Howell does “around” the FB team…………………..Not much

          1. dredge up a Rooney report when he goes into specifics in a Boyle practice. I have never seen a Rooney report that does but the only ones I read are the ones Stuart sees fit to post.

  24. Last regular season game of the year and NIque starts to figure it out. Best offensive game of his career, he has the necessary attributes to score on anyone (shoot over smaller guys, drive past bigger guys).

    I except attrition after this season….Allen (almost for sure) and maybe KJ??

    Hammond had a nice game but needs to improve his athleticism and ball handling to have continued success in the ‘Power5’.

    1. Damn shame about Allen. I expect him to leave as well and dont blame him. He was never allowed to develop. I’m sure he rust bound now from sitting on the bench. He could have at least been an asset when a scoring punch of the bench was needed in a lull during several games.
      Tad’s statement of “the offense will take care of itself” shows that it doesnt at times during the season.

      1. How do you know that Allen wasn’t allowed to develop? What does that mean? He obviously has not earned the playing time. And lately when he has played because of the injuries he looks clueless. He will move on but through any fault of the coaches.

        1. try and develop without getting on the floor in a game. Then try and imitate someone who has been playing constantly after sitting an entire season. I stand on Tad’s lack of attention to the offense which could easily be part of the problem here.

          1. I know you like the gamer theory. That people can instantly turn it on, without practicing like they play. Yes, they exist. In rare quantity. Maybe you were that guy? Seems to me, there’s one Allen Iverson to hundreds of Kobes, Michaels and Shaqs. I think, granted based more on what we haven’t seen than what we have, QA is very gifted, but doesn’t work at it with his practice habits, so his play is inconsistent, at best. If it weren’t? He’d play. Tad’s shown he plays kids that can play, and that work hard to earn their time. Luke O’Brien is a prime example, for this year. Let’s say Quincy is uber talented, the best on the roster, but doesn’t practice hard (or even learn what they’re teaching for sets, defense, etc.) so Tad doesn’t play him. Would you? How’s that jive with everyone else who works their ass off every day and retains and executes what’s tought?

            My hope is that Quincy sticks around, and earns the time. We’ll find out if he does, or not. And, my other hypothesis is that Quincy does actually practice and work hard. But, for whatever reason, it’s just not fully clicking. Some may blame that on coaching. The counter to that though, is that Tad’s proven he can
            develop kids, not just take the stars, and roll with how they play, so what’s the disconnect with Quincy? I don’t put that on coaching, based on Tad and co’s body of work for the last 13 years. Sometimes, things just don’t gel.

            Go Buffs

  25. Looking ahead to next year will the Buffs have their first one and done? Wasn’t Billups a 2 and done?
    Seriously hoping Tad doesnt freak out playing the 2 freshmen big guys coming in. At last he may have enough help in the paint.
    Will De Silva declare for the draft?

  26. I was impressed by Tad’s flexibility and innovation to use the zone against Utah. The zone is something that he abhors, but he has obviously coached it because they did a very good job. The loss of KJ and the other injuries have decimated their depth so the zone can cut down on the fouls that may occur with man to man.

    Stuart, quick question. I don’t fully understand the system for revenue sharing from the NCAA tournament, but I do know they carry over for several years. It looks like USC and UCLA will both be in it this year. After 2024, does money start accruing to the B1G or stay with the PAC?

    1. Good question. Each team which makes the NCAA tournament is awarded a “unit”, and receive another unit each game won through to the Final Four. Those are then doled out (I believe last year it was around $338,000 per unit) to the conferences each year over the next six years. I would assume that any units UCLA wins this year will be held by the conference. UCLA and USC will get the benefit of Big Ten units won (unless they are withheld as part their deal to join the Big Ten, but the remaining members of the Pac-12 will benefit in succeeding years from their efforts.

  27. With KJ out for the tourney, the Buffs have a better chance to go deeper into it. KJ is a great individual player but I don’t think that translated to making the team better.

    1. That makes no sense. Their depth is decimated. Losing KJ is a devastating blow when you have to win4 games in 4 days. Plus he’s the second best player on the team.

      1. You can have great individual players but unless they make the team better the team will always just be mediocre. You just have to look at the Olympics and see how the 10 best players in the world on the same team don’t always win, it is a team game.

        1. George Gervin comes to mind. Didnt he lead the NBA in scoring for several years? I dont think his team (San Antonio?) ever won a title. Carmelo Anthony was another example. He had more success on his teams but still no title. He was always a shoot first pass maybe guy.
          some folks just arent team players. Some fans of them may have been hall monitors in high school

    2. thinking the same thing. Did Tad find the best chemistry on the floor by accident? KJ and de Silva coming off the bench would be utilizing the depth more efficiently if the rest of the guys can keep playing like they did yesterday.

  28. Well that was a disappointment for the women.
    Now gotta wait for the seed . the real seed.
    The current projections,

    No longer a 4 but a 5………….heading to Austin

    UCLA took that 4 spot

    Note: Utah loses a game………….moved to a 2 seed……………..Stanford loses 2 games…………..still a one.

  29. So Very Nice
    Lady Buffs Win.

    WSU upsets the Utes.

    WSU played Buffs twice. Buffs win both.
    WSU played em tough at coors a couple of weeks ago.

    Win gets probable chance against the Tree again

    Make it so

    Lady Buffs are Buff Basketball

  30. This is just a question: Why is Lovering playing so much ?

    This is post- UCLA game. He can’t catch a ball (dropped several passes) This has been a persistent flaw. He trips over his own feet. He’s 7’1″ and hasn’t scored more than 10 points but one time. He has a low assist average. He can rebound however, even those numbers are low for a 7’1″ center.

    Look, Tad…………….He looks like a really nice kid but doesn’t deserve more than 10 min playing time and those minutes should only be in reserve. This is about winning. Feelings and emotions be damned.

    You have some pretty tall kids….at least one should be able to have better results.

    Just sayin’.

    1. I don’t know. I cringe every time Lovering touches the ball. He is a turnover waiting to happen, and a cringe-worthy free throw shooter.
      It was one thing last year as he was a clumsy skinny freshman, but there should have bene progress this season …

      1. I actually thought today he was growing into his frame. And he made two, count em two, clutch free throws. If he gets a sky hook and 15’ jumper down, he could be lethal.

        Go Buffs

        1. if…….
          doesnt seem likely with his less than desirable athleticism. This is too tough to put a positive spin on.
          With him on the floor the rest of the team is playing short handed….or even worse when he is a liability most of the time.
          Last time I looked the PAC, let alone the selection committee, didnt hand out participation ribbons.
          Its tough for me to understand that Allen or even Hurlburt is worse.

        2. Quote: He could be lethal.

          The problem being….he’s not. He’s had 2 full seasons to display any talent (He hasn’t). Best hit the books.

    2. On the bright side there’s still time for Lovering. We all knew going in that losing Battey and Walker would leave a glaring hole on the boards. But when you think of Tad’s teams and tall guys (6’10” or more), we’ve seldom been dynamic. Josh Scott of course was a very notable exception. Lucas Siewert, who I viewed more as a tall forward than a true post certainly had nice moments too. But Ben Mills, Harris-Tunks, Dallas Walton*, who gets an asterisk for being an injury warrior, never consistently got off the ground.

  31. Our basketball 🏀 ball sucks.. If I had this job long enough I would have been fired.. Make sweet 16 or Elite 8 no complaints.. Time for a change.. can’t hit 3s can’t go on..Where’s the beef?

      1. Yes, I remember reading that.. Just like the old song.. “Frustrated In Corporate-rated””.. Long winter lots of shoveling.. Thank you for cuatthegame.. tap in ever day .. Go Buffs

  32. And yes. I missed the women’s game. Just like I missed every single one while Ceal and co were killing it from 88-93. Today’s game sounded like a good one. Tough loss.

    Go Buffs

  33. Another nightmare matchup. AZ has a 6’11” and 7 foot guy up front who are the leading scorers. Maybe this afternoon Tad can organize a seance before the game for Lovering to channel Bill Russell. High heel sneakers for Tristan?
    Better be hitting the 3s today.
    Shock me Buffs. Make me fall on the floor with amazement. Bring back the Tennessee effort. AZ will be looking way past this one.

  34. The end of the season is lining up to be special for the Lady Buffs. They have 4 winnable games that could put them high in the rankings going into the NCAA Tournament. Currently sitting as a 4th seed, could very well be a 3rd or 2nd seed if they win out. They are also in a good position to make some serious noise in the PAC-12 Tournament.
    Jaylon Sherrod is a true beast on defense….she is adept at ripping the ball away from opponents without fouling and she literally will take over the game on the offensive side of the ball when the game is on the line. Freida Foreman has become the 3 point threat we have been waiting for the last 2 years.
    Please consider going to the Sanford game at 3pm on the 23rd. We need all the fans that we can cram into the CEC for that game. Should be alot of fun.

  35. You voters who voted “sorry” should be ashamed of yourselves, and call yourselves “part-time” Buff fans. Now if you live out of state, all is forgiven.

    These ladies make the men look like high school players.

    “sorry” it is just how it is

    Go Prime Ladies

  36. Holy Moly,

    The coveted 4 seed has arrived.

    Tough to hold on too.

    gotta keep that slot in the pac 12 champ
    and win 3 out of the next 4 before

  37. Woman…..5 seed
    Is it possible to get to the promised land of a 4 seed?
    Home site for the first two rounds ……………..holy moly

    4 regular season left
    @asu 1st game forfeited by asu due to players illness zero pac wins

    @ asu ranked higher than buffs. but behind them in the standings. Buffs need this win to solidify position. Buffs beat them at home when they were #14

    the final week Stanford comes to town. Stanford pounded the Buffs. But now in Boulder. A win would be really really great. We will see.

    then cal to end it.

    Go lady Buffs

    Pac 12 tourney has really good teams and will be a tough haul for all the teams

  38. Nightmare matchup for Tad ball. Most of the Utes looked like middle linebackers. Kinda tough to move em in the paint for a rebound. Plus they had a big guy in the middle who could play. I’m shocked the Buffs actually managed 62 points. I turned it off halfway thru the second half. The offense consisted only of some perimeter passing until someone decided to attack the rim for a forced shot or take an outside shot. Zero movement designed to free someone up for an open shot.
    Tad will never be fired but will he retire before he pays any attention to the offense?

  39. Average again.. Where’s The Beef? And the beef needs a little more than a 2 inch vertical.. Tads BBall has never been great.. Our football was so bad it made BBall look great.. Ramp it up, losing to new coaches not good…

  40. Women win again,
    What a gutsy come from behind.

    Good team effort.

    Key is they have a couple of go to players when the game is on the line
    Sherrod……………….Buffs men need her

    go lady buffs

  41. Saw Jabari on TV last night, he is starting to look like a man and is filling out without losing his bounce. Still should have stayed one more year, but need to eat my words that he wouldn’t make it in the NBA (3 and D PF…the game has evolved).

  42. Her we go
    6 games left
    middle of the pac
    fighting to get a first round bye
    every year deal

    jellybeanbuffs a go go

  43. I have enjoyed watching Coach JR Payne rejuvenate this program from squat/ a perennial PAC-12 punching bag into a legitimate PAC-12 title contender. They now have the foundation in place to contend for the title on a yearly basis, it took 7 years to build this program. But it has been a steady climb to the top.
    If the games are not televised, you can watch by going to, click on Sports then Women’s Basketball. From there click schedule then scrolled down to the game and click on Watch. These are live broadcast and are not archived.
    They have a sophomore center Aaronette Vonleh who is a beast in the middle and playing along side Quay Miller, both have forged a strong inside game. Guard play is pretty intense on D and the offense of Jaylon Sherrod, Freida Foreman, Kyndall Wetta, Tayanna Jones, Tamieya Sadler and Jada Pinkett…… like who is going to step for this game.
    I encourage my fellow CU at the Gamers to take a peak @WBB. I don’t think you will be disappointed. By the way, Stanford comes to town Thursday 2/23 for a 3pm tipoff. Should be a fun one!!

    1. Yes those Lady Buffs are top notch. Small but aggressive crowds. Amazing how loud 2500 people can be in the “coors center” ep and az if you ever get to one of those games and walk in and see the crowd, don’t be fooled. Make sure you have your ol people earplugs in.
      Go arse-kicking buffs.

      Note: Now projected as a 6 seed. So so so much better than a 7 seed. Goal is to get to a 5th seed. easier path.

      Note 2: Actually getting the 4th seed (highly impossible ) to host first two rounds is the real deal

      Note 3: 6 games to go then the pac tourney. The washingtons here this weekend. Then off to the arizonas next next then stan-cal here to finish it up.

      Note 4: current standings

    2. Seems like not long after Payne was hired there was a guy who constantly complained about her maybe not as much in here but a lot in Howell’s question and answer sessions. Probably a helicopter parent. He doesnt look real smart right now either.

  44. Buffs are overdue to emerge from their funk and win this one, which I fully expect them to do…..
    but if they dont
    they are one game ahead of Stranford and the beaves in the standings and 2 ahead of Cal. They lose this one and they are arguably the worst team in the conference.

  45. Hey the D gave an acceptable performance last night. They held the Beaves to 60 points on 38 percent shooting. Thats the main thing….right?
    The only positive happening with the dysfunctional offense right now is that da Silva is making a name for himself with the draft and might not be around next year..
    Thankfully Tad has corralled a couple of highly rated big guys who apparently have some mobility and post moves that might fill the da Silva void and more. Of course Tad will have to force himself to play them as freshmen.

  46. “We really got on them at halftime and challenged them,” Boyle said. “Boy did they respond. Our defense in the second half really cranked up.”
    Tad will always be a one trick pony.
    Thankfully de Silva put this one in the win column but that just exposes the offense as well. KJ will always get a decent amount of points but there was basically nothing from the rest of the team.
    And As far as defense goes Hurlburt and Allen must just stand and watch on D in practice. Thats why Tad never puts them on the floor. Hard for me to believe. Lovering got zero points, a measly 2 rebounds, 3 turnovers and I dont think he played half the game.

  47. Love KJ. But the team goes as far as he goes, by and large. The future remains bright, in my eyes, despite what appears so far to be an underperforming season for this team.

    Could we see a run and a stellar tourney? Why not?

    Go Buffs

  48. Women are looking good.


    Go Buff Ladies

    Note: during that time
    one tv on golf
    one tv on football
    one tv on the Buff Ladies

  49. Sheesh

    Forget the boys
    You wanna see winning basketball
    Watch the girls
    Tied for first in the pac
    5-1 conference
    14-3 over all
    Projected 8 seed in the dance
    will be ranked in the top 25 this week.

    Lady Prime Buffs.

    Note: If you haven’t seen them, in person or on the tube, you should. This is a well coached team. Nice to see a Colorado basketball team that is an defensive and OFFENSIVE team

  50. God that was painful to watch….the entire game. First of all the reffing was hideous. It threw both teams out of sync. The only reason the Buffs stayed in the game until halfway through the second half was because the Bruins, except for Jacquez, couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a base fiddle. (and it wasn’t because of the Buff’s D) And the only reason the Bruins stayed in the game was because Buffs had nada, squat, zero D that could handle Jacquez in the paint. Which brings me to Lovering. Hate to pick on the guy but he seems to coast on his size. Even at 7′ you gotta box out at times. Even at 7′ you have to leave your feet some times to block or even alter a shot. Can he even get 6 inches off the floor? Why was he a 4 star? because he played in the least populated state in the country?
    So the Bruins came out of their funk with around 7 or 8 minutes to play and the buffs decided to go in the other direction. Guys were standing around like they were looking at their phones while the poor ball handler who picked up his dribble was unable to find a pass….and the crappy lazy blind passing led to 23 turnovers…most of em anyway. Also led to a basket full of forced middle school shots in the second half out of frustration.
    These kids need blood in their teeth and ice in their veins especially when adversity hits….and maybe a few more time outs to get their heads back on straight.

  51. Damn. They were in that one. Until they weren’t.

    Interesting to hear one of the commentators say tad told them in their pre game debriefs, he thinks this team is a year away.

    So do I.

    Go Buffs

    1. of course you do. There is always a chance Tad may want a refi or heloc…right?
      Doesnt matter what you and I think and even if its true that was a worthless thing for Tad to say. Its the second time that I have read he has publicly throw the players under the bus. Is he waiting for some kind of reverse psychological event to take place? like getting them pissed off to work harder?
      Coaching is definitely part of the problem here and Tad is also covering his butt.

  52. prayers answered?
    Williams and Diop coming. 2 big front line potential scoring machines. Of course Tad will have to teach em D

  53. Sacre Merde!
    I may have to take back what I said about the dance.
    7-10 WSU just beat AZ by 13.
    If Tad can find the answer when the Buffs dont donner un merde the conference may be there for the taking. Dont look over your shoulder UCLA

      1. doesn’t mean holy s–t?
        Moi Francaise est de annee 1963
        forget your sock drawer, we need to put you in charge of the Buff’s locker room

  54. So there’s what, three solid teams atop the Pac 12. Then a jumbled mess in the middle. Also a bottom dweller or two.

    Going to be a wild ride into March madness. Won’t be surprised if the Buffs make another solid run late. Hopefully it’s enough.

    Go Buffs

  55. I had high hopes for this team…not any more. They might get their act together and go on a streak but games like this are just groundhog day let downs. Wont bet a dime on the dance (or NIT).

    Taking Tad at his own words he focuses almost entirely on D and rebounding saying at least once the offense will take care of itself. They both live and die off each other. Too many TOs and the defense has to work harder than it should. Lazy D and increased pressure on the O to keep up.

    Making matters worse on O is Tad’s perennial guard heavy roster. Right now the only threat we have to score in the Paint is da Silva. When the Buffs have to face an athletic big guy front line he is going to have a tough time.

    Which brings me to Quincy Allen. 6’8″ with serious hops and supposedly a serious scoring threat. Is he that bad and a bust? He cant even get on the floor in garbage time. Does he have a lingering illness?

    These guys give Tennessee, ranked No 7, one of their only 2 losses. They can do it. But when they lose to a dreg like Cal WTF? Is the motivation there?

    Of course I’m just a twitter point guard/coach (not even on twitter) but just trying to figure out what is wrong here. Too many conflicting things from where I sit. Will the Buffs continue to be a mediocre team or will Tad find a solution? Is it all on the players? dont think so. Cue earache with his sarcastic fire Tad post.

  56. Every year without exception and sometimes twice the MBB team gets this headline.

    After Cal meltdown, season at crossroads for Colorado men’s basketball

    It’s a trademark.

    Go Buffs

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