Colorado Basketball – January, 2023

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.”

Continue reading story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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.

Read full story here


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.

Continue reading story here

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.

Continue reading story here


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.

Continue reading story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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.

Continue reading story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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.

Continue reading story here

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.

Continue reading story here

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.”

Continue reading story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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.

Continue reading story here

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.”

Read full story here


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.”

Continue reading story here


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *