CU's Freshmen, Sophomores Have Put Up Solid Numbers
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Colorado Pushes Win Streak To Four With Dominant Performance
Colorado defeated Washington State 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon at the Coors Events Center.
Nicole Edelman led a group of five Buffaloes to Pac-12 All-Academic honors, announced on Wednesday by Commissioner Larry Scott.
This one is on the Pac-12 nets at 9 eastern for those of us who can't make the keg tonight. The zoomies are not good - a result like UNO would be a concern to say the least.
Alternatively titled "**** the haters".
It seems as if every year, my expectations for the team is lower than a majority of posters here. Usually, the actual is somewhere in between. So this is why I posted my "State of the Fanbase" thread last week - I wanted to see where I lined up with everyone heading in to this year. Surprisingly (at least to me), 63.9% of the posters that voted thought the team would be going to the NIT. Then I talked to Pachoops who said he thinks the Buffs finish 8th in the conference. Then I listened to the BuffStampede podcast previewing the year, and RK, Adam and Zisk all had the Buffs below 20 wins for the year. And Rumblin's preview yesterday didn't have us dancing.
You're all wrong.
It's not going to be easy, and there's a decent chance that come March I'm going to look really stupid, but here are the four reasons I'm saying that we dance.
1.) The Josh's
We all know what Josh Scott can do. He put up 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last year on an ORtg of 127.1 (15th in the nation) while dealing with severe back issues all season. He put up 19.9 points and 10.6 rebounds a game in the month of March. It's a small sample size, but do you know what they call someone who does that? An All-American. It amazes me that he's not getting more All-Pac-12 love this pre-season. There's a lot of love for Jakob Poeltl - who deserves it - but not Josh. And this confuses me because Poeltl as a freshman put up 9.1 points and 6.8 boards a game on an ORtg of 109.9. Very solid numbers. Solid numbers that are comparable or slightly worse than the 10.2 points, 5.7 boards and ORtg of 111.1 that Jelly put up his freshman year.
On top of Josh Scott, we have Josh Fortune joining the team this year after his redshirt year. It's horrible to use scrimmages to evaluate guys, but I remember thinking after last year's scrimmage that Fortune might be the best player on the court. He's best known for his Big East conference tournament play that helped send the Friers to the dance in 2014, but he put up solid numbers all year. An ORtg of 101.1 isn't great, but it would have been one of the top 5 ratings on the Buffs last year. The big thing about Fortune though is his outside shooting. His eFG% of 52.9% in '14 would have been better than all of the guards on CU's team last year but one - Tre'Shaun Fletcher (who had a 53.1%). Fortune is a low usage guy who will fit in the offense better than Ski ever did, and will provide the outside shooting to open things up for Josh to work down low.
There are a lot of nerves over the fact that Dom struggled with turnovers in the scrimmage and that he had 9 fouls in another one. I get it. But is anyone seriously convinced that Tad would have kept Dom that aggressive on D after he picked up 2 quick fouls in a real game? Dom is finding his legs right now. He came in as a top 100 recruit with a lot of expectations who had to share a backcourt with a pure gunner and dealt with injuries and suspensions to start the year. It's no wonder he didn't find his legs. He's had an entire training camp, and Tad is making him earn things this year. This is good. The kid has played on US National teams, I think he can handle this. We're still going to see some up and down from him, but a lot more up than down.
3.) "No Your Roll"
One of my favorite locker room stories (that doesn't involve Keith Closs, and no way in hell I'm posting any of those on the board) comes from the book "Seven Seconds Or Less", Alvin Gentry (a former coach at CU) tells the story from his time in Miami where the team was struggling and called a meeting. In this meeting, a player named Ladell Eckles stood up in front of the entire room, went up to the white board and wrote "No your roll" to motivate his teammates. All of them sat there before Glen Rice just said "Sit down, dumbass".
This year's Buff team will know their roles. There's no confusion. Last year, people wondered if it was Ski's team or if Josh or even XJ were going to be the leaders. The team was undergoing an identity crisis and focusing on offense instead of Tadball. This year, it's Josh's team. There are no questions. They're going to be a defensive squad who will win games 50-49. They're going to fight, they're going to claw. Everyone knows their roles, and they will be filling them. Players are at their best when they can just react and don't have to think. This year's team is set up for that.
4.) The Return of #TadBall
TadBall is boring. It's ugly. It makes the baby Jesus cry. But it wins. There has been no talk of offense in training camp, and I love it. I want us doing nothing but defensive drills in training camp and we can have a whole three offensive plays - all of which will involve Josh handling the ball in the post. 53-41, 63-62, 70-59 and 53-51. What do those scores have in common? Those were the scores from the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament games the Buffs played in. All were ugly, but all were fun.
Listen, it's going to be a long season. There is a very good chance that we start the season 0-2. But unlike last year, this year's team has the resiliency to overcome this. Like I said, there's a decent chance that come March people are bumping this to mock me - and I'm fine with that. Because dammit, I want to believe.
CU finishes 5th in the Pac-12 and gets a 10 seed.
Roll Mother****ing Tad.
Tad is up now. Lappe will be up next, then Josh Scott and Josh Fortune
We move into Week 6 and Buff Nation is in one of two camps following a loss to Oregon in a game that was tied at the half: the "moral victory - Buffs are improving" camp; and, the "sky is falling - we won't win another game" camp.
Frankly, I don't want to go camping with either of you. Well, maybe if you promise to be gentle after romancing me a little, but probably not. I'm not ready to jump into the tent just yet.
This week: The mighty Buffs travel to Tempe to take on ASU, Saturday at 8pm MT, PACN
Speaking of ASU, did you know that Jake Plummer lives in Boulder now? I don't know what that means other than you might see him playing handball at the Boulder Rec or driving around town.
Jake Plummer - the man who actually got busted for a road rage incident while driving a Honda Element. Definitely a dude who fits in as a Boulderite.
But let's get to the intensive pre-game analysis that I know you all expect from the Sh!tty Preview.
These days, ASU's quarterback is Mike Bercovici. Now we're getting into stuff that is definitely meaningful to this week's game. Bercovici has been an inconsistent player this season. I have a theory.
Will Bercovici be dialed in on Saturday night or might he be distracted by his post-game plans? Will his legs be strong?
Actually, this is a consistent problem for the entire team on an annual basis. On the one hand, they've got a high-paying job playing college football and they take it seriously. But on a campus with 100,000 commuter students who are parlaying their GEDs and the cash they can pull together from performing in low budget pornos and taking the pole at a gentlemen's club into a college education... let's just say there are a lot of distractions.
And not just the fact that Tempe police are getting involved.
106 degrees during the evening news? No wonder the devil is their mascot. It is literally hell.
And if I have offended any of the people who go to ASU with the preceding paragraphs, I want to apologize. I know that was a bit of exaggeration. I was being unfair. Some of you do, in fact, have mainstream day jobs (or will be able to land one some day with your ASU degree).
Also important this Saturday is the question on everyone's mind: will Coach Graham be wearing his custom-made boots on the sideline?
Seriously. He wears these. He even had them monogrammed. I think he may have got them on eBay from Dom DeLuise's "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" estate sale.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Graham pretty much is that "Melvin" character. And, as we talked about earlier in this thread, the settings of the movie and university are well aligned. All I know is that now that this is in my head I really can't get it out. Coach Graham is now Coach Melvin as far as I'm concerned.
On the Melvin factor, advantage Buffs
From here, I could talk about the competitiveness of last year's game, respective talent, in-game performance review so far this year, matchups, and even get into some advanced metrics so we could discuss important stuff like 3rd down defense, explosive plays and red zone efficiency. But this is the Sh!tty Preview and we have other concerns and standards.
So let's address the elephant in the room: my wife, before I met her and while she was living in Las Vegas, adopted ASU as the team she cheered for. Partly because no one cheers for UNLV football, even the students (which she was). And partly because, well, when you live in a desert which is also the stripper and party drug capital of the universe... ASU becomes a natural fit for your fandom.
But we're not in Vegas any more and we don't go to Sapphire to watch football games.
This week is important to put that sh!t to rest once and for all. She's a CU fan now, but ASU is solidly her 2nd team. This cannot stand. Just the other day, she allowed it to affect her parenting when she actually contradicted me with our boy by telling him that he shouldn't say "Scum Devils". WTF?!?! Someone needs to think of the children. I trust that my Buffs will take on this sacred duty, rise up, and secure a bright future for my marriage and for my son's lifelong moral compass.
Buffs 31, Scum Devils 20
Sean Irwin has no visions of breaking Nelson Spruce's receiving records. The Colorado tight end is, however, becoming more of a threat in the passing game lately.
<b>By Brian Howell</b><p><p><i>BuffZone.com Writer</i>
For Josh Scott, there is not a lone memory of the Air Force Academy that stands out among the many images from his childhood. Instead, it is more of a collage of recollections.
<b>By Pat Rooney</b><p><p><i>BuffZone.com Writer</i>
During the frustrating moments after Colorado's 27-3 loss to Washington State on Saturday night, redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Apsay threw some criticism at his receivers and linemen.
<b>By Brian Howell</b><p><p><i>BuffZone.com Writer</i>
If and when Sefo Liufau gets back on the football field, he doesn't expect to be handed his starting job.
<b>By Brian Howell</b><p><p><i>BuffZone.com</i>