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2014-15 CU vs USC Basketball Preview #1 - Needing to Capitalize

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jan 4, 2015.

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    No Josh Scott, 16 allowed offensive rebounds, and as many turnovers (18) as made baskets. *If you would've handed me those facts before Friday night's tilt with UCLA, I would've told you there was no chance that CU would win. *Instead, thanks to a series of intense efforts inside the paint (and a little luck), Colorado made the plays necessary to grab a crucial 62-56 win over the Bruins in the conference opener. A welcome change of pace.
    [​IMG]
    A deservingly happy group of Buffaloes. *From: the BDC.
    So how, given the numerous second chances and turnovers afforded to the visitors, did the Buffs manage to come away with such a massive win? *It comes down to UCLA's three point shooting (abysmal), and CU's free throw rate (superb). *The Bruins were ice cold beyond the arc, only making 6-26 for the game. *It wasn't so much that Colorado's perimeter defense was that good (although Jaron Hopkins did a solid job on Bryce Alford - 0-9), the kids from Westwood were just blatantly missing open looks from the wing. *The performance struck me as more flukish than telling, but I'll certainly take it. *From the line, at least, it was all about Colorado getting their **** together, as crunch time attempt after crunch time attempt went down. *The Buffs were 21-25 on Friday, salting the game away to stave off frantic UCLA comeback attempts.

    The lack of Scott was made known about a half hour before the game. *Colorado's prized power forward was sidelined with back spasms, leaving the still-developing grouping of Wes Gordon, Dustin Thomas, and Tory Miller to go toe-to-toe with one of the better forward corps in the West. *The thing is, forced to dig deep, the trio answered the bell with a ferocious defense of the rim that really helped CU cover up the loss of Jelly. *Keyed by a career performance for Gordon, who finished three blocks shy of a triple-double with an 11/14/7 line, the Buffs more than held their own in the paint. *More importantly, they got their counterparts embroiled in foul trouble to open up the lane, keeping options open for the offense.
    [​IMG]
    Wes Gordon stepped up on defense in Scott's absence. *From: the BDC
    The three young forwards were helped by the energetic presence of Xavier Johnson. *The fiery Californian played significant minutes in the four-slot, showing a tenacity down the stretch that UCLA had no chance of countering. *The lefty would finish with 14/6 and three steals, but his contagious exuberance in the final minutes ended all doubt of a CU win.

    On the perimeter, the tandem of Askia Booker and Jaron Hopkins continued to develop, with both proving able to push the pace and break down the defense. *I'm really starting to like what I see from the pair, and the offense has a different timbre to it when both are on the court. *They combined for 27/9/5/4 against UCLA, and, while there were still mistakes, played well.
    [​IMG]
    Great win, Coach, but are you sure about that color of shirt when playing UCLA? *From: the BDC
    Overall, it wasn't a particularly pretty effort, but this program has made a lot of hay in recent years winning ugly. *As disappointing as the start to the year has been, if this is a sign of things to come, I'll happily take it. The conference campaign is all that matters now, and the team is off to a perfect 1-0 start. *So far, so good.

    --

    The focus now turns to the USC Trojans. *CU needs a win today to fully capitalize on Friday's victory over UCLA. Southern Cal is a youthful enigma, and should be beatable, especially at home, but I'm still not convinced that the Buffs are fully on the mend. *How they approach today's game will tell us all a lot.

    Tip-off from the CEC (now with beer!) is set for high noon today. *For those not able to make it up to Boulder, coverage can be found on Pac-12 Networks, with the radio call on 850 KOA.

    Click below for the preview...

    Read more »[​IMG]

    No Josh Scott, 16 allowed offensive rebounds, and as many turnovers (18) as made baskets. *If you would've handed me those facts before Friday night's tilt with UCLA, I would've told you there was no chance that CU would win. *Instead, thanks to a series of intense efforts inside the paint (and a little luck), Colorado made the plays necessary to grab a crucial 62-56 win over the Bruins in the conference opener. A welcome change of pace.
    [​IMG]
    A deservingly happy group of Buffaloes. *From: the BDC.
    So how, given the numerous second chances and turnovers afforded to the visitors, did the Buffs manage to come away with such a massive win? *It comes down to UCLA's three point shooting (abysmal), and CU's free throw rate (superb). *The Bruins were ice cold beyond the arc, only making 6-26 for the game. *It wasn't so much that Colorado's perimeter defense was that good (although Jaron Hopkins did a solid job on Bryce Alford - 0-9), the kids from Westwood were just blatantly missing open looks from the wing. *The performance struck me as more flukish than telling, but I'll certainly take it. *From the line, at least, it was all about Colorado getting their **** together, as crunch time attempt after crunch time attempt went down. *The Buffs were 21-25 on Friday, salting the game away to stave off frantic UCLA comeback attempts.

    The lack of Scott was made known about a half hour before the game. *Colorado's prized power forward was sidelined with back spasms, leaving the still-developing grouping of Wes Gordon, Dustin Thomas, and Tory Miller to go toe-to-toe with one of the better forward corps in the West. *The thing is, forced to dig deep, the trio answered the bell with a ferocious defense of the rim that really helped CU cover up the loss of Jelly. *Keyed by a career performance for Gordon, who finished three blocks shy of a triple-double with an 11/14/7 line, the Buffs more than held their own in the paint. *More importantly, they got their counterparts embroiled in foul trouble to open up the lane, keeping options open for the offense.
    [​IMG]
    Wes Gordon stepped up on defense in Scott's absence. *From: the BDC
    The three young forwards were helped by the energetic presence of Xavier Johnson. *The fiery Californian played significant minutes in the four-slot, showing a tenacity down the stretch that UCLA had no chance of countering. *The lefty would finish with 14/6 and three steals, but his contagious exuberance in the final minutes ended all doubt of a CU win.

    On the perimeter, the tandem of Askia Booker and Jaron Hopkins continued to develop, with both proving able to push the pace and break down the defense. *I'm really starting to like what I see from the pair, and the offense has a different timbre to it when both are on the court. *They combined for 27/9/5/4 against UCLA, and, while there were still mistakes, played well.
    [​IMG]
    Great win, Coach, but are you sure about that color of shirt when playing UCLA? *From: the BDC
    Overall, it wasn't a particularly pretty effort, but this program has made a lot of hay in recent years winning ugly. *As disappointing as the start to the year has been, if this is a sign of things to come, I'll happily take it. The conference campaign is all that matters now, and the team is off to a perfect 1-0 start. *So far, so good.

    --

    The focus now turns to the USC Trojans. *CU needs a win today to fully capitalize on Friday's victory over UCLA. Southern Cal is a youthful enigma, and should be beatable, especially at home, but I'm still not convinced that the Buffs are fully on the mend. *How they approach today's game will tell us all a lot.

    Tip-off from the CEC (now with beer!) is set for high noon today. *For those not able to make it up to Boulder, coverage can be found on Pac-12 Networks, with the radio call on 850 KOA.

    Click below for the preview...

    Read more »[​IMG]

    Originally posted by The Rumblings of a Deranged Buffalo
    Click here to view the article.
     

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