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bsn BSN: The devil is in the details for CU Buffs hoopsters

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

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    The Colorado Buffaloes have the All-American caliber big man, they own an explosive trio of wings, they can knock down three-pointers with ease, they start a menacing interior defender. What the Buffs don’t possess is consistency in their free throw box outs, reliability in their transition defense and strength in their ball screen defense.

    Three-point shots, dunks and fade away jumpers sure are nice but that’s not where a basketball game is won. Hoops games are won in the attention to detail and this is something the Buffs have struggled with mightily this year. It may be glamorous that they have a high-powered offense capable of putting up 90 plus points a night but it’s not reliable, and reliability is something Tad Boyle has preached to his team.

    “I think the league is better top to bottom than it’s ever been since we’ve been in it,” Boyle said. “The one thing that is true this year that is true every year is that the most consistent team in our conference is going to win our league. I look at Arizona and Oregon who night in and night out are pretty darn consistent.”

    Even the ever-consistent Josh Scott has struggled in CU’s two toughest games. Something that plays night in and night out is the small things. Colorado might not hit six or more three-pointers every night but they can attempt to bring the intensity needed to defend for a full 40 minutes. This is something they have yet to do this season.

    “I want to see improvement,” Boyle told. “We need to take care of the ball, we can’t have defensive let downs. We’re good in stretches but we need to be rock solid for 40 minutes defensively.”

    The most concerning part about the Buffs lack of ability to do the little things right regularly is that it has come against inferior opponents. Maybe this will change when the game’s intensity picks up in conference but, either way, it shows that this team has the aptitude to have a mental lapse.

    “I think we got everything figured out except for free throw box outs,” Boyle said after the Hampton game. “Free throw box outs we continue to give up offensive rebounds, we saw some of those where they are shooting a free throw we are on the inside and they get the rebound.”

    Each of Colorado’s two losses this season has come by a two possession margin which is a thin one in basketball. If there are more games where Colorado gets beat three times trying to pick up a defensive rebound off of a free throw miss that could be the difference.

    “Transition defense and free throw box outs,” Boyle responded to a question about areas where his team needs to improve. “Transition defense is something that doesn’t always meet the eye, we have to get back. You might give up a contested three or a 15-foot jump shot in transition that we hopefully get a hand up on, but we can’t give up open layups in transition, and against SMU we gave up two layups in transition. Especially when you go on the road when you play at a place like Cal, you give up layups in transition, they might be dunks, it gets the crowd into the game it gets them juiced up. We have to eliminate that.”

    As Ameican author Kurt Vonnegut said, “enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” That’s what the CU Buffs need to do in order to compete for a Pac-12 title, take pride in the small things. Enjoy contesting a mid-range jumper as much as slamming home a breakaway dunk, they need to play with the same intensity one does after hitting an open three-pointer as one does hustling back on defense after a missed three-pointer. The SMU and Iowa State games won’t be the last time Colorado plays a game tight, but the little things will decide whether they continue to come out on the losing end or not.

    Jake Shapiro
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