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Buff Basketball

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jan 16, 2015.

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    By Stuart


    [h=2]Buff Basketball[/h]–
    January 15th – at Arizona********** No. 10 Arizona 68, Colorado 54
    Askia Booker became the first Buff since Alec Burks in 2011 to score 30 points in a game, but it was not enough, as Colorado fell on the road to No. 10 Arizona, 68-54. Booker posted 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting (6-of-9 on three-pointers), and had*18 of CU’s 25 first half points. Booker, though, received little from his supporting cast, with no other Buff in double figures.
    Playing without CU’s other two double-figure scorers Josh Scott (back) and Xavier Johnson (ankle), the depleted Buffs played with heart, but it was not enough to overcome the talented Wildcats. The scoring column was one thing, but the loss of Scott and Johnson also hurt the Buffs on the boards, with Arizona holding a rebounding advantage of 41-26, with the Wildcats pulling down a*game-changing 13 offensive rebounds.
    “I’m really happy with the way we battled”, said Tad Boyle. “I thought our competiveness and our competitive spirit was great tonight, but again, we expect that and that shouldn’t be something we pat ourselves on the back for but it was much better than at Utah. As long as your players are giving you that kind of effort, as a coach there are things we have to do better and the name of this game was rebounding. We’re not making any excuses for anything. It doesn’t matter who is suiting up for Colorado, we expect to win, we expect to come in here and battle and compete. That’s what we’re concerned with. Whether we are short-handed or not, we got beat tonight by a good team and we got really beat on the boards badly”.
    Game Notes …
    -*The last 30-point scorer for Colorado was Alec Burks, who had 33 against Texas on February 26, 2011;
    - Arizona now leads the all-time series between the two teams, 12-11, having won the last five games played;
    - CU started one senior (Booker) and four sophomores (Thomas, Gordon, Fletcher, Hopkins);
    - Buffs have now been out-rebounded in three straight games. First time for that since the Pac-12 tournament last March;
    - Booker set career highs for points (30), field goals (11) and three-pointers (6);
    - CU falls to 5-12 under Tad Boyle in games against Top Ten opponents (all five wins coming at home).

    Game recap … Askia Booker against the world.
    Well, Askia Booker against the No. 10 team in the nation.
    Without Xavier Johnson (ankle) or Josh Scott (back) in the lineup,*the outlook for the Buffs against the No. 10 team in the nation looked bleak. So the sole remaining double digit scorer in the lineup, Askia Booker, took it upon himself to take on the Wildcats.
    And … for awhile … it worked. Six minutes into the game, it was Askia Booker 7, Arizona Wildcats 4, with a Wesley Gordon jumper thrown in to make it an unlikely 9-4 lead for the Buffs. A few minutes later, though, a sequence of plays unfolded which would be the story of the night. With the Buffs leading 9-7, the Wildcats missed a jumper, but got the offensive rebound. This was followed by a missed layup … and another offensive rebound. This, in turn, was followed by a missed jumper … and another offensive rebound. This time, Tory Miller fouled Stanley Johnson, with Johnson posting two free throws to tie the game. At the under 12 minute media break Arizona had more offensive rebounds (5) than Colorado had in total rebounds (4).
    By the time CU scored again – on a Booker three-pointer – the Wildcats had turned a 9-4 deficit into a 15-9 lead. Arizona tried to pull away, pushing the lead out to 20-14, but Askia Booker hit another three-pointer, cutting the Arizona lead in half … and giving Booker 13 of CU’s 17 points. A few minutes later, Wesley Gordon was at the free throw line, with the chance to tie the game at 23-all, but he missed the second opportunity, leaving it a one-point game, at 23-22, with five minutes remaining before halftime.
    From then on, it was (almost) all Arizona. The Wildcats went on a 12-0 run, with the Buffs posting four turnovers and four fouls. Only with a three-pointer with eight seconds before the break by – who else? – Askia Booker kept the game within shouting distance for the Buffs.
    Halftime score: No. 10 Arizona 35, Colorado 25
    At the break, Askia Booker had 18 of Colorado’s 25 points, with no other Buff with more than three points in the scoring column. With more attention being paid to Booker, Jaron Hopkins finally got into the act, scoring six of CU’s first nine points of the second half (with Booker scoring the other three, of course). It was not enough to put a dent into the Arizona lead, however, as the Wildcats took a 44-34 lead into the first media timeout.
    A jumper and a pair of free throws by Booker brought the Buffs to within six points, at 44-38, with 13:30 to play, giving the Buff Nation just a glimmer of hope of a massive upset. A three-pointer by the Wildcats, however, pushed the lead back out to nine, at 47-38. A* Dustin Thomas layup and a Jaron Hopkins dunk then gave the sellout crowd at the McKale Center something to think about. Timeout, Arizona, with 11:29 to play and the Wildcats only up by five, at 47-42.
    The fairy tale ending hoped for by the Buffs, though, then faded once again into the distance. A pair of three-pointers by Arizona quickly pushed the lead back into double digits, at 53-42. Another Wildcat layup and a pair of free throws restored order for the No. 10 team in the nation, giving Arizona a 57-44 advantage at the under eight media break.
    Askia Booker continued on his torrid pace, hitting another jumper and another three-pointer to give him 30 points on the night. Now, however, the Buffs were running out of time to post a comeback, with Arizona matching Booker on the scoreboard, taking a 61-49 lead into the final television timeout.
    After a pair of free throws and a three-pointer were posted by the Wildcats, the Arizona fans had the rout they were looking for, with the Wildcats now up 66-49 with two minutes to play. Tory Miller hit a pair of free throws to stop the bleeding, with Tre’Shaun Fletcher hitting a three-pointer to make the final score just a little more palatable.
    Final score: No. 10 Arizona 68, Colorado 54


    … CU in the Arena …
    Buffs to play short-handed against No. 10 Arizona
    Tweet from Andy Katz at ESPN … From our CU-AZ game crew: “Xavier Johnson out with high ankle sprain suffered Jan 7 at Utah. Josh Scott is tentative due to back spasms.”
    UPDATE … both Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott have been ruled out for tonight’s game against Arizona …

    From the game preview at*cubuffs.com … Colorado actually matches up fairly well defensively with the Wildcats — their half-court offense has frequently been inert under head coach Sean Miller, and this year is no different.
    “As long as we clog the lane, don’t give them anything easy at the basket, make them take a lot of 17-to-20-foot jump shots we’ll be just fine,” Buffs guard Askia Booker said.
    But that is not how Colorado will beat this team — the Wildcats are once again winning with frenetic, aggressive defense, the hallmark of Miller’s Arizona teams. They are second in the Pac-12 in points allowed per game and third in field goal percentage defense through an admittedly small three-game sample size.
    Buff fans are all too familiar with that athletic aggression. Arizona killed CU last year by trapping ball screens — ball-handler, roll man, didn’t matter. The Buffs struggled to react to double teams and were consistently unable to pass to the open man when the traps came; they committed 34 turnovers and dished out just 11 assists in their three games against the Wildcats.
    Those turnovers have been especially damaging this season. Boyle methodically ticked off the stats: Colorado is third in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage, first in three-point percentage and fifth in free-throw shooting, but it is seventh in scoring, seventh in assists and 11th in turnovers.
    “The turnovers, really, are passing,” Boyle said. “We work on it in practice. I don’t know, we’re trying. Watch film, practice, put drills in, but not very successful so far.”
    Arizona’s defense isn’t the soul-crushing vise that it was last year — the Wildcats clearly miss Aaron Gordon and his seven-foot wingspan — but it will still be nigh-impermeable against CU’s stagnant half-court offense. Booker offered a single word when asked where the Buffs will find points Thursday night: “transition.”
    “When you can get stops and you can get up the floor, it doesn’t matter how much length you have,” Booker continued. “And you can’t trap ball screens in transition.”
    CU should get good transition looks against Arizona. Its half-court offense, like the Buffs’, is often sluggish. The Wildcats are third in the Pac-12 in turnovers, but they’re ninth in assists and they don’t shoot threes or rebound well. If Colorado wins on the boards, makes smart outlet passes and runs like hell it could stay with Arizona. But those are big ifs with Scott and Johnson in the lineup. Without one, or potentially both, of them, out-rebounding the Wildcats is less likely.
    ——

    January 14th
    … CU in the Arena …
    CU women post first Pac-12 win with overtime thriller over Utah
    From cubuffs.com … The Colorado women’s basketball team had never opened conference play – any conference play – with five consecutive losses. It required an extra 5 minutes and stellar free throw shooting, but the resilient Buffs avoided that historical blemish with a 77-72 overtime escape against Utah Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.
    CU (8-8, 1-4) broke a five-game losing streak and earned its first Pac-12 Conference win of 2015. *“We worked hard for this and we deserve it,” senior Jen Reese said. “We should be very proud of it and we are.”
    “It feels good to get that one,” added Buffs coach Linda Lappe. “I liked how our team came out tonight.”
    That would be bold and aggressive, but the Utes (6-10, 0-5) didn’t rattle or roll over. Rallying from an eight-point second-half deficit to tie the score at 63-63 with 1:23 to play, they forced the Buffs into their fourth overtime this season – the most in program history. CU is 3-1 in those games.
    The Utes held a 41-32 rebound advantage and outscored the Buffs 42-16 in the paint. But in OT, CU showed the same determination it discovered in a Sunday loss to UCLA and didn’t roll.
    Two minutes into the extra period, freshman Joeseta Fatuesi hit a 3-pointer for Utah’s first lead – 68-67 – since 9-7. The teams traded one-point leads until Reese, Lexy Kresl, Jasmine Sborov and Haley Smith hit eight of 10 free throws in the final 1:33 to seal CU’s win.
    “We were comfortable going into overtime – we’ve been in a lot of them — although we could have won it in regulation,” Lappe said. “But we enough plays down the stretch (in OT).”
    Making those plays led to Utes fouls and to Buffs free throws. CU made 31 of 40 attempts for the night, but went 10-of-13 in the overtime. Smith was perfect in the extra period – 4-for-4 – and for the night – 11-for-11. Kresl canned 11 of her 16 foul shot tries and finished with a season-high 26 points.


    Former Buff great Jim Davis elected to Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor
    From the Pac-12 … A three-year letterman under the legendary Sox Walseth, Jim Davis was a two-time first-team All-Big 8 honoree in his career with the Buffs. He scored 1,110 career points, which still ranks 25th on CU’s all-time list, averaging 14.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game with a .489 shooting percentage. Davis led the Buffs to a 53-24 record in his three years in Boulder, winning two Big 8 titles and earning two berths to the NCAA Tournament. He is also one of the few players in school history to average a double-double for two-consecutive seasons, with 13.8 points and 12.7 rebounds per game as a junior followed by 18.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in his senior season. At the time of his graduation, Davis was CU’s all-time leading rebounder and third all-time scorer. Davis was a fourth-round selection by the Detroit Pistons in the 1964 NBA Draft, and eventually signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Hawks in 1967. He played eight seasons in all, scoring a total of 3,997 points in his career.
    —–

    January 13th
    … CU in the Arena …
    Colorado*at No.*10 Arizona*… Thursday, 7:00 p.m.,, MT (ESPN) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197
    Wildcats’ 2014-15*Record: 14-2, 2-1 in Pac-12 play
    Coach: Sean Miller, 143-50, sixth season at Arizona
    Series: The all-time series is tied at 11 games apiece. Arizona has won the last four games played between the two teams, including games played in the past two Pac-12 conference tournaments. The last win for CU was the home conference game in the 2012-13 season. CU is 2-5 all-time in games played at Arizona.
    Arizona’s record*last season: 33-5 overall; 15-3 in Pac-12 play (1st); the Wildcats made it into the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA tournament
    Players to watch … Freshman Stanley Johnson leads the Wildcats in scoring (13.9 ppg.) and rebounding (6.6), though sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is right behind Johnson (11.6 ppg.; 6.5 rpg.) in both categories. The two 6’7″ forwards present matchup problems for most teams, and that will be the case for Colorado as well. Despite the low-scoring loss to Oregon State (58-56) last Sunday, head coach Sean Miller was critical of the Wildcats’ defense, not the offense. “If we would have been able to get any kind of stops, we would have been able to open up a four-, six-, eight-point lead,” Miller said. “Our offense in the second half was plenty good enough.”
    Arizona*so far in 2014-15 … When the preseason magazines came out this past fall, there was some speculation – not unwarranted – that Arizona might run through the Pac-12 conference season undefeated. The Wildcats were an almost unanimous pick by the media writers to win the conference (one writer picked UCLA), and Arizona opened the season as the No. 2 team in the nation. The Wildcats ran out to a 12-0 record, including wins over No. 9 Gonzaga and No. 15 San Diego State, as well as Missouri, Kansas State, and Michigan. Then Arizona hit a bump in the road, falling to UNLV in the final preseason game, 71-67, to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten.
    In conference play, Arizona opened with a dominant 73-49 win over rival Arizona State before hitting the Oregon trail. The Wildcats had little trouble dispatching Oregon (80-62), but then were surprised by Oregon State, 58-56, on Sunday. The second loss in four games dropped Arizona to No. 10 in the latest poll, the lowest ranking for the Wildcats since the final regular season poll of the 2012-13 season. This week marks 29 straight weeks in which Arizona has been ranked in the Associated Press top ten.
    CU Notes of Note … Both Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson are “day-to-day” for Thursday’s game.* “There’s a chance” they’ll play, according to Tad Boyle*… The Buffs have had few games where they have played like a complete team, and injuries to stars Josh Scott (back) and Xavier Johnson (ankle) the past few weeks haven’t made things any easier. Colorado will have had a layoff of eight days before tipping off in Tucson on Thursday night, with Arizona having played twice since the Buffs limped off the court in Salt Lake City last Wednesday. Even if fully healthy, the Buffs, as they have played so far this season, would be heavy underdogs against the Wildcats in the McKale Center. With two of their stars hurting*… it could be another long night for the Buff Nation to endure.
    —–

    January 11th
    … CU in the Arena …
    Utah the highest ranked Pac-12 team, with Arizona falling to No. 10; Wyoming enters poll at No. 25
    From ESPN
    1Kentucky (63)15-01,623
    2Virginia (2)15-01,561
    3Gonzaga16-11,446
    4Duke14-11,432
    5Villanova15-11,358
    6Louisville14-21,264
    7Wisconsin15-21,200
    8Utah13-21,185
    9Kansas13-21,100
    10Arizona14-21,037
    11Iowa State12-2922
    12Notre Dame15-2903
    13Wichita St14-2832
    14Maryland15-2801
    15North Carolina12-4719
    16West Virginia14-2627
    17Virginia Commonwealth13-3578
    18Oklahoma11-4485
    19Arkansas13-2431
    20Texas12-4345
    21Seton Hall13-3298
    22Baylor12-3278
    23Northern Iowa14-2212
    24Oklahoma St12-3132
    25Wyoming15-271

    • Others receiving votes: Ohio State 70, Michigan St 67, Dayton 55, Providence 17, Indiana 15, LSU 12, St. John’s 10, Georgetown 7, Alabama 7, NC State 6, Syracuse 3, Green Bay 3, TCU 2, San Diego St 2, Butler 2, Oregon 2, SMU 1, Davidson 1, Hofstra 1, Colorado St 1, Old Dominion 1

    • Dropped from rankings: Ohio State 22, St. John’s 24, Old Dominion 25




    Oregon State shocks No. 7 Arizona
    From ESPN … After losing several key members from last year’s squad, holding an open tryout this fall and dropping an exhibition game to Division II Western Oregon, expectations for Oregon State this season were low.
    That all changed Sunday night, when Langston Morris-Walker made a go-ahead lay-in with 26 seconds left, lifting Oregon State over No. 7 Arizona 58-56 on Sunday night for its first win over a top-10 team since 2000.
    “We weren’t supposed to be anything,” Morris-Walker said.
    Arizona’s T.J. McConnell missed an off-balance shot with 1 second left, and Oregon State fans rushed the court at Gill Coliseum.
    Morris-Walker had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Gary Payton II had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Beavers (11-4, 2-1 Pac-12).
    McConnell had 13 points and six assists, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points for the Wildcats (14-2, 2-1), the third top-ranked team to lose Sunday. No. 2 Duke lost to N.C. State and fourth-ranked Wisconsin was defeated by Rutgers.
    “In our circle, we knew what we were capable of, so this doesn’t come as a surprise for us,” Morris-Walker said.
    McConnell had 13 points and six assists and Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points for the Wildcats.
    A gritty, defensive matchup, there were 20 lead changes and 15 ties. Neither team held more than a four-point lead.
    —-

    CU women’s rally falls short against UCLA
    From cubuffs.com … For about 30 minutes of Colorado’s Sunday afternoon game against UCLA, Jen Reese was unstoppable. Her game was predictable, yet inevitable — cut, catch, turn, fire, swish, repeat.
    Her career-high 30 points were almost enough to pull off the Buffs’ biggest comeback since 1982. Almost. Colorado fought back from 21 points down, but it couldn’t overcome an early rash of turnovers and poor shooting. The Buffs turned a laugher into a thriller into a heartbreaker and fell 90-84 to the Bruins at the Coors Events Center.
    Nonetheless, CU coach Linda Lappe called the game “probably the best we’ve played – at least the last 30 minutes – all year long . . . I’m proud of how we competed and attacked, proud of how hard we worked. We took a good step in the right direction.”
    UCLA shot 50 percent from the field, 53.8 from 3-point range (7-of-13), and had an impressive six players in double figures, led by Kari Korver’s 17 points. CU’s accuracy was even better, shooting 57.9 percent (33-of-57) from the field, including 60.8 percent in the second half.
    But neither the Buffs’ marksmanship nor Reese’s individual heroics was enough. They lost their fifth consecutive game, their seventh in the past eight, and dropped to 0-4 in Pac-12 Conference play (7-8 overall).
    The Buffs opened the game like the shellshocked team that committed 21 turnovers in an 81-61 loss to USC on Friday. They turned the ball over five times in Sunday’s first 10 minutes and UCLA (7-9, 3-2) made them pay in transition; the Bruins turned those easy looks into 14 fast-break points and they made eight of their first 11 shots.
    UCLA opened with a full-court press and it denied CU good looks; the Buffs hit just two of their first eight shots and went more than 4 minutes without scoring. The Bruins, meanwhile, used that drought to build their lead as large as 21 points.
    Slowly, though, the Buffs crept back in. A three-guard lineup that featured Lexy Kresl, Jasmine Sborov and Alina Hartmann helped grease Colorado’s ball movement, as the Buffs hit eight of their final 12 shots with six of those makes coming off of assists. They got Jen Reese open looks along the baseline; they got Kresl open above the break, where she hit four threes; and Haley Smith feasted on jumpers from the free-throw line when the Bruins focused on her teammates.
    “They zoned a lot, but a lot of times I think they kind of get lost in the zone,” Smith said. “And then they would lose our shooters on the wings and stuff. I definitely think there were some great holes that we were able to take advantage of.”
    Most of the Buffs’ best looks were midrange jumpers; Reese and Smith picked UCLA’s 2-3 zone apart by cutting to open spaces. Reese was all but automatic, hitting from the baseline, the elbow, the wing, from everywhere.
    “It’s a lot about moving without the ball and trying to find the open gaps,” Reese said. “I feel that as a team we did that, and people with the ball were finding the open players and those players were able to knock the shots down.”
    The Buffs’ first half was remarkably efficient given their poor start — they shot 50 percent and trailed by just nine points at halftime. CU carried its hot streak through the break, and the Bruins cooled off; the Buffs cut UCLA’s lead to five points less than 2 minutes into the second half.
    Reese tied the game 5 minutes into the second when she cut backdoor and dropped in a layup off of a feed from Jamee Swan. Lauren Huggins gave Colorado its first lead less than a minute later. She leaked through the Bruins’ full-court pressure and buried a 3-poinnter from the right wing.
    From there, the teams went back-and-forth; UCLA finally pulled ahead through persistence on the offensive glass — the Buffs won the rebounding battle by one (30-29) but still allowed 13 offensive boards.
    “We probably needed two more defensive rebounds to be able to win today,” Lappe said.
    The Buffs’ chances effectively ended with 16 seconds left, when Swan crashed into the Bruins’ defense on the fast break. She hit a layup and thought she had an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-point play, but Swan was whistling for charging. UCLA had the lead, the momentum and the ball.
    ——

    January 9th
    … CU in the Arena …
    CU women blown out at home by USC
    From cubuffs.com … If the Colorado women’s basketball team was counting on the rigors of the road rattling Southern California, it didn’t happen. Leaving LA for the first time in a month – or in eight games – the Trojans made themselves at home Friday night in the Coors Events Center, but with lots of unwarranted hospitality from the Buffaloes.
    Getting 22 points from 21 CU turnovers, USC rolled to an 81-61 Pac-12 Conference win.
    The Buffs committed 11 of their turnovers in the first half, digging themselves an early hole with a very narrow escape route. CU (7-7, 0-3) never found it, losing its fourth consecutive game and its sixth of the past seven. The Buffs trailed by as many as 19 points late in the first half and were never able to pull closer than 9 points in the second half.
    Entering Friday night, the Trojans (10-5, 2-2) had lost three of their past four games, including a split with the Oregon schools in the Pac-12’s opening weekend.
    “I thought we did some really good things,” CU coach Linda Lappe said, “but we didn’t start off well (and) it didn’t seem like we could ever catch up . . . but give USC credit; they came in here with a lot of confidence and played hard.”
    Lappe said her team, which faces UCLA on Sunday at the CEC (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network), “just has to regroup and keep getting better, come to work every day . . . I feel like we have gotten better but if you look at one stat, it’s the turnovers.
    ——

    January 7th – Salt Lake City********* No. 9 Utah 74,*Colorado 49
    Utah, three days after taking out the purported No. 4 team in the Pac-12, UCLA, by a lopsided score of 71-39, the No. 9 Utah Utes laid the wood to the purported No. 3 team in the Pac-12, Colorado, by an equally dominant score of 74-49.
    The Buffs stayed with the Utes for the first ten minutes of the game, but a 15-0 run by the Utes after Buff Xavier Johnson went down with an ankle injury ended any doubts about the final outcome. Askia Booker and Jaron Hopkins each had 12 points for the Buffs, but CU’s front court was non-existent. Xavier Johnson didn’t score before he left the game, with Josh Scott returning with a three point game (all from the line), going 0-3 from the field and three rebounds.
    “Every time our offense struggles, every time, you look at that assist number and it’s in single digits”, said Tad Boyle. “Tonight, we had five assists, we don’t move the ball, we don’t share the ball, we don’t make plays for each other. You’ve got to give Utah credit, they’re a good defensive team, we played a top 10 team on the road. I told our players, they came to Colorado to get an education; we got an education tonight about what a top 10 team looks like. They’re taking charges, they’re making open threes. We go 12-for-21 at the free throw line on the road against a top 10 team, you can’t do that. We didn’t do anything good enough tonight to even be in the game, much less win the game. We have to understand that, we have to do better”.
    On Xavier Johnson’s ankle injury …*“He twisted his ankle pretty good, and it’s higher, it’s not in the joint it’s higher up”, said Boyle. “High ankle sprains are pretty nasty and we’ll get a better feel for that as it progresses. They’re very painful and they take a little longer than just the normal ankle sprain. We have enough guys on this team to overcome but we would certainly like to get him back as soon as possible”.

    Game Notes*…
    - *Buffs fall to 0-4 in true road games
    - Colorado now 5-11 vs. top ten teams under Tad Boyle
    - The loss reduced CU’s advantage against Utah in Pac-12 play to 5-3, with all three losses coming in Salt Lake City;
    - Buffs turned the ball over 18 times, tying a season-high;
    - With two blocks, Josh Scott moved into a tie with Shaun Vandiver for 10th place on the CU all-time list, with 90 career blocks
    Up next … The Buffs have a week to heal, with the next game coming next Thursday, January 15th. Colorado will travel to Tucson to take on No. 3 Arizona (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN)

    Game Recap …
    Colorado faced an uphill climb taking on*No. 9 Utah.
    The Buffs have not played consistently all season, were just getting Josh Scott back, and were facing a 43-year-long losing streak against top ten teams on the road.
    Tough enough of a challenge … and that was before*Xavier Johnson was hurt.
    Colorado stayed with Utah for the first ten minutes of the game, leading for most of it. At the ten minute mark, the Buffs held a 15-14 lead … then, Xavier Johnson hurt his ankle, needing assistance to leave the court.
    The second ten minutes of the first half, it was all Utah. Over the next eight minutes, the Utes out-scored the Buffs 15-0. Colorado missed four shots from the field, missed four straight free throws, committed five fouls, and turned the ball over six times.
    By the time Dominique Collier made a free throw at the 2:05 mark, it was 29-15.
    Game over.
    A 6-0 run by the Buffs, including CU’s first three-pointer of the game (by Xavier Talton), made it 29-21, with Utah posting a pair of free throws to take a ten-point lead at the break.
    Halftime Score: No. 9 Utah 31, Colorado 21
    Any chance of a Buff comeback in the second half was snuffed quickly after the break. The Buffs made a few baskets, but back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by the Utes, and a 33-25 game became a 42-27 game by the time the Buffs limped back to their bench for the first media timeout.
    After the break, the game, already a guaranteed Utah win, became a blowout. A dunk and a three-point play by Ute star Delon Wright, followed by a three-pointer and a jumper from another Ute star, Brandon Taylor, and it was 54-31 with 12 agonizing minutes still left to play.
    How bad was it? Out of the time out, someone named Dakarai Tucker went on a personal 5-0 run against the Buffs, pushing the lead to 59-31. Meanwhile, Askia Booker’s box score added a turnover, a missed layup and a missed jumper. Tre’Shaun Fletcher made a three-pointer, and Jaron Hopkins posted a jumper, but it was far too little, far too late, with CU still under 40 points at the under eight break, 59-36.
    By the time the clock got to the five minute mark, Colorado had as many missed free throws (8-of-16) as Utah had made three-pointers (8-of-20), and it was a 29-point lead for the Utes, at 67-38. After a pair of Wesley Gordon turnovers, the Utes had another three-pointer and a 73-38 lead.
    An Askia Booker layup gave him ten points, and the Buffs 40 points, but CU still trailed by 33 points with three minutes remaining. Colorado finished the game with a 9-1 run, making it … only … a 25-point defeat.
    Final Score: No. 9 Utah 74, Colorado 49

    —-
    Buffs hoping for a “quiet storm” in Salt Lake City
    From cubuffs.com … The roar of the home crowd revs up Tory Miller. But weighed against silencing a crowd on the road, well, in Miller’s estimation it’s no contest, a clear no-brainer. He’ll take that experience every time.
    “I love home but I also love the road trips,” Miller said the other day after he and his Colorado teammates had wrapped up weight work and a short practice.
    “(The road) is a different environment,” he continued. “It’s one thing to hear the crowd screaming for you, it’s another to make a crowd quiet. That’s always a good feeling. Everything is going crazy then you hear the silence. Yeah, I actually like that a lot more.”
    Truth is, CU’s blossoming 6-9 freshman forward doesn’t have that much road experience. He and his Buffalo buds haven’t yet hit the mute button on many crowds outside the Coors Events Center.
    But their time, their opportunity, is coming. Fast.
    The Buffs visit No. 9 Utah Wednesday (7:05 p.m., ESPN2), providing Miller with his first Pac-12 Conference road experience. Attendance thus far in the Jon M. Huntsman Center has averaged 10,758, but the building seats 15,000 and CU coach Tad Boyle wouldn’t be surprised if 14,000 seats are filled.
    If the Buffs can silence that crowd, you can consider this trip to the other side of the Rockies a resounding success.
    No way around it, the Utes are rolling. Like the Buffs, they went 2-0 in their first weekend of Pac-12 play. Somewhat unlike the Buffs, they didn’t dally with their common opponents. While CU (9-5) was dispatching UCLA 62-56 and USC 86-65, Utah (12-2) was destroying both, clubbing the Bruins 71-39 and the Trojans 79-55.
    Continuing reading the story here

    Utes looking to stay “humble and hungry” as Buffs come to town (tonight, 7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2)
    From the Deseret News … At 12-2 overall and 2-0 in Pac-12 play, the ninth-ranked Utah Utes are obviously in a good place. They’ve won 10 straight games in the Huntsman Center and five consecutive contests overall.
    “We’re happy to be where we are,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “There’s no doubt.”
    However, that’s not to say that the Utes are completely satisfied — far from it as a matter of fact as Wednesday’s home game with Colorado (7 p.m., ESPN2) approaches.
    After Sunday’s 71-39 win over UCLA, Krystkowiak reminded his team of something he’s been saying — although it’s skewed the other way — ever since he took over the program in 2011-12.
    “You’re never as good as you think you are in a lot of situations in life and you’re never as bad as you think you are,” said Krystkowiak, who explained that it’s important for the Utes to be consistent in their effort and avoid the ebb and flow — stay the course despite off-the-chart highs.
    “We’ve still got a lot of work to do and things to improve on,” Krystkowiak said. “So we can enjoy it and it’s a humble and hungry situation. That’s an UnderArmour term that I picked up, just remain humble and hungry through the whole process and hopefully some good things will happen.”
    Plenty of positives are already developing. The Utes had 11 players score against UCLA.
    “It continues to show how deep our team is and that we’re going to need every single guy to step in and every guy can bring something different,” said junior forward Jordan Loveridge.
    Delon Wright led the Utes with 11 points in the win over the Bruins. Loveridge contributed 10 with the rest of the squad adding nine, eight, seven, six (two guys), five, four, three and two points, respectively.
    “I think it speaks volumes. Nobody’s really out here trying to dazzle the world,” Krystkowiak said of the mass contributions. “I don’t think anybody on our team cares who it is who leads us in scoring.
    “We’re making extra passes and it’s a fun way to play. When you’re engaged on defense and you’re playing together on offense it’s a fun formula,” he added.
    —–

    January 6th
    … CU in the Arena …
    Josh Scott expected to play against Utah
    Brian Howell from the Daily Camera has tweeted “Josh Scott feeling much better today. After missing two games, he’s expected to play against No. 9 Utah on Wednesday night”.

    Colorado*at No. 9 Utah*… Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.,, MT (ESPN2) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 108; XM 197
    Utes’ 2014-15*Record: 12-2, 2-0 in Pac-12 play
    Coach: Larry Krystkowiak, 4th year; 54-57
    Series: Colorado leads the all-time series against Utah, 25-17, though*the Buffs have just an 8-12 record in games played in Salt Lake City. Since the inception of the Pac-12,*Colorado holds a 5-2 edge, with both losses coming the last two times the Buffs have ventured into the Huntsman Center. Last season, the teams split, with each team defending their home court.
    Utah’s record*last season: 21-12; 9-9 in Pac-12 play (tied-8th). Despite a 21-win season, the Utes did not earn an invitation to the NCAA tournament (largely due to a soft non-conference schedule). Utah was bounced by St. Mary’s in the first round of the NIT … The Utes are looking for their first NCAA bid since 2009.
    Players to watch … Buff fans are excited about the return of Josh Scott to the lineup, but Ute fans are equally excited about the return of forward Jordan Loveridge to their lineup. The projected star of the Utes, Loveridge missed most of the past month with injuries … but the Utes dominated their competition without him. Senior guard Delon Wright has picked up the slack, leading the team with 15.0 points per game. Wright also leads the team in assists (5.6 per game) and is second in rebounds. Wright is the brother of*Dorrell Wright, who presently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.
    Utah so far in 2014-15 … When the Pac-12 preseason media poll came out, Arizona was the over-whelming favorite to win the conference. Closely bunched at 2-3-4 in the poll were Utah, Colorado and UCLA. While the Buffs and Bruins have been a disappointment so far this season, the Utes have exceeded expectations. Even without Jordan Loveridge in the lineup, Utah racked up impressive wins and only a pair of close defeats. Utah is 12-2, ranked No. 9 in the nation, with the only losses coming on the road against No. 16 San Diego State (53-49) and No. 10 Kansas (63-60). Meanwhile, the Utes have posted wins over teams like No. 8 Wichita State and UNLV (the only team to date to take down Arizona). Colorado fans were excited last weekend when the Buffs picked up their first-ever Pac-12 win over UCLA, but two days later, the Utes mauled the Bruins, 71-39, taking a 32-15 halftime lead and never looking back.
    CU Notes of Note … The Utah game will be the first for Colorado this season against a ranked team … The Buffs are 0-3 in true road games so far in 2014-15 … Colorado under Tad Boyle is a more-than-respectable 5-10 against Top ten teams, but all five of those wins have come at the Coors Events Center … The last time Colorado defeated a Top Ten team on the road? Try January 15, 1973 (over Missouri) – that’s 42 years ago, folks … Easy math: When Colorado has a better shooting percentage than its opponent, the Buffs are 9-0. When the opposition shoots better, the Buffs are 0-5 … Wesley Gordon’s seven blocks against USC were the most by any Buff since Andre Roberson had seven against Oregon two seasons ago … Dustin Thomas’ 17 points were the most-ever by any of CU’s five sophomores in a season-and-a-half of action.
    —–

    January 5th
    … CU in the Arena …
    CU women fall to 0-2 in Pac-12 play after Cal completes Bay area sweep
    From cubuffs.com … California’s inside game was too much to handle as the Golden Bears defeated Colorado 75-59 in a Pac-12 Conference game Monday evening at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
    California scored 52 points inside the paint, mostly to the benefit of leading scorer Rashanda Gray who had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
    Jamee Swan led Colorado with 21 points and five rebounds. Jen Reese pitched in 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds.
    The Golden Bears also took advantage of 23 Colorado turnovers, accounting for 21 points.
    Cal’s Brittany Boyd had 19 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals and six assists.
    California continually pounded the ball inside to the 6-foot, 3-inch Gray, and despite her low field goal numbers – she made just 4-of-12 from the field – it was effective as she continually made it to the foul line, hitting 9-of-16.
    When Colorado could get stops, they struggled to score. The Buffaloes shot just 37 percent and fell victim to California’s ability to run off a defensive rebound, resulting in 20 fast break points. Boyd controlled that tempo as she was just three steals and four assists shy of a quadruple double.
    “(Especially in the second half) they pounded it inside and we didn’t have an answer,” CU coach Linda Lappe said. “We didn’t have an answer down low; we didn’t have an answer for their layups in transition. We’ll regroup and get back into it.”
    …. Colorado returns home for a weekend series with the Los Angeles schools. The Buffaloes will host USC on Friday, Jan 9, at 8 p.m. On Sunday CU will host UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 2 p.m. Both games will air live on the Pac-12 Networks ….
    ——

    January 4th – Boulder********** Colorado 86, USC 65
    Colorado played without Josh Scott, but didn’t need him, leading from start to finish in an 86-65 blowout of USC. The Buffs had a season-high 22 assists for the game, double their season average. The Buffs used a 14-0 run in the first half to race out to a 43-27 lead and never looked back.
    Dustin Thomas went for a career-best 17 points, going three-for-three from three-point range (having been 1-for-7 for the season coming into the game, and 7-for-40 in his career). Thomas, 11-for-17 from the line before the USC, went 4-for-4, contributing a season-high three steals as well. Askia Booker had 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers and a game-high seven assists, with Xavier Johnson contributing 17 points, on 7-of-10 shooting.
    “We did what we had to do”, said Tad Boyle. “Offensively, we hit our numbers. We shot the ball well, our assist-turnover ratio was great and it’s amazing when that happens how the percentages move in your favor. Defensively I thought we softened up a bit in the second half, but we did guard the three-point line well. To hold them to 4-for-20 from three was a key because it was a concern of ours coming into the game. They have capable three-point shooters especially if they get hot, but we never let them get hot. It was a good win with some good individual efforts and certainly was a good team victory.”
    The Buffs finally looked like the Buffs of 2013-14 (before the injury to Dinwiddie), but will need to keep up the intensity, with CU’s next two games coming against top ten opponents (Utah, on Wednesday; Arizona, on Thursday, January 15th), with both games on the road.

    Game Notes …
    - Josh Scott missed his second game in a row (back spasms) and fourth of his career (CU is 4-0 in those games). Scott is listed as “day-to-day” for the game against Utah on Wednesday (7:00 p.m., MT, ESPN2).
    - Colorado moved its all-time record against USC to 8-3 overall, 6-0 as a member of the Pac-12 conference.
    - The Buffs had eight steals in the first half, a season-best, and ten for the game, also a season-best.
    - Season-highs in both field goals made (32) and assists (22).
    - Dustin Thomas had a career-high 17 points (previous high 13 vs. Jackson State in 2013) … Made three three-pointers, also a career-high (never more than one before) … Three steals was also a career-high … Most points by any of CU’s acclaimed sophomore class in any game.
    - Jaron Hopkins had a career-high*four steals (previous high was three, ironically enough against USC last season).
    - Freshman Tory Miller had career highs in points (six) and blocks (two).

    Game Recap …
    Colorado opened its second straight game without Josh Scott in the lineup with a 6-0 run against USC. A Xavier Johnson layup, followed by an Askia Booker jumper and a pair of free throws gave the Buffs a lead they would never relinquish. The Trojans went on a 6-2 run of their own, cutting the lead to 8-6, with the team jostling for much of the early part of the first half. A Xavier Johnson dunk, a Dustin Thomas jumper, a three-pointer from Tre’Shaun Fletcher and a Tory Miller layup gave CU a 15-11 advantage at the under 12 media timeout.
    The teams traded baskets over the next six minutes, with the Buffs not quite able to pull away. With just under six minutes to play before halftime, it was 29-24, Colorado … and then the Buffs made their move. Jaron Hopkins made three-of-four free throw attempts on two trips to the line to start the rush, with Xavier Johnson making one-of-two free throws to quietly push the lead out to 33-24. Tory Miller then posted his second basket of the first half, followed by a pair of free throws and a jumper by Wesley Gordon, then a tip in by Xavier Talton. Just like that, a 29-24 lead was 43-24, with the Buffs going on a 14-0 run over five minutes of game clock. The Trojans scored the final three points of the first half, but the damage had been done.
    Halftime score: Colorado 43, USC 27
    The story of the first half for Colorado wasn’t that the Buffs had a big lead over the Trojans, but that CU had posted ten assists in the first twenty minutes. For a team averaging only 11.5 assists per game, that stat was large.
    And the Buffs got hot from behind the arc to start the second half, pretty much ending the Trojans’ comeback hopes. Dustin Thomas hit a pair of three-pointers, which were offset by a pair of jumpers by the Trojans, but then*the Buffs hit two more three-pointers, one from Askia Booker and one from Xavier Johnson, made it a 55-33 game with 16 minutes to play. Timeout, USC.
    The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes, with the Buffs content to run clock. Dustin Thomas hit another three-pointer and a pair of free throws to give him a team-leading 15 points, holding USC at bay. A Tory Miller dunk at the 12 minute mark gave CU a 63-39 lead, ending any realistic chance of a USC comeback. Still, the Buffs went into a trance over the next few minutes, generating little offensive movement while trying to run clock. The Trojans went on a 7-0 run over the next four minutes made it a 63-46 game, making the Buff fans a little nervous. USC missed a pair of three-point attempts on their next two possessions, with an Askia Booker lob to Jaron Hopkins for a dunk making it 65-46 game at the under eight timeout.
    The Trojans had one more run in them, going on a 7-2 run to again make it a 14-point game, at 67-53, but a jumper by Booker and another layup by Thomas pushed the lead back up to 18, at 71-53, with five minutes to play. From then on, the Buffs were in control, with Askia Booker scoring seven straight points for the Buffs to give him 18 points for the game. A pair of close-in baskets from Xavier Johnson gave him 17 points for the game, giving CU a 22-point lead, and allowing the Buffs to bring in subs to close out the contest. Dominique Collier made a layup, with Tre’Shaun Fletcher hitting a pair of free throws to close out CU’s scoring.
    Final Score: Colorado 86, USC 65
    —–

    January 3rd
    … CU in the Arena …
    Getting to Know: USC Trojans
    Colorado*vs.*USC*… Sunday, noon, MT (Pac-12 Networks) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 92; XM 197
    Trojans’ 2014-15*Record: 8-5, 0-1 in Pac-12 play
    Coach: Andy Enfield, 2nd year, 19-26
    Series: The Colorado/USC series is the opposite of that the Buffs have had*with UCLA. Unlike the Buffs v. Bruins, wherein Colorado had never won in the series since joining the Pac-12 (before Friday night’s game), the Buffs have never lost to the Trojans in Pac-12 play. Colorado leads the series 7-3, including all five games since joining the Pac-12. The Buffs are 4-0 against the Trojans in games played in Boulder.
    USC’s record*last season: 11-21 overall; 2-16 in Pac-12 play (12th). The Buffs defeated the Trojans three times last year, including a narrow 59-56 win in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament.
    Players to watch … This is not your 2013-14 Trojans .. and that’s not a bad thing for USC fans. Four starters have been replaced, with the No. 18 recruiting Class in the nation (according to 247Sports) now set to play. The Trojans are 199th in the nation in scoring (the Buffs are not much better, at 180th), but do have three starters averaging double figures. Freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin leads the team with 12.7 points per game, and also leads in assists (4.9). The inside threat is Strahinja Gavrilovic, a 6’10″ sophomore, who is second on the team in scoring (11.9), and leads the team in rebounds (8.4).
    USC so far in 2014-15 … The Trojans got off to a rocky start to the 2014-15 campaign, falling at home in the opener to Portland State from the Big Sky Conference. USC then played in the Charleston Classic the Buffs won a few years back, going 1-2, with losses to Akron and Penn State, and a win over the same Drexel team the Buffs opened with (CU won 65-48; USC won 72-70). USC then went on to win six of its next seven games, with the best wins coming over New Mexico and Boston College … but the loss was to Army. USC opened Pac-12 play Friday night with a thumping by No. 10 Utah, 79-55. The Utes raced out to a 28-11 lead in the first half, and the Trojans never cut the lead under double digits the remainder of the game.
    CU Notes of Note … No new updates on the status of Josh Scott, who missed the UCLA game with back spasms. In the press release following the game, CU listed Scott’s status as “undetermined”.
    —–

    January 2nd*- Boulder********* Colorado 62, UCLA 56
    From cubuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes muscled and hustled their way from underneath UCLA’s thumb Friday night at the Coors Events Center – and they did it the hard way.
    With starting post Josh Scott sidelined, the Buffs pulled together and pulled away for a 62-56 victory. It was CU’s first win against UCLA since joining the Pac-12 Conference and only the second win in their 10 meetings overall.
    In winning their 2015 Pac-12 opener, the Buffs (8-5, 1-0) broke a two-game losing streak while the Bruins (8-6, 0-1) lost their fourth straight.
    “If ever a team needed a win, the Colorado Buffaloes needed one tonight. I don’t want to think where our heads would be if we didn’t (win),” said coach Tad Boyle, who downplayed his 100th win at CU, calling it “no bigger than the 99th. I want the 101st . . . it’s all about the next game.”
    … Colorado players learned about having to play without Josh Scott about thirty minutes before tipoff. “I wanted to give them some time to digest that, understand that, we were a many down, and it was time for us to all step up to the challenge,” said Boyle. “Coach McCartney came and talked to our*team (see story below, under the game recap) about resolve, digging deep and playing together, and I thought our guys really responded”.
    One who did was senior Askia Booker, criticized in some quarters about not being a more vocal leader this season. “Right before we came on the court, I grabbed the guys in and I told them everybody in the gym doesn’t think we can win without Josh,” Askia Booker said. “Everybody in here. But I told them we were guaranteed to win if we played hard enough and we played together, and the outcome is we won. We didn’t play too smart and I include myself in that, but we played hard and we played together.”

    Game Notes -*
    - Josh Scott missed the game due to back spasms. This was the third game in his career that he has missed due to injury. Ironically enough, CU is 3-0 in games played without Scott. The status of Scott for Sunday’s game against USC (noon, MT, Pac-12 Networks) remains undetermined.
    - The victory was No. 100 for Tad Boyle at Colorado (55 losses);
    - CU improved to 5-0 in conference openers under Tad Boyle;
    - The win was the first against UCLA as a member of the Pac-12, the only team CU had yet to defeat in basketball;
    - The win was only the second in the series overall (2-8), with the only other victory coming in 1962. The Buffs are now 2-2 at home against the Bruins;
    - A crowd of 10,191 was on hand, with CU improving its record to 22-7 in home games with crowds of over 10,000;
    - Wesley Gordon posted the third double-double of his career (11 points; 10 rebounds). Gordon also had a career-high seven blocks.

    Game Recap -
    Colorado played with out star center Josh Scott (out with back spasms), but nonetheless picked up win No. 100 under Tad Boyle in a 62-56 home victory over UCLA. Askia Booker went for 20 points, including 4-of-6 in three-pointers to lead the Buffs, with Xavier Johnson contributing 14 and Wesley Gordon 11. Those three posted 75% of CU’s scoring, with the bench chipping in only seven points combined.
    The Buffs shot well from behind the arc (5-of-10) and at the free throw line (21-of-25, 84%), and needed all of those points to hold off the Bruins. The teams stayed close for most of the first half, with each team building six point leads only to see them evaporate. Colorado led, 28-27, at halftime, but UCLA came out hot after the break. The Bruins went on 9-2 to open the second half, opening up a 36-30 lead. The Buffs then went on a 7-0 run of their own to reclaim a 37-36 advantage with 14 minutes to play.
    A pair of layups and a three-pointer gave the Bruins a 7-0 run of their own, retaking a six-point advantage, at 43-37. Then it was Colorado’s turn again, with Xavier Johnson posting a free throw, a layup and a dunk to make it a one point game again. The Buff run continued a Jaron Hopkins dunk, a Xavier Johnson layup, and a pair of free throws from Askia Booker. All told, it was an 11-0 run for the Buffs over a five minute span, giving Colorado a 48-43 with seven minutes to play.
    The Bruins were not finished, however, putting together a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead for the final time, at 49-48. An Askia Booker three pointer at the five minute mark gave the Buffs the lead for good, but the lead was anything but safe. Wesley Gordon made five-of-six free throws over the next few minutes, offset only by a layup from UCLA. A Jaron Hopkins dunk made it 58-51, with the a layup on the other end to make it a 58-53 game with less than two minutes to play. A pair of Xavier Johnson free throws pushed the advantage back to seven again, at 60-53, with a minute to play, but a three-pointer from the Bruins, combined with a turnover on the inbounds pass, gave UCLA new life in the final thirty seconds. The Bruins had two shots at the basket, but missed both, with a Wesley Gordon rebound and a pair of Askia Booker free throws providing the final margin.
    Final Score: Colorado 62, UCLA 56

    —-
    … CU in the Arena …
    Bill McCartney talks to CU men’s basketball team
    One of the main issues discussed concerning the Buffs’ 7-5 start to the 2014-15 season has been the lack of leadership. The Buffs are 1-4 in games decided by single digits this season, including losses in their last two games (George Washington and Hawai’i). Former CU head coach Bill McCartney knows something about leadership and motivation. He spoke with the CU men’s basketball team*before practice on Thursday.
    Full story from the Daily Camera can be read here.
    A few excerpts:
    “Honestly, I understand why they won a national championship,” said Josh Scott, a junior forward. “He gets you fired up. The way he speaks and what he talks about, it’s very motivational and it’s very honest and to the point.
    “He was honest with us from what he saw and he also gave great tips as to how championship teams and how good teams play and look and lead. It was good.”
    … “Coach Mac is as good of a motivational speaker as I’ve ever been around,” Boyle said. “He got my juices flowing and I think he got our players’ juices flowing, and we practiced well (on Thursday).”
    CU is looking for anything to provide a spark as they open Pac-12 play. They’ve lost two in a row and four of six.
    CU’s recent struggles have kept Boyle awake at nights. In fact, Boyle said he had a negative attitude and struggled to sleep on Wednesday night.
    Knowing McCartney was coming in on Thursday morning, Boyle said he changed his attitude on the drive to work.
    “I made a vow to myself when I drove to practice this morning that it’s important that I show positive signs and I’m encouraging,” Boyle said. “We’ve talked about where we’ve been enough. Now it’s time to talk about where we’re going to go.”
    Is Boyle’s positive attitude a New Year’s resolution?
    “We’ll see how long I can keep that one,” he said with a laugh. “I’m going to try, though.”
    —–

    January 1st
    … CU in the Arena …
    Getting to Know: UCLA Bruins
    Colorado*vs.*UCLA*… Friday, 8:00 p.m., MT (Fox Sports 1) … 850 KOA radio … Sirius Radio 92; XM 197
    Bruins’ 2014*Record: 8-5
    Coach: Steve Alford, 2nd year, 36-14
    Series: UCLA leads the series, 8-1, with the Bruins holding a 2-1 edge in games played in Boulder. UCLA is the only team which Colorado has yet to beat since joining the Pac-12 (0-5), with the Buffs’ lone victory in the series coming in a game played … in 1962.
    UCLA’s record*last season: 28-9 overall; 12-6 in Pac-12 play (2nd) … The Bruins won their first two games in the NCAA tournament, defeating Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin. A number four seed, the Bruins then lost their Sweet Sixteen game to No. 1 seed Florida, 62-52.
    Players to watch … UCLA won the Pac-12 tournament last year, taking out Arizona in the title game. The Bruins, though, lost three players to the first round of the NBA draft (Zach LaVine, Jordan Adams, and Kyle Anderson), and while the incoming freshman class is much-hyped, they have yet to completely gel as a team. Bryce Alford, the coach’s son, leads the team in scoring*(17.5 ppg), and is fourth in the Pac-12 in*that category. Norman Powell (15.1) is ninth in the conference is scoring, while*Kevon Looney is second in Pac-12 rebounding (10.4). All five UCLA starters average 10+ points or more, and the Bruins are 43rd in the nation overall in scoring (75.6 ppg.). The Buffs will need a big game out of its front line, as the Bruins are 10th in the nation in rebounding.
    UCLA so far in 2014-15 … The Bruins got off to a fast start to the 2014-15 season, rattling off four straight wins over teams which are not going to get anywhere near the NCAA tournament next March. In the first real tests of the season, UCLA lost to Oklahoma (75-65) and No. 5 North Carolina (78-56) in a Thanksgiving tournament in the Bahamas, dropping the No. 22 Bruins out of the polls. Four more wins followed – again against teams which you have to look up on an atlas – before the Bruins hit a three game losing streak. UCLA lost at home to No. 9 Gonzaga, 87-74, before being mauled by No. 1 Kentucky. The final score of the loss to the Wildcats was 83-44, but even that lopsided total does not tell the whole story. Kentucky raced out to a 24-0 lead to start the game, and had a 41-7 lead at halftime. UCLA followed up that loss with another bad loss, this time to Alabama. In the Bruins’ first true road game of the season, the Crimson Tide took a 29-17 lead at halftime en route to a 56-50 victory.
    “It’s been a bad trend,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said of falling behind early. “Three out of the last four games, we have not started well, and we’re trying to figure things out. For whatever reason, our first halves have been just brutal over the last couple of weeks …*We’re going to have to figure that out going into league play.”
    League play starts Friday night in Boulder.
    CU Notes of Note … Under Tad Boyle, CU is 4-0 in conference home openers (2-1 in Pac-12 openers, 1-0 Big 12) …*Of the 10 home losses in the last five years (66-10), UCLA and Arizona are the only programs with a pair of wins in Boulder …*CU is 1-4 in single-digit games this season, including the last two, both by three points each to George Washington (Dec. 23) & Hawai’i (Dec. 25) …* CU is 17-4 when a road/neutral court loss follows a home game (.810)*… Josh Scott needs 13 points to reach 1,000 points, 32nd CU player.



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  2. buff4bcs1985

    buff4bcs1985 Hail to the King

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