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CU Above the Rim

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jan 1, 2013.

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    By Stuart

    [h=3]CU Above the Rim[/h]January 1st
    Colorado newest rival for Arizona?
    High praise for a team picked 11th in the preseason media poll last year, and sixth this year …
    From the Arizona Star … The No. 3 Arizona Wildcats couldn’t have picked a more fitting opponent for their Pac-12 opener this season.
    It was Colorado, which will face the UA (12-0) at McKale Center on Thursday, that effectively ended the Wildcats’ season last March with a 53-51 victory in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament final.
    The Buffaloes (10-2) marched on to the NCAA tournament with the Pac-12′s automatic bid while the shell-shocked Wildcats slumped into the NIT, where they lost quietly to eighth-seeded Bucknell in the first round.
    “It’s tough coming back from such a loss like that,” guard Kyle Fogg said of the Colorado game after Arizona lost in the NIT. “I know I’m still kind of numb.”
    Combined with Colorado’s 64-63 win over Arizona in Boulder, where the Wildcats went 3 of 20 from three-point range and failed to score on their final possession, and you could even say that the Buffs have already become one of the Wildcats’ top rivals despite entering just their second season in the conference.
    But Colorado coach Tad Boyle said he wouldn’t go that far.
    “I’d like to think that,” Boyle said. “I think last year we gained some respect and obviously, I’ve got great respect for Sean (Miller, UA coach).
    “But I do think it’s a big game because of what we did last year and certainly because of what Arizona has done this year. And it’s the first game in conference play, when everyone wants to get off to a great start.”
    Colorado got off to a strong start in nonconference play this season, beating Baylor and two other teams to win the Charleston Classic, and winning its first six games despite having lost guard Carlon Brown and two other starters from last season.
    Then the Buffs lost by seven at Wyoming on Dec. 1 and, a week later, were drubbed 90-54 at Kansas.
    “That was an embarrassing performance,” Boyle said. “I was embarrassed and our players were embarrassed. It was a combination of factors. We didn’t take care of the ball – and when you do that in Allen Fieldhouse, it’s like an avalanche that snowballs downhill. You can’t stop it.”
    Since then, Colorado has recovered to beat Fresno State, NAU and Hartford, entering Thursday’s game at 10-2. But the Buffs, like Arizona, have struggled with turnovers at times.
    While the UA had 18 against East Tennessee State in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22, Colorado had 21 in Saturday’s 80-52 win over Hartford. UA averages 14.5 turnovers a game and Colorado 15.2.
    “We’re talking about that, trying to control tempo a little bit, and pick and choose when we want to run, and making good decisions with the ball,” Boyle said.
    “The frustrating thing in the Hartford game was we had 21 turnovers and a lot of them were unforced. You have to have your players understand when you attack.”
    The good news for Colorado is that the Buffs have a quickly maturing group of younger players to mold around double-double machine Andre Roberson (who averages 12.1 rebounds and 12.1 assists).
    Sophomore guards Askia Booker (14.8 points a game) and Spencer Dinwiddie (14.4) are the team’s top two scorers, while freshman big man Josh Scott is averaging 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds. Scott, who managed 19 points against Kansas and Jayhawks center Jeff Withey, had 21 points and 10 rebounds against Hartford.
    December 31st
    Men’s team continues to rise amongst “others” in poll; CU women up to No. 20
    The Colorado men’s basketball team concluded non-conference play with a 10-2 record. That’s good enough for a No. 32 ranking in the latest coaches’ poll (CU still isn’t receiving any votes in the AP poll). The Buffs received six votes this week, up from three last week (in case you are wondering, Tad Boyle is not one of the coaches who has a vote. The only Pac-12 coach who has a vote is Herb Sendek of Arizona State. The only coach with a vote from a team CU has played this year is Baylor’s head coach Scott Drew).
    The only Pac-12 team in the poll is No. 3 Arizona, CU’s opponent on Thursday (6:00 p.m., ESPNU). UCLA is the only other Pac-12 team receiving votes, coming in at No. 35. (Hard to believe the company CU is keeping amongst the “others”. In addition to traditional power UCLA, the Buffs are nuzzled up with North Carolina, at No. 28, and Kentucky, at No. 29).
    Here’s a link to both the AP and the USA Today coaches’ polls.
    CU women move up to No. 20 in Associated Press poll; Stanford drops to No. 4
    The numbers can now be affixed to the game promotions: Friday, 8:00 p.m., CU Events Center … No. 4 Stanford at No. 20 Colorado.
    The undefeated CU women’s basketball team moved up three spots this week, jumping past Texas, Kansas, and Dayton. Meanwhile, this weekend’s first opponent, Stanford, fell from No. 1 to No. 4 after losing at home to new No. 1 UConn.
    Lest the Buffs focus all of their energy on the Stanford game, there is another tough game coming up on Sunday (12:00 noon, Pac-12 Networks). The Bears are ranked No. 7 this week, up from No. 8 last week.
    Other rankings of note … Louisville, No. 11; UCLA, No. 16. Other than the four teams from the Pac-12 who are ranked in the Top 20, no other Pac-12 team received votes this week.
    December 30th
    Tad Boyle: “I think we’re ready for conference play”
    Tad Boyle on taking his 10-2 Buffs into Pac-12 conference play … “They picked us 6th and we’ll find out, I don’t get too concerned with those other than when people say it’s a given we’re going to go to the tournament or it’s a given that we’re going to win this game . Nothing is a given in college basketball, we learned that against Texas-Southern a couple weeks ago and for the young people there’s going to be a lot of learning opportunities, we’ve had some already and we’re going to continue to have some. I don’t get concerned with outside expectations but when I hear people talking about a given that we’re a tournament team or we should be going to the tournament, there’s nobody that should be. You have to earn your way into that thing and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’ve got a young team and young players, and we’ve got to figure it out and we’ve done a good job so far.”
    On not repeating the same result as the Kansas game, a 36-point rout … “I think our guys were a little embarrassed by the Kansas performance but as we look forward to going to Arizona next week, it’s a great home court advantage we’re stepping into and so it will be a challenge for these guys to see if we’ve learned from that experience … You get into league play, every game means the same thing, the price goes up and the intensity goes up, the level of competition goes up, and I think we’re ready for conference play.”
    December 29th – Boulder Colorado 82, Hartford 50
    Colorado players were told by coaches not to look past Hartford, even though a date with No. 3 Arizona was next up on the calendar.
    After all, Hartford was 7-5, and had pushed Arizona State earlier in December, losing by only eight in Tempe, 71-63.
    No problem.
    Colorado’s big men each posted a double-double, while Askia Booker added 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to lead the Buffs to an easy 80-52 win over Hartford. Freshman Josh Scott posted a new career-high with 21 points, also registering 10 rebounds, while Andre Roberson posted career double-double No. 31 with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
    Colorado opened the game with an 11-0 run, with Hartford failing to score until a three-pointer fell with 15:26 to play in the first half. An Andre Roberson dunk 17 seconds into the game set the tone. Layups by Roberson and Askia Booker led to a Hartford timeout at the 17:43 mark, but the timeout didn’t help. Josh Scott made two layups, sandwiched around a Sabatino Chen free throw, to up the lead to 11-0 before a three-pointer by Hartford put the Hawks in scoring column. This basket was quickly answered by a three-pointer by Askia Booker. At the first television timeout, it was 14-3, Colorado.
    Play deteriorated in the middle portion of the first half, with turnovers being committed by both teams. By the next television timeout, layups by Roberson, Shane Harris-Tunks, and Xavier Johnson were offset only by the Hawks’ second three-pointer of the half. Colorado 20, Hartford 6 was on the scoreboard. Even move telling were the rebound totals. With ten minutes to play in the first half, Colorado had 15 rebounds, while Hartford had exactly zero.
    Free throws by Spencer Dinwiddle and Xavier Johnson upped the lead to 24-6, with Josh Scott’s jumper upping the lead to 20 … before Hartford registered its first rebound of the game. At the under eight timeout, Hartford had one rebound, but still no two point baskets – three three-pointers on 3-of-18 shooting. Colorado, meanwhile, was 10-of-16 from the field. Colorado 26, Hartford 9.
    After the under eight break, Josh Scott made up for missing two free throws by hitting a short jumper to give him eight first half points. Xavier Talton became the eighth Buff to score on a free throw, with Andre Roberson picking up rebound number eight and points number seven and eight on a layup. Two three pointers by Hartford gave the Hawks their first “run” of the game, silenced by a jumper by Booker and a put back by Josh Scott.
    The sixth three-pointer of the first half by Hartford made the score 35-18, but a pair of dunks, one on a feed from Dinwiddle to Booker, the other on a breakaway by Josh Scott, put the lead back up over 20 at 39-18.
    An Askia Booker three-pointer pushed the lead back up to 24 points at 42-18, but that was answered by a three-pointer by Hartford. At the buzzer, Andre Roberson hit a three-pointer to give him a first half double-double – 11 points; ten rebounds.
    Halftime score: Colorado 45, Hartford 21
    The halftime stats were filled with apparent typos. Colorado had 25 rebounds; Hartford 6. Hartford was a more than respectable 7-of-13 from three point range, but 0-for-14 from two-point range, and had yet to attempt a free throw.
    Colorado was led by Josh Scott and Askia Booker, each with 12 points, and Andre Roberson, with 11. If there were any stats which Tad Boyle and the CU coaching staff could quibble about, it was the fact that the Buffs were continuing to struggle from the free throw line – 6-of-10 – and had eight first half turnovers.
    An Askia Booker layup after a Spencer Dinwiddle steal set the tone early in the second half. Hartford did make its first two point basket of the game at the 19:21 mark was quickly offset by an Andre Roberson layup, a traditional three-point play by Dinwiddie and a Booker layup. A putback after an offensive rebound by Josh Scott gave Colorado a 33-point lead at 56-23.
    A three-pointer by Hartford, the Hawks’ eighth of the game, stopped the run, but only cut the lead to 30 at the first break. Colorado 56, Hartford 26.
    Free throws by Josh Scott after an offensive rebound gave Scott 16 points and nine rebounds. A layup and three-pointer by Hartford sandwiched a three-pointer by Askia Booker, making the new score 61-31, with 13:32 to play.
    Spencer Dinwiddie made a jumper, then two free throws, before Josh Scott converted a traditional three-pointer. The 7-0 run by the Buffs were countered by two layups by the Hawks. At a timeout with 10:43 to play, the starters were taken out, with Colorado holding a 68-35 lead.
    A three-pointer by Hartford gave the Hawks a 7-0 run of their own, which turned into a 12-0 run on an uncontested jumper and a three-pointer after a turnover. A peeved Tad Boyle then brought back in the starters, not so much as he was worried about losing the game (the score was still 68-43), as much as it was to send a message to the backups that their play was unacceptable.
    Two free throws by Spencer Dinwiddie stopped the bleeding, with Josh Scott giving himself a double-double with his tenth rebound, followed by a basket to give him a career-high 21 points. A free throw by Andre Roberson followed by two free throws by Sabatino Chen to push the CU run to 7-0, and the lead back to 75-43. A basket and free throw by Jeremy Adams gave Colorado its ninth scorer, with the 10-0 run finally stopped by a three-pointer – the Hawks’ 12th – to make the score at the four minute mark 78-48.
    With 2:51 to play in the game, Hartford took its first free throws of the game, making one, with the Hawks making three-pointer No. 13 to push past the 50-point mark. Sophomore guard Beau Gamble’s second basket of the season, accounted for the final points.
    Final score: Colorado 80, Hartford 52
    Colorado was led by Josh Scott’s 21 points, a new career high for the freshman center (20 v. Air Force). Scott’s ten rebounds also gave him his second career double-double. Askia Booker had 19 points, while Andre Roberson collected career double-double No. 31 … by halftime. At the break, Roberson had 11 points and ten rebounds, finishing the game with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
    In all, ten Buffs scored in the rout, with Hartford being held to 34% shooting and only six two-point baskets in the game. Colorado kept Hartford without a rebound the first ten minutes of the game, finishing with a rebounding edge of 49-19.
    “I’d like to talk about perspective, you know we’re 10-2 and for the most part I was happy with today’s performance”, said Tad Boyle. “There are still some areas where obviously our team has to get better, and taking care of the ball is one of them. When you look at our schedule and the strength of our schedule, and look at the fact that we’re 10-2, we feel good about ourselves, we’re not satisfied with ourselves but we feel good about where we are at this point.”
    With a 10-2 non-conference slate now behind them, the Buffs could now – finally – focus on Pac-12 play and Thursday date with No. 3 Arizona in Tucson.
    “We should dominate Northern Arizona and we should dominate Hartford,” said Boyle. “Our guys are bigger and stronger and better athletes. Now the test becomes can we dominate Arizona, I’m not sure we can dominate them but we can neutralize their size and strength and athleticism. We’re not 6-6, 220 and they may be 7 foot, 250. They’ve got men, they’ve got animals in there and it’s a different deal than what we’ve faced the last two games. But our guys understand that and our guys love challenges, they’re competitive and they believe in themselves and we can’t put too much into any one game. When you go into conference play you’ve got 18 games in the Pac 12, 9 at home and 9 on the road, and I don’t know the last time someone went undefeated on the road in the Pac 12, but my guess is it has been a long time. We have to make sure we don’t get too high after a win, don’t get too full of ourselves, and we don’t get too down if we drop a game no matter who it is or who it’s against.”
    Buff Bits
    - Colorado is now 10-2, the best record after 12 games since the 2005-06 team also opened 10-2 (on their way to a 20-10 record).
    - The 21 points allowed to Hartford in the first half was only the second-best effort of the season, as the Buffs previously held Fresno State to 17 points in the first half.
    - The 45 points scored by CU in the first half was also the second-best effort of the season, coming in behind the 57 points scored in the first half against Northern Arizona.
    - The official attendance was 10,228 (though the actual attendence was considerably less). It’s the fifth game in six tries in which CU has had over 10,000 for a home game this season.
    - Andre Roberson (14 points, 14 rebounds) recorded his Pac-12 leading sixth double-double of the season. CU is 25-6 all-time when Roberson records a double-double.
    - Freshman Josh Scott hit new season-highs for points (21), offensive rebounds (7), field goals made (9) and attempted (12). With ten rebounds, Scott recorded his second career double-double.
    —–
    No. 23 CU women rout New Mexico, 84-39
    Colorado led New Mexico, 9-6, with 17:06 to play in the first half. At that point, it appeared that the 8-4 Lobos would give the undefeated CU women’s team a game.
    Uh, not so much.
    The Buffs went on a 14-2 run over the next nine minutes to take a commanding lead, 23-8, then never looked back on their way to an 84-39 rout and a perfect non-conference record of 11-0. Chucky Jeffrey had a terrific all-around game, with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Lexi Kresl, with 20, and Arielle Roberson, with 18, led all scorers.
    Any doubt remaining in the game after the break was quickly squashed. New Mexico scored first in the second half to cut the CU lead to 39-23, but by the next time the Lobos scored, with 12:39 to play in the game, Colorado had run off 17 straight points to run up a 56-23 lead.
    And then it got worse for the Lobos.
    Another run, this one 12-4, gave Colorado a 40-point lead at 68-28. By the time New Mexico hit double digits in points for the second half, only 6:18 remained to be played in the contest.
    “That was a great team win, we played as complete of a game as we’ve played so far this year,” said coach Linda Lappe. “We played the best that we’ve played, and we’ve played some pretty good teams. I thought that how we came out both with the intensity on the offensive and defensive end I thought that really helped us throughout the game and it helped us build a good halftime lead. In the second half, our depth really showed in extending the lead. Our starters were fresh, our bench was fresh. We got better as we subbed a little bit and we were able to pull away big in the second half.”
    Up next for the CU women … Stanford, at home, next Friday night (January 4th, 8:00 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks). The Cardinal women’s team are the No. 1 team in the nation, but won’t be when they come to Boulder. On Saturday, while the CU women were routing New Mexico, the Stanford women were being routed, 61-35, by No. 2 UConn, snapping an 82-game home winning streak.
    So, Stanford won’t be No. 1 next Friday when they come to Boulder, but they will be a top 5 team … and angry.
    Notes … The next four games on CU’s schedule, including a date with No. 8 Cal, will come against teams with a current combined record of 30-3. Fortunately, three of those four games will be played at home … With CU’s win and Stanford’s loss, Colorado is the only remaining undefeated team in the Pac-12. Only seven teams nationally remain undefeated in women’s basketball … The victory over New Mexico was No. 100 in Linda Lappe’s career overall, and No. 50 while at Colorado. Lappe is 50-30 in 2+ seasons at Colorado … This is the third season in which Colorado has concluded non-conference play with an undefeated record. The 1992-93 team, as well as last year’s team, both went undefeated in non-conference play.


    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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