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In Tad We Trust

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

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    By Stuart


    [h=2]In Tad We Trust[/h]Against the Pitt Panthers in the 8/9 matchup in the 2014 NCAA tournament, the Colorado Buffaloes laid an egg.
    Down 13-0 to open the game, the Buffs were down by an embarrassing 46-18 at the half, well*on their way to a 77-48 lopsided finish.
    It was the worst loss in the NCAA tournament history for a CU team, and, when combined with the 63-43 blowout loss to Arizona in the semi-finals of the Pac-12 tournament, represented the first time Colorado had scored less than 50 points in back-to-back games since the 1979-80 season, some 34 years ago.
    The frustration from the Buff Nation was quick and vitriolic (below are actual quotes from a CU fan website):
    - “There’s no excuse or just not showing up when it matters. I’m very concerned with the makeup up this team”;
    - “The team did not seem ready whatsoever. Was Jon Embree coaching today?”;
    - “Tad needs a serious bashing for this, the team was totally unprepared … lackadaisical. Tad … you embarrassed the University of Colorado
    yesterday … big time”;
    - “Looked like a Ricardo Patton coached team!”.

    There were other similar comments, but you get the idea.
    I understand the emotion.
    What I don’t understand is the complete lack of perspective here.
    Frustration? Sure. Embarrassment? Definitely.
    Still, Colorado fans need to understand just how good they’ve got it. Tad Boyle – after only four years in Boulder – is already a fixture in the Colorado record books. If he decides to stay on in Boulder for any significant amount of time, he will own every coaching record in Boulder worth having.
    And that*fact is worth bearing in mind as the book closes on the 2013-14 season.
    The numbers speak for themselves:
    - Tad Boyle has a 92-50 record in four years at Colorado. Already fourth on the all-time list for victories, the three coaches ahead of him coached in Boulder for 13, 12 and 20 years respectively;
    - Boyle’s .647 winning percentage is the best in school history (min. two seasons);
    - Colorado has 13 post-season victories under Tad Boyle (Conference tournaments, NIT, NCAA). The next best coach all-time at CU is Ricardo Patton, who had 8 post-season victories (to go with 18 defeats). Boyle’s .684 winning percentage (13-6) in the post-season is the best in school history;
    - Colorado has eight seasons in its history with 20 or more wins … and Boyle owns half of them;
    - Boyle owns or shares the four winningest seasons in school history, with this year’s 23 wins coming in only behind the 24 wins posted by his 2010-11 and 2011-12 teams; and
    - Colorado has been to the post-season in all four of Boyle’s campaigns. Never before has CU been invited to the post-season in four straight seasons, and never*before has CU been invited to the*NCAA tournament*in three straight seasons (and it should have been four).
    A little more historical perspective:
    - Only one*school in the Pac-12 has been invited to the NCAA tournament each of the three seasons of the league’s existence, and that school*is the University of Colorado. Not Arizona. Not UCLA. Not Oregon*…*Colorado;
    - Prior to making the tournament in three straight seasons, Colorado’s last three invitations stretch back … 45 years. The Buffs were invited to the Big Dance in 1969, 1997 and 2003; and in none of the other 39 campaigns in between;
    - Colorado entered the Pac-12 11th in all-time appearances in the NCAA tournament, ahead of only Washington State (which has six). The Buffs,*now with 13*appearances,*are tied for 8th in the league on that list;
    - In the 75-year history of the NCAA tournament, CU’s 13 appearances does not rank that highly (compare: The CU women’s team has also made 13 appearances in the NCAA tournament, but the women’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament has only been around for*40 years).
    Doing more with less
    It’s no secret that Colorado suffered without star Spencer Dinwiddie (and, to a lesser extent, without Tre’Shaun Fletcher, who was also injured during the Washington game on January 12th, and saw very limited action thereafter). The Buffs were 14-2, 3-0 in Pac-12 play when they rolled into Seattle as the 15th-ranked team in the nation. After Dinwiddie went down late in the first half that Sunday afternoon*(with the Buffs leading), CU began a run of mediocrity which stretched for the remainder of the season.
    Without Dinwiddie to guide them, CU went on to lose to the Huskies, then lose three of their next four games. Not counting the Washington loss, Colorado went 9-9 the remainder of the season … the very definition of mediocrity.
    Still, Tad Boyle and his coaching staff reinvented the Buffs, creating a new team right in the middle of the Pac-12 conference campaign. The Buffs struggled at times, but never lost more than two games in a row the remainder of the year. The Buffs lost to Washington, Arizona State, Utah and Cal … but also beat all four of those teams without Dinwiddie in the lineup.
    Boyle was quoted as saying that the 2013-14 Buffs, after Dinwiddie went down, looked much like what the 2014-15 Buffs were designed to look like. The Buffs had only one scholarship senior on the roster, and while Ben Mills was a fan favorite, his 1.3 points per game and 0.8 rebounds per game were not relied upon on a regular basis (the Buffs also had a walk-on senior, Beau Gamble).
    So is this pre-screening of the 2014-15 Buffs … a team which struggled to score, and which finished with two consecutive games with less than 50 points for first time in 35 years … a bad omen? Will Colorado be a team without a point guard to lead them? Without a proper response to the inevitable double teams of Josh Scott? Without a consistent scorer?
    No. No. No. and No.
    First, we don’t know whether or not Spencer Dinwiddie will return to the Buffs next season. Dinwiddie has until April 27th to declare for the NBA draft, and there will be much speculation between now and then as to whether Dinwiddie will opt to go pro, or return to Boulder for his senior year. Dinwiddie’s recovery from his torn ACL will not be complete until summer, so he – and NBA teams which may draft him – will have some guess work to do.
    Dinwiddie has stated that if he does not appear to be a first round draft pick, that he will stay in Boulder. But, as we know from last year’s draft (Andre Roberson was not seen as a first round pick by most pundits, but was selected in the first round anyway), the draft*is not an exact science.
    So, assuming Dinwiddie will not return, how will the Buffs improve from what we saw in February and March?
    Reinforcements on the Way
    Enter Dominique Collier and Tory Miller.
    Collier is 6’1″, 160-pound guard from Denver East. Not only projected as the best player out of*Colorado*this season, Collier, a four-star prospect, was tabbed by Rivals as the No. 94 player in the nation this recruiting cycle (Scout has him rated as the No. 21 point guard in the country). Collier led Denver East to the state championship this season, averaging over 20 points and six steals in the playoffs. The Angels lost in the state championship game last year, the only loss in two seasons to an in-state team over the past two years. Collier was Mr. Colorado Basketball as a junior and as a senior. Collier was already seen as the next Dinwiddie … before Dinwiddie went down.
    If Dinwiddie returns, the 2014-15 season will be a break-in year for Collier, who will have the luxury of absorbing the speed of college basketball while watching Spencer Dinwiddie run the show.
    If Dinwiddie doesn’t return, it will be a trial by fire for the freshman … but then again,*college basketball is run by freshmen stars, is it not?
    The other new Buff this fall will be Tory Miller, a 6’8″, 247-pound power forward from New Hampton, New Hampshire. Considered a three-star prospect, Miller had offers from all over the nation, from teams like Arizona State, Marquette, St. Louis, Arkansas and Kansas State. Miller reportedly has the ability to be a rebounding force on the inside, while still being able to hit 12- to 15-footers on the outside.
    Now,*we*may not be experts in judging high school basketball talent, but Buff fans have to be pleased with what they are hearing about the incoming*Buffs.
    We may not have liked all that*Tad Boyle and his coaching staff were able to piece together the second half of the*2013-14 season, but Buff fans have to acknowledge that CU*was still just one win away from matching the highest win total in school history, and, short of Arizona and UCLA, showed it could compete with every other team in the Pac-12.
    We may be concerned that the 2014-15 season might unfold like the last half of the*2013-14 season, but Buff*fans have to be confident that Boyle & Co. also recognize the issues,*and will spend this off-season conjuring ways to improve the CU offense … with or without Spencer Dinwiddie.
    Could the Buffs back-slide*next year? Could 2014-15 be the first season under Tad Boyle with fewer than 20 wins?
    I wouldn’t bet on it.
    It says here that*the CU coaching staff will*put the Colorado basketball program in position for*NCAA tournament berths, in 2014-15 and for years to come, with Buff fans continuing on the best ride in school history.
    In Tad We Trust.




    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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  2. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Nice article Stuart.
     
  3. Val

    Val Active Member

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    Excellent article.
     
  4. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Summary: Pay no never-mind about the disaster in Orlando.

    Focus on broader historical context. Tad's got this.
     

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