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Michael k.: Right Where They Left It

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by absinthe, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    Right Where They Left It
    By Michael Krumholtz

    All of a sold-out Coors Events Center, fans and players alike, turn their attention away from center court and towards the arena’s south end. There a black drape falls to reveal a hanging red granite plaque, which dominates the rafter. Engrained into it are the words “2012 Pac-12 Champions.”

    “Well where are they going to put the next one?” a student says among the cheers.

    Before their dismantling of Wofford College the Buffs were fully reminded, as if they had ever forgotten, of this season’s tournament expectations. Last season’s remarkable run will forever be trickling in to Coors Events Center.

    The pressures of big-time college basketball are coming down hard, as if the banner’s rock is chipping away at the minds of players and coaches.

    Four true freshmen saw over ten minutes of playing time each. None more than top-recruit and starting center Josh Scott, who began his career with 14 points and six rebounds. The unnerved freshman finished a cool 10-of-11 from the free throw line, proving that some big men really can still shoot the freebies.

    “He was terrific, once we got him some post touches and he was good down there,” said head coach Tad Boyle. “He has a knack for getting to the foul line. I think he had a pretty stellar effort for a guy who only took four shots.”

    No player shined greater than point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who had filled out his stat sheet with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Although he’s moving positions from last year’s shooting guard role, the court general finished without committing a single turnover. Sounding eerily similar to his coach, Dinwiddie’s main concern was how his team played defensively.

    “We didn’t let them have any lay-ups, we forced jump shots over hands,” he said. “We played with our principles and we out rebounded them, so, for the most part, I thought we did our thing.”

    Boyle’s blanketing defense allowed Wofford to hit on 36 percent of its shots and only two layups. Senior guard Sabatino Chen smothered the Terrier’s point guard all night with a frustrating tenacity.

    “I thought the difference in the game, I thought when we really blew it open there in the second half was Sabatino’s intensity on the defensive end,” Boyle said. “I think our crowd fed off of that energy. He did a great job on their point guard and that guy ended up fouling out.”

    Boyle usually mentions junior sensation André Roberson as the defensive standout. And though his defense hasn’t missed a beat, he’ll have a lot more to shoulder offensively this season.

    Roberson, who has heard talk of being a potential NBA lottery pick, tallied a modest seven points and six rebounds. Every night he can expect to face the opponents best post- and wing-defenders.

    “Andre is changing roles a little bit, the other part of it is he has never had defenses geared towards stopping him,” Boyle said. “They have maybe geared more towards keeping him off the boards but now he has go both.”

    Whenever Roberson got locked down, the superb guard play of Dinwiddie and Askia Booker stepped in for consistent scores. Booker was the third Buff in double-figures, rounding them out with 13 points.

    Last year as a freshman, Booker relied on some senior guidance to navigate through murkier waters, which are bound for crossing in conference and tournament play. But as one of the few experienced and tested players on this squad, he’s showing the ropes to this talented group of freshmen.

    “I think we learned a lot from the seniors from last year,” Booker said. “I think we know what to expect this year and we need to let the younger guys know what to expect.”
    Now this year’s freshmen are thrown into the high tide of big-time college basketball, which only become more intense once the team begins the Charleston Classic tournament on Thursday. The Baby Buffs are about to bring their fans on a crazy ride.

    Coach Boyle doesn’t need to look up at the banner to remind him of last season. He says he knows the reason his Buffs are now immortalized in CU and Pac-12 history: It’s all about the defense.

    “We can’t break down defensively, we just can’t,” Boyle said. “And if we can get to that point again that was the reason we won a championship last year.”
     
  2. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Very well done piece by Michael.

    Our hoops coverage is going to be fantastic this year.
     
  3. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Agree.

    But that granite looks exactly like flagstone.
     
  4. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    fify no need to thank me.
     
  5. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Thanks Krummy! Good read.
     

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