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bsn BSN: Have the CU Buffs turned a corner on defense?

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Last weekend’s game against Stanford was the first time this season the Colorado Buffaloes held a major opponent under 60 points. In the 56-55 win, the Buffs were able to keep the Cardinal to 31.5% shooting while CU was a positive 14 on the boards. Does their stout effort allude to the Buffs becoming a better all around basketball team?

    I asked Tad Boyle if that stout effort was the beginning to the Buffs becoming a better all-around basketball team.

    “If you take anything positive out of Sunday night’s game, the fact that we rebounded at a high level, plus 14 on the boards and we held them to 31% shooting,” he answered. “I’ve said it many times, that’s what this program is based on, trying to grind out a win on nights when the offense isn’t going. We were good offensively in the first half, in the second half, we were atrocious. Without our defense without our rebounding, we don’t win on Sunday night, for that I’m really proud of our guys.”

    Taking out the game against California which even Boyle has dismissed as a game where you could judge the Buffs, the team has not allowed over 70 points since the BYU game. There has been a noticeable increase in effort and results defensively for Colorado since the fall semester ended. The Buffs, who are fifth in the nation in rebounding (43.7 RPG), have also become a pretty dominant team on the glass.

    “Couldn’t have written it up any better statically,” Boyle told of the team’s numbers at the Stanford game. “This team, unlike last year’s team, understands the importance of defense and rebounding.”

    But it hasn’t been all positive for CU as of late, as their offense has gone somewhat quiet due to some cold shooting. The Buffs have only scored more than 70 once in their past four games which puts an even greater emphasis on defense.

    “When you’re not shooting the ball well you gotta play defense,” stated senior center Josh Scott. “I’m not really worried about the offense. Why isn’t the offense there? I don’t know, we just have to defend.”

    Earlier in the season, there were some major questions for the Buffs on the defensive end as they allowed too many points to weak opponents. Some of those questions have been answered but one that has not is who’s going to step up to become a defensive stopper in the backcourt?

    “We need all of them to step up,” Scott said. “I don’t look at any one of our players and say, ‘he’s the one,’ every single one of them, especially defensively, we need to have all our players step up.”

    To this point, that seems to be Colorado’s biggest weakness, their perimeter defense. The Buffaloes have skated by just okay to this point because of the help-side ability of Wesley Gordon, but now that CU is facing better competition in the form of Pac-12 adversaries, Gordon will have to focus more on the man he’s marking.

    “They don’t want to struggle offensively like they did in the second half, they don’t want to shoot that low percentage that we shot in the second half at Stanford,” Boyle explained. “But they understand that defense and rebounding can win games unlike last year’s team, I’m not sure they ever bought into it. Until those guys really buy into it and believe it, that’s when things change. They start talking about it in the halls, and they start talking about in the locker room when the coaches aren’t there and they start talking about in timeouts or at halftime. That’s when you turn the corner.”

    It seems that the Buffs have turned that corner from last year’s team. The primary focus at each practice that this reporter has been to has been defense and hitting the glass. If there has been a lapse in that focus, leader of the team Josh Scott who has fully bought into Boyle’s philosophy will let his teammates know that this is unacceptable. The reason both Boyle and Scott take this side of the ball so seriously is because each has their eyes set on a Pac-12 title and in order to keep those hopes alive, they must be keen to defend and rebound.

    Jake Shapiro
    Continue reading...

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