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Lackluster play from supporting cast is hurting Colorado immensely.

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Justin M Guerriero, Jan 8, 2017.

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Will CU finish .500+ in conference play at the end of the season?

  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
    26.9%
  2. No

    19 vote(s)
    73.1%
  1. Justin M Guerriero

    Justin M Guerriero Well-Known Member Club Member

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    The Colorado Buffaloes sit at 10-6 on the year and are coming off of two straight conference losses which kicked off the start to 2017. So far this season, the team has played sound basketball (in wins vs. Texas, Xavier and in the recent loss at ASU) but has also played quite poorly (vs. CSU and Fort Hays State among others.)

    Many of Colorado's contests have seen the team take half the game to wake up and begin to play decent ball and many others have had the theme of the Buffs having to claw their way back from multiple deficits of moderate to large sizes.

    It's known to all who watch this team that Xavier Johnson and Derrick White have been the major consistent point scorers for CU. After scoring nine points in the season opener vs. Sacramento State, D White has put up points in double digits during every single game since.

    Johnson has scored in double digits in every game minus four. They have shot a collective 42 percent from beyond the arch. Now, while both of them are certainly not above reproach (White needs to limit turnovers and Johnson could do a better job of moving around and creating chances in the offensive zone,) the major faults of this team do not belong to them.

    A rundown of some of those flaws:

    1. Wesley Gordon simply is not the scoring threat that Tad Boyle and many others hoped he would become.

    Gordon currently leads the team in rebounding, averaging 7.9 boards per game. But for the Buffs' big man to be averaging just seven points per game, paying nearly 26 minutes per contests, is not up to par. I'd have to do some digging through my audio recorder's files, but Tad had essentially paraphrased this problem once after a game this season...he had said that he was done trying to mold Gordon into someone that he could not be.

    From 5.5 PPG as a freshman, to 6.6 PPG his sophomore year, he averaged 7.6 PPG last season and as of now has slightly regressed from 2015-16. Gordon's inability to up his scoring during his time at CU has been disappointing. I don't think there's any reason to believe that he'll average more than 9.5 PPG at the end of this season, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

    2. Josh Fortune and George King are not shooting well this year, especially from long range.

    King is averaging 10.3 PPG and Fortune is behind him with 8.2 so far this year. Last season, King put up an average of 13.6 PPG while Fortune average 10.3. On the year, King has shot .443 from the floor, just three hundredths less than what he finished the year with last season. Fortune, on the other hand, is shooting .361 this year, down from his .403 mark at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

    Their three-point shooting has been abysmal this season. King is making just 27 percent of his three-pointers while Fortune is knocking down just shy of 30 percent. The regression from last season is frightening. Last season, King shot better from deep range than he did collectively. He made nearly 46 percent of his shots from downtown while Fortune made roughly 39 percent of his.

    There are many games ahead of them, but I find it hard to believe that both of them will simply wake up and have a magical second half to the year. It seems almost set in stone that their stats this year from long range, and perhaps as a whole, will be lesser than their lines last season. Six times this year Fortune has been held to five or less points. Five times so far this season King has been held to seven or less.

    Not a good look from two supposed-to-be-key starters on this team.

    3. Rebounding, turnovers, steals = all departments in need of improvement


    Tad Boyle has repeatedly expressed concerns this year about the way his team has been rebounding. Although they hold a slight seasonal edge in that area over their opponents so far, the Buffs' ability to out rebound teams hasn't been that impressive. Last year, the team had a positive margin of 8.6 rebounds over the competition. So far in 2016-17, that advantage has shrunk to just 3.7.

    This year, the team has just 66 steals to opponents' 94 and is turning the ball over an average of 12.8 times a game.

    For a team with four seniors and a fifth-year junior in King, this year so far has been below what these guys are capable. The mediocre first half of the season has put the Buffs in a tough spot to make a good case for the NCAA tourney, and with many competitive, must-win conference games looming, things need to change quick if this team is going to rebound and end the year strong.
     
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  2. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno MOBAs FTW! Club Member

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    At this point, I voted "No". This has been a very disappointing start to conference play. Look at it this way:

    We only play the Arizona schools once this season and the same for the LA schools. That means we have round robin games with Utah, the Bay Area, Oregon, and Washington schools. This year's team was geared to run for the conference championship based on the schedule and that team looks far from being a conference championship contender right now. UNLIKE the football team's expectations entering the 2016 season where everyone would have been happy with a bowl game, it would have been fair to expect the team to at least contend for the conference championship this season & make the NCAA tourney and win a tourney game or two. Instead, this team might not even make the NIT.

    I don't know about every CU fan but the honeymoon with Tad Boyle could very well be over after this season if it has not already happened. This doesn't mean that Boyle couldn't leave Boulder on his own terms...he earned the right to do so and any talk that he ought to be fired needs to be tossed out the window.

    White is a good player but I wonder if being a former D2 player and doing pretty well for a former D2 player is having an effect on the team's psyche. My allegations might have no merit at all but I believe every single AllBuffs poster would agree that Boyle shouldn't accept another transfer from D2 again period. You are either D1 or you are not.

    While we are still on the topic of transfers, Fortune has been a disappointment and perhaps the expectations set for transfers by Carlon Brown might be too high for any transfer that comes to Boulder. We got Namon Wright for next season from Missouri and has starting experience in a major conference. But is it time to reduce the reliance on transfers? It doesn't seem like it is working out quite as well as it did with Carlon Brown. We need to be developing players not asking players from other D1 schools to join us.

    I'm not going to dismiss the possibility that this team catches fire and finishes the season strong but I'm disappointed that the team hasn't played as well as they should be doing this season given the schedule. What I believe needs to be done is that the Buffs need to start driving towards the glass and shoot fewer three pointers. That has been happening more often as shown against the two Arizona schools. If the 3 point shooting guys aren't getting it done on the glass, it's time to find other players that will get it done on the glass. Golden State's offense isn't for everyone.

    I'm still excited about Boyle's 2016-17 recruiting haul that includes Schwartz, Bey, and Battey...especially that Battey. Just imagine him wearing down opposing defenses with his size while driving to the glass and then nailing a 3.

    On where to point the finger, it's normal that the head coach gets the blame but I'm not sure if some long time players could be the problem. It'll manifest itself at some point this season.
     
  3. Birch1

    Birch1 Well-Known Member

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    Haha. This is a bit asinine. White is our best player, and not because he's psyching out the rest of our team. Accepting White as a transfer is not the problem with the Colorado Buffaloes. If we can get another White for next year, I say we take him. If we can get another White every year, I say we take them. Even Sean Miller appraised White as an NBA guard. If you can play, you can play, doesn't matter which high school you went to or what summer team you played for or what division in college you start out in.
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Plus he had a full year around the guys while redshirting last year. They all knew how good he was and were counting on it with how confident they were for this season.
     
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  5. aghcsm

    aghcsm Well-Known Member

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  6. Da Lama

    Da Lama Well-Known Member

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