A Sign of Life By Michael Krumholtz Last week Tad Boyle said his team seemed like it was losing confidence – that his players were afraid to make mistakes come game time. Even though the Baby Buffs pulled out a tight win in Pullman, the offensive struggles remained a glaring issue. On a Thursday night in Boulder, those worries faded behind the swooshing sounds of made baskets and the echoing cheers of a relieved home crowd. The sold-out arena was able to get excited early, as if when watching the monster talent level on the floor they were collectively yelling to each other, “Its Alive!” Coach Tad Boyle shared that same outlook of desperate elation with his crowd: “Sometimes after a win it is a sense of relief rather than joy,” he said. So after bleeding through the start of conference play, the Buffs have stuck a temporary band-aid with Thursday’s offensive barrage. For sure it was a discovery of an offense that had gone missing in the past few weeks. CU’s 75-54 demolition project of Stanford provides it with a needed win. Though they had lost four of their past six games, the Buffs caught fire in the first half against the Cardinal before cooling off a bit in the next half. On offense, each of CU’s five starters scored in double figures as the team converted on half of their field goals. Throughout the week Boyle had his team practice attacking the hoop to find a more fluid offensive output. Looks like freshman wing Xavier Johnson was paying attention. He had four crowd-igniting dunks, including a buzzer beating put-back jam that cushioned the Buffs’ halftime advantage at 44-29. Simultaneously on another ESPN channel, UCLA was busy taking down Arizona in Tucson, the place where CU’s Pac-12 luck began swirling down the drain. And though they’ve lost valuable chances, a streak through the end of this month and on to the remaining February and March calendar still somehow seems within grasp for such a talented team. The initial twenty minutes of the game showed how potent Boyle’s bunch can be when at its best. Talent is certainly is not one of the ingredients missing in their make up, but consistency is. Slow play returned in the second half, although CU kept up on the defensive side to force Stanford into questionable shots. “When we play together, and we have multiple guys leading we are great,” Boyle said. “I wouldn't point out the one guy, it was a great team effort but I do think we fed off of Andre (Roberson) tonight." Roberson did it all for the Buffs, looking like the lottery pick he was promised to be. Even though he let others do the flashy work on offense (despite still scoring 12 points of his own), he showed off his Texas gumption by tallying 20 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. “I don't really look at numbers after the game,” Roberson said. “What really matters to me and the team is the win. When we were on a slump, I told our team we were going to be on the rise again.” CU moves up to 3-4 in conference play. And they remain seated in the RPI top 25. Last season Stanford walloped Colorado in both meetings by a combined 44 points. That stat was not lost on Boyle, who reminded his team of the whooping they received. “These past three days Coach has really been emphasizing how badly they beat us last season,” said sophomore guard Askia Booker, who finished with 13 points and three steals. “So, we definitely kept that on our mind throughout the game." At the postgame press conference Boyle talked about his team’s numbers and the execution that lead to counting each one. “The result takes care of itself and there isn't really a lot to talk about,” Boyle said. “I think our players took a step forward tonight, understanding that and executing it."