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Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, V.I)- #3 Women's bball face Cincinnati (Thurs., 11/23/23, 11:00 AM MT), Kentucky (Fri., 11:00) & #10 NC State (Sat., 11:00)


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Assume #3 Women's basketball (4-0) will need to get great work from their training and medical staffs, and more importantly good performances from the bench, as they have a 3 game in 3 day opportunity after heading east to the U.S. Virgin Islands to participate this week at the Paradise Jam Classic tourney. For the Buffs it begins with a match-up against the future conference foe Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1) this Thursday. After that, they face off against the Kentucky Wildcats (2-2) Friday and the #10 North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-0) Saturday.
(All CU games are scheduled to be the 1st ones played each day, with all having 11:00 AM MT (2:00 PM Virgin Island) start times.)

All 3 games are scheduled to be available on either ESPN's ESPN+ or ESPN3 platforms. (I assume ESPN's listings which show the games are on ESPN+ are correct, but the CU schedule shows ESPN3.)

Note- Not that they necessarily mean much if anything, but in the last NET Rankngs I can find for last season (dated 4/2/23), the Buffs ended up at #20, while Cincinatti was #194, Kentucky #80 and NC State #18. (Undefeated NC State looks to potentially be the toughest battle for the Buffs (although of course ANYTHING can happen in ANY game, so they'd better start by taking care of business against the P5 challengers from Ohio and Kentucky). The Wolfpack are ranked #10 in this week's AP (Media) poll, and like the Buffs already have a signature victory, in their case a home win over ALWAYS tough UConn on Nov. 12th.)

Go Buffs!!!

(Preview(s) not available as I type this.)

Link to tournament homepage - https://basketballtravelers.com/sports/pjamwomen

Link to tournaments' schedule (all times local, so 3 hours ahead of Mountain time. There are actually 2 sets of 4 team tourneys going on, with conference-mate ASU one of the teams in the other group/ tourney.) - https://basketballtravelers.com/documents/2023/6/25//2023_WBB_Bracket.pdf?id=316


Links with more more info on the upcoming opponents:

- https://gobearcats.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster
Stats - https://gobearcats.com/documents/2023/11/7/WBB_Season_Stats__1_.pdf
Schedule - https://gobearcats.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule
Their preview article - Not available as I type this.

Kentucky :
- https://ukathletics.com/sports/wbball/roster/
Stats - https://ukathletics.com/sports/wbball/cumestats/
Schedule - https://ukathletics.com/sports/wbball/schedule/
Their preview article - Not available as I type this.

NC State :
- https://gopack.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster
Stats - https://gopack.com/documents/2023/11/19/NC_State_Season__Nov._19_.pdf?path=wbball
Schedule - https://gopack.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule
Their preview article - Not available as I type this.


Media links:

Live video:

For those who have a subscription, all games are scheduled to be shown on ESPN's ESPN+ service. The direct links for each game are:
Vs. Cincinnati - https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/56852698-dca1-4a51-a885-5a15914f36a4 .
Vs. Kentucky - https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/e3b5985e-97e1-4793-8d13-e46c9ab1047d
Vs. NC State - https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/08e410c6-f3a6-49e3-b333-366e7d53e5c3

Live audio - The games will be available on 630 AM in the Denver/ Boulder area and maybe other stations in the Buff radio network. In addition, free audio streams for the games will be available at:
Vs. Cincinnati - https://cubuffs.com/watch/?Live=2853&type=Live
Vs. Kentucky - https://cubuffs.com/watch/?Live=2855&type=Live
Vs. NC State - https://cubuffs.com/watch/?Live=2857&type=Live

Link to link to live stats (All games) - http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=colo
For specific games (If blank, not available as I type this.):
Vs. Cincinnati -
Vs. Kentucky - https://gogriffons.com/sidearmstats/wbball2/summary
Vs. NC State - https://gogriffons.com/sidearmstats/wbball2/summary

Game notes: (Note- Left empty for games that don't have any available as I type this.)
Vs. Cincinnati - https://cubuffs.com/documents/2023/11/21/5_-_Cincinnati.pdf
Vs. Kentucky -
Vs. NC State -
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With all of the attention that has been on the team since they beat LSU, I hope JR has been able to keep them focused.

Tougher competition all 3 games with NC State being the toughest.
With all of the attention that has been on the team since they beat LSU, I hope JR has been able to keep them focused.

Tougher competition all 3 games with NC State being the toughest.
I'm not worried about the focus of this team. The biggest challenge of this tourney is that all three games are back to back to back. That's silly. And on paper the most challenging game is the last of the three.

Hopefully CU can build double-digit leads in the first two games and get up to ten players in each game to give the top seven or so some rest.
I'm not worried about the focus of this team. The biggest challenge of this tourney is that all three games are back to back to back. That's silly. And on paper the most challenging game is the last of the three.

Hopefully CU can build double-digit leads in the first two games and get up to ten players in each game to give the top seven or so some rest.
Good prep for conference tourney. Hopefully can keep legs fresh by being able to go deeper into bench minutes.
I'm not worried about the focus of this team. The biggest challenge of this tourney is that all three games are back to back to back. That's silly. And on paper the most challenging game is the last of the three.

Hopefully CU can build double-digit leads in the first two games and get up to ten players in each game to give the top seven or so some rest.
I assume nc state is also playing back to back to back. Will test depth on both teams
Preview for the tourney - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/22/womens-basketball-no-3-ready-for-three-in-paradise.aspx

Women's Basketball November 22, 2023 Seth Pringle, Athletic Communications

No. 3 Ready for Three in Paradise​

Colorado takes on Cincinnati, Kentucky and No. 10 NC State

ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands – No. 3 Colorado continues its early season play with three contests against Power 5 schools at the 2023 Paradise Jam Classic. The Buffaloes will open with Cincinnati before taking on Kentucky and No. 10 NC State.

Colorado traveled to St. Thomas late Monday night, arriving on the island Tuesday morning and headed straight to practice. The Buffs practiced Tuesday and Wednesday, before getting a chance to take in the island life with a catamaran trip Wednesday afternoon.

"I think we have a great balance of focus and actually enjoying being on an island and in an exotic, beautiful place," head coach JR Payne explained. "I think our team does a great job of being able to flip a switch and when it's time to be serious, focused and locked in, they are. That's what it's been so far. We had a great practice this morning and then we got to enjoy some island things this afternoon."

Three games in three days isn't common, outside of a conference tournament. The last time CU had a similar scenario in the non-conference season was Dec. 19-21, 2005, playing three straight days as a part of the San Juan Shootout. A more current version of the Buffs played three straight games in the 2022 Pac-12 Tournament.

"The scouts for all three games are done," Payne noted. "Being focused on Cincinnati first and then as soon as that game is over, regardless, you have to be able to go to the next one [game] really quickly. We'll sit down and watch the next game's [scout] and just focus on that. We have a really high IQ team. I think they can learn a scout really quickly in a short amount of time. I think that's a good thing for us, but also continuing to focus on ourselves."

Colorado has leaned on its veteran leadership on the court early this season. That will continue to hold true this week, but Coach Payne has noted that the team will have to lean on its depth to continue to be successful. CU's bench did score 54 points against Le Moyne but has only averaged 15.7 points per game in the other three contests.

"This week is going to be really difficult, no matter what, but we have a very capable deep bench and we need to make sure that we have a plan going in for rotations and lineups," Payne added. "You have to play the game and see how that works out, but the intention is to definitely try to go deeper [in the bench]."

Thursday will be the Buffs first meeting against Cincinnati (2-1). Colorado does have a connection to the Bearcats in the past. Legendary CU coach Ceal Barry was the head coach for Cincinnati from 1979-83, before taking the helm for the Buffs in the 1983-84 season.

Friday's opponent, Kentucky (2-2), also has CU connections. Barry played for Kentucky from 1973-77. Former Buff Jenny (Roulier) Huth is also in her first year as an assistant for the Wildcats. The Buffs are 1-1 all-time against the Wildcats, with the last meeting being a 79-69 win in Boulder in 2016.

The week will wrap with the No. 10 Wolfpack. CU and NC State met for the first and only time back on Feb. 1, 1997, resulting in a 67-62 win for the Buffs.

The last time CU took part in a top-10 matchup was on Dec. 3, 1995. The No. 8 Buffs defeated No. 7 Purdue, 79-64, in the Kona Women's Classic in Hawaii.

All three games for the Buffs are set for 11 a.m. MT starts. ESPN3 will carry every game of the Paradise Jam Classic.

Cory Lopez and Carol Callan will be courtside on the Colorado Radio Network, with pregame coverage starting each day at 10:30 a.m.

I'm heading out to family time, so may not be able to post the rest of the game.

The Buffs are up 34-19 with around 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.
Looking at Kentucky’s record, they are not good. Need to avoid a slow start or looking ahead.

Of course, hard to know game to game (good vs. bad shooting days, etc.), but NC State did just roll over the Wildcats 84-55, so looks like you're probably right.
Most important statistic in this game besides thee final score? No starter went more than 28 minutes (Sadler) and Vonleh only played 18 minutes (13 pts and 5 rbds).

Buffs had 48 points in the paint to 14 for Cincinnati.

Looks like the 4th quarter was mostly garbage time.
Media after today's win:

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/23...ffs-cruise-to-win-in-paradise-jam-opener.aspx

Game Recap: Women's Basketball | November 23, 2023 | Seth Pringle, Athletic Communications

No. 3 Buffs Cruise to Win in Paradise Jam Opener​

CU starts out with a 77-60 win over Cincinnati

ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands – No. 3 Colorado kicked off the Paradise Jam with a 77-60 win over Cincinnati Thursday afternoon at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

Three Buffaloes finished in double figures, but the team's production was largely from outside of the usual suspects Tameiya Sadler and Kindyll Wetta led the way with season-highs of 15 and 14 points, respectively. Wetta went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and handed out four assists. Aaronette Vonleh posted 13 points and Quay Miller led the team with eight rebounds.

"Right before the game, I heard two or three of us coaches telling her [Sadler] to be aggressive today," head coach JR Payne noted. "Ans she was. She's capable of finishing well at the rim and hit a 3 and just did a lot of different things.

"Kindyll is probably one of our most consistent players, certainly the hardest working player I've ever coached in 20-plus years," Payne continued. "I think her ability to score tonight came from her desire to never stop. Her cuts are incredible. Her penetration was incredible. She was confident when she hit that 3. She was great for us."

Jaylyn Sherrod was limited to six points and five assists, while Frida Formann went 4-for-9 from the field for nine points.

Colorado (5-0) shot a season 53.3% (32-60) from the field in the unfamiliar surroundings. Thursday was the third time in five games that the Buffs have shot 50% or better this season. More than half of CU's production came from close-range, totaling 48 points in the paint and converting 13 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. Colorado handed out 21 assists, marking the fifth consecutive game with at least 20 helpers for the Buffs.

"I feel like we came out and threw the first punch and kept punching," Sadler exclaimed. "I feel like our group was very mature about going into it and we had a plan and executed all our game plans."

Jillian Hayes and her 17 points led Cincinnati (2-2). The Bearcats hit 10 3-pointers in an effort to stay close on the scoreboard but shot just 35.8% (19-53) overall.

Key moment
The Buffs 10-0 run in the first quarter opened up a 10-2 lead but the Bearcats hit back-to-back 3s to cut the lead back down to four, 12-8. Wetta and Nolan teamed up for CU's next four points to put the CU lead back to 10, 18-8, with 2:05 to go in the quarter. CU's lead momentarily dipped back to nine to start the second quarter, but a Forman pull-up jumper to open the second quarter pushed the advantage back to double-digits, 23-12, and it didn't drop below 10 for the remainder of the game.

Up Next
The Buffs remain in St. Thomas with two more games left in the Paradise Jam Classic. Colorado will take on Kentucky on Friday (11 a.m. MT).

The Buffs are off to a 5-0 start for the fifth time under Coach Payne…CU has now failed to hit the 80-point mark for the first time this season…The last time CU had five consecutive games with 20+ assists was Nov. 26 – Dec. 4, 1982 (22, 23, 29, 28, 32)…CU was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and is 45-for-52 (86.5%) over its last three games…The CU bench accounted for its second-highest output of the season with 30 points (59, Le Moyne)…CU's 25-point lead at 0:46 of the third quarter was its second-largest of the season (60, Le Moyne)…Formann is now 29 points shy of 1,000 on her career (971)…Wetta recorded her third 100% shooting game of her career (min. 3 FGM).

Head coach JR Payne
On the team's rotation –
"In our program, we don't really care about starting. It's not a big deal. Sometimes we like to have our best and most productive players come off the bench. We always have and I don't think our team really cares about that either. They just want to win. They want to contribute when they come in. Kindyll is in at the end of most every game and that's because she's so reliable and tough. She knows her assignments and is just going to do what she's supposed to do."

On playing three games in three days – "All the teams here are really tough and athletic. They have great size. They are Power 5 teams and they play like it. So the biggest challenge is just being able to feel great by tomorrow afternoon. We have a great trainer and a great strength coach who's here with us. They will make sure we are fueled properly and rested properly. It was great that nobody had to play huge minutes tonight. That's really good for us to be able to have Aaronette and some of those high-minute players only playing 18 minutes."

Senior Tameiya Sadler
On keeping the team motivated –
"I would say it was our maturity and the coaches. T [Toriano Towns] was saying that going into the fourth quarter they [Cincinnati] are here to play too. They're not going to just lay down for us. We have to keep punching. That's when we just responded to that. We kept on doing what he told us to do."

On being told to be aggressive – "I'm more so like you guys have to tell me what you want me to do and I'll go out and do it. They [coaches] have been reiterating that to me every game this season. I think today, I really responded to that."

On Kindyll Wetta "Kindyll is great. I feel like she shot with a lot of confidence today. I was really proud of her. We always joke around if it's 5-4-3 just shoot it. I feel like she just really took on the role of being a scorer. She's always more of a passer, so her going out and being aggressive today was great for us."

Box score - https://cubuffs.com/boxscore.aspx?path=wbball&id=16574

Sheetz did the post game interview and she said the goal was that none of the starters play more than 30 minutes. Tam played the most at 23 minutes. Yes, the 4th quarter was garbage time.