Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: You really should be watching the Women's World Cup right now...

I'm still in a little shaken by the Xavier Johnson news -- this photo of him on a scooter is especially awkward. With XJ now out of the mix (at least for the rest of 2015), the Buffs are pegged to start the season without four of the six best players from a year ago, when before they were only expecting to be without one.  Ugh!

Ski's graduation is (obviously) not a surprise, but the twist transfers of Jaron Hopkins and Dustin Thomas loom even larger now that Xavier is hurt.  Those are veteran performers that could've been counted on to eat up extra minutes.  Now, the roster is left with a number of questions that we were not expecting them to have to answer.  I still believe that the program is in store for a bounce-back season, but I'm starting to wonder how high that bounce will be...

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the Women's World Cup, the NBA Draft, and Top Gear's melancholic farewell.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quick Post: XJ Tears Achilles

Just like the Daily Camera, in the wake of the news...

For the second time in as many weeks, BSN Denver's @RyanKoenigsberg was the first to bring BuffNation  dispiriting tidings. Colorado Basketball's Xavier Johnson has torn his Achilles tendon, and will be out for an extended amount of time.  The injury was sustained earlier this month during offseason workouts.  Coach Boyle reports that reparative surgery went well, and that recovery is already underway.
Air XJ has been grounded, for the time being.
According to this article from Philly.com, recovery time can usually be expected to last anywhere from 6-9 months, leaving the Buffs without their star wing until at least the start of conference play. (For his part, this is the time frame XJ is shooting for) Realistically, there's a very good chance that this injury has cost the senior to be the entirety of his 2015-16 campaign before true summer even started.

It's a blow.  A big blow.  Recovery was already a buzzword for BasketBuffs, with the fan base looking forward to a bounce-back season after 2014-15's losing malaise.  Now that recovery is also physical, rather than just results-oriented.  The three year veteran can play a number of positions, is a nightmare to guard when he's in form, and is 1st Team All-Pac-12 material - extremely difficult to replace.  To lose him before the season schedule is even finalized alters the landscape significantly.

If there's any silver lining to this, there is the fact that the injury happened early in the cycle, giving the roster and coaching staff plenty of time to adjust to life without Johnson.  'Tweener wing/forwards like Wes Gordon, Tre'Shaun Fletcher, George King, and Kenan Guzonjic will see their projected roles adjusted, and minutes increased.  Their summer needs to be busy and productive.

The real question I have is: what does the future hold for Johnson?  Will he still want to play in Black & Gold next winter? This was to be his last collegiate campaign, and it's anyone's guess at this point as to what his plans will be post-recovery.  Assuming he can return to form, there's the prospect of pro ball (domestic or international) or a transfer out of the program for his final year of eligibility. However, should he stick in Boulder, as friend of the blog @TZiskBuff points out, the 2017 roster could be overloaded with veteran talent.

Get well soon, XJ!  I hope to see you back at the CEC!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Summer has arrived

Summer has finally started to heat up the Boulder Valley, leaving me, much like Morbo, pleased, but sticky. I know!  How bout trying to stay cool with some extra cool basketball links!  Friend of the blog Adam Butler has a write-up on the new basketball rules that is well worth your time. Still not enough?  The New York Times has a fascinating piece up on the Triangle Offense.  That'll kill some time as the sun slowly slips down behind the mountains. Both best enjoyed with a Manhattan and some shade; you're welcome.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking Josh Tupou, the Women's World Cup, and The US Open.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: *repeated blasts from the hockey horn*

I'm not going to lie, it's been a little rough in the wake of last night's celebrations. So, without further adieu, it's straight to the action.  In today's bag, I'm talking My Blackhawks securing yet another crown, the Warriors closing in on one of their own, and the US Women in the World Cup.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: Titles in the Balance

Well, it's official, men's college basketball is getting its much needed face lift.  While I'm actually more intrigued with the changes on the women's side (four 10-minute quarters, in-game music - could this be a test-run for the men's game?), I'm relieved that the NCAA didn't get crazy and reject the proposal.  Much more on this as we get closer to the season, but rejoice in the coming of change.  High-fives all around!

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Today in the bag, I'm talking a stuff-to-the-brim sports Saturday, the Stanley Cup Final, and the NBA Finals.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: FIFA is french for Embezzlers United

Straight to the action today, as I'm off to LoDo to watch the Rox play this afternoon.  After the fold, I'm talking the FIFA arrests, a pair of Games 7 in the NHL, and the uninspiring action in the NBA conference finals.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Grab Bag: More basketball rules discussion

Memorial Day weekend, along with the dutiful remembrances for those lost in defense of this country, has long marked the first instance on the calendar that I allow myself a peek at Major League Baseball's standings.  Not that baseball in April and May is not important - each game counts the same, after all - just that the standings themselves are rarely informative without an adequate sample size.  With two months of play down and four to go, the colloquial opening day of summer figures to be as good a time as any to break that seal. So, lets put our eyes on the positioning of both My Sox and the home town Rockies. I have a feeling where this is going to head, but you never know...

*peruses standings*

Yep, My Sox are horseshit.  After a brief stint above the .500 mark a few weeks ago, they're back to four games under, and tied for last in the American League Central - a full eight games back of the Kansas City Royals.  Nothing too surprising here as the team can't hit, standing as the lone team in all of baseball to currently sport a negative WAR at the dish.  Right now, across this country, there are little league teams bringing a better overall approach to the box.  They bring shame to the very concept of professional hitters. *cough*

Certainly, given that disparaging outcome, the Rox have to be better... right?  Nope, in fact the Rox have managed to play even worse ball than my woeful Sox over the first two months.  At 18-25 overall, they're just as mired in obscurity at the bottom of the National League West, and just as doubtful a threat for an interesting summer.  One thing to note, however: without that infamous 11-game losing streak, things could be much different.  Let's say, instead of going 0-11 to start the month, Colorado went a still sub-par 5-6. Why, in that still-sour scenario, they'd be 23-20, and a surprise challenger to both the Giants and Dodgers. Wouldn't that be something?

As it is, it doesn't look like either My Sox or the damned Rockies will prove to be very entertaining over the final 2/3rds of the season.  I guess that just means we'll all have to savor the excitement of the NBA and NHL postseasons while they last.  After they're gone, it could prove to be a very dull summer.

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Today in the bag, I'm re-hashing the new basketball rules proposals by considering Coach Boyle's opinions, before running through the playoff results.

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