Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Now I'm Talking Recruiting, or Why the Offseason Sucks

I'm trying, guys.  I'm really trying to keep myself from turning this space into non-stop White Sox talk, since I realize the vast majority of you don't give a shit.  The boys from the South Side are not making it easy, however.  Off to a 14-6 start (big come from behind win last night, btw), they are actually... kind of good?  Shocking the hell out of me, they've turned a magical combination of lights-out pitching and defensive improvement into something that doesn't suck.  Sure, they still can't hit for crap, and regression to the mean is going to rake the pitching staff over the coals, but I can't help but think at least some of this is not fleeting.

So, allow me a brief, self-satisfied 'WHOOP' as I note the hot start of My Sox.  I promise it won't keep me from talking about... whatever it is that I normally talk about over the summer months.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking some recruiting news in both basketball and football, some random notes from the basketball program, and talking up the lacrosse team.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Transfers On My Mind

As @EricMetcalfe helpfully pointed out, today is the 6-year anniversary of Tad Boyle being announced as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.  What a day that turned out to be for this program!  Basketball in Boulder has never been the same; the program that is almost unrecognizable from the program that was.  In just over half a decade, Coach Boyle has brought us all to the point where we're disappointed by a first round exit in the NCAA Tournament.  Yo, that's quite a transformation.  Good hire, Mike Bohn.  Good hire.
Wow, has time flown.  From: the BDC
For those adventurous few interested, I've linked to my article from that day here.  It is... not good.  But it will at least give you a sense of the optimism and hope I felt at the time of the hire, while at the same time shedding a tear for the deserved Steve McClain (since banished to the veritable basketball wasteland that is UIC).  Luckily for us Buffs, Alec Burks came back, and all questions of 'what if' have since been erased.

Anyways, happy anniversary, Coach Boyle!

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Today in the bag, I only got two topics, and both of them are about transfers.  I'll start off with the Davis Webb 'thing,' before finishing with a basketball transfer roundup.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Jay Wright Walks Away From Explosions Without Looking Back

Before I get to one of the craziest finishes in the history of college basketball, I want to give a shout-out to the football program for leveraging a huge recruiting weekend into a major commitment.  4-star Texas WR Jaylon Jackson pledged to Colorado and new recruiting guru Darrin Chiaverini on Saturday, looking to bring his lightning-fast pace to the Foot of the Flatrirons in 2017.  The announcement is certainly something to get excited about, and a sign that things are trending up over at Folsom.

However, with bucket of cold water in hand, I take the stand with all football commitments that they are relatively meaningless outside of signing day.  The culture of the sport and the way the calendar sets up makes early pledges oftentimes wishy-washy. Not that I have any reason to doubt Jackson's veracity, just that I've seen commits across the nation come and go far too often to not take these kinds of things with a grain of salt.  The real truth is that what is news today can be gone tomorrow without something to back it up.  Simply, the Buffs will need to finally get some meaningful wins on the field if they want to both earn Jackson's final signature and add more high profile signees in the class of 2017.  Winning, as ever, is the magical cure to whatever ails you.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the national title game, a new coach officially signing on with the basketball program, and mulling over the possibilities for the two open scholarships.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

The Attrition Files: Tre'Shaun Fletcher and Kenan Guzonjic

The news spread like wildfire Wednesday night, breaking up an otherwise monotonous evening of #BuffsTwitter infighting: the transfer rumors were true, but it was two Buffs, not just one, who were leaving the program.  As it became clear, both junior wing Tre'Shaun Fletcher and sophomore forward Kenan Guzonjic had decided to continue their playing careers elsewhere, shaking up the narrative I had laid out in last week's Tuesday Grab Bag.  Colorado, rather than hitting the summer with a fully complimented roster of 13 scholarship players, would indeed be hitting the break with two open slots.

The surprise here isn't that there is a transfer scenario playing out in Boulder, or even the players involved. In fact, when I had a discussion with a good friend of the blog a few weeks back about the transfer rumors, the first two speculative names out of my mouth were Kenan and Tre'. What is a surprise, at least to me, is that it was multiple players pulling the trigger, making this the second consecutive offseason that it's transfers, plural, emanating from the program (Dustin Thomas and Jaron Hopkins left last spring). I guess, in retrospect, we all should've seen the writing on the wall.  Coach Boyle himself alluded to the potential for multiple transfers in his post-season presser Tuesday afternoon, citing a plan for a second scholarship to open up.  It is what it is, and I view these moves in a significantly different light than I did those from a year ago, but it still means the coaching staff will have to stay active on the recruiting trail this spring, probably in the hunt for at least one incoming transfer to even out class balance.

But, those are all matters for another day.  What this article is about is remembering the contributions of Fletcher and Guzonjic to our beloved Colorado Buffaloes.  After the jump, I'll give each the farewell treatment, focusing, as always, on the best aspect of their games, what they will best be remembered for, and their best single efforts in Black and Gold.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Wherein I Refuse to Acknowledge Spring Football

I've been assured by a number of sources that the CU football team is currently going through spring ball. A very important mile marker in the yearly existence of any football program, the seasonal stint of practices is, nonetheless, completely uninteresting to me.  I don't mean to go all Allen Iverson on everyone, but we talkin' bout practice, man.  I'm excited that the team has a chance to improve, to focus on finally handing in their bowl game V-card.  I really am.  But to expect me to give two shits about a series of practices six months from their first real game (with the expected starting quarterback still some 550 miles away) is like asking me to get excited about Arizona Fall League results.

And don't even start with me about the Spring Game.  If I turn up my nose at All-Star games, why would I care about a glorified intra-squad scrimmage?  If you're excited to get to Folsom two Saturdays from now to see 3/4ths of a program go through the motions, then God bless you.  Me?  I'll be in California, watching baseball games that actually count, and much better off for it.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking the Final Four, some confusing movement on the recruiting trail for the Buffs, and a new coach for the Women's team.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Grab Bag: Leaving the Dance After Only One Song

With college basketball season winding down, I'm straight to the action this afternoon.

Today in the bag, I'm talking the end of the road for the Colorado Buffaloes, the wild and wacky happenings of a weekend of insane basketball action, and the weirdness that is the Adam LaRoche v. White Sox scandal.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016 NCAA Tournament Preview: Colorado vs UConn - West Coast Bias

Let me state this off the bat: I did not watch one UConn game this season.  Why would I?  Their games are usually played at uncomfortably early times against regional opponents I don't care about on a channel I may or may not get (CBS Sports Network, or something).  They don't even hail from the Big East anymore, coming from something called the 'American Athletic Conference;' is that even a real thing?  More like C-USA-plus, if you ask me. Pshaw, essentially, I am too knowledgeable of a fan, and my time far to valuable, to spend my free hours watching any of that stuff.

Look, if those on the East Coast can use lethargy and regional bias to limit their understanding of the great game of college basketball, then so can I.  And so, I'm bringing my great West Coast Bias to bear on the problem at hand.  That's right, with ignorance as my guide, I'm going to blithely predict victory for our Buffaloes without even looking at KenPom; Buffs win 84-52.  Ha ha!  My shortest preview ever!

... Naw, I'm totally kidding.  Yes, of course I've seen UConn play this season.  Not only are they a good basketball team, easily on par with everyone short of Oregon that CU has seen this season, but I have oodles of respect for their program and their capabilities.  I'm going to give them the full preview treatment today, and they fully deserve it.  Don't be scared, though.  Unless you're a top-four seed, these are the kind of opponents you're going to face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament; it's a sign of the position Colorado has put themselves in this season.  Veteran, capable groups, ones equally as talented and dangerous as you are, are going to be your draw, and that's the way it should be.  The time comes, though, that you have to stop looking at the name on the front of the jersey, and start beating the names on the back. That's how you get Big Boy basketball swagger.  Time for the Buffaloes to earn their share.

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Hype Music for the Day: "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats

This beast, from Canadian one-hit-wonder group Men Without Hats, is an iconic New Wave hit from the 80s. I think it strikes a good message. Since we're going Dancing today, might as well do it safely.  Also, this song will now be stuck in your head for the rest of the morning.  You're welcome!

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Tip-off from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA is set for 11:30 AM MT today.  Never heard of 'the Well' before?  I'm not surprised, 'cause the teams that play there are exclusively minor league: the NBADL's Iowa Energy, the Iowa Barnstormer's of the Indoor Football League, and the Iowa Wild of the AHL.  Also, it's in Iowa, which is the state equivalent of stale white bread (I can make these jokes, being a native Midwesterner).  The building is still a standard, modern, multi-purpose facility, however, and a fitting place to play a first round game.

Televised coverage can be found on TNT, with the radio call on 850 KOA.  The game can also be followed through CBS' March Madness on Demand website and app, giving you plenty of opportunity to spike work in favor of watching the game.

Click below for the preview...