Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick-Post: Burks named Big XII player of the week

For the second time this season, Alec Burks has earned Big XII player of the week honors.  In the two wins this week over teams from the Lone Star state Burks averaged 23.5/9, highlighted by his 33/10/4 game on Saturday vs Texas.  Way to go Alec!

Monday Grab Bag: The greatest comeback since Lazarus (UPDATED)

(UPDATE - 2/28/11) - Tom Kensler of the Denver Post is reporting that GA tickets for the Nebraska game are sold out... if you want on the bandwagon, you'd better hop on quick 'cause it's about to leave the station.


What a massive weekend.  Not only did CU pull the comeback of the century out of their asses on Saturday, but there was also plenty of NFL combine news, the first spring training games, the (painful) beginning of softball season, and the Oscars to keep me occupied.  Today in the bag I'll mostly talk about the big win over Texas, but I'll also touch on the record breaking career of Cory Higgins, the weird character questions surrounding Jimmy Smith and the Oscars.
The celebrating begins inside this week's bag.  From: the BDC

Click below for the bag...

Buffs logo on Top Gear

As I always do in season, I semi-legally watched the newest episode (and last of the current season) of Top Gear last night.  If you haven't discovered the brilliance that is Top Gear, I can't suggest enough that you check it out.  I don't even particularly like car conversation that much, but the show is extremely well produced, and it's flat out great television.

Anyways, in the final segment of the Sunday night's show, presenter James May came to America to take a peek at NASA's new lunar rover.  While attempting to parallel park the multi-million dollar piece of equipment he sided up to an SUV with an interesting logo on the side:

GO BUFFS!  This is my own cropped screengrab from Top Gear UK episode 16x06

Top Gear is rumored to have over 350 million viewers, and each of them were exposed to Ralphie yesterday.  It is well known that CU is one of the leading providers of intellectual talent to NASA (head-lined by an astounding 18 astronauts), so it's not overly surprising that the Top Gear crew would randomly bump into a Buff'd out car.  I'm just glad whoever this Buff is decided to park there.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Bellhaven Scottish ale at Murphy's

One of my numerous (and belligerent) roommates works at Murphy's grill in South Boulder.  The rest of the house and I had been putting off visiting him at his job for months; that ended last night.  We popped into SoBo to try some of Murphy's finest eats, and I came away very impressed.  What impressed me the most, however, was their keg of Bellhaven's Scottish ale on nitro tap.

I'm not the world's biggest advocate of nitro tapped beers; essentially I feel it's an over-hyped fad and that CO2 is integral to the creation of "beer."  However, with a well-crafted beer, it can enhance the flavor in delicious ways.  I found the Bellhaven to be excellent; a nice apple flavor and aroma danced around a strong malty backbone, with a hint of hops and a rich creamy-ness from the nitro.  I can't suggest trying it enough if you find it somewhere.
The beer in question in it alternative can form.

My roommate says that what had been a limited engagement with the scottish ale has turned into a month's long fling.  Pint after pint is flowing out, so they keep ordering more.  My tastebuds certainly won't argue.  If you get a chance, I suggest you hop on down to Murphy's and try one or two; and if you see Dillon while you're there, say hi for me.

Happy Friday!

Texas Basketball Preview

My final first-look preview of a Big XII team will be devoted to the school that stands alone behind the eventual breakup of the conference.  Texas is, and has been for a long time, an uncontrollable monster, quickly gobbling up everyone in their path on the way to single-institution dominance.  At some point they have to realize that it takes other schools to help stuff their giant mattress of cash, right?

When UT leaves the Big XII, and it will happen sometime in the next 5 years, it will be the culmination of 2 solid decades of scheming to set out on their own.  I hope its everything they think it's cracked up to be.  And I hope the other 9 remaining Big XII teams have a backup plan.
The conference lead a good life.  From: bleacher report

CU enters Saturday afternoon's home game against the Texas Longhorns fresh off of a gritty win against another of the Lone Star State's Big XII entrants.  Wednesday's 3 point win over Texas Tech may not have been the prettiest of victories, but, afterall, a win is a win, and it keeps hopes of slipping into the 5th seed for the upcoming Big XII tournament alive.  I know the Buffs feel that this game is winnable, and will be fired up come Saturday afternoon.  Not for nothing, but CU is undefeated at home in weekend games this season (6-0)...
CU looks to rise above the daunting Longhorns Saturday afternoon.

Texas, of course, comes in as the #5 team in both polls, and at 24-4 (12-1) they are legitimately one of the best teams in the country.  While #5 isn't bad, they probably would've been #1 if they hadn't stumbled in Lincoln last weekend.  They even beat Kansas in Lawrence this year, and look every bit as strong as their record indicates.  They are a tough, athletic, and quick team, who I think has a damn good shot of wining the national championship in April. 

Gametime is set for 2pm on Saturday.  If you don't already have a ticket, I wouldn't bother showing up in Boulder Saturday as the game has been sold out for weeks.  If you're ticket-less, or just live outside of the area, the game will be televised on the "Big 12 Network" (Altitude 2).

This game will also mark the final time CU plays Texas in the regular season, and is my final chance to say goodbye to the "Good Ol' Boys" from Austin.  Here's where I come clean, I kind of like UT.  Austin is a beautiful city, with a vibrant, dare I say 'liberal,' culture.  UT is a fantastic, almost world-class, institution of higher learning.  One of the best road-trips of my life was to Austin in '05.  If I said anything against UT the institution it would from behind a mask of deceit and jealousy.  If only they could take the 'Texas' out of UT,  but then it just wouldn't be the same...

Now, the UT athletic department?  That's a different story all together.  DeLoss Dodds, the UT athletic director since the early 80's, has built them to the rough collegiate equivalent of the New York Yankees.  National and conference title rain down on the Longhorns in nearly every sport they compete in.  This is directly related to the gigantic pile of cash Dodds gets to play around with.  UT is consistently listed in the top-3 largest athletic department budgets in the country, and has well over $100 million to throw at any problem area.

They have the best facilities, largest recruiting budgets, and most impressive infrastructure around.  Am I jealous, hell yes!  But it's also an example of the financial disparity and its effect in collegiate sports.  Even 3 years ago, UT had 3 times the financial resources (total revenue) of schools like Texas Tech or Iowa State (about 2 times what CU had).  It's absurd to expect other universities to compete against a behemoth like that.  Hell, they've even got their own ESPN-branded network!

To then go about and demand that league revenues are split unevenly only furthers the divide, and ensures that true competition is only an illusion.  I'll say this slowly; more competition equals more money for everyone.  The current business model, driven by greedy Texas, may work for some teams, but it's not sustainable overall, and that's why CU is bolting.
The money just keeps flowing to UT, making it nearly impossible to compete.  From: this random site

When considering the move to the Pac-12, I'm most excited about heading to a conference where even the haves (UCLA, USC) share league revenues equally (relatively) with the have-nots.  Because of this, in 10 years the Pac-12 will be alive and well, while the Big XII will be roadkill on the hood of UT's big Texas Cadillac.

Anyway, I say farewell, Longhorns.  I can't say it hasn't been interesting.

Click below for my preview

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick-Post: The new direction of the football team's offense

Shifting gears, Ringo has a quick look at the new direction that Coach Embree and Coach Bieniemy are taking the offense in. 

Pro Style!  Tight Ends!  Gary Barnett!  Saying those things to Buff Nation is like throwing a steak to a lion; we'll eat that shit up.

If you've got basketball fatigue (I don't, but to each their own) I suggest you head over to check it out.

Buffs in a position to make a run in Kansas City

Don't look now but last night's win over Texas Tech puts CU in a good position to make a deep run in the conference tournament next month.  While CU has struggled somewhat in conference play, they face a winnable 3-game stretch run, and could set themselves on course to make some noise in Kansas City.
No time for celebrating, there's still something to play for!

The key would be to landing the #5 seed in the conference, buying them their best shot at making the conference semi-finals.  While the Buffs are currently in 8th place, with the middle teams as bunched as they are, a quick vertical leap up the standings is not only possible, but even likely considering the remaining schedules of those involved.

Don't believe me?   

Click below for the proof.

Texas Tech Wrap

If you would've told me prior to last night's game versus Texas Tech that Cory Higgins and Alec Burks would combine for 7-23 shooting, with Cory fouling out down the stretch, I'd have told you that CU didn't have a prayer in hell of escaping Lubbock with a win.  Yet there the Buffs were at the end of the game, sprinting down the court, arms raised in jubilation, literally streaking away with a hard fought win in enemy territory.

They certainly gave me a scare.  The evening had that Baylor-game stench to it when, after leading by 12 at the break, the Buffs allowed the red-hot Raiders back into the game, even going down by 4 points with just over 11 minutes left.  It probably didn't help that the game was played in an essentially empty gym (Official attendance was 8,085; BULLSHIT), and it must've been really hard to create any energy.  Yet the team persevered, and made the plays that mattered down the stretch.
It wasn't easy last night, but Alec and the guys came through in the end.  From: the BDC

Even with all of the early second half struggles, CU once again ended up out shooting the opponent (42%-41%), out rebounding the opponent (40-34), and finished the game with 4 players in double figures.  That's the kind of numbers that spell victory, no matter how hot the opponent comes out in the second half (Tech had 30 percentage points of shooting improvement from the first half to the second) Make no mistake, CU earned this win.

It was a win the team had to have.  The door to .500+ in conference is still open, and the Buffs can still work themselves into a decent seed for the Big XII tournament.    The team is now 6-7 in the Big XII, and can feel really good about themselves going into the tough matchup with UT on Saturday.  Great job, guys.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Texas Tech Basketball Preview

Last season, with their backs against the wall, the Colorado Buffaloes went on a 3 game win streak against ISU, Nebraska and Texas Tech to close the season strong and keep hopes of a post-season berth alive.  While that bid to play in the NIT eventually fell short, that 3-game stretch to close out the '09-'10 season filled Buff nation with hope that the basketball program was bringing to turn a corner.
Cory and the guys are looking to avenge last season's opening round loss in the Big XII tournament that ended post season hopes.  From: CBS4
Coming down the stretch of this season, while still clinging to post season hopes, the Buffs look at their final four games only to see those same 3 teams on the schedule, and sandwiched around a home date with #5 Texas.  Should they win those 3 games, as they did last year, it's a passable 8-8 conference season and a definite berth in the NIT (should they throw in a win over Texas.... let's not get crazy).  While I'm sure everyone involved with the program would rather be talking about a legitimate shot at the big dance, any tournament invitation would be a definitive step forward for a program that hasn't tasted post season play in 5 years.

I'll get this out of the way now, I fully expect this team to finish this season with at least 3 more wins.  It's a four game season right now; this is no longer about expectations, NBA prospects, or the bright-ish future of the program.  It's about honoring the 5 seniors (and one sophomore?) playing their final minutes in Buffalo uniforms, and closing the year strong against beatable opponents.  That 4 game journey beings tonight in, of all places, Lubbock, Texas.
I think the Buffs have one more run of good play left in them.  It'd be nice to see the confident smiles again.

The Buffs come into tonight's game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders fresh off of a nationally televised pounding at the hands of the royally pissed off KU Jayhawks.  Losing by 26 is never excusable, but I'm not sure there will be the emotional hangover that many games like that can carry.  The team should be ready to hit the court this evening, with that KU loss far from their minds.

Texas Tech comes in fresh off of their win over Baylor in Waco.  That win, however, is not indicative of the struggles that the Red Raiders have fought through this season.  A 13-18 record, 4-8 in conference, is all the Raiders have to show for their efforts this season.  The days of filled stadiums and the traveling Bobby Knight three-ring circus are long gone, and Raider fans are beginning to realize that coaching is about much more than the coach's last name (that's a burn).  Game time is set for 5:30, so trick the boss into letting you out early so you won't miss any action.  Unfortunately, this game is only available locally on (the tres), so for most it'll be 760AM or bust for this one.

This game will also mark the final time that CU and Texas Tech will meet in the regular season.  So, it's time for me to say goodbye to the Red Raiders from Lubbock.  Tech was certainly more interesting when coaching personalities Bobby Knight and Mike Leach were running the marquee programs on the West Texas plains.  Now it's all about under-performing bland replacements.  

Since Leach and Knight have been run out of their respective positions, the only thing I think when I hear Texas Tech University is the abysmally awful town that it resides in.  Lubbock is, and let's be honest here, a world-class shithole.  I've been all across this blessed country of ours, and no other town reminded me so much of a bombed-out third world country as Lubbock.  Last time I ventured to the Hub City, I saw a group of children playing in the rubble of a torn down brick building on Main Street.  You just don't see that shit outside of Afghanistan and Detroit.

Either way, the Raider faithful seem to enjoy themselves.  Basketball may not be their preferred sport (Afterall, in West Texas football's a way of life), but they've fielded some competitive teams over the last decade.  It was always fun to see them pop up on the schedule, simply from the fact that a Bobby Knight coached team is a blast to watch.  And let's never forget the failed experiment that was "Knight School."  The "please look at us" antics of the 4th Big XII school from Texas were always good for a laugh and a pause, and I'll never forget them for that.
I still believe in you Tyler Hoffmeister.

Click below for my preview

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Post: Ski team OK after scary crash this weekend

I've avoided talking about the highly ranked CU ski team this year simply because I know nothing about skiing.  I was thankful to note, however, that everyone is OK after what sounds like a very scary auto-collision up in the mountains this weekend.  The articles say no one was seriously hurt, and everyone was soon released from the hospital. 

Quick Post: More academic honors for Levi

Levi was just announced as a second team academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  He's rocking a 3.92 GPA in Business Administration.  Congrats Levi!

The limitless future of Alec Burks

Because of the increased NBA scout presence this season, especially at the Kansas game Saturday afternoon, there has been a plenty of speculation over the last few days about the future of Alec Burks.  Will he go pro?  Will he stay?  Is he good enough to go pro early?  If you read the tea leaves there are a few answers, but needless to say his future seems to be paved with gold no matter what his draft decision is after the season concludes.  Today I'll be taking a close look at his skill set, how it translates to the next level, and what realistic expectations should be for draft day.  The answers might surprise you.

Click below for my lengthy evaluation

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: That went as expected

I'm a little late with the bag today because, weirdly, my work allows me President's day off.  Either way, it's a free day of sleeping in and doing nothing!  In the bag today I'm going to wrap the KU game, mention some items from spring training, share my thoughts on the NBA All-star game, and touch on Melo's imminent departure for the NYC metropolitan area.

Click below for the bag

Friday, February 18, 2011

AllBuffs Recruiting Round Table

AllBuffs was once again gracious enough to lend me space on their site for my ramblings.  This time, I'm included in a round table discussion about the recently completed 2011 draft class.  Thanks to everyone over there for inviting me!

Joining me are Stuart from and David Gebhart from the Ralphie Report.  Head on over to check out the discussion!

Friday Beer Post: Stout Month (UPDATED 2/18)

It's that time again: stout month is back at the 3 brew-pubs in the Mountain Sun family!  When I think Mountain sun, I always think Illusion Dweller and Colorado Kind Ale.  Yet every February I find myself drawn to the Sun for some excellent dark flavors.  Offering tapped versions of both their own delicious stouts and those of guest brewers, Stout month is a great way to pass an evening in the dead of winter.  This past Wednesday night I made my yearly pilgrimage to the tiny (and always packed) pub on Pearl Street for some tastings, and, as always, I did not come away disappointed.

I'm very appreciative of the choice to hold a month-long event dedicated to stouts.  It's a step down a road not normally taken.  While stouts are the kings of dark complexity, it's been the hoppy beers that have taken the American craft beer landscape by storm over the past few years.  That the Mountain Sun bases it's yearly beer tradition on a beer type not often given it's due strikes me as an outrageously "Boulder" thing to do.  That they're all on tap makes it all that much better.

I was able to sample 5 stouts Wednesday evening before remembering that I had to work the next day.  Tastings of Grand Teton's Black Cauldron, and the Mountain Sun's own Chocolate Cherry Dip, Dropkick, Yonder Mountain and Coconut Cream made for a very dark and roasted evening.  The best of the bunch, in my opinion, was the Black Caldron; came in an 8oz pour, but well worth the premium attached.  Tons of dark, roasted, and toffee flavors accompany this startlingly black beer, and it had that "suck your breath out" aroma that many Imperials possess.  Smooth and tasty, I highly recommend Black Cauldron.

Overall, a very happy and productive trip to the Sun.  There's still 11 evenings left in February, and I suggest spending at least one of them on a trip to any of the 3 Mountain Sun pubs; stout month only comes around once-a-year, afterall.

(UPDATED 2/18/11 - 2:13PM) For lunch a few buddies and I went back to the Sun for more stout month.  Unmoved by the dangers of over-consuming before heading back to work (don't worry I had a driver) I grabbed 2 stouts with my burger.  Luckily for me, the Sun was pouring the Export Stout from local favorites Upslope brewing.  I've enjoyed this brew at their storefront before, but it was nice to try it in a more relaxed setting.  Export smells a little funky, but the taste is along the lines of a liquid carbomb; nice cream flavoring to go along with a strong coffee aftertaste.  Another good reason to try stout month!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Post: Academics

I'd be remiss if I didn't note the academic accomplishments of Levi Knutson and Trey Eckloff.  They were each named to the All-Big XII Academic first team for posting GPA over 3.2.  Both are finance majors, and should be able to buy and sell us all in a few years.  Way to hit those books, guys!

Kansas Basketball Preview #2

Monday night my roommate, a fellow CU grad, decided that KU needed to get beat.  Rooting for K-State all game, he said "I just want to see Kansas lose."  When I asked about whether or not he considered the fact that CU plays them on Saturday, and that it might be advantageous to play an overconfident KU squad who may overlook CU, he responded that "It doesn't matter, we weren't going to beat them anyway."  My roommate is an idiot.

Sure, CU's chances of going into Lawrence on Saturday and coming out with a victory were never good (in fact I enumerated them that evening at 5%), but, since the Buffs will have to play that game anyway, shouldn't any and all CU fans primary concern be that the Buffs face the #1 Jayhawks in as good a scenario as possible?  Not only is Kansas royally pissed-off, but they're also looking to make a statement at home.  It's nearly the same scenario as last month's date with KU when they were coming off their first loss of the season; had UT not gotten them first, I bet CU wins that game.

Before Monday night the game Saturday meant relatively nothing to them.  In other words, the possibility of sneaking up on them was present.  Now, it'll take a damn miracle to beat a focused and determined KU squad in the Phog.  I restate: my roommate is an idiot.
This is not a good image for any real Buff fan.  Not only does KSU probably grab a precious at-large bid, but KU is now ready and focused to beat the Buffs.  From: The KC Star.

While KU comes into the game fresh off their 16-point butt-whupping at the hands of interstate rival KSU, the Buffs come in off of a dearly needed bye week and two very close games at home.  CU lost in overtime against A&M and beat KSU after a devastating 3-pointer was ruled to be after the clock expired.  Now the Buffs head into Lawrence to meet the Jayhawks for the final time in regular season play.  It's no secret that CU hasn't won there since before I was born (1983), but they've come close as recently as two years ago.  Game time is set for noon on Saturday, and you can catch the action on ESPN, original flavor.  For reference, my preview for the first game is here.
CU played the Jayhawks tough in Boulder, maybe that effort can carry over.  From: the BDC

This will also mark my final opportunity to say farewell to the Jayhawks.  This rivalry has always been a little personal for me.  Kansas in basketball means something simply because of the fact that they are the program any school would want to become.  Perennially they are in the national title hunt, they get their pick of the talent coming out of high school in a given year, and they have a dedicated and passionate fan base.  It's personal for me because a good friend of mine from high school went to KU, and we always seemed to end up on the opposite sides of sporting rivalries (Sox/Cubs, Dolphins/Jets, and conference rivals CU/KU).  Since we love to get the "one-up" over the other, any win against Kansas, in any sport, was good enough for a goading email.  It certainly didn't hurt that my first instance of CU/KU on the basketball court ended in a Buffs victory.

On a larger sense, much like Nebraska in football, KU's fanbase's collective arrogance, and penchant for traveling long distances to remind you of that arrogance, means the yearly matchup with them is beset with an overabundance of the visiting teams fans.  Sure, the athletic department could always use the money, but I'd just as rather see them not invading my hometown every year.  KU, with that hauntingly arrogant "Rock, Chalk" victory chant, boils my blood.  I would've loved to have gotten them one last time at the CEC; it's a damn shame the Buffs couldn't pull it off.

Despite this, I actually felt kind of sorry for KU during the whole disintegration of the Big XII thing.  Tied to unwanted KSU by the state's legislature, Kansas was potentially left out in the cold.  Could you imagine the storied KU basketball program representing the Mountain West or C-USA in the NCAA tournament each year?  It just wouldn't be right.  Hopefully, by the time UT transforms into Mecha-UT, the Jayhawks will have figured some deal out with either the Big 10 or the Big East, because, and I mean this in earnest, they deserve better than a second-tier conference fate.

Click below for my preview

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring Training Primer

 The Buffs off-week comes at a perfect time for me.  The quick respite in the middle of the challenging Big XII season allows me to set my sights, ever so briefly, on the start of Spring Training.  If you're looking for someone to wax poetical about the dawning of Spring, Baseball, and Hope I suggest you look elsewhere.  I'm more of a practical baseball fan; I use ST to reintroduce myself to the players and storylines that will impact my teams over the next 7 months, rather than a metaphor for the human condition (that sappy baseball shit makes me want to gouge my eyes out).

While the Rockies have already begun to report to their shiny new complex in Scottsdale, the Sox won't begin to arrive in Glendale until tomorrow.  In celebration, I've put together a list of the key items I'll be watching while the teams prepare for the 2011 season.  Buffs basketball coverage will return in earnest tomorrow.

Click Below

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Off-Week Basketball Thoughts

As the Buffs finish enjoying their well deserved 3 off days, I have a couple of random thoughts about the current state of affairs.

A mountain to climb - The Buffs just can't catch a break with #1 KU and #2 Texas on the schedule the next two weekends.  You have to play them sometime, but having them both in a week is just plain cruel.  Sure, KU may have looked poor last night, but do you really expect them to play like that at home in a rebound game?  And UT?  They're only my pick for the national title (sure did spoil that future column).
That outcome couldn't have been any worse for CU.  Not only did KSU just grab themselves a coveted at-large bid, but Kansas is now pissed off and wanting to make a statement on Saturday.  From: Kansas City Star

If I'm CU, I'm looking at this like the opportunity of a lifetime.  You want to make up for those close road loses to Nebraska and Oklahoma?  Steal one from Kansas.  You want to make the tournament committee forget that collapse at Baylor or the last minute debacle against A&M?  Take care of UT at home.  A win against one of those two teams makes up for a lot of bad habits against middling teams.  It's as good a time as any, and I think this team still has one big game in them before the conference tournament.

Nate's return means a return to scoring - Let's be honest, the offense this past week and a half was often an ugly thing to watch.  Many people bemoan Nate Tomlinson's presence, but you can't argue with how fucked up things get when he's on the bench.  A high-octane offense is only good as its point guard, afterall.  He distributes, runs the offense, and allows the shooters to shoot. 

Specifically, in the 3 games he missed CU's shooting (41%) and points are down (63/game, I disregarded the 10 overtime points against A&M) while turnovers are up (16/game, although this includes 23 against ball hawking Mizzou).  These are all off season averages.  The Buffs are just a better offensive team with him healthy and in the lineup; there's a reason he starts and gets big minutes. 

Nate's absence affecting Levi - More than that, Nate's absence has messed with the rotation, forcing Boyle to leave Levi and others out on the court for more minutes than is productive. While Nate was sidelined Levi's minutes have shot up (35.3/game), while his shooting percentage has gone down (34%). (I talked about Levi and diminishing returns last month; CU needs to keep his minutes down, and his legs fresh, to maximize his impact)  He has to handle the ball more, and is less able to look for his own opportunities.
Levi needs a good PG on the court to enable him to produce at a high level.  From: The BDC

The great news is Nate's back for Saturday's game in Lawrence.  I expect a much more efficient offense to be on display Saturday, with Levi especially having a big game as a result.

Need to get Dre back into the flow - Andre Roberson, he of the impressive rebounding skills and sky-high potential, has been brutal the past 3 games.  Since grabbing 10+ rebounds in back-to-back games at the end of January, 'Dre has been way off his game.  In the last 3 games he has 2 foul-outs, a total of 6 points, and only 14 rebounds.  His A&M games was especially bad.  In 24 minutes he had nearly no impact on the game with only a dunk and a rebound to show for his action (He didn't even commit a foul.  How does a post player play 24 minutes and not commit a foul?).  Yes he's a freshman, but with the absence of Shane Harris-Tunks he's carrying a huge burden, and a more involved 'Dre means good things for the offense and the team as a whole.

Going back to my previous point, I take it as no small point that Tomlinson was gone for all but 3 minutes of those 3 games.  As Coach Boyle noted, Nate is the best post feeder, and 'Dre needs supply to effect the game.  In summation, Nate Tomlinson is the key to world peace and Colorado victories.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: K-State Wrap and P&C report!

I'm not going to lie, I found it kind of refreshing to experience a weekend without football.    Today in the bag I'll talk mostly about the K-State game and a little about pitchers and catchers reporting to various sites around Florida and Arizona today.

Click Below for the Bag

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick-Post: Caught my eye...

Something caught my eye in Todd McShay's latest mock NFL draft.  Jimmy Smith was listed as getting drafted higher than Nate Solder.  Obviously mock drafts are about as worthless as a discarded piece of chewing gum, but it's interesting none-the-less.

Friday Beer Post: 2011 National IPA Championship

It's back!  The National IPA Championship is back in business for it's 4th year of competition.

If I've said it one, I've said it a thousand times; throw a bracket on something and I'll instantly start paying attention.  The NIPAC combines my love of brackets with my favorite beer style in something I lovingly refer to as the best idea ever conceived by man.  Last year Fat Head' Brewery and Saloon in Cleveland took home the crown for their Head Hunter IPA.  This year it's anyone's guess as 128 gloriously hoppy IPA's are competing for the title.

If you've got some time to burn (and It'll take some time to review 128 beers), check out the locker room list and fill out a bracket.  You can get a free case of the winning beer if you win their bracket contest!

Who do I think will win?  Well, I've always liked Boulder's own Avery IPA.  Additionally, I've enjoyed Chicago favorite Goose Island IPA (competing against Boulder native Hoppy Boy), Wynkoop's Mile HIPA, Great Divide's Titan IPA, New Belgium's surprisingly tasty Ranger IPA (Hey, they just discovered hops!), and Stone's IPA this year, and they're all fantastic.  To be honest, I've never heard of most of these beers, but it's always fun to bullshit about which beer is better.

Because I love beer in a can, and the beer is damn good, I'm going to randomly select Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi to win my bracket.  I'm literally basing this off of nothing.
Modus, for what it's worth you've got my vote.

I can only hope that I get to try many of these at some point, I'm sure they're all fantastic.

Happy Friday!

K-State Basketball Preview #2

Saturday night brings the return game against K-State.  It was this win over the Wildcats in early January really got the town talking about the high-flying Buffs.  Both teams are no where near where they'd like to be right now, so it'll be interesting to see who shows up.  Game time is set for 7pm Saturday, and the game can be seen on ESPNU if you're so inclined.
The Buffs will try to get back on track, again, Saturday night.  From: the BDC

Saturday will also mark the final regular season meeting with the school many CU fans derisively refer to as "Kjuco-State."  It's well known that the "other" university in Kansas uses lower admission standards to their advantage in recruiting; shoveling Ju-Co players in like they were coal for a boiler.  For the most part it has served them well to the frustration of CU fans everywhere who know that our school can't get a Ju-Co in to save our lives.

But, in all reality, I can never stay mad at K-State.  Sure, many of their fans are jerks who can barely spell, but, and this is just outright cruel, they all live (or have lived) in what is undoubtedly the worst college town in America.  If you've never been unlucky in life enough to have ventured out to the "Little Apple" Manhattan, KS let me tell you: it's the depressing asshole of the Midwest.  I go to sleep praying to God that I never have to go back there.  Not only is it in the middle of absolute nowhere, but there is so depressingly little to do once you get there that a night at the local Applebee's becomes high-class entertainment.

So the next time you feel the urge to punch a K-State fan in the face for saying something stupid (and, Lord knows, we've all been there before), just remember that they've been hit with the short end of the college choice stick.  Kindly remind them that "we don't live in Kansas," give them a pat on the head, and return to living happily in the mountain resort we call a state.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

A&M Wrap

(Note: K-State Preview tomorrow before Beer Post)

I just want to puke.  It's hard to take a loss where your favorite team leads essentially the entire way, yet still finds a way to lose.  My roommate suggested that I just list a string of endless profanities, I would almost rather write nothing at all.  It's kind of hard to write about an overtime home loss, but I'll give it a shot.

The first 10 minutes saw CU flat dominate the visiting Aggies.  The defense was good, causing 2 shot-clock violations and a few fast breaks getting the crowd on its feet. Then CU got into early foul trouble.  With star guards Alec Burks and Cory Higgins sitting on the bench, CU had to resort to zone defenses and a listless b-squad to make it to halftime.  This allowed A&M back into the game and the teams went to break only separated by a 2 point Buffs lead.
CU may have only had a 2 point lead at the break, but I was feeling pretty confident because of the high-flying first 10 minutes.  From: the Post.

At this point I was pretty confident.  The lead may have been only 2, but CU had played most of the 1st half with Burks and Higgins either on the bench or desperately avoiding any fouls.  The Buffs were out shooting the Aggies (48%-42%) and rebounding, while an issue, wasn't too far out of reach.

The second half was a completely different story.  CU's shooting percentage dropped precipitously (33%, including overtime) and A&M began to dominate CU on the boards.  The half-court offense had stalled and the stingy Aggie defense wasn't giving the Buffs any opportunities to dribble-drive and find the open man.  The Aggies also began to fully dominate the boards (they ended up with a +11 advantage) which limited CU's ability to run and get out of the staunch A&M defense.  CU began to force drives and shots, usually to the detriment of any scoring opportunities.  At times it felt that down the stretch CU was going 2-5 as Burks and Higgins tried to take on the Aggie defense all by themselves.

Regardless, with a little luck, and a little help for a self-destructing Aggie team who gave CU 4 points via technical fouls and a 7-point possession (never seen that before), CU still held a lead late.  However, with the half-court offense in disarray, and CU unable to get to the line off of the dribble-drive, that lead was going nowhere and the Aggies were allowed to play catchup. With 1.9 seconds left Aggie guard B.J. Holmes sent the game to overtime with a back-breaking 3.  The Buffs just didn't look ready for overtime, and once that tying 3 went in I knew it was all but over.  The momentum of that play carried over into the extra-5, and CU could only barely hang on to the game. Levi did manage to get open for a final shot after the Aggies kept missing freethrows, but his shot fell short and CU lost a heart-breaker.
A dejected Higgins and Relphorde look on as the Aggies pull out the win.  From: the Post

The headline stats, the rebound discrepancy and the poor 2nd-half shooting, tell a lot of the story, but I think the biggest reason CU lost was the inability to find an offensive rhythm in the 2nd half.  All game CU was forced to play Levi as the primary point guard (with Sharpe spelling him off the bench).  He wasn't always bringing the ball up the court, but he was the one filling in for injured starter Nate Tomlinson.  Without the direction of the veteran Aussie point guard the offense looked sloppy and stagnant.  Additionally, I feel it took Levi out of his comfort zone; he forced some shots (A&M did a great job forcing him to his left hand on drives), and ended up a unusually poor 2-11 from the field.  If Nate's on the court, I think the final 25 minutes plays out differently.

Irregardless, CU now stands at 4-6 in conference and has lost 6 of their last 7 games.  The season is now firmly stuck in a tail-spin, and it would take a damn miracle to pull out of it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Texas A&M Basketball Preview

After the recent disappointing trip to Columbia, the Buffs return home for a nice 2-game homestand against some interesting opponents.  First up are the powerful Texas A&M Aggies.  CU enters the game in the midst of a dreadful 1-5 run in conference play.  Many of those game have been close, but the Buffs just haven't been able to come through against strong competition over the past few weeks.  The 22nd ranked Aggies visit Boulder for the last time in the midst of their own painful painful slide of four losses in their last 5 games.  Both teams will be looking to get back into league contention with a win tonight at the CEC.  Action starts at 7pm, and the game can be seen on ESPNU if you're too lame to make the drive up to Boulder.

It's do or die time for the CU basketball team.  With the loss to Missouri the team probably needs to win 6 of their final 7 to have any hope of making the Dance.  This would include wins over UT, A&M, Nebraska and K-State at home and Tech and ISU on the road.  All of those games could be considered "winnable" in some respect (yes, even the UT game), but, and lets be honest here, going 6 of 7 is a seriously tall order for a team who has been playing some pretty shaky basketball over the last 4 weeks.  Regardless, the Buffs should be real hungry to defend their home court and get back into contention for the 4th bye slot in the upcoming Big XII tournament.
Cory and the boys need to get back to winning ways, and tonight is as good a time as any.  From: The BDC

Tonight will also mark the final time CU will be facing A&M in regular-season play, so this will be my opportunity to say farewell to "the other" big Texas school.  A few years back I visited College Station for probably the only time in my life.  Let's just say I was uncomfortable; it's a little surreal to find an entire city stuck in the 50's.

The whole A&M "thing" has always seemed just this side of a cult to me; and an extremely pasty one at that.  I don't really have anything bad to say about A&M in parting, but I would suggest to them that they don't drink the kool-aid when it's passed around with free pairs of white Nike's.  I do hope they get into the SEC eventually, I think they'll be happier there.  Also, I've always thought of the whole "yell-leader" shtick as a uniquely Texas way of telling your parents that you're gay.  
There sure are a lot of pictures of them holding each other close... not that there's anything wrong with that.

Click below for my preview

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking ahead: Life after Burks, Higgins, Relphorde and Knutson

A thread on Allbuffs yesterday got me thinking about the impending doom of graduation/ascension of the majority of the reliable nightly production for the Buffs this season.  Such is the nature of the collegiate beast, which sees talent only stay on the field/court for so long.

On paper only 3 impact seniors will be leaving us after the season, but the 800-lb gorilla-in-the-room is the draft-status of super-sophomore guard Alec Burks.  Should Burks leave for the NBA, adding to the loss of seniors Cory Higgins, Marcus Relphorde and Levi Knutson, the hole in production may be irreplaceable for next season.  All told they combine for per game averages of 58.9 points, 16.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists. That's a lot.

If Burks leaves (and I expect that he will), next year may rest on the shoulders on transfer guard Carlon Brown.  A big 6-5 200lb guard with some seriously explosive athleticism, Brown is Coach Tad Boyle's insurance policy.  He knew coming into the season that this mass exodus of production was probable, so at the same time he was signing freshman phenom Andre Roberson, he was accepting Brown's transfer from future Pac 12 rival Utah.  The Ute coaching staff had asked Brown, who was the leading scorer his final season there, to come off the bench.  Brown, who was mulling his own early jump to the NBA, was none to pleased with the idea of a reduction of minutes.  The long and the short of it is that CU ends up with a guy who has the ability to fill up the stat sheet (13/4/3 in his final season in SLC) and a chip on his shoulder against a divisional rival.  Yes CU will only have him for one season, but it's damn good he's here.
The addition of Carlon Brown, even for only one year, will help with life after Burks and Higgins

Besides the B-12 booster shot that will be Carlon Brown's addition to the roster, CU will also be getting the services of Shane Harris-Tunks, who returns from injury, and the 3 incoming freshmen Damien Cain, Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie.  It's foolish to think that any one of those freshmen will contribute in any meaningful capacity right away (never bank on freshmen) but one our two of them could earn some playing time.  Shane's return will be very welcome.  He had been impressive in pre-season workouts, and big things were expected of him this year prior to his injury.  His recovery could be key.
Big Shane will be back, and, with a good recovery, could change things up inside for CU.  From: The BDC

Additionally, I think Nate Tomlinson's scoring ability has been dampened by the necessity of deferring to the great scoring talent of the previously mentioned 4.  How many times has he looked hesitant with open looks or on the dribble-drive, as if he's afraid to put up a shot when "better" teammates are screaming for the ball. He can be a lights out shooter if asked to be, and just needs the confidence that comes with being an anointed scorer.
I've always thought Nate could score more than he shows.  With the current setup he is locked into a distributor-only role.  From: The BDC

Add all of that to presumed increased production from Andre Roberson and Austin Dufault and CU should somewhat be able to cover the losses.  I would predict the starting 5 to look like this:

PG - Sr -Tomlinson
G - Sr - Brown
F - So - Roberson
PF - Sr - Dufault
C - So - Harris-Tunks

One thing should jump out at you right away; that whole "size problem" is gone.  There is a traditional PF/C combo along with a swing forward in Roberson who loves to rebound and play close to the rim.  The post will be well accounted for.  Considering this, we may see a slight change in style (slightly slower, more possession/low-post based) from Coach Boyle. He's mentioned in interviews before that the faster-paced style of the current team is just what he thinks the roster fits best.

I would also like to see how Austin Dufault would be used here.  Currently we aren't getting his full game; I feel he would like to take a few more jumpers.  With H-T holding down the paint, it could free Austin up for a few more shots; which in turn could possibly open up the lane for more dribble-drive from Brown.
Given 3 years of playing time under his belt, the versatile Dufault could blossom next year.

I don't hate this lineup, in fact I kind of like it, and the addition of Brown will soothe some of the hurt from missing nearly 60 points from the current roster.  However, I would expect some drop-off.  Additionally our gloriously high free-throw percentage (5th in the nation) will take a hit.

I guess the big question then is "can this lineup compete in the Pac-12?"  I would have to say yes.  The Pac-12 just isn't the basketball league that the Big XII is, and there will still be some talent running around in Buffs uniforms.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not predicting a race to the inaugural Pac-12 title, but an upper half of the table finish is likely.


To throw a monkey wrench into plans, there is an outside chance that Alec returns next year.  He left the door slightly ajar in this interview with (he wants to be a certified top-10 pick, and he's slightly on the bubble for that), and a lockout of the players union may make the idea of jumping for NBA dough toxic to a stable-minded kid from Missouri even given a heightened draft status.  Should Burks return CU may not even skip a beat, keeping H-T on the bench, and running with a 3-out-2-in faster lineup that looks like this:

PG - Sr - Tomlinson
G - Sr - Brown
G - Jr - Burks
F - So - Roberson
PF - Sr - Dufault

We'd still be able to run opponents to death if the occasion called for it, and watching Burks for one more season would make me giddy.  I would worry, however, about the possession share between Burks and Brown.  Currently Cory Higgins seems content with deferring to Burks when the time calls for it; I'm not sure, given Carlon's desperation to prove himself NBA ready, if Brown would be comfortable doing the same.
Alec could come back next season, but I doubt it.  From: the BDC


All-in-all, even with replacements, you might see CU's scoring output to drop 5 points or more per game next season.  This is why the Buffs coming up short this year (missing the tournament) would hurt so much; it may take a year or two to rebuild after the final wave of Bzdelik-recruited talent runs its course.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Superbowl Edition

As America, and particularly the upper Rust Belt, tries to shake off our post-Superbowl hangovers, we can now turn our attentions to the stretch-run of the basketball season, and the quickly approaching baseball season (hooray!).   Today in the bag I'll be delving into the game, the hoopla, and the flat Buffs performance in Columbia on Saturday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Superbowl edition

I have absolutely no interest in the Superbowl this year.  Not only do I loathe the Green Bay Packers, but I am also growing to hate the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Other than a cheap excuse to stuff my face Sunday evening, the game holds no meaning for me.  That said, the Superbowl is an American institution, and I am nothing if not patriotic.  So there I will be Sunday evening, watching a game that doesn't matter to me in the slightest, and gorging myself on beer and deep-fried foods; it's the American way.

To celebrate this holiest day on the 'Murikun gluttony calendar, I've decided to highlight a beer native to the states of the respective combatants.  Are you going to able to find their beers in time for the game?  I'm betting no.  However, they are local favorites for the fanbases, and I'll honor their tastes.

For Wisconsin I've decided to highlight New Glarus Brewing.  Haven't heard of New Glarus?  Well, I'm not surprised since they're absolutely not available outside of the cheese state.  In fact, a University of Wisconsin fan-bar in NYC nearly had their liquor license revoked for selling the native-Wisconsin favorite Spotted Cow farm house ale.  The only way you're gonna find their brews legally is in Wisconsin.  The only style of their that I've ever tried is their Wisconsin Belgian Red.  It's heavy on the cherries, and is certainly interesting; I'm not really sure if I like it or not, but it's definitely well crafted.  If you ever head to Wisconsin, New Glarus is readily available, and you may want to try some, if only 'cause that's the only time you can.
You won't find this stuff anywhere but the cheese state. 

For Pennsylvania I'd be foolish to overlook the nations oldest operating brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son.  Yuengling, as opposed to New Glarus, is available outside of it's home state, and you might even be able to find some in Colorado if you're lucky.  Starting operations in 1829, Yuegnling began as the Eagle brewery in Pottsville, PA.  The brewery has survived countless recessions, a depression, prohibition, and the mass production of beer from the "big-3."  Since the big-3 aren't even American anymore, they're the second largest American-owned brewery (Behind Boston Brewery).  Their staple brew is their Traditional Lager, and it's a very passable session lager.
A Pennsylvania favorite since before the Civil War.

Anyways, because of the labor dispute, this may be the final pro football game for a very long time; it better be entertaining.  Go CU-Alum Mason Crosby; I hope big-leg Mace has 20 fieldgoals.


What am I drinking on Sunday?  I'm gonna grab some Denver Pale Ale from Great Divide.  A light and refreshing pale ale, a few of these will serve me well while watching two teams I can't stand play for a title.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Missouri Basketball Preview #2

One of the cool things about conference play is the chance to play teams twice.  While this scheduling quirk is only reserved for "divisional" foes in the Big XII, it does create some interesting return trips later in the year.  The first such game for CU this year is against the Missouri Tigers.

Since I've already previewed the Tigers, I feel it'd be pointless to re-hash my not-even month old "insights".  So, in order to preview Saturday's game, I've switched things up a bit.  I'll be taking a quick look back at the previous matchup, discussing Mizzou's path since then, and talk about some things that may have changed over the past 25 days.

To simplify things, CU is coming in fresh off their rebound whupping of lowly ISU.  CU knows their collective Tournament hopes have faded quickly since their impressive 3-0 conference start, and they need an impressive win, like a return beating of ranked Mizzou, to regain the selection committee's favor.  Mizzou enters fresh off a frustrating loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.  Mizzou now languishes at 3-4 in conference play, being perfect at home and winless on the road.  The Tigers haven't yet lived up to pre-season hype, but they are still dangerous and capable of running up the score on any opponent.  Game time is set for 5:30.  Don't bother looking for TV coverage of the game, just tune into to 760 AM and listen to the stirring voice of Mark Johnson.
Alec looks to beat his native state one last time on Saturday.  From: The BDC

This game will also mark the final regular season meeting between these two teams, and so this is my opportunity to say farewell to the Tigers.  The Tiger fanbase always seems to feel entitled to something more than what they are; as if the sporting world owes them for having fewer conference titles than anyone else.  This entitlement expanded to the point that the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, openly called for Mizzou to leave the Big XII for the Big 10, which kick-started conference re-alignment.  That call came irregardless of the point that the Big 10 had no real interest in Mizzou.  (Honestly, Mizzouri wasn't even on their 16-team expansion plan; that's sad)

In addition, Governor Nixon famously blasted CU and Nebraska for having poor basketball programs.  I think someone's just jealous of our lucrative new conference placements while his university is stuck to the doomed husk of the Big XII.  It's not like Mizzou was setting the world on fire in basketball, anyway.  FYI, Colorado has the same number of Big XII titles in the sport of basketball as Missouri does: 1 (Mizzou won the men's tournament 2 years ago, and CU won the women's in '97).  If the Governor of Kansas or Texas had said such a thing I'd understand, but when has Mizzou been anything but second fiddle in the Big XII era?

Anyway, so long Tigers.  I don't know why you're always so angry about something, but I'm sure you'll find peace in whatever version of C-USA you end up in.

Click below for my preview

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quick thoughts on Signing Day

Jon Embree's first class as CU head coach is in the books, and I think he did an incredible job considering the program's current national profile and the fact that he only had a month and a half to find and recruit kids.  He flipped 8 kids from previous commitments, and may get another tomorrow if Mullen's Leilon Willingham chooses CU over UCF and Michigan.  It was an incredible job that saw the coaching staff grab 3 top kids from Hawaii (a state I would love CU to get a locked-in pipeline flowing from), and steal 3 kids from future inter-divisional rival Washington. If Embree and crew can get this sort of class (much better on signing-day paper than Hawk's first class) from essentially 13 days of recruiting, I wonder what he can do with a full year.
Coach Embree did a great job pulling together a class on short notice.
Some of the players I'm expecting big things from who signed with the Buffs today are QB Stevie Joe Dorman, RB Rashard Hall, RB Malcom Creer (love his highlight reel), DE Stephan Nembot, and OL Paulay Asiata.

File photo of Stephan Nembot.  May not actually be picture of Stephan Nembot.
One story I really want to highlight is that of Stevie Dorman.  Dorman is a QB prospect from Texas who set his region's all-time passing record while playing at Somerset High.  Most every scout that has seen him raves about his size, delivery, smarts and upside.'s writeup of him even talked of him looking a potential NFL QB who could "start for quite a few teams as a freshman if needed."  What's more is he's the nephew of former CU standout QB Koy Detmer (he of the heisman winning Detmer's).  He got the build, the stats, and the pedigree; only thing is that CU was the only FBS school to offer him a scholarship.
I think Stevie Dorman may be a steal.
How, why?  A kid who gets rave reviews by scouts, and doesn't have a size issue, can't get more schools to offer him?  Some people have postulated that his grandfather's/coach's policy of not releasing tapes to recruiting services hurt his offer list, but many schools are always looking for a sleeper.  You're telling me no one wants a good QB with pedigree from Texas just because his coach and grandfather wouldn't release tapes to rivals and scout?

Maybe it's because there is so much talent in Texas that he slipped through the cracks?  That's crap; he put up big numbers and recruiters are desperate.  How bout everyone abandoning the traditional "pro-style" offense for the spread?  Well, this guy would like to argue that the spread is dying.  It's a damn mystery how this kid ends up with only one offer.

Stevie may never pan out, and maybe all of those schools who had him second on their "must get" list will be proven right, but I've read a lot of rave reviews of him and on film he seems legit.  CU may have gotten a steal and finally found a front-line QB without having to really even put up a fight.

ISU wrap

Man is it good to thoroughly schellack a team.  February got off to a chilly bang for the Buffs as they whomped the fading ISU Cyclones 95-69.  Hell, even Trent Beckley saw some action as the game was essentially over before the Tuba Cheer.

CU cracked 90 points for the first time since the Western New Mexico game, and finally had the explosive offensive output that had been missing from the past 3 weeks.  The 6,800 fans who braved the icy weather were treated to a display of excellent shooting, running, and passing from a team that had largely gotten away from the high-flying offense that had been their calling card for much of the season.  CU beat ISU in every major statistical category, and it's a wonder the 26 point gap wasn't larger.  It was good to see the Buffs get their mojo back, and hopefully it can carry over into the daunting weekend matchup at the Mizzou Tigers.

Throughout most of the game I thought CU had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best athletes on the court at any time.  CU was able to overpower the Cyclones almost at will.  This translated to a +13 rebounding advantage and an absolute dominance in the transition game.  CU ran, and ran well all night long, and seemed willing to out-hustle ISU for everything. ISU was left with only 7 scholarship players on their bench after the suspension of reserve forward Calvin Godfrey, and CU used transition basketball to wear the short-benched 'Clones to death.  By the 2nd half, ISU just looked tired and disinterested.  That explosion in the transition game allowed CU to go on runs of 16-0,17-0 and 22-3 at varying points in the game.  ISU just didn't have a chance to get back in the game with those kinds of runs waiting to burst out at any moment; it seems CU learned their lesson from the Baylor game.
Coach Boyle released the hounds, and Tomlinson and the Buffs ran the depleted 'Clones to death.  From: the BDC.

Alec Burks highlighted the evening.  By far the best athlete on the court, Burks dropped an impressive 19/10/5 line that included some amazing no-look assists and some dominating rebounds.  Additionally, Andre Roberson finished a point shy of a double-double with his 9/13 performance. 
Al was everywhere, doing his "Al thing" Tuesday night.  Love to see him fill up the stat sheet.  From: the BDC

Overall CU had 5 guys in double figures, and in the end they even shot better from behind the arc than the Cyclones who started ridiculously hot behind the sharp shooting of Dinate Garrett.  Garrett hit his first 5 3-point attempts (!), however CU locked him down on defense, and those ended up being the only shots he made in the game.

Good performance, boys.  Enjoy it for all of 15 minutes, then it's time to get ready for Mizzou again; they're laying in wait for Saturday's return match in Columbia.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Iowa State Basketball Preview #1

It must be very comforting for the Buffs to taste some home cooking as the recent road-heavy schedule has really hurt the Buffs. 4 consecutive losses have set the once promising season on a downward spiral.  To be fair to the Buffs, their disheartening 4 game losing streak comes over a stretch of 3 road games out of 4 with the lone home tilt against what is now the #2 team in the country.  However, nothing comes easy in the Big XII, and at least 2 of those road loses would've been victories in the hands of a Tournament-ready team.

CU must now turn it's collective focus to the ISU Cyclones.  It's an interesting time to be playing ISU; they're coming in off of their own 4 game losing streak (including an exclamation-point loss at home to Texas Tech) and they sport a similar to CU 14-8 overall record (although the Buffs have 2 more conference victories).   There is just no excuse for losing back-to-back home dates against Oklahoma and Tech, yet I still think ISU is capable of beating any team if they're on their game.

Both teams are looking to grab a desperately need win to stop a string of bad play, and it should be a battle. Bundle up tight and head for the CEC; tip-off is set for 7pm.  If you're unable/unwilling to brave the cold you can watch the game on FSN (Hey a channel most people get!).
CU tries to bring back that winning feeling tonight at the CEC.  From: the BDC

Click below for my preview