Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quick Post: Mid-Week Grab Bag

It's pretty quiet in Buffland as I pensively await the road-trip to SoCal.  The Buffs have to prove they can beat somebody on the road to be taken seriously, and this upcoming trip is their best chance to sweep a road weekend in conference play.

While I hold my breath waiting for Thursday night to arrive, here's a few Buff-related items that have been kicking around the inter-tubes this week.


- I was completely drawn in by the post-Arizona game presser featuring Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault, and Spencer Dinwiddie.  They're a bunch of open, affable guys, who seem very comfortable with each other.  From the anecdote about young Spencer's U of A debit card, to the description of Askia Booker as the "Scrat" from the Ice Age film series, this video is well worth your time.

- A few of the Arizona writers were more than impressed with the sold-out CEC last Saturday.  The Arizona Daily Star's Greg Hansen likened it to a "miniature version of The Pit at New Mexico," while the Daily Wildcat's Mike Schmitz sees great things in the program's future.  Boulder is quickly getting a reputation as the toughest road venue in the conference.

- Almighty Kenpom touched on the altitude factor for his blog yesterday.  Using the Buffs as a primary example, he tosses out a 6.5 points per game figure as a possible nitty gritty effect of altitude on a scoreboard.  He then goes off the rail by postulating that the problem isn't that low-elevation teams struggling at altitude, it's that higher elevation teams are hard-pressed to compete at sea-level.  That just defies both logic and science.

Conclusion aside, I'm kind of shocked he didn't turn to Utah for his examples, because I'm sure their storied history would be much kinder to them outside of SLC.  They also never had to come off the mountain-top to get throttled by blue-blood programs like Kansas and Missouri.

I'm still unconvinced that altitude plays that big of a factor, as home court advantage is dramatic at all levels of collegiate basketball.  Besides, I think it's all about how you use the altitude to your advantage; Coach Bzdelik's slow-paced Princeton teams would be easier to play at altitude than Coach Patton's all-run squads from the middle-decade, for example. However, it is nice to see someone try and put a figure on it, even if their concluding logic is a little off-base.

-Finally, Tom Kensler of the Denver Post did a nice feature on Askia Booker.  "The Scrat" gets some well deserved acclaim.  He certainly did come up big in the Arizona game, knocking down well-timed jumpers like a veteran.
This needs to be the next cut-out in the student section.

Kensler touches on his "moxie" and "fearless" playing style, along with the rather large chip he carries on his shoulder at all times.  Rush the Court used this article, and Booker's success, to once again poke at the talent evaluation skills of UCLA's Ben Howland.  Nice to see the Buffs can be used to help pile onto the struggling Bruin program.

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