Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Grab Bag: Back to the grind

After three straight weeks of travel, I'm finally settled back into my routine.  In the coming weeks I'll be pumping out some end-of-season posts.  Today, however, is strictly for the Grab Bag.

Today I'm talking roster changes in the basketball program, peeking at coaching moves around the country, and discussing the lacrosse program and how it has nothing to do with baseball.  Additionally, I'm still not talking spring football.

Click below for the bag...

Roster moves - 

The biggest piece of news from the past week was the commitment of Mater Dei point guard Eli Stalzer to the Black and Gold.  The 6-3 Californian helped lead a boat-load of collegiate talent, including fellow incoming Buff Xavier Johnson, to a state title over the weekend.  He's a pass-first point guard, seemingly in the mold of the departed Nate Tomlinson. 
Stalzer becomes the 6th part of the 2012 recruiting class.
While his offer list wasn't that impressive outside of CU, he obviously knows how to work well with Xavier, and the pair will help create a pipeline to the talent rich Mater Dei bench.  With high-profile talent like Stanley Johnson matriculating from there in future years, it'll be nice to have a recruiting foot in the door.

Essentially, I see this as a sign that the graduate-transfer guard that many had hoped for isn't a possibility.  With that in mind, a player like Stalzer makes perfect sense.  Welcome to the CU, Eli!

In addition to Eli's commitment to the ever-growing 2012 graduating class, there are rumors that current Michigan forward Evan Smotrycz is looking for greener pastures, and that CU may be in line for his services.  A very talented 6-9 product from New Hampshire, Smotrycz will have 2 years of eligibility remaining wherever he ends up. 
Smotrycz is too talented to pass up.  If he wants to be a Buff, then bring him on!
Much like how transfer Carlon Brown was brought in as departure insurance two years ago, the pursuit of Smotrycz may signal the CU staff's belief that Andre Roberson's time in Boulder may not last beyond next season.

Finally, it has long been rumored that one or more players on the current roster are on the cusp of leaving the program.  In his season wrap-up press conference, Coach Boyle hinted that those types of announcements are coming after Spring Break concludes.  The two names everyone has assumed will be leaving Boulder are Shannon Sharpe and Ben Mills; but of course, you know the thing about assumptions...

National coaching moves - 

A few weeks ago, the VERY MUCH STILL HATED Nebraska Cornhuskers finally got around to firing the hilariously stupid Doc Sadler.  Still swilling the bright red Corn Kool-aid, the Huskers thought that a dump-truck full of straight-cash-homey would be enough to entice Coach Tad Boyle to Lincoln.  Tad, among others, quickly turned them down, and Buff Nation got a cheap chuckle out of the situation.

Having thus been rejected by nearly everyone else, the Huskers finally found their man on the banks of the Poudre river.  In what actually seems like a nice fit, Upper Midwest native Tim Miles bolted from CSU when offered the Husker gig. 
Smile while you can.
I like Coach Miles, and I think he's a damn good coach.  If he can bring some semblance of respectability to Rams basketball, maybe he can move the needle in Lincoln.  Good luck, 'cause those brain-dead morons wouldn't know a basketball from a cow pie.

Yet another former Big XII rival is looking for a new coach as Kansas State head screamercoach Frank Martin decided he'd had enough of the Little Apple, and set off for South Carolina.
I can't even begin to wrap my head around that.  South Carolina is a hoops disaster, even worse than Nebraska.  While KSU may have the unfortunate distinction of residing in Manhattan, Kansas, it at least is a known hoops quantity, capable of producing quality teams every so often.

The line is that Coach Martin and the KSU athletic department grew apart, but that just seems like a convenient excuse.  Count me as one of those who has the sneaking suspicion that the sanction bomb is about to drop on the Wildcat program.

For their part, KSU is reportedly very interested in hiring Coach Boyle.  The problem is that I doubt that Coach Boyle is very interested in signing with a program that either:
  • a) Has a butt-load of sanctions headed their way, or
  • b) Treats their head basketball coach so poorly that he runs off to a hoops wasteland.
Tad being a highly valued coaching option will lead to many more instances like Nebraska or Kansas State, where he's a rumored candidate even before his temperature is gauged on the opening.  The simple fact of the matter is that it's going to take a lot more than money and a random power conference gig to get him out of Boulder.  When the big fish of the hoops world come a-callin', however, I'll be a lot more worried.

Lacrosse and baseball - 

As of yesterday, the brand new lacrosse program finally has a head coach.  While the program had been a tangible reality before, with three in-state stars inking with CU, the hiring of a coach makes the whole thing seem a lot more real than it had previously. 
It's a good hire, for all that I know about the sport.  From: the BDC
Newly minted coach Anne Elliott was a big cog in the Northwestern lacrosse machine, and helped bring five national titles to Evanston.  Based on her pedigree alone, she should be a great fit.  Welcome to Boulder, Anne!

While the stream of good news surrounding the lacrosse program should've been cause for happy articles from the local rags, Kyle Ringo used the news to again beat the drum for more moth-balls to be thrown on the retired CU baseball program.

The thing that worries me is that Ringo probably has that straight from the horse's mouth.  The way he worded the article, it doesn't sound like opinion, it sounds like re-worked talking points from the AD office (read: Platti, Bohn).

The scariest part is that this talking point, that baseball at CU is just too expensive and difficult to bring back, comes at the highest point in the departments recent history.  Relatively flush with cash, and succeeding left and right (sans football), now is the time that the gang at Dal Ward should be pushing for things once thought impossible.  Instead, we're told how hard it is, and that no one will come out to see it.

Lazy-ass bullshit. 

Too expensive?  El Jefe has paved our path in gold.  Attendance issues?  In the 80's there wasn't a local Major League team helping build a foundation of baseball interest in the region.

"It's too hard" sounds like something a 5-year old would say.  Sack up, and put the work in.  You want me on the phones, rounding up support, you know where to find me.  In the mean time, I find "we're not even going to try" to be unworthy of a pack of Buffaloes.

I don't want the announcement this year, I don't even want it in five.  I just want a reasonable plan to bring hardball back to Boulder sometime before I die.  I don't think that's too much to ask.

Happy Tuesday!

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