Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Burning

I hope all in Buff Nation are staying clear of the score of fires raging through the state.  The sight of the Flastaff Fire poking its hellish nose over the Flatirons Tuesday evening was one of the most unsettling images I've seen in quite a while.
Luckily, Boulder was spared the horror of a wildfire spilling down the mountain, and into populated areas.   Colorado Springs wasn't so lucky, and the scenes from the Waldo Canyon Fire defy description. 

All told there have been more than a dozen wildfires started this month, affecting all corners of the state.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by all the fires.  THANK YOU (!!!!!) to all the firefighters throughout the region who continue to put their lives on the line to protect our homes and communities.  If you'd like to help the victims of the fires, please check out

Catching up with some CU notes

It's been a busy few days for Buffs news, and I'm just now catching up to all the comings and goings.

NBA Draft and Buffs in the pros -

The NBA draft will dominate the sporting world this evening.  While current Buffs like Andre Roberson and Josh Scott will surely populate the drafted list in future years, the chances of a Buff being taken this evening are pretty slim.  Realistically, the only Buff with draftable prospects is Carlon Brown.  Should he get taken, he'd combine with Alec Burks to make the first pair of Buffs drafted in consecutive years since Jay Humphries (1984, #13 to Phoenix) and Alex Stivrins (1985, #75 to Seattle).
Carlon carries CU hopes into the draft tonight.
While Thorburn wrote yesterday that Carlon could go in the second round, which can get a bit chaotic and unpredictable, I'd bet on free agency.  Still, some team taking a flyer on the Pac-12 tournament MVP isn't out of the question.  He had a solid showing at the Portsmouth Invitational (an important pre-draft tournament for fringe NBA talent), blew up in the bright lights of March, and possesses a marketable NBA skill set.  Regardless of whether his name is called this evening or not, Brown will have to shine in the NBA Summer League if he hopes to make a team, as even being picked in the second round doesn't guarantee a roster spot.

Outside of Brown, graduating seniors Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault also look to play professionally, just probably not at the NBA level.  Nate will play for his home town Melbourne Tigers (of the Australian NBL), and Austin will probably get a look with some European team.

Football team continues to round out future schedules - 

Needing to fill holes in the 2015 and 2016 football schedules, Mike Bohn turned to some familiar tactics to put games on the calendar.

For the open 2015 home slot, Bohn went the 1-AA route, inking a deal to bring Grambling St to Boulder.  As a former marching band geek, the big lure of playing a HBCU team is the opportunity to watch their band in person.  From a purely football perspective, however, the lure is (hopefully) an easy win.

In 2016, echoing a recent cash grab with Ohio St, the Buffs will return to the scene of "the Miracle" to renew their historical series with Michigan and earn a $1.45 million payday.  Not necessarily a part of the Pac-12/Big10 scheduling cabal slated to begin in 2017, the game will continue the recent trend of scheduling games east of the Mississippi River.
Headed to the Big House... in 2016.
According to the BDC story on the scheduling, the trip to Ann Arbor is meant to engage the Chicago portion of the fanbase, but the trip around Lake Michigan to Detroit is an awfully long drive (5+ hours w/o traffic). I'd expect far more of the CU contingent that day will be the typical road-traveling crew. 

CU hires their first CMO - 

One of the hallmarks of the Mike Bohn era of CU athletics has been an emphasis in marketing the program properly.  Continuing in that theme, CU went out and hired their first Chief Marketing Officer this week.  In tabbing former Charlotte Hornets executive Matt Biggers, the program gains the professional experience of someone who knows how to improve a struggling brand (read: the football program).
Welcome aboard, Matt.
He'll be in charge of marketing, promotions, web presence, BuffVision, and, most importantly, the ticket office.  That damn ticket office always seems to be limping along, and has been in need of new leadership for quite a while.  The problem hasn't usually been sales, which have continually gone up in recent years; the problem has been organization and distribution.  Hopefully Biggers can end the Keystone Cops routine that has defined the ticket office since before I even showed up on campus.

Go Buffs!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: It's so hot that the State caught fire

There are nine fires roaring in Colorado right now.  NINE FIRES.  To say it's hot and dry in the CO would be an understatement.  Also, it's only June; two more months of this shit to go. Come September there may not be any of this State left unburnt.  I'm thisclose to making pagan-style sacrifices for a little sustained rain...

Today in the bag I'm talking LeBron, the Euros, and My Sox before briefly touching on a quick hoops note.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Post: Wil Whelan gets thrown under a speeding train

The sound you heard last night was basketball writer William Whelan getting thrown under the proverbial speeding train by CU assistant coach Tom Abatemarco.  In a series of tweets, Coach Abatemarco repeatedly declared that Whelan was a "bad reporter," and that he was "messing with the wrong person."

The issue apparently stems from a recent interview request where Whelan was asking about Coach Abatemarco's potential interest in the open assistant coaching position at St. John's.  Whelan then apparently took the issue to Coach Abatemarco's colleagues on the Buff staff, which got the boulder rolling downhill.  By the time I caught whiff of the situation, many of the offending tweets, along with the linked article, were deleted.  Needless to say, however, Coach Abatemarco was pissed; he continued his diatribe over the course of six hours, spurred on by the likes of Mile High Sports commentator Reed Marks.

I'm not a journalist; I would never claim that mantle. I didn't graduate from a J-school, and I wouldn't know the first thing about journalistic ethics.  I also don't subscribe to, with no intention of ever doing so, leaving the contents of the article beyond my reach.  Essentially, I can't intelligently comment on the heart of the dispute.  What I do know, however, is that it's probably not good for a beat writer to be publicly torn down by one of his subjects. AZ ( founder), his site, and his fellow contributors already strike many in Buff Nation the wrong way.  It certainly doesn't help their standing when a respected member of the basketball coaching staff publicly and repeatedly calls their BasketBuffs beat writer a "bad reporter."

The whole situation ends up reflecting poorly on each side (Whelan for irking a primary subject of his coverage in such a way, and Coach Abatemarco for responding so viscerally).  As a Buff fan, my only interest is how the team is portrayed, and public spats between the team and the media aren't good for any involved.  I hope the two find a resolution quickly and privately.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: It's hot.

Dude, yo.  It's hot outside.  Balls hot.  Fucking blast furnace.  It's so hot outside that I'm not even wearing a hat today, which is saying something.  At least it's Colorado, and the humidity is in the 10% range.  If this was the Midwest, with typical summer humidity, I'd be dead by now. 

Today in the bag I'm talking US Open golf, the NBA Finals, and the Euros.

Stay out of the heat, and click below for today's bag...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: A rough weekend for fringe sports

Talk to anyone over 45, and they'll longingly describe a time when the sports of horse racing and boxing actually meant something.  Those two sports took a beating this past weekend, just the latest in a long run of falls that have left the once venerable institutions far off the national radar of relevance. 

Today in the bag, I'll discuss the disappointment at Belmont and the controversy in Vegas, before briefly touching on the NBA playoffs.

Click below for the bag...

Monday, June 4, 2012

UPDATED: Monday Grab Bag: The freshmen are on campus

I don't know about you, but I had a fantastic weekend.  The wedding I went to Friday evening was a blast and My Sox kept winning.  Let's see if the rest of June can live up to the start.

Today in the bag, I'll be talking about the incoming freshmen classes slowly arriving in Boulder, hyping up the Rockies, and discussing the all-tied-up NBA Conference Finals.

Click below for the bag...