Starting lineup for opening night -
In my season preview, I mentioned that my version of the starting lineup would include freshman Xavier Johnson, but that early season lineups may include senior Sabatino Chen. That appears to be the case as Chen has been mentioned as a starter in multiple places.
My reaction to this is... well, tepid. I certainly understand the experience angle, and Coach Boyle is well served by lifting up the team's lone senior in a year where youth will dominate the run of play. However, I remain unconvinced by stories describing Chen's newly developed outside shot. The transfer from DU has yet to hit an in-game three for the Buffs, missing all outside shots taken both last season and in the preseason exhibition trip to Europe. I take pronouncements of improvement as evidence of things not seen. Without that shot, his intangibles are a lot less appealing, especially as a starter.
|But... then again... the hair.|
Here's to hoping that Chen's outside shot really is ready for prime-time, and Coach Boyle has found a second bite at the Levi Knutson senior-explosion apple.
Blindly flinging spaghetti -
Nothing drives me further up a wall that a drawn-up bracket in early November. Heaven help us, the college basketball landscape is far to complicated to project before a single game is tipped off. If you want to randomly project conferences, fine, and Kenpom is fun to pour over, but the nature of the RPI system and the chaos of non-conference play renders a November bracket essentially meaningless.
For that reason alone, I barely recognize it when people like Lunardi and Glockner release a completed bracket, down to site and opponent (For the record: Lunardi has CU as the next four out, Glockner has the Buffs in as a 7-seed), this early. It'd be better to simply release a top-40 teams list; far more valuable when considering who is a potential at-large candidate. Placing teams into regions right now is an exercise in futility.
At least these brackets are more reasonable than ones drawn up in fucking August (the very definition of a waste of time). Right now, prognosticators at least have something to base their guesses on: preseason exhibition tours, practices, injury reports... Kenpom.
Murals at the CEC -
The Athletic Department has broken out the paint brushes to honor the defending Pac-12 champions. First came this mural of graduated guard Carlon Brown from the halls leading up to the practice facility:
|(From: Brian Howell at the Camera)|
It may not be a subtle script of "Defending Pac-12 Champions" under the mid-court Ralphie logo, as I have wanted, but I think the Athletic Department did a fine job with these murals to celebrate last year's championship run.
There's still the little matter of the banner unveiling, which is set for Friday night...
Catching up with the Buffs-in-the-NBA -
- Alec Burks, the 2011 first round pick of the Utah Jazz, continues to ride the pine. Through four games, he has only seen 11 minutes of play. According to one source, his lack of playing time the result of a roster crunch, rather than an organizational decision. At least when watching this video you can still see the old Alec we came to love from 2009-11. #FreeAlec
- Cory Higgins is still clinging to the Charlotte Bobcats roster, but has only seen four minutes of play in the early going.
- The best story continues to be Chris Copeland, who snuck onto the final New York Knicks roster, and has become a solid bench warrior. He's appeared in each game on the season, and has seven points to show for it. The dude can still score.
|I'm getting a kick out of Cope's run in the NBA|
- Legend Chauncey Billups is close to a return from last season's Achilles injury, and will possibly be ready by the end of the month.
Friday can't come soon enough!