Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: #DontWorryBeLappe

A hearty congratulations to the CU women, who reeled in the statement win the program has been looking for.  Linda Lappe has that program running on all cylinders.

Today in the bag, I'll be recapping the win over Louisville, discussing why I wasn't there to witness it, and taking a quick look around the nation of basketball.

Click below for the bag...

Women beat Louisville - 

So, it seems like the men have some competition for the best team in Boulder...

The big news from the weekend was the Buff women knocking off #8 Louisville Friday night.  The game came down to the wire, with Louisville making a last-ditch effort in the final minute to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.  Sophomore Jen Reese, however, corralled a wayward Brittany Wilson free throw attempt, and put back the game-clinching shot with 12 seconds to go.  The Buffs would hold strong in the waning ticks, and secure a nice 70-66 win
It was a huge win for the ladies.  From:
This wasn't a case of CU stealing a win against their higher-ranked foe, the Buffs thoroughly deserved victory.  They took a lead with 10:24 to go in the first half, and never relinquished it over the rest of the evening.  Sure, 25 turnovers are enough to give you indigestion, but they held the Cardinals to 36% shooting from the field, out-rebounded them by 12, and rejected nine shots (seven of them by junior Rachel Hargis).  All-in-all it was the kind of win you can build a strong season around.

The winning effort was lead by senior Chucky Jeffery, who notched 22/7/4.  Freshman Arielle Roberson also had a strong game, dropping 13/7.  Roberson has now scored in double-figures in nine straight games to open her career, and sits one game shy of tying the all-time program record for double-figure efforts to begin a career.

It has long been obvious to followers of the women's program that Coach Linda Lappe is building something special.  Friday night's win only confirms that the foundation is in place for a women's basketball revival in the CEC. 

For the second consecutive season, the women have raced out to a perfect start, and are currently one of only four teams left with a perfect record and a win over a top-10 opponent (Top-5 squads Stanford, Duke, and Connecticut are the others).  When the rankings are released today, don't be surprised if the women finally crack the top-25 for the first time since the Ceal Barry era.  (UPDATE: #25!)

Hell yeah, Go Buffs!

Boulder High vs Denver East - 

While the women were putting the finishing touches on the upset of Louisville, I was just over a mile away at Boulder High, watching boys high school basketball.  Lame of me, I know, but I was on a mission to see both Denver East, and 2014 CU recruiting target Dominique Collier.

The young guard has long been on CU's radar, and rumors of interest from top-flight programs such as North Carolina had many dropping Collier's name in conversations about the best Colorado product since the great Chauncey Billups.  While some of that national interest has waned a bit, Collier is still a fantastic product who has drawn offers from regional powers like Arizona and Kansas State.  With him playing only a short walk down the hill from campus, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see him play.
Hard to pass up the opportunity to watch a potential future Buff.
As it turned out, I wasn't the only interested Buff in attendance.  In addition to basketball guru Will Whelan, the Boulder High crowd also featured Coach Tad Boyle, and current CU players Askia Booker, Xavier Johnson, and Wesley Gordon.  I counted myself amongst good company.

The cadre of Buff luminaries saw quite a show, as Collier powered East to an 80-54 blowout win over the home-standing Panthers.  Dominique stuffed the stat sheet with 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks.  The effort was made all the more impressive by the fact that Collier is still shaking off a slight knee injury, which was tweaked early in the contest.  Collier gutted it out, however, and poured on the points, looking every bit the high-major prospect he is.

Every indication is that the Buffs have a great shot at the Denver East dynamo.  Granted, it's only one game, but from what I saw Friday night, CU would do well to get him into Black and Gold.

Around the nation of college basketball - 

Florida @ Arizona -

CU no longer has the marquee Pac-12 win of the year.  That distinction now belongs to Arizona, who knocked off #5 Florida at home Saturday night.

It took a 7-0 Wildcat run in the final 56 seconds to steal victory, the result of an inexcusable composure breakdown from the Gators.  To compound matters, Florida wasted a last-second chance to claim victory by failing to call a timeout when Arizona trapped across the timeline with under five seconds to play.  The whole point of saving a timeout is to have one in the bag for exactly that scenario.  What the hell was Coach Donovan thinking?

Regardless, 'Zona won, and the Pac-12 got a much-needed RPI boost.

Indiana @ Butler -

#1 no longer, Indiana stumbled against in-state rival Butler Saturday afternoon.  Bulldog guard Alex Barrow hit the game-winning jumper, and Hoosier forward Cody Zeller - a national player-of-the-year candidate - spent most of the afternoon getting pushed around by Butler counterpart Andrew Smith.

Duke is the presumptive new #1 when the rankings are announced today.

Happy Monday!

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