Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: Thank you sir, may I have another?

Well, that sucked.  I didn't expect the Buffs to win in Lawrence, but I did expect them to keep their head afloat for at least a little while.  Those hopes were dashed less than two minutes into the game, as KU set about handing the Buffs an all-time ass-kicking.

Today in the bag, I'm touching on the loss in Lawrence,  recapping my trip into the belly of the beast, and welcoming the new football coach to Boulder.

Click below for the bag...

Massacred in Lawrence -

Back in August, Coach Boyle talked about possibly biting off more than his young team could chew with this season's difficult non-conference schedule.  The Buffs choked on that schedule Saturday afternoon, getting manhandled by the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence 90-54.

I know this sounds ludicrous, but that 36-point spread makes it sound closer than it actually was.  KU could've easily won by 50+ if they had wanted.  The CU effort was so plainly sub-standard compared to the opponent and venue, that I couldn't help but flashback to football season.  This was a performance only Jon Embree could be proud of.
The young Buffs were far from ready to tackle the vaunted Jayhawks.  From: the BDC
The game started off bad for the Buffs, and only managed to get worse from there.  A turnover-fueled opening 18-3 run by Kansas turned into a 27-8 blitz before CU could respond.  Finally, at the 11 minute mark, the Buffs decided to show some backbone, and threw a 7-0 haymaker to make the first half at least interesting.  KU, however, responded with a 14-4 run to close out the frame.

Where the hell was the dude in charge of the towel?  THROW THE DAMN TOWEL!

Unfortunately, there's no towel to be thrown in basketball, and the second half must be played.  There was some faint hope that the halftime break would provide opportunity for the  Buffs to scrape the shit off their legs, but a quick 9-0 KU run out of the locker room erased all doubt of a rout.  It was all academic from there.

The stat sheet is horrifying.  Kansas shot 55% from the floor, scored 26 points off of 18 CU turnovers, and notched 46 points in the paint.  As for the Buffs, they could only muster 38% shooting from the field, and shot 15% from behind the arc.  Simply, a blood bath.

The only CU player who looked like he belonged on that stage was freshman forward Josh Scott.  The big man scored 19 points on 15 shots.  I thought he'd struggle against Jeff Withey and the KU front line, but he looked just fine.  The other 11 Buffaloes who saw the court, however, were largely ineffectual.
Scott was the only player who seemed to belong.  From: the BDC
Coach Boyle put it best after the game:
We got our (butt's) kicked in every form, fashion and way you can do it. There is just no other way you can put it. There is no other adjective to describe it; we just got whooped in every way shape or form, mentally, physically. (-link)
I don't really know how to expand on that, other by saying it was even worse watching it in person.  Those of you in Boulder enjoyed the luxury of turning the channel; I did not.  At least the KU fans had the common decency to hold off on the "Rock Chalk" chant until the final two minutes.  They could've started it with 18 minutes remaining on the clock.
These Buffs are still a good squad, capable of playing with some of the nation's best on most nights; Saturday doesn't change that.  They're just not ready to face down a road challenge yet, certainly not the insanity of KU in Lawrence. 

Maybe this will be good experience.  Maybe a nationally televised embarrassment will serve as a wake-up call about the level of effort required to win on the road.  We'll know more Wednesday night when the Buffs continue their road trip in Fresno, CA.

Trip to Lawrence - 

In light of all that, it may be hard to believe, but I still enjoyed the trip. 

Phog Allen Fieldhouse is everything it's cracked up to be. The fans show up early, they're loud, and everyone knows exactly what's going on at all times.  A game at KU is two hours of scripted entertainment, with the 16,300 in attendance ready and willing to play their role.  It's a sight to see.  I probably would've enjoyed everything a bit more if my dog in the fight wasn't getting so thoroughly trounced.
The scene just prior to tip was electrifying.
BuffNation actually had a good showing in the Fieldhouse, to the point that numerous commentators made mention of the abnormally large traveling section.  (For the record, we got all those tickets by cheating the KU ticketing system.  MWAAHAAHAA)  I'd estimate somewhere around 300 CU fans were scattered about the arena.  Particularly, there was a nice section of about 100 near me in the northwest corner of the stadium.

We were, for the most part, ignored in-stadium. I get the feeling that the KU fans in Lawrence don't get many visitors.  It wasn't just that they ignored us, it was how they ignored us, as if they were shocked by the very presence of that many interlopers.  They hadn't even contemplated the possibility that this many CU fans would show up, and hadn't planned up a reaction, positive or negative.

Lawrence is a nice college town, certainly better than most in the old Big XII.  The cool thing is everything is cheap.  A quarter gets you 2 1/2 hours of parking in a downtown meter, and menu items at restaurants are all $2-3 less than they would be in Boulder.  The cost of living is significantly less, probably how they trick people into living in Kansas.

Mike McIntyre, COME ON DOWN! -

If SI is to be believed, and I'm looking suspect at all media working the search story, San Jose State head man Mike MacIntyre is the new head football coach at the University of Colorado.
Remember to bring some water and a desk.
I like how the story leaked -- from a national outlet, rather than a local one.  Both the Daily Camera and the Denver Post had so bungled the story as to become unreliable and dangerous, and the atheltic department rightly froze them out over the weekend.

As for Coach MacIntyre himself, I'll have more thoughts up later in the coming days, but I'm generally happy with him.  He turned a dogshit SJSU program, on the verge of being shuttered permanently, into a 10-win juggernaut in only three seasons.  He also brings with him heavy California-based recruiting ties.

We could've done a lot worse.

Happy Monday!

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