Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Q&A with's Adam Butler

To set the table for tomorrow's much anticipated rematch with Arizona, I reached out to friend and fellow hoops scribe Adam Butler for a quick question and answer session. 

Adam has established himself as one of the premier Pac-12 diarists on the web through his work at  Those in BuffNation may best remember him from his weekly recaps on AllBuffs, but he can also be found from time to time on sites such as Rush the Court and Addicted to Quack.  There's none better to talk to on the eve of one of the biggest conference games of the year.

Adam will also be in Boulder tomorrow, taking his first on-site peek into the world of all that is #RollTad.  While he is, unfortunately, a hardcore Arizona fan, I'll try not to hold it against him during his stay.

Over the course of 12 questions we touched on everything from Sabatino's miracle and the effects of expansion, to his favorite in-conference travel destination and Jennifer Lawrence.

Click below for the Q&A...

Obligatory question - Chen’s shot: good, or too late?

Shot. Was. Good. At least from the angles and screen shots and commentary I saw. Which was the same as what you saw which was the same as what they saw which was evidently different from what the officials saw.
Where do you think Arizona winds up come Selection Sunday?

Despite that abysmal display on Sunday, I still think Arizona winds up a two seed. Their wins are impressive and hold up against anyone else’s in the nation. A fact they’ll have going for them inside that selection war room. I got to talking about it with @CUGoose and he asked whether or not I thought the general level of competition in the Pac hurt Arizona – or any Pac-12 team for that matter. My stance is that so long as you win (which AZ has done a slightly-better-than-OK job of) they’re doing it right. The Pac isn’t overwhelming this year, but when push comes to shove, I’m taking the middle of the pack P-Twelvers over the B-12, ACC, and SEC teams.

If you could pick only one: Solomon Hill or Andre Roberson?  Mark Lyons or Spencer Dinwiddie?

I might pick Solomon Hill over anyone else in the conference. Complete game and it’s been an absolute treat to watch him develop into the player he has become. He’s grown right up with the Arizona program as Miller’s program and where he is today versus where he was four years ago is a world of difference. As we hit the homestretch on this season I’m excited to see what this now weathered but not weary senior will bring to the table.
Adam has apparently failed to recognize.
Look, Mark Lyons is about as tough as you’re going to get in college hoops. He’s transformed this team in short order and earned the respect of his teammates, coaches, and fans. Lyons is terrific as a leader, scorer, and defender. But he’s not doing that at 6’6”. Dinwiddie’s size is an absolute game changer. I know because I just asked my friends at Oregon State about it.

The #RollTad Army now eyes Arizona as a primary rival.  Are the folks in Tucson starting to feel the same way about the Buffs?

Is it any surprise this game falls on rivalry week? I won’t venture to call the Buffs a “primary rival,” there’s too much history between Arizona and other programs like UCLA and Washington. Many will let you know that ASU is not a rival because such would suggest they bring something to the table. That game is more of a formality. But when the Colorado new kids stepped into the conference and roughed up the Wildcats to the tone of two-of-three last season, people began to take notice. That’s how histories are built. We start to remember things like Parrom dribbling out the clock to lose by a score in Boulder, the last shot Kyle Fogg would take as a Wildcat (I exonerated him from his poor NIT performance), and the monitor and with these stories a rivalry is born. The seed was planted a season ago and so when the Buffs waltzed into Tucson and didn’t give one shit about Arizona’s 12-0 record and pretty much outplayed them for 35 minutes, I think people began to realize: It’s on.
CU is still 1-0 vs Arizona in games that matter.

Do you think expansion has helped or hindered Pac-12 Basketball?

My roommates and I hosted a party this past Saturday night. Pretty successful event that was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed. We stockpiled food and booze for an expected 40ish folks and in doing such we picked up some whiskey. You see, I really like me some Black Label but we weren’t about to provide handles of Johnny Black to be dumped into red cups with ginger ale. No, the Black Label is for sipping out of a tumbler and discussing important things like transition defense and the state of Arizona’s 2014 recruiting class and other matters of the heart. So we handled up with Jameson, purchasing maybe not Costco’s finest, but quality enough to ensure everyone was going to have a good time. And then they did. The Pac-12’s expansion hasn’t proven to be top-shelf at first sip, but by the end of the night, you’re going to have a pretty damn good time.

If expansion had worked in reverse, how do you think the ‘Cats would do in the current Big XII?

Probably right about where they stand today. I haven’t been overly impressed with the Big-12 although this scenario would have my Wildcats playing those damn Horned Frogs a couple times. Terrifying! It would certainly have my butt in Phog Allen and on Austin’s 6th Street  a whole lot more often and I can’t say there’s anything wrong with that.

You haven’t yet been to Boulder.  Before we bias your opinion, what’s your favorite destination in the Pac-12?

Walking the bowl in Wells Fargo in my red polo thanking the local Phoenicians for hosting us as the Wildcats cap off a twenty-point victory. I really enjoy that. I’ve never seen Maples rocking the way it once did. I imagine that’d be pretty awesome. I once walked into Mac Court – during a volleyball practice – and it just looked loud. But I’d have to go with Washington’s HecEd (fully going to ignore the corporate name it’s inherited). Seattle is a great basketball town with a devoted fan base. Good people, gorgeous city. I also have some pretty decent UW connections that I think would ensure I had a pretty darned good experience.
A packed HecEd, aka Alaska Airlines Arena.

Outside of Chauncey Billups, you can have any player in CU’s sterling *cough* hoops history.  WHO YA GOT?

Goodness, I feel like a little kid with no context to the greater goings on who just falls in love with the Yankees because “they’re just my favorite” but I think I’m taking Dre Roberson. I have memories of Lute Olson winning big things with Bennett Davison who was a bouncy and versatile forward who could do a lot bit of the things Bibby, Dickerson, and Simon didn’t have to do. Roberson is a better player and pro prospect than Davison ever was but I love the things he forces other teams to do and the options he opens up for your team. Who doesn’t love an athlete with basketball instincts?

Illinois and Arizona had a nice rivalry going for a few years.  As an Illini legacy, I especially enjoyed the 2005 Elite Eight game in Chicago: 
Would you care to respond with 2001?

Yeah I actually would like to respond with 2001. But does that mean include both times Arizona beat Illinois in 2001? What about 1988? Or 2006? Or 2007?

What’s your Oscar pick for best picture?

So I haven’t done a great job of seeing the nominees this year which I usually think I do alright at. But I’ve never heard of Amour and didn’t have the patience for Lincoln. I really liked Argo and thought it was about the most suspenseful movie I’d seen in ages. I had to remind myself repeatedly what the outcome was going to be. I also think a stoic introvert with little to say and even less personality is finally the perfect role for Ben Affleck. Worth noting, Zero Dark Thirty could be the greatest dialogue driven movie of all time. All time.

But I’m picking Silver Linings Playbook. This movie really did it for me and I’m an absolute sucker for the father-son narrative (Field of Dreams, am I right?). The scene where De Niro wakes up Cooper and expresses just how much he wants to talk about the Eagles though the Eagles are about the last thing on his mind is so beautifully real. It may or may not have been a dusty theater. Also, can I vote based on babe-dom? Looking at you J. Lawrence.
Huh?  I'm sorry, I must have spaced there for a second, what were you saying?  From: Esquire.

Beyoncé: best halftime show ever, or greatest halftime show ever?

In the middle of that performance I sent a text to my brother, “B.” which I think about sums up my feelings.

Finally, do you have a prediction for the game?

I love that Colorado is coming into this with some momentum and with Arizona a little ticked off. Like they stubbed their toe because – despite the message board apocalypse I’ve passively followed – Arizona is still a good basketball team. Very good. The confluence of the Buffs’ winning streak and Arizona hiccup adds to the utter madness that this game was going to be no matter what. And what better way for Arizona to celebrate the birth of its statehood than by defeating its kitty-corner companero? Additionally, how fitting is it that Colorado is kitty-corner to Arizona? Alas, I’m going to take my Cats by five on the road, no monitors needed.

Thanks to Adam for participating, and be sure to check out his work at!  If anyone sees a lost 'Zona fan wandering around Boulder Thursday night, buy him a shot for me.  And then remind him who currently holds the belt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Rumblin.

Thank you, PacHoops.

Other than your delusional game prediction, I thought you did a good job.

- buffnik