Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Grab Bag: Black Sunday

There are moments in sports where the outcome of a game becomes meaningless.  Such was the case Sunday when Spencer Dinwidde fell to the floor clutching his knee.  Time stopped, the game fell away, and a haze of uncertainty fell over BuffNation.
It's just not right.  From: USA Today
The obvious is that the whole situation did not look good.  The injury occurred in a non-contact situation, where Spencer's knee seemed to give out from under him as his shoe slipped on the slick floor at the Hec Ed Pavilion in Seattle.  Spencer wasn't the only one to lose his footing, and I can't help but wonder if the coaching staff should've made an issue of it.  Regardless, dreams, both individual and organizational, came to a screeching halt.

The fear is that Dinwiddie is done for the year. It's a knife to the gut, a painful reminder that success is fleeting.  In the coming days I'll be able to consider what this means going forward, but, for now, all of my thoughts and prayers go out the the 'Mayor of Buffaloes.'  Get well soon, Spencer.


Today in the bag, I'll pick up the pieces from Seattle, check in with the spiraling women's team, and touch on the NFL playoffs.

Click below for the bag...

Buffs lose more than just a game in Seattle - 

In a 180 flip from Wednesday night, CU came out guns blazing against Washington.  They were moving the ball, attacking the rim, and back to looking more like the Buffs we know and love.  While the game was still close, Colorado looked in control of the pace and run of play.

Then, Spencer Dinwiddie slipped and fell with 2:52 to go in the first half.

With the pall of Spencer's injury hanging over the team, on-court fortunes turned on a dime.  CU limped into halftime with the lead, but Washington went on a 33-16 run that finalized the turning of the tide.  There was no coming back for the Buffs after that, and CU lost 71-54.
No one could stop Wilcox.
The Huskies took advantage of the Buffs without Dinwiddie.  The Mayor had locked down UW star C.J Wilcox for much of the first half.  With CUs best perimeter defender in the locker room, Washington's leading scorer began to go off, knocking down uncontested three after uncontested three.  He would finish with 31, 21 of which were scored in the second half.

If there is any bright spot to take from Sunday's game, it was the play of Wes Gordon.  The redshirt freshman posted a career-first 11/13 double-double to go along with four blocks. Beyond Gordon's excellence, however, there's not much to smile about.  Askia Booker was 0-9 from the floor, the team only shot 35% as a whole, and Tre'Shaun Fletcher also tweaked his knee sliding on the ice-rink-cum-court.
Wes Gordon was sensational under the rim, but it wasn't enough. 
It's simplistic to say that Washington won because of the injury to Dinwiddie.  They certainly could've earned the win had the status quo been maintained.  However, they don't blowout Colorado with Spencer on the floor; no way, no how.  If there was any doubt how important the Mayor is to this team, just check the replay of the second half of Sunday's action.  The loss was immediately devastating.

There are some who would blame the team for not being able to put aside the injury and continue to fight. Those people are idiots.  Spencer means far too much to this team for his traumatic absence not to make an impact.  At some point CU will have to circle the wagons and figure out how to play without the Mayor. Sunday in Seattle was not that time.

Women continue their rough start to conference play - 

After another brilliant start to the season, the women's basketball team has hit a rough patch that has shaken the once smooth-sailing craft off its moorings.

Friday night against Cal, it was a tale of a second half letdown.  After leading by 10 at halftime, Colorado fell into the trap of the Golden Bears' full court press.  From the opening possession of the final frame, CU had to bring the ball up against three or even four defenders.  They failed to make the proper adjustments, and quickly gave up the lead.  The Buffs would respond, regaining the lead they had just lost, but Cal outscored them 14-2 over the final four minutes.  The end result: what should've been a Colorado victory ended up as a 57-55 defeat.
Colorado continues to come up short against the best in the Pac-12  From: the BDC
Two days later against the Stanford Carindal juggernaut, CU found a little traction, but ultimately came up short.  Stanford Star Chiney Ogwumike continued her reign of terror, dropping 34/16 in the 87-77 Cardinal victory.  CU managed to make a little noise in the second half, but never really threatened to make it a game.

There were some bright spots from the weekend.  Airelle Roberson put up a stellar 40/13 line, and Jamee Swan continued her progress, notching an impressive 20/13 double-double against the vaunted Cardinal on Sunday afternoon.  Still, the losses now make four in six games.  Colorado needs to find the bottom of this slippery slope, and quickly, before the once bright campaign loses its shimmer completely.

Around the world of the NFL Playoffs - 

- New England 43 - Indianapolis 22 -

The headline is the 166 yard, 4 touchdown day from LeGarrette Blount, but I will mostly remember the game for this .gif of salivating Colts QB Andrew Luck:
TTTTTHhhhhpffferin' TTTTThhhhhucitash!


Seattle 23 - New Orleans 15 -

Without the benefit of a strong outing from their offense (Marshawn Lynch notwithstanding), the Seahawks powered their way through to the NFC Championship game behind their notorious defense, which held Drew Brees and the Saints scoreless through the first half.  Going forward, the 'Hawks will need more than the 103 passing yards they got out of QB Russell Wilson if they hope to advance to the Super Bowl.

- San Francisco 23 - Carolina 10 -

Behind a solid performance from QB Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers advanced past a Carolina team that seemed way out of their depth. The Panthers may want to have their red zone play calling back, as they went 0-3 inside of the 20.
Cool celebration, dude!  Where'd you get that idea from...

- Denver 24 - San Diego 17

The Broncos survived their one-and-done curse as Peyton Manning completed a 3rd-and-17 pass late in the 4th quarter to forestall a Chargers comeback.  The win comes with a cost, however, as Bronco cornerback Chris Harris tore his ACL.  Against Tom Brady and the Patriots, the last thing you want is weakness in the defensive backfield.

Happy-ish Monday!

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