Luckily, that is not the final word on the matter. Given a few days of practice, and few sessions in the video room, CU has an opportunity to learn an early lesson about responding to adversity. The team on the floor in Wyoming is not the team that I expect to see tonight, next week, next month, or beyond. I expect them to force tempo through their dedication on defense; I expect them to share the ball, and be aggressive on offense; I expect them to dictate their will, rather than accept what's at their feet. I expect the Buffs to learn from what happened, and pick themselves up.
|Pilipovich is up against a wounded CU team, looking to regain their mojo.|
The Falcons lost a lot when their leading scorer from 2013-14, 'Tre Coggins, and an emerging post threat, Darrius Parker, decided to transfer. Coggins, who already seemed to be on his way out after an extended suspension last season, would've been particularly useful as a reliable scorer. In his stead, senior guard Max Yon is headlining the show in Colorado Springs, chipping in over 17 points per game. The 6-4, 200 lb Texan is over 50% from three through four games, and will need to be watched off the screen. That actually goes for all of the Falcons, as 95% of all their attempts from deep are assisted.
|Yon is the best the Falcons have to offer.|
Beyond Williams, the team really only has two other forwards of any size - 6-9 senior Marek Olesinski and 6-11 junior Zach Moer (a role player who should see a little more action against the taller Buffs). Neither, however, should be much of a challenge for the CU front line; watch Olesinski on the perimeter, though, as he takes almost half his shots from beyond the arc.
|Olesinski is one of few Falcons with any real size.|
There's a few similarities to Wyoming, at least stylistically. The Falcons will play slow (282nd in adjusted tempo), throw some zone out there, shoot a lot of threes, and move the ball around. Athletically, however, the similarities cease to exist. The Cowboys are a much more dynamic team, have a lot more inside the paint, and hit the boards with much more authority. Hell, Air Force gave up 12 offensive boards of Colorado Christian; there's just no excuse for the Buffs not owning the post tonight.
As a result, I just can't see anything but a solid CU win coming out of this one. My guess is that Colorado will storm out out of the gate before hitting a lull, giving Coach Boyle just enough ammunition for halftime. The final 20 minutes will be a measured pounding, nothing too obscene, that gets the Buffs back in the win column. It's all about speeding the game up from the defensive end, and using the home crowd. Let's see how nasty CU is after getting bruised up north.
Tip-off from the CEC is set for 7pm this afternoon. Ah, finally, back to normal service! For those without a ticket, coverage can be found on Pac-12 Networks. The radio call, now with more Mark Johnson (!), is back on 850 KOA
GO BUFFS! PROVE ME RIGHT, AND BEAT THE FALCONS!