|Tory Miller took flight last week against GWU. From: the BDC.|
Outside of the freshmen, however, the game turned on the inside play of Josh Scott. His 23/15 not only more than canceled out the efforts of Nelson, but set the tone for the entire evening. Behind 'Grandpa Scott' (Miller's nickname for the junior forward), CU exploded the soft GWU zone, leading to a ridiculous 66-30 advantage in interior scoring. You simply cannot beat Colorado in Boulder when you allow them to score 66 points inside, and the Buffs were able to coast in the second half, as a result. Coach Boyle even had time to throw in walkon Brett Brady for extended, leveraging minutes midway through the final 20, which went about how you would expect.
|The Bulldogs had no answer for Scott. From: the BDC|
Once upon a time, Seattle U was a regional basketball power. They're one of the lucky few to claim a Final Four berth (1958), and went to 11 NCAA Tournaments over a 16-year span in the 50s and 60s. At one point in the 60s, they were even producing more NBA talent than any other school in the country. Then, suddenly, it all stopped. A financial slide in downtown Seattle eventually lead the school to de-emphasize their athletic programs, including men's basketball, and move to NAIA play in 1980. It wasn't until 2001 that they returned to the NCAA, and have been slowly clawing their way up from Division III ever since. Now back in the WAC (a conference that I was surprised to learn still exists), they're hungry for a statement win, an opportunity for which Colorado brings with them tonight.
|The Buffs haven't played in a gym this small since high school. Even then...|
It'll be in that tiny facility that CU will be tasked with taking on Coach Cameron Dollar's Redhawks. Dollar, a key player on UCLA's title run in 1995, is a former assistant under Washington's Lorenzo Romar, and has been doing a decent job building up the reincarnation of the once-proud Seattle U Basketball program. They went 17-15 this season, finishing a distant fourth behind conference power New Mexico State, among others. He had his team playing pretty slow this winter, even going so far as to average under 60 possessions per game in conference play. They rely on their zone defense and three point shooting (*double-gulp*) to get their wins, and otherwise look like a new-era WAC team.
|Coach Dollar is in the midst of a massive rebuilding project at Seattle U.|
Up front, things are significantly less scary. Only two members of the rotation stand over 6-6, lead by 6-11 junior Jack Crook. A European product from Manchester, England (someone ask him 'United, or City?'), he's not something that a now healthy Josh Scott can't handle. Maybe not a repeat of 66-30 show we saw against GWU in Boulder, but the Buffs should, once again, own the paint.
|Umipig may be the best guard in the state of Washington. Be afraid.|
In the end, I think talent and inside play carries CU to another win. Probably won't be pretty, and the two outside shooters scare the living daylights out of me, but the Buffs' zone offense has been looking good, and they should be able to lean on an advantage in the paint. I'll say a two possession win which keeps everyone nervous until the end.
Tip-off from the telephone-booth-cum-basketball-arena called the Connolly Center is set for 8pm this evening. There is no TV, but there is an online stream available here. You do have to sign up, but it it's free registration. As for radio, I think it'll be on 850 KOA, but don't quote me on that. Check 760, if that doesn't work. Either way, iHeart radio has you covered there.
GO BUFFS! PROVE ME RIGHT, AND BEAT THE REDHAWKS!