As you might recall, I correctly predicted the upset over Oregon in last week's grab bag:
"What I'm saying is, as helpless as this feels right now, weird things happen all the time. The current squad could pop out of their slumber this week, and shock the Ducks on Saturday. You laugh, but I've seen dumber."Of course, some jackass would later #hack both my blog and my twitter account, leading to these blatant reversals of my true opinion:
"As such, the Ducks are going to come in here and rip Colorado; no doubt in my mind. No amount of Tad's black magic witchery is going to save CU this evening. Give me Oregon by a boat-load."... and...
Today in the bag, I'm talking the win over Oregon that I totally predicted (and totally did not lose a bottle of scotch over), how the rest of the Pac-12 fared, and a brief blerb on signing day.
Click below for the bag...
Buffs defense arrives in force, drives out Duck infestation -
Remember that Colorado Basketball Team I talked up in my season preview? You know, the one that had the potential to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament, maybe even threaten for the second weekend? The one that had versatile, veteran depth across the roster, and who could threaten the conference powers? Well, that team was on full display Saturday night against #10 Oregon. Outside of the small worry of 16-26 shooting from the free throw line, the Buffaloes dominated the proceedings, dictating the pace, and playing confident, composed basketball throughout. This was no fluke, CU earned this one; 74-65.
Coach Boyle has been talking about it for months. I've been pleading for it since the start of conference play. Defense, defense, defense -- the crux of the #TadBall credo. What was once as essential to the program as Muscle Milk and Nike had become abandoned and discarded. 1.15 ppp allowed against woeful Oregon State, 1.2 against WSU, 1.37 to UCLA, to name a few. Pac-12 opponents, from the good to the bad, were naming their score against the Buffs, leveraging easy baskets to keep the team on their heels. Not Saturday night, however. From the opening tip, CU was not messing around on the defensive end. They came to play, to disrupt, to annoy. Hands were shot into passing lanes, closeouts were frenetic. I saw guys who hadn't been locked in for weeks shoot out of the tunnel like demons focused on a lost soul. The Ducks were held under one ppp for the game, forced into a 24% turnover rate, and limited to under 30% shooting in the second half. This... THIS is what I'm talking about when I think of Colorado Basketball. Welcome back, #TadBall, you've been sorely missed.
|Just like football. From: KVAL|
That being said, oh my was DWhite fantastic. He kicked off the second half run with back-to-back three pointers midway through the final frame, extended it with a dramatic and-one, and really killed off the game late. His second half line deserves to be framed: 17 points on 5-7 shooting, 4-5 from the line; a pair each of boards and assists, a block, a steal, and zero damn turnovers. Essentially perfect. He controlled the pace, leveraged his abilities flawlessly, and lead the team to victory. Just brilliant stuff.
|Joy has returned to Boulder. From: The SL Trib.|
Up next, the Buffs travel to the Bay Area, where they've often shown an ability to play well in awkward road environs. The trip to Palo Alto is first, and Colorado should have a decent shot at that one. Look for the preview up on Thursday.
Around the world of Pac-12 Basketball -
- Cal 66 - Stanford 55 -
In a meeting of CU's next two opponents, the Golden Bears stridently and purposefully pulled away from their Bay Area rival in the second half, taking the game by the scruff of the neck over the final 20 minutes. It helped that star forward Ivan Rabb had a monster 25/13 line, including 15 second half points, as he feasted against the Cardinal late. As a result, Cal pulls into a three-way tie for third place in the Pac-12, making them an intriguing proposition to pay attention to as the conference season enters the back nine.
|Rabb proceeded to chop down the Tree over the weekend. From: The State|
- Arizona 77 - Washington 66 -
This one was closer than you think. The Huskies lead throughout the first half, continued a push out of the locker room in the second, and seemed on pace to stun the heavily favored Wildcats. A roaring stretch in the heart of the final frame, however, pushed 'Zona over the top, securing the comfortable 11-point win in the desert.
|The 'Cats refused to lose against UW. From: the Olympian|
- USC 84 - UCLA 76 -
Uhhhh... the UCLA hot rod seems to have sprung a leak. For the second-straight game they failed to either out-race or defend against their opponent, this time slipping under the heel of their cross-town rival. Southern Cal's zone defense really got to the Bruins, disrupting their offense, and causing more turnovers (17) than they allowed free throw attempts (15). I'm sure this loss, as well as the reality of a two-game losing streak, will really piss off those Steve Alford haters who had been forced into a vow of silence over the opening months of play.
|That's now four straight wins for USC over UCLA. From: the OC Register.|
Signing Day Teaser -
Hey, football signing day is tomorrow! I guess that means something to some of you out there. For me, getting twitterpated over the comings and goings of 18-year olds, especially those who play football, is about as enticing a proposition as wearing red on gameday. Still, it should be noted that Colorado is on the cusp of landing a haul that many experts think very highly of. Scout has the Buffs' current list of commitments ranked at 26th in the country, 6th in the Pac-12; Rivals has something similar, with CU coming in 31st overall, 7th in the league. In either case, this would be the best showing by the program in a long time. National eyes are noticing, too. ESPN will be doing live updates from the Champions Center as the NLI's pour in, one of 16 schools to be so featured. Heady days...
If you care about this stuff at all, I hope you're slipping Adam Munsterteiger a few bucks for his best-around recruiting coverage. His new home with Scout - still under the Buff Stampede banner - is a marked improvement over his old set-up at Rivals, and the content is just as good. With tomorrow being the biggest day in the recruiting world, following Adam and his site is the best way to stay informed.
|Coach MacIntyre's looking to bring in a beaut of a recruiting class. From: the AP|
For the class itself, the high notes are the four 4-star talents currently committed to the program: Jake Moretti, KD Nixon, Grant Polley, and Laviska Shenault, three of whom are from Texas. Past that, there's also promising QB talent Tyler Lytle, local linebacker Jon Van Diest, and speedster wideout Jaylon Jackson. In total, the Buffs will be looking to haul in a class well over 25 kids deep. Time to capitalize on all those wins from the past year.