The Town Crier

Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:50 pm

Game #14: #19 Colorado Buffaloes (12-1, 2-0) @ USC Trojans (5-6, 0-2)

We’ll be up against a 2-3 zone when we take on the Trojans. USC’s leading scorer is SG Brendan Trilli who is averaging 13.6 ppg while PG Dennis Evans averages 11.0 ppg. While USC’s record is unimpressive, we still have to elevate our game if we want to come away with a win on the road.

Our defense was sound early in the first half, but during the middle portion of the half we let the Trojans score from all over the court. With 7 minutes remaining, USC led 32-18 and had hit over 60% of their shots. At that point, the refs had yet to call a foul on the Trojans while 6 fouls had been assessed against us. Although we were able to reduce their FG% to 52%, we only connected on 31% of our shots so could make no headway and ended up trailing 41-27 at the break. PG Matt Conley led our scoring with 8 points. USC’s scoring was topped by SG Brendan Trilli with 11 points.

In the 2nd half, we continually cut a little into the Trojans’ lead but could never made a serious run because our shooting was so poor. With the refs continuing to send the Trojans to the line and not call fouls on them, my protestations final resulted in a technical foul being called on me. We reduced USC’s shooting percentage for the game to 44% but we hit just 39%. And the Trojans scored 17 more points at the line. We ended up with a disappointing 82-66 loss. So ultimately, those 17 extra points at the line were the difference in the game.

Our leading scorer was SG Kenton Dunn with 16 points. SG Steve Jackson peppered the basket for 15. SF Rick Coffey hit for 13. For USC, SG Brendan Trilli finished with 24 points and 8 rebounds and PG Dennis Evans added 17.

Steve Jackson mouthed off after the game, complaining that he wasn’t getting enough playing time because the coaches favored Kenton Dunn too much. Steve HAS been our most prolific scorer when he’s been on the court. So rather than tear into him as I like to do, I sit down with him and listen to his concerns and let him know that I’ll try to get him more playing time but that his scoring coming off the bench is important for us. Then I tell him that complaining to others will do him no good and will result in disciplinary action if it continues. My feeling is that he’s still not happy, but we’ll see if he can keep from repeating his mistake.

Other Pac-12 results tonight:

#13 California-82, #6 Arizona-68
#22 Utah-85, Arizona State-77
#23 Washington-76, #25 Stanford-64
#4 UCLA-72, Oregon State-60
#2 Oregon-66, Washington State-60

Now only UCLA is undefeated in conference play, so our 2-1 record ties us with 5 other teams for 2nd place.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:47 pm

Game #15: Arizona State Sun Devils (8-4, 1-2) @ #19 Colorado Buffaloes (12-2, 2-1)

Arizona State likes using a 3-2 zone. Whereas we lost to #12 ranked Virginia by a point, the Sun Devils beat Virginia by a point. PG Travis Hawkins is averaging 16.2 ppg, but C Jeremy Totten who is averaging 12.8 ppg has shot extremely well, so I’d like to limit his scoring chances. During my tenure at Colorado, we have only won 1 of 5 games against Arizona State. Time to turn that around! We’ll be without the services of PG Matt Conley who fell in practice and has a sore wrist.

It took the Sun Devils 4 minutes to score their first basket but we only had 5 points by that time. We out-rebounded Arizona State 19-12 in the half. By doing so we were able to achieve a 34-25 advantage in the score at the break even though we only hit 41% of our shots. SG Kenton Dunn dropped in 12 points.

Our double digit lead was cut to 7 with 12 minutes to play. We then went on a sustained run throughout the remainder of the game. We finished with a 78-55 beatdown of Arizona State to remain in a tie for 2nd place in the Pac-12.

SG Kenton Dunn scored 14, C Ryan Erickson had 13, PG Chris Smith added 12, and coming off the bench SG Steve Jackson scored 10 and Camah Griffin, filling in at PG, added 9. Four of our players (SF Rick Coffey, PF Vefa Kurtbek, C Ryan Erickson, and PF/SF Charles Maors) had 7 rebounds each. C Ryan Erickson blocked 5 shots. PG Travis Hawkins scored 22 points for Arizona State.

In other Pac-12 contests today:

#13 California-70, #22 Utah-54
#6 Arizona-67, USC-44
#2 Oregon-109, #25 Stanford-100 (OT)
Washington State-71, Oregon State-63
#4 UCLA-82, #23 Washington -62

We’re now ranked #18 in the country and our RPI is #7.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:10 pm

Game #16: #25 Utah Utes (10-5, 2-2) @ #18 Colorado Buffaloes (13-2, 3-1)

Utah is rather similar to us with possibly a little more overall talent. They’re a little more oriented to scoring inside than us with their two big men starters, Mark Wall and Jeff Odle, scoring 16.5 and 12.1 ppg, respectively and backup Marc Fife averaging 8.3 ppg. PF Matt Hunter sprained his wrist so will miss this game and one or two more.

Defensively, Utah kicked our butts early in the first half. After 16 minutes of play we were hitting just 17% of our shots and trailed 29-18. But we finished the half with a 16-0 run that left us a with a 34-29 halftime lead. Even with our offensive explosion in the final 4 minutes we still were hitting just 35% of out FG attempts. But we had reduced the Utes’ shooting to 37%. C Ryan Erickson topped our scoring with 8 points. While SF Rick Coffey had been held scoreless, defensively he had a steal and 4 blocks.

Back to back 3’s by Charles Maors and Rick Coffey gave us a 42-32 cushion with 17:15 to play and forced Utah to call a timeout. But it was an uncomfortable cushion as Utah cut our lead to 4 with 13 minutes to go as our shooting woes continued. Then with 4:27 remaining, Utah closed to within 56-53. With 30 seconds to go we led 65-61 but Utah was forced to foul and Charles Maors drilled both free throws to put us up by 6. We were able to hold on for a 69-63 win. Even though we held a 17-9 turnover advantage, Utah controlled the boards 38-30 and outshot us 41% to 35%. Had it not been for the refs calling a boatload of fouls against Utah so that we scored 21 more points on free throws that Utah, our miserable offensive effort would have led to a defeat. I was surprised that Brian Cunningham, the Utah head coach, didn’t get called for a technical given that the refs called 28 fouls on the Utes and only 10 on us. Rest assured that I never said one thing to the refs the entire game.

SG Steve Jackson came off the bench to contribute 15 points. PF/SF Charles Maors had 14, SG Kenton Dunn scored 12, C Ryan Erickson hit for 10, and SF Rick Coffey finished with 7 points, 1 steal and 5 blocks.

Tonight’s other Pac-12 results:
#11 California-69, USC-53
#6 Arizona-79, Arizona State-68
#21 Washington-78, Oregon State-59
Stanford-77, Washington State-70
#3 Oregon-86, #2 UCLA-79 (OT)—First conference loss by UCLA dropped them into a tie for 1st place

We’re now in a 5 way tie for first place in the Pac-12, bunched together with #2 UCLA, #3 Oregon, #6 Arizona, and #11 California with #21 Washington a game behind.

I’ve been trying to control expectations with our fans. While what we’ve done so far this season is impressive, the rest of our schedule will be a real test. We now enter what I call “Hell Week-and-a-Half” when we play Oregon twice and Arizona once, 2 of the 3 best teams in the conference and nation (the other being UCLA which we don’t play until the end of the season).
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:03 pm

Steve Porter

The success of our basketball program allowed me to put together a story about our basketball team and extolling the virtues of Coach KD Durst. While I got no by-line or recognition, the following article that ran in Basketball Illustrated Magazine was basically mine. I was just happy to be able to get it out and Scott Kraemer was happy to get a piece he could get published with little effort:

BUFFALO CHIPS NO LONGER
By Scott Kraemer

The Colorado Buffaloes basketball team had long been one of the weak sisters in the Pac-12. They consistently finished near or at the bottom of the conference standings. Other Pac-12 teams looked at games against the Buffaloes as a way of fattening their records and moving up in the conference standings. Defensively they were abysmal, and offensively they probably would have done better had they been lobbing up buffalo chips at the basket.

Then nearly 3 years ago they reached out to Ohio to pull Kendrick “KD” Durst away from Youngstown State University, a team that prior to Durst’s coming in as head coach had been as woeful as Colorado. Durst immediately began to create respectability for YSU Penguins basketball by extricating them from the depths of the Horizon League. His first two seasons were building years, but the team still was good enough to win about half their games. Then came 5 straight seasons of stellar play when the Penguins won well over 20 games each season and were at the top of the Horizon League standings each year. During those 5 outstanding seasons at Youngstown State, Durst compiled a 122-41 record and took the team to the NCAA tournament 3 times and the NIT tournament twice. The team won the NIT Tournament the final year Durst was with them.

When Colorado came courting, is it any wonder Durst opted to leave the rust belt and move to Boulder, a jewel of a college town at the foot of the Rockies? No matter how good a team he could construct in the Horizon League, there was little likelihood of much success once they got to the NCAA Tournament. Even though Colorado’s recruiting budget is far below almost all other Pac-12 programs, it still is lightyears beyond what Youngstown State could ever provide.

During his first season with Colorado, Durst had just nine players (including walkons) who were eligible to play. No one would be a miracle worker with what Durst inherited and the team finished with a 7-21 record. But last season Colorado moved up in the conference standings, was good enough to get a berth in the CIT Tournament, and finished with a 16-14 record. This season Durst’s team has made giant strides. They presently have a 14-2 overall record and are 4-1 in the Pac-12, which puts them in a tie for first place. Pac-12 team can no longer continue to look at them as patsies. The team is ranked 18th in both the Media Poll and the Coaches Poll and their RPI is 7th best in Division I.

Colorado University Athletic Director Jake Meacolm said, “I knew I was getting a head coach who could turn our previously moribund basketball program around. The Buffaloes are “movin’ on up”, so everybody just better watch out.”

Coach Durst was more sanguine, saying “I’m really pleased how our players have responded and ratcheted up their game. But we still have a long way to go. There are several teams in the Pac-12 that have far greater overall talent levels than do we. We have to get up for each and every game since any Pac-12 team is capable of inflicting a loss on us on any given night.”

No matter how the rest of the season goes for the Buffaloes, their trajectory is definitely upward. And it appears that their recruiting efforts this season have yielded some good future players for Colorado, thus portending even greater success in the future. Obviously, Coach KD Durst is developing a reputation as a coach who can quickly turn around programs and build them into perennial contenders. Colorado’s fans have certainly recognized this as attendance at home games continues to rise quickly as fans realize this Buffalo herd gives stompings rather than leaving buffalo chips.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:24 pm

Game #17: #18 Colorado Buffaloes (14-2, 4-1) @ #6 Arizona Wildcats (13-3, 4-1)

Arizona is so stocked with outstandingly talented players that 7’0” C Cliff Rivera, who was the Wildcats starter as a freshman last season and who averaged 11.5 ppg and 8.8 apg, has been relegated to the bench to make way for freshman Antwan Minor. Arizona is actually led by three 5-star freshmen this season. Besides Minor who is averaging 16.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg, PG Lamont Nielsen is averaging 14.7 ppg and 4.7 apg and PF Curtis Grace averages 12.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg. Playing the Wildcats on their home court should be illegal. All 3 of the Wildcats’ losses have been on the road…to #14 Florida, #5 Syracuse, and #11 California. Their wins include #23 Georgia, #19 North Carolina, #7 Miami (FL), and #25 Utah. Arizona is averaging 75.8 ppg while their opponents have scored 64.0 ppg.

We fell behind by 8 points early but we gamely fought back and with 7 minutes remaining in the first half we were within 2 at 29-27. Then with 5:53 remaining, SG Steve Jackson banked a shot off the backboard and it rolled around the rim and settled through the silks to tie the game. PG Chris Smith then hit a 15 footer to put us on top 31-29. The half ended with Arizona holding a slim 43-42 lead. The Wildcats controlled the boards 20-10 but we held a 9-5 turnover advantage and outshot Arizona 59% to 48%. SG Kenton Dunn led our scoring with 12 points, while PF Curtis Grace had 11 points for the Wildcats.

The game remained extremely close, but we hit a dry spell to allow Arizona to creep ahead 55-51 with 11:37 to play. With 5-1/2 minutes remaining we trailed 74-66. At that point we simply fell apart and Arizona ran away to an 85-68 victory. After playing even with Wildcats for nearly 4/5 of the game, it was disappointing to give the game away in the final minutes. We only had 10 turnovers compared to 17 for Arizona, but the destroyed us on the boards 38-24 and hit 12 of 25 3’s while we could only hit on 2 of 14.

Leading our scoring was SG Kenton Dunn with 23 points. SF Rick Coffey and SG Steve Jackson both added 11. Arizona’s starting guards, Stephan Mitchell and Lamont Nielsen both scored well in the 2nd half and finished with 20 points apiece while PF Curtis Grace hit for 19.

The loss dropped us into a tie with Washington, a game behind 4 teams tied for first.

Scores of other Pac-12 teams:

#11 California-77, Arizona State-62
#25 Utah-78, USC-49
#3 Oregon-72, Oregon State-56
#2 UCLA-76, Stanford-54
#21 Washington-86, Washington State-77 (OT)

Youngstown State, where I previously coached, went 5-4 in pre-conference play but has run off 6 straight victories in their Horizon League schedule and sits atop the Horizon League standings 2 games ahead of their nearest competition. SG Doylan Anderson (who I recruited) is averaging 19.8 ppg.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby WarEagle13 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:23 pm

Nice dynasty read. Love the longevity of it. Keep it going!

Impressive what you have done at CU in a short time
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:05 pm

WarEagle13 wrote:Nice dynasty read. Love the longevity of it. Keep it going!

Impressive what you have done at CU in a short time


Muchas gracias! :)

The repair job at CU was accelerated due to my having so few players the first season and therefore fixing that for the next season (and avoiding having too many players to recruit the first season) by adding a bunch of good (albeit not great) transfer players who now are kicking butt...not all-stars but good solid players. Not a typical situation at all...so it was a fun experiment. But I'd never just cut a bunch of players to be able to do that...too contrived.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Game #18: #1 Oregon Ducks (17-1, 5-1) @ #18 Colorado Buffaloes (14-3, 4-2)

This is the first of back-to-back games against Oregon, which is now ranked #1 in the country. Oregon cleans up inside. Their starting C John Jones is averaging 15.7 ppg and 9.7 rpgc, Antawn Harper, who subs at C, is averaging 10.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg, and PF Matt Reeves is scoring 11.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Oregon is riding a 5-game win streak after losing their only game of the season in their Pac-12 opener against #9 California.

PF Matt Hunter’s will miss his 2nd straight game with a sprained wrist and could still be out for our next game as well.

Our 2-3 zone shut down Oregon early and we took an 11-4 lead. But a talented team like the Ducks finds ways to get things done and they came back to tie us at 11-11. We then countered their 7-0 run with one of our own. Oregon then had an 8 point run to take a 19-18 lead. But we then slowly pulled away to sport a 34-25 halftime lead. Our defense limited Oregon’s shooting to 31% and forced them to make 8 turnovers. SG Kenton Dunn and SF Rick Coffey each hit for 8 points.

After hitting just 2 of 12 three-pointers in the first half, the Ducks began to cook from outside in the 2nd half. They had made 6 of 8 in the first 10 minutes and our lead was down to 55-53. Since Oregon apparently had figured out our 2-3 zone, we then switched out defense to man-to-man and the Ducks made just 2 of their final 8 three’s. We gradually extended our lead and with 2:44 were ahead 75-64. We kept Oregon from making a final run and came away with our biggest win since my arrival at Colorado by defeating the #1-ranked Ducks 81-69. I was proud that our guys outshot Oregon 46% to 40% (and 47% to 36% from beyond the arc), held a 12-8 turnover advantage, and against the Ducks’s talented big men were able to hold our own on the boards with each team pulling down 31 rebounds.

SF Rick Coffey came up big with 20 points while SG Kenton Dunn tossed in 17, PF/SF Charles Maors scored 14, and PG Matt Conley added 12 and had a steal and 3 blocks. Oregon’s SF Jeff Woolfolk scored 19 and C John Jones had 16 points (but only hit 5 of 15 shots) and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Other Pac-12 results:

#5 Arizona-86, Stanford-67
#19 Washington-87, Arizona State-84
Washington State-72, #9 California-62 (big upset that knocks Cal out of a first place tie)
#2 UCLA-65, USC-36
Utah-88, Oregon State-80

Our win kept us tied for 2nd with 3 other teams, a game behind UCLA and Arizona. All six Pac-12 teams ranked in the polls are bunched together with either 6-1 or 5-2 conference records. The best conference record for an unranked team is 3-4.
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:51 am

Game #19: #18 Colorado Buffaloes (15-3, 5-2) @ #1 Oregon Ducks (17-2, 5-2)

Later that week we travelled to Eugene to play the Ducks again. Playing them on their home court with them thirsting for revenge obviously presented a huge challenge.

We hung with Oregon throughout most of the first half, but the Ducks pulled away during the final 5 minutes of the half and when the buzzer sounded we trailed 47-38. Oregon hit 55% of their shots compared to our 40%. SF Rick Coffey and SG Kenton Dunn both scored 9 points but Oregon’s big men were the difference. PF Matt Reeves scored 13, grabbed 5 boards and had a steal and 3 block while C John Jones hit for 9 points and tore down 10 boards and dished out 5 assists. We need to control them better in the 2nd half.

Oregon just kept the pressure on us the entire 2nd half. While we never caved in and our players gave it their all the entire half, Oregon’s solid play showed why they are rated so high. Their defense kept us from getting clear shots so that they maintained a double digit lead throughout most of the 2nd half. Our shooting percentage dropped to 33% for the entire game. We fell 76-60, but playing a talented team like the Ducks on their home court is a tremendous challenge.

SG Kenton Dunn and SF Rick Coffey both scored 13 points and C Ryan Erickson finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds and also had 4 blocks. Oregon’s PF Matt Reeves scored 19 and pulled down 10 boards and C John Jones had 14 ponts, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists.

So we get through “Hell Week-and-a-Half” with one win and two losses. Not great but not horrible either. The two losses drop us into a tie with California for 5th place in the conference standings.

Other Pac-12 results:

#19 Washington-76, #5 Arizona-72
Arizona State-90, Washington State-76
#2 UCLA-92, #9 California-79
Oregon State-78, USC-75
Stanford-78, Utah-66
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Re: The Town Crier

Postby PointGuard » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:36 am

Game #20: #19 Colorado Buffaloes (15-4, 5-3) @ Oregon State (6-11, 1-7)

We topped the Beavers by 12 points when they played on our court earlier this season, but they just won against USC so are likely to be tough to beat when playing at Gill Colliseum. But we need some road victories so this is an important game for us.

The first half was a dog fight the entire way. We eked out a 36-29 halftime advantage by hitting 50% of our shots. PG Chris Smith, SF Rick Coffey, and SG Steve Jackson each scored 8 points.

The second half started with back-and-forth scoring like the first, but then we had an extended run that gave us a 62-42 lead with 8-1/2 minutes to go. We cruised to a 77-55 whipping of the Beavers. We out-rebounded Oregon State 42-31 and outshot the Beavers 48% to 36%.

SG Steve Jackson led our scoring with 15 points, followed by SF Rick Coffey’s 14, C Ryan Erickson’s 11 (together with his 3 assists, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals), and PG Chris Smith’s 10 (he also had 8 assists). For Oregon State, C Jerome Harriman scored 12 and had 13 rebounds.

Our biggest advantage was our depth so that we kept fresh legs on the court the entire game.

Other Pac-12 scores tonight:

#4 Arizona-76, Washington State-56
#1 UCLA-76, Arizona State-68
#13 California-76, #2 Oregon-70 (winning on the road is tough even for the Ducks in Pac-12 play)
Stanford-90, USC-76
Utah-62, #18 Washington-61 (after trailing by 7 with 3 minutes to go, the Huskies nearly foiled the Ute’s upset)

UCLA remains atop the standings with a 8-1 record a game ahead of Arizona (UCLA travels to take on Arizona later this week). As the top half of the Pac-12 standings becomes more jumbled halfway through the conference season, we pulled into a 4-way tie (along with Oregon, Washington, and California) for 3rd place.
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