Just like yesterday, here's some basketball as a warm-up before we get to... The Spring Game Epic Match!
What were the odds of Cory Higgins finishing his CU men’s basketball career tied with Richard Roby (2004-08) atop the school charts at 2,001 points? They had to be astronomical. I know I have never seen another school with co-leaders in career scoring. And certainly not to be overlooked or forgotten is Brittany Spears completing her eligibility this season as the CU women’s all-time leading scorer with 2,185 points.
They say time heals all wounds. At Colorado, Jon Embree does.
The first-year CU coach has fans and boosters filled with hope and back on the Buffs bandwagon this spring.
Embree's presence has also paved the way for a legendary reunion at Folsom Field with Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett set to coach the alumni game on Saturday prior to the spring game.
"He's just a classy guy. For him to stay involved ... let's face it, he was treated unfairly," McCartney said of Barnett's return to Boulder. "I just think it says a lot about Gary's character to come back."
The former CU head coaches haven't stalked the same field together in almost 20 years.
"We haven't done it for a while, that's for sure," Barnett said. "I'm looking forward to the whole weekend and seeing everybody and having some fun. Mac's team is going to struggle. He's got all the old guys."
Charles Johnson will captain McCartney's squad. Joel Klatt will do the same for Barnett's team.
It's the Spring Epic you've all been waiting for: the old guys vs. the really old guys!
...Klatt and Johnson are respective team captains, and CU football sports information director Curtis Snyder was named referee for Saturday afternoon’s alumni flag football game. Snyder announced on Facebook he will be taking bribes from them "Up to and throughout the game."
It wasn’t Snyder’s idea to referee the game. His boss, David Plati, volunteered him. One of his Facebook "friends" went out of [sic] a limb to predict a fifth and maybe sixth down. (It was Johnson who scored the infamous fifth down at Missouri in 1990).
I asked offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, one of the most popular ex-Buffs in history, if he would play. The former All-America tailback who has grown into a fullback, said he’ll buy some popcorn and watch the game. Translation: He, too, doesn’t want to pull a hamstring.
Colorado football coach Jon Embree said he plans to make cuts to his roster later this spring based on the results players have produced on and off the field since he took over the program in early December. Embree did not specify the number of players he will trim from the program, but he indicated there will be several and he will be the one to give them the bad news. Prior to the start of spring ball last month, Embree said one of his goals for the 15 practices was to find out who can play and who can't.
After the jump; more player profiles. This time it's Conrad Obi and Tyler Hansen!
Senior nosetackle Conrad Obi is refocused and apparently bent on making his final season as a Buff a memorable one. He's already made an impression on his new coaches.
...Said "Tui:" "From what I hear from everybody around me, this is the best they've ever seen him play. Now, of course, I'm always looking for more. I'm trying to get him better every day. But the guy's attitude is unbelievable.
Obi believes his upgraded performance has a simple explanation: "It's hard work paying off. I'm doing what I want to do and seeing the results I wanted to see, that's what makes it the best spring I've had here."
"Yeah, he's doing it, he's meeting my standard," Tuiasosopo said. "I'm very happy with his progress, but I always expect my guys to keep climbing the ladder. The thing about a guy like Conrad - and all these guys, really - is that we're all trying to get to know each other. But at the end of the day we're judging everybody on production. And that guy has been productive."
The overall spring productivity in Tuiasosopo's group, though, has been hampered by injuries, particularly at end. At least four of those players have missed portions of the 15 practices. Pericak has stayed relatively healthy, but Cunningham's elbow injury likely will keep him out of Saturday's Spring Game (6 p.m., Folsom Field). Still, Tuiasosopo said before the injury Cunningham had shown that "he plays hard and understands the game . . . but there are some technical, fundamental things he has to work at."
The "Hawkins" questions have been popular for Colorado's players since Jon Embree was hired to replace Dan Hawkins as the Buffaloes coach. What went wrong under Hawkins? How does the new Embree administration compare to the one it replaced? Etc...
But quarterback Tyler Hansen has been getting double the Hawkins questions because his career in Boulder has been marked by two Hawkinses: The one who coached him and the one he competed against, quarterback Cody Hawkins.
Hansen insists that it never became a problem between him and Cody. Said Hansen, "I think we handled it the way it was supposed to [be handled]. We were both positive with each other and we were friends on and off the field. But it was awkward at moments."
Hansen no longer has to worry about either Hawkins. Now he has to worry about Embree, who clearly doesn't want Hansen to feel like the starting job is his by default. "Nick Hirschman is starting to figure some things out," Embree said. "The light is starting to go on. He still needs to be a little more decisive. I'd say the edge with Hansen right now is that Tyler just is a little more decisive with what to do and just the command in the huddle."
Spring Game - CUBuffs.com - Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!!!!
Spring Game Schedule - Shoulder to Shoulder
4 - CU Garage Sale and Fan Zone in Balch Fieldhouse
4:30 - Alumni Flag Football Game - Mac vs. Barnett on Folsom Field
6 - Spring Game!