Monday CU Buff Bites - Colorado Basketball Takes A Bite Out Of Pac-12

Recapping Colorado Buffaloes Athletics and Pac-12 News, Links, and Stories

Colorado_mediumThis Week In BasketBuffs - 1/3/12

Well, that was fun. The Buffs went in to last week as the #156 team in the nation according to KenPom.com's rankings. Thanks to the healing power of a warm-up game against New Orleans (who, like YungCoach said, would probably lose to Ft. Lewis by double digits) and the PAC-12's basketball punching bag, the team is feeling better, the fans are feeling better and we are now ranked 127th in the nation.

The second thing I'm thrilled about from the past week? The atmosphere. The crowd was amazing - especially the student section. As for the women, they continue to impress as they went on a 14-0 run to close the game out at Utah and improve their record to 12-0. The next two weeks should tell us everything we need to know about both the men's & women's teams.

Colorado_mediumRINGO: Coors becoming the place to be for hoops - Buffzone

Askia Booker hit Nate Tomlinson with a perfect bounce pass that Tomlinson quickly turned into a layup Saturday afternoon and the Colorado Buffaloes were leading Washington State by 17 early in the second half. A good sized crowd -- considering the students are still on break -- rose to its feet and roared. Washington State coach Ken Bone called timeout and shook his head. In that moment and others like it in recent games, the thought came to mind: When and how did the Coors Events Center become such a tough place to play?

It never used to be like this.

When is easy. The Buffs are 27-3 at home since coach Tad Boyle was hired in the spring of 2010.

...Boyle can take credit for wisely playing an up-tempo style of basketball that wreaks havoc on opponents who come here from places with much more oxygen. Bzdelik preferred a slow, methodical style that he managed from the sideline. Former CU coach Ricardo Patton's teams played up-tempo just like Boyle, but the major difference is that Boyle also has the Buffs playing defense, which happened much too infrequently under Patton.

"I think you've got to give a lot of credit just to our fans," senior Austin Dufault said. "They're coming out and really supporting us. Just having a lot of people in the stands, a loud crowd and a lot of energy, that energizes us on the floor and really gets us excited to play at home.

Having attended the Men's Utah and Washington games I can attest to the much improved atmosphere at Coors that the above two links discuss. The excitement that was once reserved for the one men's Kansas home game seems to now be the norm. Way to go Buff Fans!

With the National Championship game in New Orleans, everyone seems to be co-opting any french-sounding words they can. Allstate BCS National Championship Game -- LSU, Alabama sport impressive résumés

The Allstate BCS National Championship Game is finally upon us. The rematch between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama will finally be decided. Who will win? ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel and Gene Wojciechowski state their cases: For LSU: 15. Home sweet Dome...For 'Bama: 15. The law of averages

As an actual Cajun whose family eats actual crawfish étoufée on Thanksgiving, I am of course: mortally offended. Résumé? Les Bon Temps? Lagniappe? Here's one...

How 'bout: Blasé? As in: I could not give two buffalo chips about the National Championship game...

Colorado_mediumBuffzone mailbag: Jan. 8, 2012 - Buffzone

Question: Even though National Signing Day is still a month away, is the coaching staff concerned about the lack of cornerbacks committed for now, given that they had to move players from offense to play the position last season? -- Seth B

Kyle's answer: I'm sure there is some concern there. They definitely want to sign a few more corners to be sure. However, I don't think they are panicking about it. There are a few very good corners still considering the Buffs and you have to remember, there are three cornerbacks returning who either played very little in 2011 or didn't play at all.

If you add a healthy Parker Orms, Sherrard Harrington and Jered Bell to Greg Henderson, that is four decent corners right there. Then if you can finally get Paul Vigo and Josh Moten to take a few steps forward you have two more before you even get to the recruits. And if some of the better CB recruits choose to come to Boulder, then some of those guys are going to get passed by quickly.

Colorado_pac-12Pac-12 Notes " CU At the Game - A CU Football blog by Stuart Whitehair

After taking a longer look at the CU schedule for 2012, here are some additional thoughts … - Colorado does not have to face a team coming off of a bye week in 2012. Three times in 2011, the Buffs, who had no break in a 13-game campaign, had to play a team which had an extra week to prepare.

That won’t happen in 2012 (unless you count Arizona State. Both the Buffs and the Sun Devils are taking off Saturday, October 6th, in anticipation of the game in Boulder on Thursday, October 11th). So CU will at least have a more level playing field in 2012; - Five of CU’s first six opponents will be teams with new head coaches. Colorado State, Fresno State, Washington State, UCLA, and Arizona State will all have new men wearing the headset on the sidelines in 2012...

Colorado_mediumFolsom Field Reviews, Colorado Buffaloes | Stadium Journey

Folsom Field, built in 1924, is the eighth oldest college football stadium in the country and is the biggest and best college stadium in Colorado. It sits 53,613 people and also features the old gym on one side. Over its nearly 90 years of hosting Colorado Buffaloes football games, Folsom Field has gone through numerous improvements and expansions.

In 1956, the addition of the upper deck increased seats from 26,000-45,000 and another 6,000 seats were added in 1968 after the running tracks were taken away. A six-story press box, luxury seats and seats in front of the new Dal Ward Athletic Center added seats as well. In 1999, the school added "Buffvision", huge screen TVs to each end of the field for replays and anything else they need to show.

Colorado_mediumMike Bohn: CU Buffs to add women's sport - Buffzone

The past 18 months have been energizing for University of Colorado sports fans as the school parted ways with old rivals to begin competing in a new conference. It has been a fascinating and challenging time for the Buffs and it's just the beginning of more big changes on which the athletic department and the school are collaborating. CU athletic director Mike Bohn spoke with the Camera on Saturday for this first edition of a multi-part series of stories we will run in the coming months chronicling these endeavors.

Bohn revealed that the department plans to add a new women's sports team in the near future. He acknowledged there are ongoing talks within his department and with campus leaders about major facilities improvements starting with Folsom Field and the football program. He discussed the new football scheduling alliance between the Pac-12 and Big Ten Conferences and how it will affect CU and some of its other series, including CSU, going forward. He said he is talking with several Big Ten programs about scheduling football series prior to the official kickoff of the Pac-12-Big Ten collaboration in 2017. And he shared his goal for the football program in 2012.

Colorado_mediumMen's basketball: CU Buffs must take show on road - Buffzone

What kind of a road team is Colorado this season? That's a question even head coach Tad Boyle doesn't know the answer to. CU hasn't played a true road game outside of the Centennial State to date. The team hasn't been on an airplane since the Buffs flew back from the Puerto Rico Tip-off on Nov. 21.

"The schedule has favored us, but we've done what we've had to do," Boyle said. "Now the difference between being good and great is winning on the road." CU's three Pac-12 wins on Sox Walseth Court were by an average of 23 points. This is an extremely good home team, which has posted a 27-3 record at the Coors Events Center during the Boyle era.

Colorado_mediumMen's basketball: CU Buffs must take show on road - Buffzone

What kind of a road team is Colorado this season? That's a question even head coach Tad Boyle doesn't know the answer to. CU hasn't played a true road game outside of the Centennial State to date. The team hasn't been on an airplane since the Buffs flew back from the Puerto Rico Tip-off on Nov. 21.

"Now the difference between being good and great is winning on the road." CU's three Pac-12 wins on Sox Walseth Court were by an average of 23 points. This is an extremely good home team, which has posted a 27-3 record at the Coors Events Center during the Boyle era.

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Buffs Surge To 3-0 In Pac-12 Competition - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Now comes the hard part. The Colorado Buffaloes capped an eight-game home stand on Saturday with a 71-60 win against Washington State that kept them unbeaten in the Pac-12 Conference and atop their new league with a 3-0 record. But the road awaits . . . The Buffs, the Pac-12's easternmost member, head west this week for games at California (Thursday) and Stanford (Saturday).

But by all accounts - including theirs - they are more well-equipped to hit the trail than they were a month ago. "I'm proud of our guys for coming together, believing and improving," CU coach Tad Boyle said, noting that his team being picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12 was and will be motivation for the Buffs as they head into the teeth of their conference schedule. Saturday's victory was CU's sixth straight and seventh in the eight-game stand at the Coors Events Center, pushing the Buffs to 11-4 overall. Boyle said his team's 3-0 conference start was what he and his players expected, given the league schedule's friendly front end.

"The schedule has favored us, but we've done what we need to do," he said. "The difference in being good and great is winning on the road (and) we start out with what is arguably our toughest trip."

Colorado_mediumColorado Edges Washington State 57-56 - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Freshman Jen Reese recorded her first career double-double and Colorado fought back from a second half double-digit deficit for the second time in three road games to clip Washington State 57-56 Saturday afternoon at Beasley Coliseum. Colorado improves to 13-1 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play as the Buffaloes hand Washington State its first league loss of the season (9-7, 3-1). The Buffaloes also erased a 10-point second half deficit in their 58-52 win at Utah on Dec. 31.

Colorado_mediumCU SKIING: Buffs Take Lead In Own Invitational - CUBuffs.com

The defending national champion University of Colorado ski team is in first place after two events here in its own CU Invitational/Spencer Nelson Memorial, as the Buffaloes hold a slim three-point edge over Utah following Saturday's giant slalom races.

Colorado accumulated 239 team points to Utah's 236, as the two were nose-to-nose for the second straight day; in Friday's "prelim," the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Athletic Association Alpine qualifier, had team scoring taken place, Utah held a 242-230 edge. New Mexico is in third (190), followed by Denver (182) and Alaska-Anchorage (175) to round out the top five.

Colorado's annual invitational has been renamed the Spencer Nelson Memorial, honoring the Buff sophomore who was killed in a hiking accident near Aspen in August 2010. The previous two decades the meet honored Laura Sharpe Flood, who was killed in a training run here at Eldora in April 1990.

Colorado_mediumColorado Skiers Open Strong In RMISA Qualifier - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

In the men's GS, the Buffaloes placed three in the top 13, as freshman Adam Zika led the way with a fifth place effort in 1:55.26; Petter Brenna won the race in 1:54.56, as the former New Mexico skier has transferred to Westminster (Utah) College for graduate school. Senior Eric Davis was eighth in 1:56.08, while junior Max Lamb was 13th in 1:56.61; the top 14 skiers were separated by just a hair over two seconds. Zika was 13th after his morning run, but zoomed down La Belle with the fastest clocking for the 60-plus skier field (59.59) to zoom into fifth.

"I had a little better feeling than the first run," he said. "I tried to crush the second run because I was 12th or so after the first run so I wanted to go fast and be in the top 10 at least. So i t was pretty good, I was excited about this race because it was my first college race for CU. I'm excited about all of this. I like to race for the team (points) more." Davis was sixth after the first run.

"I was pretty happy with where I was after the first run, and I was feeling confident going into the second run. It felt like I was doing what I needed to do, staying on line, then I just ran into trouble about midway down and shot out of the course a little bit and lost a little time. I would have liked to move up for sure and I think I could have if I hadn't made a mistake but, you can't be disappointed with a top 10."

"It was definitely pretty rough (condition), so you have to change your tactics going into that stuff. It wasn't really affecting me much because I knew it was coming, but it definitely gave a lot of people trouble which made opportunities for other people. It was great getting used to the hill and getting used to race mode before we start scoring for the team. We look for better things for tomorrow."

Colorado_mediumKatie Hartman battled through loss, injury to come back in style for CU Buffs - Buffzone

When Colorado ski coach Richard Rokos saw Katie Hartman catch an edge and fly through the air upside down falling back to earth with a hard landing in Erzurum, Turkey early last year at the World University Games, he thought for a moment she might have died. Hartman, who is known as an aggressive and talented skier, had survived but she blew out her knee. The snow that caught her ski, tore her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her left knee, ending her season prematurely.

She wasn't able to contribute to the Buffs' national title run. It wouldn't have been unusual for anyone who doesn't know Hartman to question whether she would ski again. Those who do know her had no doubt. "In some cases, it's career ending," Rokos said. "In Katie's case, I think it's actually the fastest recovery I've seen and I've been around this for a long time."

All the advice she was getting leaned toward taking it slow, focusing on doing basic ski drills and not pushing too hard to get back on the front of her skis attacking the mountain too quickly. She flew to Oregon, drove to Mount Hood, went to the top of the mountain and started down the only way she knows how.

"I just ripped off the whole run," she said. "I took a whole run of just ripping turns, didn't even start out slow. I got down to the bottom and I was like, 'I'm going to be OK.' That's when I started doing drills. ... I think that is just what I needed was to go out there and be by myself and see if I still had it."

Eleven months after her injury it is clear she still has a very bright future in the sport she loves. She won the giant slalom on Friday in the Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational hosted by CU at Eldora.

Go Buffs!

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