Colorado had their worst shooting performance of the season at Haas Pavilion today as they shot just 23 percent from the field and lost to Cal 62-46. The Buffs only made 15 shots; Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Roberson, and Xavier Johnson shot a combined 10-38, and Askia Booker and Josh Scott weren't any better as they shot a combined 4-21. Although the Buffaloes had a horrendous offensive game, in the bigger picture, this is one loss and Colorado will be fine. All they needed to do was split this road trip and they accomplished that on Wednesday when they beat Stanford. At this point, it's highly unlikely the Buffs will secure a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, but they still have their final homestand of the regular season against the Oregon schools to change that. If they can sweep those teams, they should feel very comfortable about their NCAA Tournament chances.
Things the Buffaloes did well:
The defense up until the last four minutes kept Colorado in the game and was effective. Despite Allen Crabbe picking up three first half fouls, Andre Roberson stopped Crabbe when he was on the floor. Crabbe had eight points on 10 shots and Justin Cobbs also had to take 15 shots to get 16 points. As a team, Colorado didn't allow Cal to hit one three pointer all game. Offensively, they clearly didn't shoot well, yet they took care of the ball as they only turned it over six times. Xavier Johnson seemed to be the only Buff attacking the hoop to try and score down the stretch. He shot 4-14 from the field, yet had a team high 14 points and also added 7 rebounds.
Things the Buffaloes struggled with:
That was one terrible offensive game. There were missed layups, forced passes, and the shot selection was continuously woeful. No one wanted to score as Colorado only made nine two-point field goals. In 40 minutes, the Buffs managed to just rack up 18 points from inside the arc. Josh Scott and Andre Roberson wanted no part of the post passing it out right away in the first half and didn't come out looking to score in the second. Spencer Dinwiddie who has been amazing attacking and keeping the Buffs in games at will as of late, just wasn't doing it today. It's safe to not expect much out of Shane Harris-Tunks, but his play against Cal, however, was atrocious even for him. He came in and couldn't play competent defense and certainly didn't play well on the offensive side of the ball.
As I mentioned above, Colorado did a good job stopping Crabbe and Cobbs, yet they couldn't stop the role players on Cal. David Kravish played well picking up 14 points and 11 rebounds and the most dominant player for Cal today was Tyrone Wallace. He had 11 rebounds as well, with three of them coming on offense, and 16 points on 8-12 shooting. For Colorado, the miserable shooting won't be a recurring theme. Nevertheless, what is somewhat concerning is the fact that if Spencer Dinwiddie cannot attack the hoop and get to the free throw line down the stretch, this team seems to have no other consistent option to score or create in the half-court.
Colorado closes out the conference season with home games against Oregon and Oregon St. The Buffaloes will play the Ducks on Thursday at 7 p.m. and the Beavers on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Oregon is a good team, but Colorado has beat better teams at home this year and is definitely capable of winning. With two wins, the Buffs would likely head to Las Vegas as a five seed.