NR (USA Today)
January 17th, 2009
NR (USA Today)
It is hard to dedicate a full preview to the Buffs basketball team. With some positives going down in football right now, I find it much more satisfying to talk about that but it is the start of Big 12 play and the defending National Champions are coming into Boulder today for a 1:30 pm MT tipoff on ABC against the Black and Gold. Football is just a little better to write about right now as the Buffs basketball team is coming off a 45 point loss to a less-than-dominant Missouri team who lost to Nebraska a couple nights before. The 45 point loss was the eighth worse loss for a conference game in league history. Missouri shot 63.3% and it was the Tigers first time over 100 points in conference play in eight years. I am not going to get too negative on Bzdelik or the team because, like I have said before, they were left in a worse spot than the football team after Barnett got finished with it. The Buffs have one upperclassmen and are extremely young. They lack an inside presence and depend too much on a couple players to win them ball games. Let's just not have any more embarrassing moments this year. Keep it within 20.
And what is with Missouri beating down the Buffs. Most recently, the Buffs basketball team lost 67 - 102. Last year the Buffs basketball team kept it close but still lost both meetings and in football the last two years, Mizzou has beat the Buffs by a combined score of 113 - 10. That is having someone's number. Anyone we can play them every other year? Bring Texas Tech into the North, we can beat them.
Okay, onto some Kansas Jayhawk discussion and links. Right now the Buffs are 12.5 point underdogs. With losses to Montana State (at home), SMU, Vermont (by 25), TCU (at home by 16) and Buffalo...you tell me what you think about that line? Don't forget the 45 point loss a couple nights ago as well. Kansas is 12 - 4 and yes, they are inconsistent with a ton of youth and they don't rebound particularly well but that does sound like somebody we know? Yes, it is the Buffs. Young and inconsistent but the talent level is a different story. Kansas is 0 - 2 on the road (1-1 on a nuetral floor) this year but those losses were against a good Michigan State team and an Arizona team who is pretty athletic and a difficult matchup inside with PF/C Jordan Hill. The Buffs don't have a great inside presence like Jordan Hill and are not athletic enough to run up and down with the Jayhawks. Back to the spread of 12.5 points. I only checked back to 2003 - 2004 but over those 5 years, CU has played Kansas, for the most part, pretty well in Boulder but have never lost by less than 12 points (0 - 5). This year the Buffs are 3 - 8 against the spread while Kansas is 12 - 4 ATS, which is their record.
I am looking for a reason from you, the readers, why this game will be close. The game is sure to be half full of Jayhawk fans. The real question is will Dan Hawkins let his 11+ recruits attend the game with all the opposing team's fanbase in full support. I would love to see the Buffs only lose by single digits but it is hard for me to believe that will happen. Cory Higgins will need to go off in a big way and the defense will have to be much better than allowing a Missouri team to shoot 63% from the field. Last game, the Buffs shot in the 30% range which was by far their worst performance of the year. Coloradpo is 7 - 2 at home but the wins aren't that impressive and the losses were against TCU and Montana State. Here's to a big upset and Vegas proving me wrong.
Here are some links about the game today:
The Kansas City Star recognizes that today's matchup is the closest thing to a home game away from Fogg Allen Field House:
Thousands of Kansas fans will be on hand today when the Jayhawks take on Colorado in what has become an annual crimson-and-blue invasion of the Coors Events Conference Center in Boulder.
The Star likes Kansas' chances at getting their first road win of the year today...me too.
From the Denver Post, Bzdelik always cuts to the chase which is refreshing:
"We need to strap it on against Kansas," Bzdelik said. "It's got to come down to our guys saying enough is enough, in terms of being manhandled all the time."
The Buffs have lost 4 of their last 5 and the only win during that stretch as against Western State, a Division II foe.
A good article from the RMN on where the Buffs basketball program is right now. You can sense the frustration Bzdelik is going through and I agree, it is going to take 2 - 3 recruiting classes to get this thing straightened out:
“I’m tired of being politically correct,” Bzdelik said. “We’re not on a level playing field as of this moment with other schools in the Big 12. Fortunately, our administration understands that.
“So, it’s a process. I’m excited about where we’re headed; I know the support is here to get us to a level playing field.”
If you want some more quick facts for the game today, check out cubuffs.com as they put together good one liner stats for every game.
We answered a few questions from our buddies at the SBNation KU site, Rock Chalk Talk, for the upcoming game. I am particularly proud of my answer to the final question about Buff football. I wouldn't read the other five answers about Buff basketball. Stay with the positives. They also put out a pretty good synopsis of the Colorado Basketball team for the upcoming game.
A game thread post will go up today as this game is on ABC 1:30 MT. We will have player stats for you. Feel free to leave some comments about the game as hopefully the Buffs pull a 180 today and compete.