Well, Jeff Bzdelik hates the term "moral victories" but today was one of those games that the young Buffs and even coach can look back on when the season is over and say, "we have done some good things this year." Yes, the record will be horrible this year and with a 40 point loss against Mizzou and a 28 point loss against Iowa State, this team still needs help. At the same time, the Buffs are extremely young and have played Oklahoma, Kansas State, Kansas and Texas to extremely competitive games and had chances at winning each and every one of them. Bzdelik has a long way to go instilling more movement on offense, an inside presence and a intensity on defense that is not there yet but with all but two players being underclassmen, this experience of tough playing time in the Big 12 will be something they can learn and grow stronger from.
Today, CU fought back from a big first half deficit, closing the first stint on a 17 - 6 run to get within four at the break. The Buffs would eventually lose in overtime after sticking with the Longhorns the entire second half. Colorado never led in this game but they were able to take a preseason top 10 team, who has definitely had its share of struggles recently, to the brink of a pretty big upset. The main reason for today's strong effort was a combination of Texas' horrible free throw shooting and their tendency to let teams play their way back into games coupled with Buffs guard Cory Higgins, who showed why he should be a first team All Big 12 player. Higgins, at a slender 6'5", continues to be the Buffs best player by a long shot leading the team in many major categories. Against an athletic team in Texas, Higgins had a career high 34 points and 8 rebounds to single handily keep his team close. Dwight Thorne could not get into a rhythm on offense and was unable to get more than three shots off in this game but the future looks bright with the development of these two players.
I know many people are not happy with the state of the Buffs basketball program but given the lack of facilities, an extremely young team and a lack of an inside presence to make teams defend the inside outside game, I believe Bzdelik has this team playing hard even though this year has been a complete struggle. The godo thing is that Bzdelik usually won't make excuses about those issues, which is refreshing to many CU fans after what we heard last year from some other Buff coach. Today's game could have gone really bad after Iowa State embarrassed the young Buffs to a point where you did not know how they would respond for the rest of the year. Bzdelik and this team has a long way to go but today was a moral victory considering what happened at Iowa State, even if Bzdelik hates that phrase. The good thing is Cory Higgins is only a sophomore!