Coach Tad Boyle has turned Colorado basketball into a contender - College Basketball - George Dohrmann - SI.com - If you haven't already, make sure and read this tremendous story on how Tad Boyle built this program.
In 1994, Tad Boyle was a 31-year-old stockbroker in Boulder, Colo., earning more than $100,000 a year, and the owner of a nice home and an impressive backstory to tell potential clients. He had once been the best high school basketball player in the state -- he earned a scholarship to Kansas coming out of Greeley High in 1981 -- and on the side he coached the varsity basketball team at nearby Longmont High.
But the biggest concern moving forward has to be Colorado’s three-point shooting. Against Kansas they shot 7-for-22 from beyond the arc, and on the season Colorado ranked 11th in the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage (31.5%). Like Kansas Colorado’s going to see more zone looks for this very reason, and this is where Booker comes into play.
The junior guard from Los Angeles, tied for team-high honors against KU with 15 points, three rebounds and a steal. In addition to his game-winner, Booker also made pair of three-pointers to keep pace with the sixth ranked team in the country. With 3:39 remaining in the game, Booker gave the home team a six-point lead, then when the first half ended, hit his first trey of the game pushing CU to a 33-30 lead at the break. It’s the third time that Booker has made three treys in a game this season.
"We have to get better in every aspect of our game," he said. "We met as a coaching staff. Our half-court offense must become more efficient, maybe adding a few things and getting us ready for conference play. Our transiton game, offensively and defensively, has to get better. Kansas exposed us and our transition defense. Andrew Wiggins coming downhill is tough to stop."
However, Boyle can't recall doing so many interviews with national outlets such as ESPN and Sports Illustrated as he did Monday. He also is on recruiting alert. Now prospective recruits want to talk to him. "My assistants have got me calling everybody and their brother," Boyle said.
Give Tad Boyle credit for smart scheduling: Between now and Dec. 21 -- when his Buffaloes play Oklahoma State at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas -- Colorado has just one game, a home tuneup against Elon. (And there's just one more fixture, Dec. 28's home visit by Georgia, between now and January.) That presents Colorado with a healthy amount of space in which it can dig down and make real improvements. Boyle already has a few in mind.
Located in Elon, N.C., about 60 miles northwest of Raleigh, Elon is favored to win the Southern Conference this year. The Phoenix returns all five starters from a team that went 21-12 and 13-5 in the Southern. The returnees include forward Lucas Troutman, the conference Player of the Year.
Colorado’s placement is equally curious; The Buffs are No. 21 in the AP poll and unranked by the Coaches even though they beat Kansas and have just one loss (Baylor, neutral court). I’ve got CU in the 10-hole, two behind Baylor and one spot ahead of Kansas. Seems like voters for the Coaches’ poll are paying even less attention than usual.
"On March 21, I lost my wife Lyndi; we had been married for 50 years. I wish she was here, she was an incredible coach’s wife and was a big part of whatever success we had. "I got my training from two Hall of Famers, Dan Devine and Bo Schembechler. Bo won more games over a 20-year period than any other coach in history, and that’s where I learned that fame can come in an instant, but greatness comes with longevity. It was a great privilege to have learned under these extraordinary leaders."
"I'd rather play in the cold than in the heat. I can deal with it. The coldest I've probably played in was 40-something, but I think I can play in cold weather, especially playing safety," Williams continued, noting he'll bring a winter coat for his visit.
Colorado: Four starters gone on offense and three on defense. Quarterback Sefo Liufau and running back Michael Adkins II provided hope as true freshmen.