Let’s travel back to January of 2007. Colorado had declared a state of emergency after relentless blizzards shut down much of the state; George W. Bush had wasn’t far-removed from saying, "I think war is a dangerous place"; Bee Movie was an international sensation.
Meanwhile, the basketball team followed a promising 20-10 season with a 4-6 non-conference start that included a 38-point home loss to Air Force. The Buffs had Richard Roby lighting up box scores, but nobody to support him, especially on defense. In four of those ten games, the Buffs allowed 80 of more points. But all was not lost, for the Buffs were about to start conference play in a preposterously stacked Big XII that was oozing talent.
The conference opener was a home game against Kevin Durant and the Texas Longhorns. Durant was a megastar in high school and could have been a top-five pick in the relatively weak 2006 NBA Draft, but thanks to the recently installed one-and-done rule, Durant had to go to school for a season. In that season, KD set the nation on fire and became the first ever freshman to win the Naismith College Player of the Year.
On that night in January, Durant did what any college phenom would do in his conference debut against a struggling defense: he torched them to smithereens. With an unstoppable drive and a jump shot unheard of for someone of his size, the Buffs had no way to guard him. His domination led to this clipping from UT’s recap:
Texas freshman Kevin Durant likely could've gone straight from high school to the NBA, if the league hadn't imposed a minimum age limit.
For now, Durant is happy he went to college this year. Longhorns fans are too.
Durant scored a career-high 37 points to go with 16 rebounds as Texas won its ninth straight Big 12 Conference opener in a 102-78 victory Saturday over Colorado.
Richard Roby put in a valiant effort as well, but his 30 points weren’t enough to outshine his counterpart. Colorado would lose 102-78, but hey, at least it was close in the first half. The Buffs weren’t scheduled for a rematch in Austin, but that didn’t stop them from finishing 7-20 on the season. On that note, here’s another clip from that UT recap:
Colorado hasn't won a conference opener since beating Nebraska 79-73 on Jan. 4, 1997.
Here’s your monthly reminder that CU was abysmal at basketball not too long ago and that we should be thanking the Flying Spaghetti Monster for delivering us Tad Boyle.
I would also like to take the time to remind you that the Longhorns didn’t even make the Sweet Sixteen with Kevin Durant. Good job, Rick Barnes, may you forever disappoint when expectations are highest.