I’ve played basketball since I was five. It’s been the only sport I’ve stuck with growing up. The first practice ever, coached by my neighbor, started out with a simple rule. The first rule I ever learned. Sticks with me to this day. He said to us kindergartners, “There’s one thing you always have to remember: refs suck.” Simple and funny at the time, but for some reason it keeps its relevance. When you really break it down, my neighbor was teaching me a very good lesson. If you go in to a game with the baseline that the refs are not there to help you, you complain less and play more as a player.
I tell you this story to say that the refs truly sucked tonight.
48 fouls called, 24 on both teams. Parity, but not quality. Strange pacing issues and inconsistent both ways. The game became hard to watch halfway through the second half due to the tight whistle. However, if you could make it in between the zebras, there was some good play going on.
Utah hit everything in the first half, shooting 53.8%. The Runnin’ Utes hit some tough shots and ran their system to perfection. Colorado went into the break down 37-29. However, I argue they were winning the important battle. Derrick White posters 1, Utah 0.
Colorado came out in the second half and picked up where they left off, with intermittent success on defense and some stagnant offense save a few individual plays. Wesley Gordon turned on his scoring touch, scoring all twelve of his points after the break. However, CU just couldn’t get the stops,. or the boards they needed to win. The Buffs made it a game at the end, but their efforts came short after a Dom Collier three that would have tied rimmed out. Colorado falls to 16-13 and 6-10 in conference. They have also lost to Utah 7 straight times. Utah moves to 18-10 and 9-7 in conference.
I now move to the main performance worth talking about tonight. Derrick White put in another astounding display of basketball prowess. 31 points, with 2 of them coming off that career ending poster of Jayce Johnson, six rebounds, and 5 assists for the senior. He led the Buffs in all categories. He is a force of nature, and it will always nag me in the back of my head that he had to sit out last year. What could’ve been with Josh Scott and Derrick White. He is a baller, and you owe it to yourself to watch him in person.