The Colorado Buffaloes need to get out of their funk. Their first opportunity since the collapse at Stanford comes against the Oregon State Beavers. OSU was awful the past two years, but they’re older and wiser, and they have NCAA (or NIT) expectations. Unless we want to hear more from the #FireTad contigents of the dark web, the Buffs need to prove themselves with a win over a difficult opponent.
To break down that opponent, we spoke with John Severs of Building The Dam, the SB Nation covering the Beavs.
1. How has this Beavers team performed relative to pre-season expectations?
They’ve exceeded expectations, though there is still some disappointment. Most people expected Oregon State to finish toward the bottom of the conference, but they’ve definitely proven that they’re better than that. Finishing in the top half of the conference seems like it’s going to be pretty achievable. Still, after the hot start and the win over Oregon, there were hopes this might be the year they got back to the NCAA Tournament. After the recent losses, and the overall weakness of the conference, that’s probably out of the picture. Maybe we can grab an NIT berth.
2. What can we expect to see from them in a tough road environment?
The Beavers road trip to the Arizona schools was frankly disastrous. Other than the Oregon game, the team hasn’t really proven itself on the road. I think there’s a good chance the team gets off to a slow start, and has to work itself back into the game. That’s happened a couple times this year, but the team reacts well, and as the game goes on I expect them to calm down and adjust to whatever the Buffaloes are throwing at them.
3. Can Oregon State count on anyone besides their Big Three [Tres Tinkle, Ethan Thompson, Stephen Thompson]?
Outside of the big three, Kylor Kelley has emerged as a huge contributor. He was just named to the shortlist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, and if it weren’t for Matisse Thybulle, would be a shoe in for the best defensive player in the conference. He’s second in the nation in blocked shots per game (3.68) and total blocks. Getting past Kylor is going to be something the Buffs have to figure out if they want to win this game.
4. Which is a bigger travesty of justice -- Steven Kwan’s “foul ball”, or Sabatino Chen’s buzzer-beater?
Kwan’s foul obviously. Colorado managed to bounce back from the buzzer-beater and make the NCAA Tournament that year. The Kwan call came in a crucial postseason game that probably changed the outcome of that year’s College World Series. Still, Chen definitely got the ball off in time.
Note from Sam: This absolutely the correct opinion, as much as we bring up Sabatino’s shot.
5. Who would win a one-on-one game between Chauncey Billups and Gary Payton?
Gary Payton no doubt.
Note from Sam: Chauncey would wipe his ass with the Glove.