The Colorado Buffaloes were one and done in the Pac-12 Tournament, falling to the 11 seed Washington State Cougars by the final score of 82-68. This will be the final Buffs game this season as the NCAA has canceled the NCAA Tournament due to the coronavirus.
It’s not like this game really meant anything due to all of the cancellations, but this was a really disappointing display to end of what seemed to be a promising season.
This is just one you have to tip your cap to CJ Elleby. He was a one man show for the Washington State Cougars Wednesday night.
D’Shawn Schwartz was up on Elleby, but gave him just a little bit too much room. The Cougars sophomore finished the game with 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-10 from three.
This looked to be a disaster from the start. Simple screen and roll at the top of the key, Lucas Siewert played it right with a hard hedge. However, a failed slide over attempt from Maddox Daniels allowed Cougars center Volodymr Markovetskyy easy positioning for the dunk.
Sloppy play continues for the Buffs on this play. No slight to Tyler Bey, who pulled down an offensive rebound prior to this clip, but this was another careless turnover from Colorado.
It looked as if Elleby had a beat on the play and would have picked the ball off as well at the right of the screen.
Another turnover, this time from Schwartz, pretty much summed up the Buffs effort Wednesday night. Just a simple drive to the lane that was defended really well, resulting in D’Shawn stumbling to the ground with the ball rolling out of bounds.
The disappearance from Schwartz of late for the Buffs really put a damper on their offensive production. D’Shawn played just 15 minutes against Washington State. Daniels took all of his minutes and started the second half, finishing the game with 25 minutes — fourth most on the team.
I would have to say this play killed the momentum, if any, that Colorado had going into the second half. Markovetskyy hands the ball off to guard Isaac Bonton, only for the ball to end up going on the other side of the court which should be a violation.
Instead, Elleby scoops the ball and pulls up to drill a three (not pictured) — pushing the lead to 13.
It was just one of those nights that Elleby couldn’t miss. Tyler Bey, who was just named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, was all over the play and it was nothing but net.
McKinley Wright was trying to make something happen, which you can’t fault him for, because no one else besides him and Bey showed up.
His pass was deflected in the paint and on the ensuing Cougar possession, Bonton nailed a three pointer to push the lead to 18 while forcing a Colorado timeout.
Just when you thought the Buffs could potentially go on a run, this kind of stuff happens. Bonton find DJ Rodman in the corner for a three, who then pump fakes the shot. Bey falls for it, tries to recover then fouls DJ on the release. DJ hits the three for the potential four point play.
He did make the free throw.
Jeff Pollard sets a nice back pick to free up Elleby for a wide-open jumper.
On Colorado’s ensuing possession, McKinley tries to force a pass over to Siewert in the corner. Instead, Elleby picks off the pass and it leads to a Pollard layup putting the game out of reach.
Colorado shot just 4-of-21 from three and struggled at the charity stripe, going just 22-of-32.
It’s hard to put into words just how frustrating the last couple weeks have gone for Colorado basketball. It’s kind of an empty feeling knowing we won’t be seeing them in the NCAA Tournament due to the virus.
And I want to say thank you to the seniors Lucas Siewert and Shane Gatling for their contributions to the program and I wish them the best moving forward. I feel sick to my stomach for them not being able to play one last game (or potentially more) in the tournament.