The Colorado Buffaloes dropped a tough one on Tuesday afternoon. Nothing was falling, they struggled creating any space against a long Florida State defense, and ultimately fell apart in this overtime loss.
As we saw in Monday’s victory over Richmond, the high-scoring offense didn’t make the trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. The Buffs have gone ice cold from three. Both the Spiders and Seminoles play slowly and take away transition opportunities. The Noles in particular are huge, athletic and long as hell. Much of those passes CU relies on weren’t there, and even when the Buffs did create open looks, they looked uncomfortable, almost like they were expecting a Baba Miller to come out of nowhere to contest the shot.
The Buffs did well to stay in this game. The Noles aren’t the best offensive team, but it was good to see a smaller CU team compete on the interior and win the rebounding battle. Eddie Lampkin was the only rotation player who struggled at all defensively — his footwork isn’t where it needs to be considering his lack of foot speed — but he made up for it with 6 offensive rebounds and 4 assists. Cody Williams also continues to impress on the defensive end, as the 18-year-old rarely makes mistakes and has a massive wingspan to bother opponents.
Colorado had every chance to win this game late in the second half. They erased a 10-point lead in the two minutes of good offensive basketball they played. (J’Vonne Hadley was fantastic in this stretch.) After that, however, it was sloppy turnovers, missed threes and wild forays into the paint that might have been fouls but the refs let a lot of contact go. It’s hard to win a tough road game when your two stars struggle with inefficiency and turnovers, and everyone else looks a overwhelmed by the size and athleticism of their opponent.
It’s disappointing to lose this game. Florida State looks good enough to be on the NCAA Tournament bubble and this location was a lot closer for them than for the Buffs. That said, the Buffs don’t have a very challenging non-conference schedule and they need to win these games. The only real games will be at Colorado State and versus Miami (FL) in Brooklyn. The Buffs will expect to win, but they have to play a whole lot better than they did in Daytona Beach.