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Tad Boyle knows the Buffaloes need to get better

Tad wasn’t satisfied with the Buffaloes comeback win over USC

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a disastrous first half against the USC Trojans at home, the Buffs got their act together in the second half to pull off the comeback. At halftime, a fully healthy Colorado squad trailed a USC team without their two best players by 13 points. The Buffs couldn't defend the Trojans to save their lives and the fact that they only shot 31% on the field didn’t help matters.

In the second half, the Buffs’ shots started to fall and the team began to roll. J’vonne Hadley picked up the slack left by an unusually quiet night by KJ Simpson, scoring 15 points and snagging 9 boards to help the Buffs complete the comeback.

If the Buffs would have just played better basketball in the first half, they likely would’ve cruised to an easy victory. Playing complete games has been a struggle thus far for Colorado, one that coach Tad Boyle wants to see addressed.

“I told the team that as soon as we figure out that basketball is a 40 minute game rather than a 20 minute game, we’re gonna be pretty good,” said Boyle to open his postgame presser. “Until that time, we’re gonna have nights like this. We were obviously not very good in the first half in any capacity, our defense, our offense, everything.”

Despite his frustration, Tad recognized the tremendous second half effort from his players that propelled the Buffs to an unlikely victory. When things started to fall apart, many expected the team to collapse much like they did in Berkeley on Wednesday. Instead, this squad showed us that they can be a resilient bunch.

“Credit to our guys, they regrouped in the second half. They strung some stops together and kept believing in each other,” said Tad.

For the very first time this season, Tad was happy with the Buffs turnover margin. All season long, Boyle has been hounding his team to have less than 11 turnovers per game. The Buffs have had some serious trouble hitting Tad’s turnover goal, but they managed to keep the mistakes to a minimum in order to keep this game at arms length.

“[We had] 8 turnovers, fantastic. 9 assists in the second half, fantastic. 24% field goal from the defense, fantastic,” told Tad. “We did enough things to win a game tonight, but we weren't at our best.”

Much of Colorado defensive success in the second half wad due to the team completely switching their ball screens. Tad admitted that his decision to make such a drastic change was out of desperation. Thankfully, switching up the ball screens really worked wonders to revive the team against the Trojans.

“We switched all the ball screens in the second half. We doubled the post if it was coming in there against our guards, that’s basically it,” said Tad postgame. “To me, it was a last resort frustration move because our ball screen coverage was so bad and our ability to guard the ball was so bad. In the second half, our guys did a great job with our switches and communication.”

Hopefully, the second half of Saturday’s game against USC helped the Buffs figure out some of their defensive woes. The team is going to need to be on their A game going forward, as their next game is going to be at home against an Oregon team that is undefeated in conference play. The Buffs gave us a real scare on Saturday, but all is well that ends well.