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  • Dear Diary

    Originally posted: 12-29-2020, 05:50 PM

    So with this page having suffered something close to a catastrophic technical failure, my loss of emotional connection with the USC basketball program, and the departure of other posters ... I figured I might as well use this as a platform for some of my views on college basketball, which I continue to enjoy very much (including the Pac-12).

    I thought I'd start out with my observations from the Arizona-Colorado game from last night. Going in, I very much agreed with trojan2016's incredibly excellent post on (, essentially arguing that Colorado had looked like a conference favorite from its play so far this season, while Arizona looked like a Frankenstein composite with too many ball dominators and lots of mismatching pieces.

    Well, what do you know? In keeping with a tradition of never failing to disappoint, Tad Boyle's team disappointed.

    trojan2016 had rightly observed:

    Colorado has the best guard in the conference and are ridiculously good at defensive rotations. I've watched a bit of them and they just don't miss rotations or make mistakes. They have enough shooting and probably the best perimeter defender in the league in Parquet (him or Bryce Wills). Their one weakness is they seem to feast on bad defensive teams (especially Evan Battey). Tennessee played them and couldn't score but Keon Johnson took McKinley Wright out of the game and beat Colorado.

    McKinley Wright is the best guard in the conference, but he's not the best scoring guard. And, last night, what Colorado needed (particularly as Arizona pulled away in the 2nd Half) was scoring. Through the first 17 1/2 minutes of the 2nd Half, Colorado scored only 22 points. The problem was obvious: outside of Wright and Evan Battey (who seems perpetually in foul trouble), the Buffs don't have any reliable scorers at the Pac-12 level. Throughout the season so far, Colorado had been relying heavily on Jeriah Horne (who averaged 11ppg for Tulsa last season) and the ultra-stiff Dallas Walton (who happens to be a nice shooter, but doesn't have much in the way of a post skill set). D'Shawn Schwartz, the highest rated recruit in the Buff program, should be busting out for his (first) senior season, but he's been slow to get things going, after sitting out with a positive C19 test. Jabari Walker really passes the eyeball test; but it's unlikely he'll be a steady source of offense against other Pac-12 teams.

    So, the bottom line is that Colorado will need to figure out where its offense is going to come from. The loss of Tyler Bey is looming pretty large right now, as is the outside shooting of Lucas Siewart; but opened the court up for Evan Battey inside.

    As for Arizona, this was the best the Cats' offense looked all season -- thanks in large part to Colorado horrible interior defense and James Akinjo having his best outside shooting night of his college career. A few more notes on the Cats: Jemarl Baker is becoming a more consistent offensive threat; Dalen Terry is already a really impactful defensive presence; Arizona's defensive front line of Tubelis, Jordan Brown, Koloko and Ira Lee probably won't be scaring too many teams, but against a weak opposing front line (like Colorado sans Battey, because of foul trouble), it will do just fine.

  • #2

    Originally posted 01-21-2021, 05:38 AM

    Colorado handed the worst-performing team in the conference (Washington) its first conference victory tonight. It’s a real bad loss for a program that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2016. All expectations are that Colorado will rebound and easily make it into the Tournament. But the Buffs collapsed last year; don’t be shocked if something similar happens this year. Tad Boyle hasn’t finished better than 10-8 in conference play since 2012, and this game was why.