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Started By PointGuard, Nov 08, 2017 01:43 AM

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#461

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NCAA Selection Show

#1 seeds: Arizona (33-0), Syracuse (26-5), Oregon (23-7), Seton Hall (26-5)

Pac-12 teams selected for the NCAA Tournament: 

Arizona (33-0)…#1 seed in East
Utah (19-11)…#7 seed in Midwest
Oregon (23-7)…#1 seed in South
Washington (21-9)…#6 seed in South
UCLA (20-9)…#3 seed in West

[California (25-7) and ranked #15 in the polls is presently on probation (2 years no post-season and 4 years no scholarships)]

Pac-12 Teams in Other Post-Season Tournaments:

Colorado (16-13)…#7 in East Region of CBI Tournament…matched up against #2 seed Robert Morris 
USC (15-15)…#2 seed in West Region of CIT Tournament…matched up against #7 seed Eastern Illinois
We were excited to get the news that we’d be participating in a post-season tournament.

 

 

Youngstown State:

 

The Penguins finished the season with an overall record of 15-14 and a Horizon League record of 9-9 so they were in a 3-way tie for 5th place in the league. No post-season tourney for the Youngstown State. SG Doylan Anderson was their leading scorer averaging 16.8 ppg



#462

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Mail Call:

The day after receiving the invitation to play in the NIT tournament, I received an envelope in my mailbox containing a small sheet of paper on which was written: “16-13. Watch Your Back!” Nothing else on the paper or in the envelope but the envelope was postmarked as coming from Boulder. I can only scratch my head wondering: What the hell is this all about? 

With our CBI Tournament game fast approaching, my focus has to be on our team and our first round opponent, not on some ambiguous threat. As the lower seed, we have to play the game on the home court of Robert Morris, so that makes the challenge greater. Playing in Pennsylvania means we will have few fans in the stands.



#463

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CBI:

Round 1: 

7th seed Colorado Buffaloes (16-13) vs 2nd seed Robert Morris Colonials (19-9)

The Colonials are from Moon Township, Pennsylvania. They completed their Northeast Conference schedule with a 12-6 record, which was good for 2nd place a game behind Mount St. Mary’s. They then lost to Wagner in the first round of their conference tournament. In pre-conference play they went up against two top 25 teams, Duke and Oklahoma State and lost both of those games on the road. But they lost by just 5 points to Duke and 2 points to Oklahoma State.

Robert Morris is led offensively by SG Brett Mapp who is averaging 18.3 ppg. PG Nick Johnson and SF Ryan Fry are averaging 9.1 and 9.0 ppg and both hit a high percentage of their shots. Since over 70% of the Colonials’ points come from the perimeter and they shoot well from outside, including beyond the arc, we need to keep their perimeter players in check so we will start by deploying a man-to-man defense. The team is averaging 76.9 ppg (43rd highest in the nation) while giving up 70.3 ppg to their opponents.

In the first half, Robert Morris hit their shots, we didn’t. That put us in a 41-28 hole at the break. C Ryan Erickson and PG Chris Smith both had 6 points for us. The Colonials’ SG Brett Mapp tattooed the hoop for 16 points.

We scored the first 9 points of the 2nd half to get back into contention. But we then let the momentum swing back to the Colonials when they began again hitting their shots and soon the lead was back up to 11. Slowly we chipped away at that lead and with 5:32 to go Chris Smith knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to make it 56-54 in favor of Robert Morris. But we simply couldn’t get over the hump and Robert Morris again expanded their lead. In the final couple minutes we were forced to foul and ended up losing 71-61 to complete our season.

SG/PG Matt Conley scored 15 and PG Chris Smith added 10. Robert Morris’ SG Brett Mapp ended up scoring 19 points.

CIT:

Round 1: USC Trojans-96, Eastern Illinois Panthers-77--USC took the lead at the onset and never gave it up. At the half the Trojans were on top 51-36. They went on to crush the Panthers 96-77 PG Ryan Kincade scored 22 points and PF Slavi Kraka had 13 points and 10 rebounds for USC.

Round 2: USC Trojans-56, Arkansas State Red Wolves-54—The Trojans jumped out to a 31-22 halftime lead. The Red Wolves missed a shot at the buzzer so USC escaped razor 2 point victory. Leading USC was SG Ryan Kincade with 10 points. 

Round 3: Southern Jaguars-67, USC Trojans-58—The score remained very close throughout the first half with Southern coming out on top 31-29. But the Jaguars leapt out to a 15 point lead in the 2nd half and put an end to the Trojans season by only allowing USC to hit 31% of their shots. PF Slavi Kraka was the top scorer for USC with 15 points.

NCAA:

Round 1:

Arizona Wildcats-97, Albany Great Danes-73: The Wildcats took care of business with PG Kelvin Smith scoring 23 and SG Darrell Walker hitting for 21.

Utah Utes-73, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels-69 (OT): The first half ended up knotted 33-33 and the game was still tied at 64-64 when regulation time expired. But Utah tightened its defense in OT to win by 4. PF Mark Wall dropped in 24 points for Utah.

Oregon Ducks-59, Northern Arizona Lumberjacks-46: Oregon escaped the first half with a 30-29 lead. The Ducks then put a defensive squeeze on the Lumberjacks to pull ahead and win convincingly. C Larry Graves scored 18 points and hauled in 10 boards for Oregon.

Washington Huskies-82, New Mexico Lobos-67: The Huskies started slow but built up 37-26 advantage. Washington then gradually windened their lead to win easily. The Huskies were led by 2 reserves as David Smith and Richie Bell both scored 16.

UAB Blazers-71, UCLA Bruins-65: The Bruins had a disastrous first half and trailed the Blazers 40-25 at the intermission. UCLA came back in the 2nd half but had too much ground to make up. Leading UCLA was C Jamal Magloires with 16 points.

Round 2:

Arizona Wildcats-91, Georgia Bulldogs-65: Georgia came out on fire and took an early 10 point lead, but Arizona seem unfazed and surgically began cutting up Georgia’s defense. By the end of the first half, the Wildcats had a 44-36 lead. The 2nd half was all Arizona as they steadily added to their lead and won going away. SG Darrell Walker had his 2nd straight strong game, scoring 27, grabbing 7 rebounds, dishing out 4 assists, and getting 2 steals and 4 blocks while holding Georgia’s SG Jack Wall to just 4 points.

Maryland Terrapins-69, Utah Utes-55: Utah was in charge in the first half and led 37-32 at the break. But the Terrapins wilted the Utes’ offense in the 2nd half with a defense that allowed Utah to score just 18 second half points. Maryland methodically eliminated their scoring deficit and then slowly but surely pulled away for what turned out to be an easy win. Utah’s PF Mark Wall scored 19 points but no other Utes scored in double figures.

Oregon Ducks-83, West Virginia Mountaineers-78: Neither team could open more than a 7 point advantage throughout the entire game. There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties during the game. At the end of the first half, Oregon held a 43-39 lead. The outcome remained in doubt, though, in the 2nd half. For the Ducks PF Matt Reeves score 18 while C Larry Graves had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Washington Huskies-76, Miami (OH) Red Hawks-61: The lead jockeyed back and forth early in the game, but the Huskies took control midway though the half and held a 39-31 lead when the teams went to the locker room. Washington continued to dominate throughout the 2nd half and was never seriously threatened by the Red Hawks who came in ranked 6th in the polls. Washington’s PG Kelly Phillips dropped in 22 points.

3rd Round (Sweet 16):

Arizona Wildcats-75, Oklahoma Sooners-58: The Sooners hung with the Wildcats throughout the 1st half and trailed by just 35-30 score at the break. Arizona quickly dispelled any concerns about an upset in the 2nd half and built a 24 point lead before breezing to another sure-fire victory. C Cliff Rivera led the Wildcats’ with 19 points and PF Marques Smith had a double-double (15 points and 11 rebounds).

Oregon Ducks-81, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets-69: Oregon quickly asserted their dominance and took a 46-31 lead after the end of the first 20 minutes of play. The Ducks maintained a solid double digit lead throughout the 2nd half to put together another impressive victory. C Larry Graves poured in 28 points while hauling down 9 boards.

Iowa Hawkeyes-67, Washington Huskies-59: Washington jumped out to an 11 point lead but Iowa came back and cruised to their largest lead of the game as the first half ended with Hawkeyes ahead 39-28. The Huskies fought back early in the 2nd half and regained the lead. The lead see-sawed for several minutes before the Hawkeyes pulled away late to knock the Huskies out of the tournament. Even though Washington outshot Iowa, the Hawkeyes totally dominated the boards which was the difference in this game. Washington’s C Stanley Towers scored 15 points.

Round 4 (Elite 8):

Arizona Wildcats-86, Indiana Hoosiers-73: The first half was a donnybrook. Indiana controlled the early going but then the Wildcats caught up. At the buzzer ending the first stanza, Indiana led 37-36. Arizona came out used a rebounding and turnover advantage in the 2nd half to score 50 points in the half and open an 18 point lead before settling for a solid win. PG Kelvin Smith led the scoring for Arizona with 19 points and C Cliff Rivera scored 15 and picked off 12 boards.

Oregon Ducks-65, Iowa Hawkeyes-63: Iowa held sway throughout the first half and led 29-23 at the break. The Ducks got their offense in gear in the 2nd half, scoring particularly well inside but could never lead by more than 4 points. During the game there were 15 lead changes and 8 ties. With the score tied with 18 seconds to go, Oregon played for thee last shot and worked the ball inside for a contested but successful 6 foot turn around jumper by C Larry Graves who was the leading scorer for Oregon with 18 points to go along with his 13 rebounds. PF Matt Reeves also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.

Round 5 (Final 4):

The NCAA Selection Committee did a great job this year since all of the final four were #1 seeds.

Syracuse Orange-83, Arizona Wildcats-81: This was the game of the tournament with an amazing 28 lead changes and 17 ties. Syracuse held a slim 38-37 lead at the end of the first half. The two teams battled throughout the entire 2nd half and with Arizona on top by a single point, Syracuse beat the Wildcats’ full court press, and as the buzzer was sounding, PG Gamal Lyde lofted up a 30 footer that went cleaning through the hoop to disappoint the Arizona faithful and pin the solitary loss of the entire season on the Wildcats. PG Kelvin Smith knocked down 25 points and SG Darrell Walker hit for 22 and PF Marques Smith had 10 points and 10 boards. Syracuse’s PF Justin Madsen scored 26 while PG Gamal Lyde finished with 20 and C Walter Harper had a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds).

Oregon Ducks-81, Seton Hall Pirates-70: The first half was very close all the way as Seton Hall came away with a 41-39 halftime advantage. The game continued to be close for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half (there had been 17 lead changes and 8 ties up to that point in the game). But Oregon then clamped down defensively and pulled away to move on to the championship game. SG John Barnes scored 25 points and had 7 rebounds for Oregon.

Round 6 (Championship):

Oregon Ducks-69, Syracuse Orange-54: Syracuse looked to be on their way to a victory in the first half as they opened a 10 point lead, but the Ducks narrowed the gap to 37-35 at the break. Then in the 2nd half, Oregon totally shut down the Orange offense allowing them to score just 17 points in the final 20 minutes of play. Meanwhile the Ducks doubled Syracuse’s 2nd point output to come away with a dominating victory. C Larry Graves completed an extremely successful NCAA Tournament with 26 points and 8 rebounds while teammate SG John Barnes had similar success throughout the tournament, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while getting 3 steals and 2 blocks. Larry Graves was selected as the tournament’s MVP.



#464

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Interview of Coach KD Durst (KD) by Carlos Ortez (CO) of Denver’s KDVR-TV:

CO: Coach now that you’ve completed two seasons coaching the Buffaloes basketball team, how would you compare the two seasons?
KD: The first season was definitely difficult. We were short-handed and weren’t able to compete well within the Pac-12 conference. I’d characterize this past season as a building year during which we brought in some good new players and acquainted them with our offensive and defensive strategies. Our early efforts in Pac-12 play were disappointing but I think we matured and played well during the 2nd half of the conference schedule even though we lost our best scorer to a season-ending injury. We were happy to get into a post-season tournament but having to play the opening round on the road kept us from being successful in the CBI Tourney.
CO: What are your expectations for next season?
KD: I’m very optimistic, Carlos. We are bringing back everyone since we had no seniors this year. We’re on the right trajectory, and I think we will move up in the conference standings. But as you saw, we had 5 good teams get into the NCAA Tournament and with both Oregon and Arizona making it into the Final Four and Oregon winning it all, there obviously will continue to be some teams next season with a lot more talent than we possess.
CO: Who do you expect will be your team’s leaders next season?
KD: We’ve got a lot of players who could fill that role. We didn’t have one stand-out player this past season, but several all of our starters and a number of our reserves who played well. We’ll just have to wait and see who develops the most. At this point, I think all starting positions are in play since we had a very good bench this past year.
CO: What aspect of the game do you feel your team needs to improve the most upon?
KD: I think we need to learn how to get free for good open shots so we can improve our shooting percentage which was a sore point during many of our games this past season. I think with the increased maturity and experience we will have this coming year, we will be more confident and develop more of a killer instinct so we player tougher in the waning moments of games. Another thing is that we really don’t have a scholarship player who is a true center. But we do have some power forwards who did a pretty good job playing the center position this past season. With the big, strong and exceptionally talented centers some of the Pac-12 teams have, it’s a real challenge for our players to contest them. Since we didn’t have any scholarships opening, we weren’t able to recruit a center this year, but I expect a few of players we have to continue to improve.
CO: Rumors have it that your job has been in peril this season. Are you worried?
KD: What? Me worry? (laughing) You know, that’s something totally out of my control. My staff and I have worked hard to develop our players. I think the team made some excellent progress this season and we have the makings of a solid team next year. 
CO: What’s your plans for the off-season? 
KD: You know a college coach really has no off-season. There are always things to do and work on. In fact my assistant coaches and I are already making plans for the coming season.



#465

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Reconciliation?

Two months of thought and many discussions lead to no resolution. But we agreed that I will go back to Youngstown after the basketball season and the two of us will spend time together to see if we can work things out.



#466

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National Awards garnered by the Pac-12:

Arizona’s Paul Jones was the NCAA Coach of the Year.
UCLA’s Jamal Magloire was a 2nd Team All-American
Arizona’s Darrell Walker was a 2nd Team All-American
USC’s Ryan Kincade was a 2nd Team All-American

Other Awards:

No Colorado players gained national or Pac-12 awards

Andre Lilly of Youngstown State was the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year
Doylan Anderson of Youngstown State was Horizon League 1st Team All-Conference
Andre Lilly of Youngstown State was Horizon League 1st Team All-Conference



#467

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Meeting with Jake Meacolm, Athletic Director for Colorado:

Even though Wayne Dewayne, a rather strange dude on Sportsnet Radio has been repeatedly saying Bryant Marshack, my 1st Assistant Coach, should take over from me as head coach since the team has never lost a game that Bryant has coached (he filled in for me when the team beat Utah so has a 1-0 record), I made it through my performance review with the AD and will return next season as the Buffaloes head coach. Jake does mention that he received a “fan” petition calling for my head. Since I met 2 of the 4 goals Meacolm had set (finishing above .500 and improving school prestige (from 40 to 42), as well as qualifying for the CBI Tournament) while failing to meet two (finish in top half of the conference and qualify for the NIT Tournament), Meacolm was generally supportive although not effusive in his praise. He still wants more rapid improvements to the program and mentioned how much higher conference prestige (83) was than ours (42). But I got the feeling that my job security was a tad higher than it was midway through the season.
'
I asked for a budget increase but that was denied. Our budget remains much lower than most all other schools in the Pac-12. So that makes the message…compete with the big boys, but not with big boy resources.

I let Jake know that I’d like to upgrade our pre-conference schedule for this coming season. I think we need to take on a few good teams before conference play begins this year. He said he’d do what he can.

His goals for us remain the same: (1) finish over .500; (2) finish in the top half of the conference; (3) qualify for the NIT Tourney; and (4) improve school prestige. I think all four are reasonable expectations. In fact, our team goal exceeds his in that we focused on getting to the NCAA Tourney rather than the NIT.



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Assistant Coaches:

I had planned on keeping all 3 assistants, but Ivoree Snoddy, my 3rd assistant and recruiting coach, who had one more year of his contract was poached by UNLV as their 2nd assistant.

We had a really tough time hiring. The coaches we were most interested in and who were rated as high as we would have liked turned down our offers. We went after a lot of different coaches and finally were able to land Mike Johnson who had been the 2nd assistant for Appalachian State. Even though Mike doesn’t have the experience we would have liked, he will be our recruiting assistant. He does have higher ratings for other coaching components than Ivoree had. We’re going to have a lot of scholarships to fill this year, so hopefully Mike can step up and perform well in that role.



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Time Together in Youngstown

The reconciliation back in Youngstown has had some highlights and some lowlights. Both Jacky and I were open with our thoughts and feelings. After spending a month together, Jacky and I have decided that its best for the two of us to go our separate ways. We’re both career people with two careers whose paths coincided for a while but that now are going in distinctly different directions. We will be filing for an uncontested divorce using a mediation service. Since there are no children and we both have jobs that are financially secure, the process will be relatively simple.



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Last Season’s Recruiting:

Obviously since we had no scholarships to fill last year, we were basically unrated, but when recruiting class rankings came out, 4 Pac-12 schools (UCLA, Arizona, California, and Stanford) were in the top 7 with Oregon at #25 and USC at #27. So our competition just got stronger.

Youngstown State had the 79th best recruiting class so maybe that means they are going to rise back up the Horizon League.

Recruiting Plans for this season:

I sat down with Mike Johnson, my new recruiting assistant, to discuss recruiting for this coming season. We have 5 seniors graduating this year. So unlike last year when we had no scholarships to offer, having 5 this year means we have to work out butts off. We’re need to land a good PG and 3 big men. With he remaining scholarship, preferably we can get either a strong guard or another big man. 

We’re buying basic scouting reports for our region (Great Plains) and also the West and National. We also will be attending the Indy Elite Camp for top-rated recruits and the Houston Classic for Great Plains recruits.

Surprising News

When June rolls around, I’m initially surprised when PF Shawn Owes decides to transfer away. But then upon further consideration, since he didn’t get much playing time as a freshman and his relationship with both the team and me was never really strong, his leaving becomes more understandable. We have enough depth inside that his departure won’t be a problem this season, but I think he eventually would have been a strong player for us had he stayed beyond this coming season. Rather than add yet another scholarship to fill by recruiting, I hope to be able to land a good transfer player and begin researching available transfers, focusing on guards and centers.

Transfers 

We made an initial offer to a very highly rated PG who played as a freshman at North Carolina, but he opted to transfer to Indiana. We then made an offer to PG Justin Wilson, who as a freshman started nearly every game for Notre Dame, and he accepted our offer. Wilson is a 6-5 sophomore from Hammond, Indiana. As a high school senior he was rated as the #48 recruit in the country. Last season he averaged 7.7 ppg and 3.1 apg while hitting 44% of his FG attempts and 34% of his 3P attempts. He has great vision and passing skills. He’s a great ball hawk. While he didn’t display it last season, we expect his rebounding to be strong for a PG.

Shawn Owes got picked up by North Carolina so he did well. But his playing time for the Tarheels may be even more limited than it was for us.

Pro Draft

A lot of good players from Pac-12 teams were drafted (of course none from Colorado), but the best news was that C Andre Lilly (who I had recruited while at Youngstown State) was the #29 selection. Way to go Andre!

Pre-Conference Scheduling

When our pre-conference schedule is finalized, we have achieved the goal of significantly upgrading the level of competition for our preparation for what will be a demanding Pac-12 conference schedule. Our pre-conference schedule is as follows:

Youngstown State (I’m really looking forward to taking on the Penguins)
Mississippi
DePaul
Alaskan Classic (we will play Memphis is the first round)
Bradley
Auburn
Florida State
Minnesota
Missouri



#471

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The following was posted by Ddevore65 in the WolverineStudios forum:

 

 

by Ddevore65 » 13 Aug 2019 11:11

The mysterious fan #3 from the bar during the PAC-12 tournament is seen on the phone. Who he is talking too isn’t clear.

Fan #3 - I did what you said Mr......

Voice - No names you idiot, you never know who is listening.

Fan#3 - Sorry sir....anyway I did as you instructed with the threatening letter

Voice - Yes we will have to turn up the heat. Your message didn’t seem to cause too much of an impact. At the booster luncheon, that idiot AD also seems committed for at least another year. 

Fan#3 - The good news sir is that kid Owes transferred out. He took the money.....

Voice - Good, good. If that Coach Dust doesn’t take a hint that he isn’t wanted here, then we will have to sabotage him from within. I took care of that recruiting assistant, got him sent off to another school.

Fan #3 - So what’s the plan for this year?

Voice - To continue to discredit the coach and sabotage his recruiting efforts. That and we continue to look for kids on the team to target, get them to either quit or disrupt the team. One way or another, this will be his last year at Colorado. I’ll see if we can find out who he is targeting in the transfer group, but more importantly the recruiting trail. And if that doesn’t work, I have another idea to discredit the coach. Now get to work on plan B, we will make it so he wished he’d never have left Ohio (laughs as the call ends).


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Phone conversation between KD Durst (KD) and Steve Porter (SP)

SP: Hello?
KD: Hey, is the famous Steve Porter?
SP: Maybe more infamous than famous, but who’s this?
KD: Hey Steve, this is KD Durst. How you doin’, man?
SP: KD? Geez, this is a surprise! Never expected to hear from you after you left Youngstown. I hardly ever answer calls from numbers I don't know, but for some reason the area code caught my attention.
KD: How’s life at the newspaper?
SP: There is no life at the newspaper, at least for me. And little life at the paper as a whole since hardly anyone reads the newspaper any more. 
KD: Did you quit?
SP: Hell no, They got rid of me shortly after you left.
KD: Damn I’m sorry to hear that. So what are you doing now?
SP: Trying to get by. I’m doing a little free-lancing and have a blog going that I’m trying to get to rise to the point where it can make me some money. But mainly I’m working at Walmart.
KD: The hell ya say! Walmart? You’re not a greeter are you?
SP: Ain’t a lotta jobs here in Youngstown so had to take what I could get that would bring in a steady paycheck, meager as it is. And no, I’m not old enough to be a Walmart greeter. In fact, the company has been phasing those out so since even the Walton’s needed to cut costs. The company took quite a hit after those mass shootings at their stores several years ago that caused a lot of their customers to be afraid to come to their stores. So, a lot of things got trimmed, including pay. If it weren’t for minimum wage laws, as crappy as they are, we’d probably be paying the company to work for them.
KD: Well, then I guess my call may be of possible interest to you. Look, a vacancy just opened in our athletic department’s communication and media department. I’m not sure how much it pays, but I thought about you when I heard about it. It’s the Assistant Communications Director who reports directly to the head of the department, the Association AD for Communications. Her name is Penny Margolis. I’m not on the best of terms with our AD, but Penny and I get along well and she’s the one who said she needed to find a reliable person to fill the Assistant position.
SP: Umm, sounds pretty interesting. What do ou think of living in Boulder?
KD: It’s a GREAT place to live. More expensive than living in Youngstown, but a fantastic college town atmosphere, progressive, and at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Definitely get some cold weather and snow in the winter, but not as continuous as in northern Ohio.
SP: That's really enticing. Yeah, I’m interested. I had thought about trying to latch on at YSU, but there was never an opening plus some of the stories I wrote rubbed those in the athletic department the wrong way.
KD: I’ll send you information about the job. And if you put in an application, I’ll put in a good word for you with Penny.
SP: Wow, thanks! You know things haven’t been the same with Penguins’ basketball since you left. And I’ve been keeping track of how the Buffaloes have done. Tough start for you, but you seem to have already begun to turn things around, just like you did for Youngstown State. Maybe even quicker.
KD: Heh! Well, we’ll see how things go. The Pac-12 is a helluva lot tougher to make progress in than the Horizon League was. Nice talking with you, Steve. Hope you like what you find out about the job here. If you apply and get the job, I can help you find a place to live. I have some good contacts.



#473

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Two weeks later: Steve Porter (SP) and KD Durst (KD) meet for dinner in Boulder.

KD: Congratulations! Penny told me she hired you for the Assistant Communications Director position.
SP: Yeah, this has all happened so quickly. She and I spoke on the phone, then I submitted my application and resume. Next thing I know I’m here being interviewed this week and am offered the job. She barely got the words out of her mouth before I accepted.
KD: I'm pretty sure Penny researched the hell out of you. She probably read most of your bylines. And the ones where you raked me over the coals probably were what won her over. [Laughing} Like I said before, I think you’re going to like Boulder and Colorado University. Penny’s a heckuva a nice person so I think you'll like working for her. Just be careful. She's focused on getting things done right so be sure to do your homework.
SP: I’m flying back to Youngstown tomorrow. One thing about being single and never making a lot of money is that I don’t have a lot to pack up. I'll return here next week since Ms Margolis says she needs me on the job as soon as possible.
KD: By the time you get back, Paul Morris will have pulled together a list of the best apartment options for you.



#474

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Recruiting

We cast a wide net throughout the summer and early autumn and gained interest from a larger number of recruits. We focused primarily on PG’s, PF’s, and C’s but also evaluated some SG’s and SF’s.

In early September we landed our first recruit when PF Mel Dye, who is 6’7” and from Canton, SD. His high school coach said he’s a hard worker and a great leader on and off the court. As a junior last season he averaged 17.1 ppg and 5.8 rpg. He has a good inside shot and is very athletic. He’s ranked as the #160 recruit in the nation. But he’s not strong academically and has just a 2.4 GPA in high school, so hopefully he will meet our minimum SAT score.

In mid-September two highly rated recruits to whom we offered scholarships don’t choose us, one opting for Iowa and the other for Creighton. We though we had a good shot to get both of them, but then at the last minute they just seemed to tune us out without telling us why. It seemed strange that both did the same thing at almost the same time, but what are you gonna do? Maybe just our bad luck.

But two other recruits accept our offers. First to accept was PG John Phelan. He’s 6’3” tall and comes from Inola, Oklahoma. As a junior he averaged 16.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, and 3.1 rpg. He was a top-25 player at the Houston Classic and had a decent showing at the Indy Elite Camp. His coach has told us he isn’t a leader but doesn’t cause problems. He’s a good outside shooter who likes to shoot 3’s and he has very good passing skills. He’s ranked as the 105th best recruit in the nation. The next day we got the exciting news from the 50th ranked recruit, PF Ike Minihan, that he will be coming our way next season. Ike is 6’8” and is from Oak Grove, Missouri. He’s an excellent scorer from both inside and outside. He’s also a great rebounder and defender.

We then reset our sites to try to fill the remaining 2 scholarships. We make an offer to a talented JC big man, but he decides to go to Louisville. again we seemed right on the verge of landing him and then he shut us off without explanation. With our two remaining scholarships we made offers to two PF’s. One has given us mixed signals so he probably won’t accept our offer. But PF Derricus Ivener, who is 6’8” tall and comes from Lennox, SD accepted our offer in mid-October. Derricus was in the top 25 at the Houston Classic and according to his coach, he has a tremendous work ethic. As a junior he averaged 16.6 ppg and 10.2 rpg. He shoots very well from both inside and outside and is a very strong rebounder. He also has excellent athleticism. He’s ranked #179 in the country.

So as autumn concludes 4 of our 5 scholarship offers have been accepted. While we have the last one pending, if the fifth recruit we offered to doesn’t commit, I’m happy to wait until spring to see if there will be some highly rated recruits available who just didn’t commit earlier. In the meantime we’ll just try to develop and increase interest with the recruits on our list. Even though we lost out on some high rated recruits, overall our recruiting efforts thus far have been very successful.



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A warning

Steve Porter, who got to know me well while I was coaching at Youngstown State and he was covering our team for the local newspaper and now is Colorado University’s Assistant Communications Director, talked with me last night. He said he stopped by a local tavern and was sitting at the bar having a drink. From a ways down the bar he heard a guy making a bunch of derogatory remarks about me. So Steve moved to a table nearer to the guy so he could hear better. He said while nothing specific was revealed it sounded like someone this guy knows wants me out as coach of the Buffaloes and has a plan to get me fired. Being new to the area, Steve doesn’t know anything about the guy who was talking, but he does have a good description of him if it’s needed.

I told Steve not to put too much faith in what drunks at a bar say. Hell, if I were to worry about every “fan” who might get upset with me I’d be a wreck. I just can’t worry about such things. Besides I don’t know of anyone who has reason to go to the effort to create a “plan” to oust me.

Steve said I may be right, but it only takes one weird guy to create big problems. He said even though I’m not worrying about this, he’s going to keep his ear to the ground. He said that being a reporter in the past gives him some ability at ferreting things out.



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Fisticuffs

SG Camah Griffin and PF Mat Hunter got into a serious argument after practice was over in mid-October, and it developed into a fight that was broken up by a couple of their teammates before either got hurt. The relationship with the team is low for both players, although they have gotten along well with the coaches. That may suffer after I deal with them about this. These two guys have had problems in the past, but it never came to an actual fight.

When I spoke with Mat about the incident, he simply didn’t want to talk about it saying there was no problem. I let him know a fight with a teammate WAS a problem and suspended him for a week. Our strong relationship took a hit, but so be it. I’m not putting up with that kind of crap.

Camah took an entirely different approach when I spoke with him. He said it wasn’t his fault and I needed to be talking to Hunter. He told me to drop it, but I didn’t so he also earned a one week suspension. When I delivered that news to him he actually took it well saying maybe he needed a break to get his head together. 

When the two returned to the team, Camah’s relationship with his teammates edged upwards a notch while Mat’s remained very low.



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2025-2026 Season Kicks Off!

It’s mid-November and we’re ready for our season opener. Here’s a little about each of our players:

Chris Smith, 6-1 Senior from Palmyra, NE—Chris has started 72 of the 85 games he’s played for us in his first 3 years. He’s really improved his court generalship and is an excellent passer. Even though his mpg were cut down last season since he and Matt Conley were sharing the PG duties, his apg increased significantly. He’s a pretty good 3-point shooter and an excellent free throw shooter and he scores well, although he’s not a consistent good scorer. He’s a good defender with excellent stealing and blocking skills. Chris has a good personality and on-the-court discipline and intelligence that make him a cornerstone of the team.
Matt Conley, 6-2 Junior from Belcourt, ND—Matt played his freshman year for Oklahoma and then transferred here. Last season he split the PG time with Chris Smith. He’s a good scorer who shoots very well from inside the arc. He has strong passing skills. Like Smith he’s a very good ball hawk and also a good shot blocker. He and Smith are pretty much interchangeable so that allows us to keep fresh legs on the court at the 1 position. Matt has also played a little at the 2 position, particularly after Kenton Dunn was injured last season. Matt is extremely durable which means we can rely on his being both willing and able to be there when we need him.
Justin Wilson, 6-5 Sophomore from Hammond, IN—Justin transferred to us at the end of last season after playing for starting for Notre Dame as a freshman, so he has to sit out this season. But he shot very well from the field and did a good job of dishing the ball to his teammates since he has accurate passing skills. He’s a good defender and ball hawk. I think he will be a big asset for us next season. Justin is solid across the board so I believe he will become the team leader, particularly as he matures and his many skills become fine-tuned.
Kenton Dunn, 6-6 Sophomore from Cheyenne, WY—Kenton came to us in his freshman last year as a SF and while he played a little at the 3, he was our primary starter at SG, until he broke his hand in late January. Kenton was our top scorer who shot well from most everywhere on the floor and particularly from 3-point range. He’s very strong defensively and gets a lot of steals and blocks. Due to his height, he gets a lot of rebounds while playing SG. He has great endurance and after losing time last year due to an injury is chomping at the bit to contribute again. 
Steve Jackson, 6-1 Junior from Mililani, HI—Steve played for Prairie View as a freshman and was the SWAC Freshman of the Year. He didn’t get as much playing time as he wanted for us last season, but when he was in the game he scored well and gives us a big boost coming in off the bench with his scoring mentality. He’s a very good shooter from all over the court, including from 3 point range and an excellent free throw shooter. While Kenton Dunn has slightly better overall skills, Steve will get a lot more playing time this year as our 6th player. His interpersonal skills are lacking so I am going to have to work closely with him to make him a better team player.
Camah Griffin, 6-0 Junior from Inglewood, CA—After playing his freshman year at Loyola Marymount where he was WCC Freshman of the Year, Camah transferred to us and came off the bench to play both SG and PG last season. He had some good scoring games, but was sporadic. He is good at driving to the basket. He’s a strong rebounder and an excellent ball hawk with great speed and aggression. He again will fill in at both guard positions this season and likely will get more playing time. Camah has good overall skills but at times can be too intense so that he’s rubbed some of his teammates wrong.
Rick Coffey, 6-7 Sophomore from Mt. Vernon, SD. Rick was our second best scorer last season and played much better as a freshman that we anticipated. He took over as our starting SF early in the season and never relinquished the role. He’s an excellent free throw shooter and I believe his FG accuracy will improve this season as he finds ways to get free for more shots. He’s a great passer, a solid defender with quick hands that get him a lot of steals. Overall, Rick’s skills are excellent and he’s been a player I’ve counted on more and more as time has progressed.
Charles Maors, 6-8 Junior from Dexter, NM—As a freshman Charles played for Washington. Although his shooting percentage was down a little this past season, he has the skills to improve significantly. Late last season we put him in at PF as well as SF and he did a good job at both positions. He’s a very strong rebounder and a good defender. This season he will continue to play both the 3 and 4 positions. Charles is a very hard worker. That’s contributed to his ability to successfully take on PF as well as his original SF functions.
Vefa Kurtbek, 6-6 Senior from Turkey—After playing a very limited role as a freshman, Vefa has been our primary starter at PF the past two seasons. His skills across the board continue to improve each season. He’s a good player inside both offensively and defensively and is a solid rebounder. This past season he filled in a little at C and this season is likely to again play primarily at PF but also backfill at C. Vefa wants more playing time, but, while his abilities are good, they aren’t outstanding enough to all for that.
Mat Hunter, 6-6 Senior from Dryden, MI—Mat played for Oakland as a freshman. In his two years for us, he’s been a solid player coming in off the bench at both PF and SF. He’s shot very well from all over the court, including from 3 point range. Mat is a good rebounder and good at stealing the ball. Mat will continue to provide us with offense off the bench at SF and PF this season. Mat’s has an abrasive personality that puts him at odds with his teammates. I expect to have to continue to counsel and work with him to try to meld him into the team as well as possible.
Primoz Pohek, 6-7 Junior from Slovenia—After a good freshman season, Primoz had a down year as a sophomore. But I’m seeing a good progression in his skills so he should get more playing time this season which is what he wants. He’s a very good rebounder and if he gets his shooting eye back up the high level his showed as a freshman and gets back to getting open better for shots, he’ll be a good asset for us coming in at PF. Primoz has the potential to be a very good player for us, so hopefully his skills will develop quickly this season.
Ryan Erickson, 6-7 Senior from Canada—Ryan was a starter at PF for Colgate in his freshman year. After transferring to us, he’s been our starter at C the past two seasons. He’s a solid scorer and rebounder as he makes up for his height with good positioning. Even though he has to go up against much bigger players, he blocks a high number of shots. He also has quick hands so gets a lot of steals. He will continue to be our starter at C this season. Ryan’s work ethic isn’t strong. If it were, I think he could star for us.
Jacob Anderson, 6-11 Senior from Sturgis, SD—Jacob came in as a PF but played both PF and C this past season. Each season he has improved his skills. He’s not a big scorer but gets his share of rebounds. He’s a good defender and also good at drawing fouls. He’s a good free throw shooter. Jacob will continue to come off the bench at both inside positions. Jacob has bee working hard to be able to fill either of our interior positions.
Nathan Hampton, 6-10 Senior from Aurora, CO—Nathan was a walk on last season as a junior and helped out at the C position. He’s a pretty good scorer and a very good rebounder. He’s also good at drawing fouls. While inconsistent, Nathan had some good performances in a few games for us last season.
R.J. Reis, 6-10 Senior from Longmont, CO—RJ has been a walk-on for 3 seasons and played a big back up role at C as a sophomore when we had few players on our bench. He’s a very strong rebounder but doesn’t score much even though he shoots well from inside. While RJ doesn’t have an impressive array of skills, he is a hard worker in each and every practice session who is well liked by his teammates.

Starters initially this season will be:

PG-Chris Smith
SG-Kenton Dunn
SF-Rick Coffey
PF-Vefa Kurtbek
C-Ryan Erickson



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More from Steve Porter:

Steve came to me to let me know that a student volunteer in the athletic department told him that Justin Wilson, who transferred to Colorado this summer from Notre Dame, had mentioned how happy he was to find out I wasn’t the lax coach that he’d heard I was. 

Steve got another student who has classes with Wilson to check into this further. According to this student, Wilson said that he’d heard a rumor about me lacking discipline and that almost kept him from coming here. But Wilson said he’s seen how I handle the team and was pleased when I took rapid action to temporarily suspend the two players who got into a fight rather than just let things fester and get worse. The student said Wilson didn’t reveal how he heard about the rumor or from whom he heard it.






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