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NCAA Punishment:

LSU has been found to have offered bribes to 7 players and has been placed on probation.  They will not be able to offer scholarships for 2 years and will be banned from post-season play for a year.

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In other news:

The American Basketball Conference announced they are opening an investigation into the recruiting activities of the Notre Dame mens' basketball program.  Allegations of illegal recruitment have surfaced in recent weeks although both the school's administration and coaching staff deny the claims and say they are baseless.

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Norton Award Nominees:

We received the great news that three of our players have been nominated for consideration for the Norton Award.  They are:  SF Rick Coffey, C/PF Ike Minahan, and SF Kenton Dunn.

Pac-12 nominees also included 3 players from Arizona, 2 from UCLA, and 1 each from Stanford and Washington.

Both Temple and Notre Dame had 4 nominees, the highest number of nominees from any Division I program.

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Fall Recruiting News:

We struck gold quickly when 2 very talented recruits accepted our scholarship offers in early September:

PG Daniel Meads, 6-0 Sr, Bellevue, WA who as a junior last season averaged 18.5 ppg, 11.7 apg, 6.0 rpg. 3.4 spg, and 0.5 bpg.  He’s an excellent scorer with a great outside shot and has outstanding passing and ball handling skills.  He’s also a very strong rebounder.  He was rated in the top 5 at the Indy Elite Camp.  He’s ranked as the 12th best recruit in the nation.

PF Angelo Anderer, 6-7 Sr, Postville, IA who as a junior last season averaged 23.9 ppg, 1.7 apg, 13.8 rpg, 2.6 spg, and 4.9 bpg.  He scores extremely well inside and is an outstanding rebounder.  He has strong passing skills.  He’s a top-flight shot blocker.  He’s ranked as the 15th best recruit nationally. 

Then two weeks later we landed our 3rd and last recruit:

SF Kurtis Payne, 6-7 Sr, Cambridge, WI who as a junior last season averaged 21.0 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.1 rpg, 3.5 spg, and 0.8 bpg.  He shoots extremely well from both inside and outside and is a great scorer.  He has very strong rebounding and defensive skills and has quick hands that get more than his share of steals.  He has a tremendous work ethic.  He was rated in the top 10 at the Indy Elite Camp and is ranked as the 32nd best recruit in the country.

We still have to wait until all score satisfactorily on their SAT’s, so we will continue to build interest in recruits that have not accepted scholarships elsewhere so we have some backups in the event someone doesn’t meet our SAT minimum.

Roby Jordan did a great job handling recruiting this year.  His excellent work with recruits and their families made it possible for my home visits to be extremely productive and effective.

Roby said to me, “Not only did we get some great recruits this fall, but I kept your record intact.”  When I asked him what he meant by that, he replied, “As with every other season’s recruiting here, we continued your having never recruited a true Center.”  I laughed and said, “Yeah, we may live in mile high country, but we sure don’t ever get mile high players. 6’8” seems to be the height limit for Colorado.  It would be nice to get a 7 footer (or even a 6’11” guy) some time who can match up against some of the tall timber we have to play against.”

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Pre-Conference Schedule Set:

We’ve scheduled some strong opponents during our pre-conference play this season:

PURDUE

MISSOURI

VILLANOVA

Iowa State (1st game of Palmetto Shootout)

FRESNO STATE

MINNESOTA

@ #15 Maryland

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

ST. JOHNS

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Who’s starting?

Practice this fall went well.  We’re ready to start the season, but have some work to do since we have a lot of young players this season.

Starters:

PG—Justin Wilson, 6-5 Jr: Started 24 of 31 games last season averaging 6.3 ppg and 3.1 apg, a good all-around player.  A good defender with quick hands who gets a lot of steals.

SG—Rick Coffey, 6-7 Sr: Played SF his previous 3 years here, but his sharp shooting last season has led me to give him a try at SG.  He averaged 9.4 ppg and 4.6 rpg last season.  Solid defender.  Will play SF as well as SG this year.

SF—Kenton Dunn, 6-6 Sr: Has been a starter at SG, SF, and PF the past 3 seasons.  A solid scorer who last season averaged 11.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg.  Top-notch defender.  Will play SG also this year.

PF—Ike Minahan, 6-8 So: Last season started at C.  Was our leading scorer and rebounder last season as a freshman, averaging 12.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg.  Strong defensively.  Will also play C some this year.  Fully recovered from the broken elbow that sidelined him late last season.

C—Lamar Kapono, 6-8 Fr: Destined to be a star.  Extremely strong rebounder and good scorer with very good passing skills.  Strong defensively, particularly as a shot blocker and stealing the ball.  Will also play PF this season.

Substitutes:

PG—John Phelan, 6-3 So: As a freshman played well in a limited role averaging 2.8 ppg.  Shot well inside the arc.  Likely will fill in at SG as well as PG this season.

PG—Bret Cross, 6-1 Jr: Played JC ball the past 2 years.  Good overall skills.  Good mid-range scorer.

SG—Malik Howard, 6-4 Fr: Great potential but needs experience and maturing.  Looks like he may be a good outside shooter.

SG—Tony Stewart, 6-2 Fr walk-on: Although not likely to play much he has ability to drive and post up.

SF—Jason Archie, 6-5 Fr: Needs to develop further but will be a good solid player for us in the future.

PF—Marcus Paulding, 6-8 Fr: Able to work the entire court so will be filling in at SF as well as PF this season.  Should get a lot of playing time and will develop into a solid starter for us in the future.

PF—Mel Dye, 6-7 Fr (R): Red-shirted last season and still developing his skills but will become a solid performer for us in the future.

C—Derricus Ivener, 6-8 So: Filled in last season at both C and PF.  A strong rebounder and can score well inside.  Last season he averaged 3.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg, but will get a lot more playing time this year.

C—Billy Horton, 6-10 Jr walk-on: Not likely to get much playing time.

C—Brian Walker, 6-10 So walk-on: Pretty good shooter but not likely to play much.

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Pac-12 Media Picks:

Newspaper, TV, radio, and online bloggers who follow their favorite teams have ranked the teams.  Here’s their combined prediction on how the conference will shake out this season:

1-UCLA

2-Arizona

3-Washington

4-Utah

5-Colorado

6-Oregon

7-Stanford

8-USC

9-Arizona State

10-California

11-Oregon State

12-Washington State

I can’t really find fault with their prediction but hope we will finish higher than 5th.  While I feel UCLA is definitely the favorite this year, I think any of the top 9 teams have a chance to do well this season. And the bottom 3 teams can certainly be spoilers.  If we want to come out near the top of the standings we’re going to have to play strong defense and do well on the road.

Our team has set as their goal to make some noise in and play deep into the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season.

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Game #1:  Purdue Boilermakers (0-0) at Colorado Buffaloes (0-0)

3 minutes into the game, we trailed 12-0 and SF Kenton Dunn was on the bench with 2 fouls.  Not a good start to our season.  But we slowly clawed our way back into the game and finally gained a 25-25 tie with 7:10 remaining in the half when Ike Minahan drove down the lane and scored on a fingertip roll-in.  Marcus Paulding drained a 3 to give us our first lead at 28-25 with 5:36 left.  We went on to hold a 40-36 halftime advantage with SG Rick Coffey scoring 12 points.

Our defense tightened in the 2nd half and with 12:27 remaining in the game, Ike Minahan put up a highly contested 14 foot jumper than settled through the hoop to give us a 50-40 lead.  We expanded our lead to 18 before settling for a 77-64 victory.  We won this game with defense (Purdue hit just 35% of their shots including only 27% of their 3P attempts) and rebounding (we held a 45-29 rebounding advantage).

Leading our scoring was SG Rick Coffey with 21 points (he also had 7 rebounds) and PF Ike Minahan’s 17 points.  SF Marcus Paulding scored 11 in 14 minutes of play.  PG Justin Wilson had 9 assists and C LaMar Kapono grabbed 12 rebounds.

Pac-12 Highlights:

UCLA (preseason #1 ranked) ripped Tennessee 83-53 with PG Darelle Dawson scoring 18 and pulling down 8 boards and then Mississippi 66-42 with SG Kyle Taylor scoring 22 plus getting 5 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.

Oregon (preseason ranked #21) was upset at home by lowly Georgia State 66-55 as the Ducks hit just 30% of their FG attempts.

Arizona (preseason ranked #3) stomped UTEP 75-46 in the opening game of the Preseason NIT Tourney.

Utah held Georgetown’s shooting to just 26% enroute to a 66-46 blowout win over the Hoyas.

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Game #2: Missouri Tigers (1-0) @ Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)

Missouri’s primary defense is a 1-3-1 zone.  C Russell Horan scored 21 and had 12 rebounds in the Tigers’ 74-66 win over Dartmouth.

Unlike in our first game, we came out strong to move out to an 11-3 lead after 2-1/2 minutes of play.  We went on to take a 41-22 halftime lead as we outshot Missouri 57% to 38% and held a 15-6 turnover advantage.  PF Ike Minahan scored 10.

We maintained a big lead throughout the 2nd half and cruised to an easy 65-41 drubbing of the Tigers.  A big defensive effort by our entire team holding Missouri’s shooting to 33% and forcing 22 turnovers.

PF Ike Minahan scored 14 points while C LaMar Kapono hauled down 10 rebounds.

Following our two wins in the first week of the season, we were ranked 18th in the Media Poll and 17th in the Coaches Poll and our RPI is 7th best in Division I.

Pac-12 highlights:

In the 2nd round of the Preseason NIT Tourney, #3 ranked Arizona barely squeaked out an 84-82 win over New Mexico as PF Curtis Grace dropped in 30 points.

Stanford (#16 in preseason polls) held a slim 38-35 halftime lead but pulled away in the 2nd half to beat Penn State handily 83-65 with C Roger Younger recording a double-double (24 points and 11 rebounds).

#3 ranked Arizona lost to #2 ranked Oklahoma in the semi-finals of the Preseason NIT Tournament 75-61 as the Sooners’ PF Marcus Asbury scored 35 points and pulled down 18 boards.

In the Hawaiian Shootout, Oregon State jumped out to a 13 point early lead but then was lambasted 100-73 by Oklahoma State.  The Beavers’ PG Michael Anderson scored 23, but the Cowboys’ C Ramsey Freymond hit 18 of 19 free throws and scored 32 while grabbing 17 rebounds.

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Game #3: Villanova Wildcats (1-1) @ #18 Colorado Buffaloes (2-0)

It took 3 straight minutes of missed shots and turnovers before a field goal was scored in this game.  SG Rick Coffey scored our first 8 points.  SF Kenton Dunn scored our next 8 points and after 8 minutes of play we led 16-7.  Coffey and Dunn combined to score all of our first 21 points in the game.  We held Villanova’s shooting throughout the first half to just 20% and built a 37-20 halftime advantage.  SG Rick Coffey scored 15 points and SF Kenton Dunn scored 12 in the half.

Our second half effort was rather lackadaisical, but we still won easily 73-58.  We outshot the Wildcats 44% to 32% and hit 50% of our 3’s compared to 35% by them. 

SG Rick Coffey finished with 23 points, PF Ike Minahan scored 15 and hauled down 11 rebounds, and SF Kenton Dunn added 14 points.  PG Justin Wilson had 8 assists.

Pac-12 highlights:

#8 ranked Arizona blitzed Mississippi 87-47 with PG Tim Perry scoring 21 points.

#7 ranked UCLA travelled to #1 Kentucky and upset the Wildcats 74-64 as SG Kyle Taylor scored 21 and picked off 8 rebounds.

#12 ranked Stanford bested Brigham Young 63-54 in an ugly game in which the Cardinal hit only 32% of their shots while the Cougars made just 31% of theirs.

#25 ranked California won their 3rd straight game by beating Ohio 70-54 with the Bears holding Ohio to just 38% shooting including dropping in just 1 of 19 shots from beyond the arc.

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Game #4: 5th seed, #18 ranked Colorado Buffaloes (3-0) vs 4th seed Iowa State Cyclones (2-1) (Round 1 of Palmetto Shootout)

SG Rick Coffey scored our first 6 points.  The game was close throughout the entire first half, but we ended up on top 29-25 at the break.  Both teams shot poorly.  Iowa State controlled the boards 22-16 but we held an 11-4 turnover advantage.  Rick Coffey’s 9 points led our scoring.

We continued to hold a small lead until the Cyclones tied us at 40-40 with 10 minutes to play.  Then with 6-1/2 minutes left we trailed by 5 points.  We struggled to catch up but still were behind 55-54 with 3 minutes remaining.  The only scoring for the next 2-1/2 minutes was when Iowa State sunk a 3 pointer to give them a 4 point lead.  We were forced to foul and lost 60-54.  We sunk just 35% of our FG’s and only 13% of our 3’s.  Overall, a poor effort on our part.  We just never got up for this game.  Disappointing because I was hoping to be able to play another game (and preferably two more games) against some good competition in this tournament. 

SG Rick Coffey scored 11 and PF Ike Minahan added 10 points and 8 rebounds. 

The loss dropped us out of the Top 25 in the polls.

Pac-12 Highlights:

After starting the season with 3 straight wins, #25 California lost at home to West Virginia 78-64.  The refs put the Mountaineers on the line 18 more times where they scored 16 more points than the Golden Bears.

California followed that up with another home court loss to Boise State 70-61.  This time rather than being victimized by the refs, Cal torpedoed themselves by hitting just 33% of the FG attempts and 19% of their 3-point attempts. 

Utah pasted Boston College 71-49 with C Brett Pettway scoring 37 points, pulling down 11 boards, and making 3 steals and 3 blocks.

#12 Stanford had to make a big 2nd half comeback to edge Western Carolina 73-70.

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Game #5: Fresno State Bulldogs (3-0) @ Colorado Buffaloes (3-1)

Thoughts before the game: 

Fresno State has 3 players averaging in double figures: SG Mark Thomas (15.3 ppg), PF Cedric Akacem (14.7 ppg), and PG Danny Takaki (11.7 ppg).  Their coach, Rahim Walton, who is renowned for his success at several programs during his long career.  Andre Woodley, the Bulldogs’ 1st assistant coach, is a very talented scout so I’m sure he’s done a superb job analyzing us.  In their previous 5 seasons the Bulldogs have won 116 games and lost just 44 and have gone to the NCAA Tourney 3 times (reaching the Sweet 16 once) and the NIT twice, so they’re obviously an opponent we need to take seriously even though we’re playing them at home.

Comments about the game:

We played well in the first half, hitting 52% of our shots and out-rebounding the Bulldogs 28-11, but made 8 turnovers against Fresno State’s 2.  We left the court at the half with a 42-36 lead.  SG Rick Coffey scored 14 points and hauled in 7 rebounds.  Reserve PG Ryan Baxter dropped in 13 points for Fresno State.

Behind the scoring and rebounding of PF Ike Minahan and C LaMar Kapono, we opened a 62-44 lead with 12-1/2 minutes to play in the game.  Fresno State cut our lead to 10 but we then pulled away again to win by an 86-69 score.  We dominated the boards 46-28.

SG Rick Coffey finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds.  C LaMar Kapono had his best game in his short career thus far, scoring 16 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking 3 shots.  PF Ike Minahan also scored 16 points and PG Justin Wilson added 10.

Pac-12 Highlights:

#12 Stanford 85, Penn State-72 (Alaskan Classic semi-final game): Stanford’s C Roger Younger continued his outstanding play with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 4 blocks.

#12 Stanford lost the title game in the Alaskan Classic when they were upset by Air Force 75-67.  The Cardinal shot abysmally in the 2nd half and let the game slip away.

#6 Arizona stomped 23 New Mexico State 76-52 behind the 22 points scored by PF Curtis Grace and 19 points by SF Rolan Bell. 

#9 UCLA ran away from #18 Alabama 80-64 with SG Kyle Taylor dropping in 28 points.

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Game #6: Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-1) @ Colorado Buffaloes (4-1)

We started OK, but then let Minnesota reel off 12 straight points to open a 20-12 lead over us.  We fought back to regain a 30-28 lead with 5-1/2 minutes left in the half.  We then went on a roll and forged ahead by 14 points before settling for a 44-33 halftime lead.  Our advantage was because we outshot the Golden Gophers 50% to 38% and held a 6-1 turnover advantage.  SG Rick Coffey’s 11 points led our scoring.

We steadily increased our lead to 21 points with 5-1/2 minutes left in the 2nd half.  We then coasted to an easy 80-67 victory.  Minnesota tossed up 37 3-point attempts but only connected on 7 of them. 

SG Rick Coffey scored 15 and had 6 rebounds, C/PF Derricus Ivener hit for 12 points with 6 boards, and C LaMar Kapono and PF Ike Minahan both scored 10 points with each grabbing 9 rebounds.  PG Justin Wilson dished out 8 assists.

We remained unranked but have the 3rd best RPI.  But I believe the RPI is askew…we’ve played good teams but not great teams.  Pittsburgh which has the 65th best RPI which seems appropriate based on their competition thus far is 4-3 and ranked 19th in the polls, so the polls also have their problems.

Pac-13 highlights:

#6 Arizona ripped UTEP 74-43 when SF Rolan Bell went on a roll, scoring 26 points.

#6 Arizona then was upset by Cincinnati 76-71 when they let the game get away from them in the 2nd half.

Utah travelled to Madison, WI and beat up on Wisconsin to the tune of 85-74, led by C Brett Pettway’s 21 points and 11 rebounds.

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Game #7: Colorado Buffaloes (5-1) at #10 Maryland Terrapins (6-1)

Maryland has played extremely well thus far with their only loss coming at the hands of #2 ranked Syracuse in the semi-finals of the Preseason NIT Tournament.  Playing them on their home court makes our challenge even greater.

The game was close the first 10 minutes but in the final 10 minutes of the first half we exploited the Terrapins interior which was weakened by C Terrence Eldridge playing at less that 100% while he is recovering from a bruised sternum injury.  We held Maryland’s shooting to 29% and forced them to turn the ball over 12 times as we took a 34-20 halftime lead.  PF Ike Minahan scored 11 points and had 6 rebounds and PG Justin Wilson had 8 points and 6 assists.

As our defense continued to be strong, we took a 60-40 lead with 7 minutes left in the game.  Our bench players were able to maintain the margin and we came away with an impressive 70-51 beatdown of Maryland.  We dominated all aspects of the game.

Leading our scoring was PF Ike Minahan who had 17 points and 8 rebounds.  SG Rick Coffey chipped in 12 points and C LaMar Kapono finished with 9 points and 14 rebounds.  For Maryland SG Ed Friel scored 18 points but C Terrence Eldridge (who had been averaging 17 ppg) was limited to just 6 points even though he played 33 minutes.

Thus far this season we’ve allowed our opponents to score just 58.6 ppg which is 6th best in the nation and we are averaging 39.5 rpg (5th best in Division I), 8.9 bpg (6th best in Division I) and just 11.4 topg (20th best in the country).

Pac-12 highlights:

Washington travelled to Atlanta to take on #18 ranked Georgia Tech.  The Huskies were only able to score 17 points in the first half and fell behind by as much as 23 before losing 67-53.  A 19-9 turnover disadvantage doomed Washington even though their SF Thomas Richardson scored 23 points.

Oregon played #2 Syracuse on the road.  While the Ducks remained close throughout the game, Syracuse was in control the entire way and beat Oregon 83-76.  C Darrell Hamilton scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds for the Ducks.

California also went on the road to take on #9 Indiana but the Golden Bears were in a deep hole the entire game and lost 91-75.  SF Gary Mack scored 23 points for California.

#8 UCLA took on #20 Temple in Philadelphia.  The Bruins kept the game close all the way but never took the lead and lost 85-78.  PG Darelle Denson tossed in 26 points and C Leon Foster had 21 points for UCLA but the Bruins were outshot 53% to 39%.

#11 Stanford used their home court advantage to dismantle Mississippi by a score of 82-67 with C Roger Younger tallying 17 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks.

#5 Arizona continued to play impressively as they buried Tennessee 81-59 with C Cliff Rivera scoring 20 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.

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Game #8: Southern Illinois Salukis (4-2) @ Colorado Buffaloes (6-1)

A quick start with some hot shooting put us ahead 18-5 with 14:18 remaining in the 1st half.  But the Salukis then went on a 9-0 run to let us know we had a ball game to play.  While we were able to maintain a small lead throughout the rest of the half, we were unable to pull away again and finished the half ahead 37-32.  Southern Illinois outshot us 46% to 38% and hit 50% of their 3’s compared to our 27% shooting from beyond the arc.  An 11-5 turnover advantage was our salvation.  C LaMar Kapono and PF Ike Minahan both scored 10 points. 

SG Rick Coffey scored our first 7 points of the 2nd half to give us a 44-34 lead.  Midway through the 2nd half we expanded our lead to 20 points.  Even though the Salukis began hitting from outside (14 of 29 from 3 point range for the entire game), they were never able to mount a serious threat and we won handily 88-70.  Our forcing Southern Illinois to turn the ball over 21 times while we had just 6 turnovers was a major reason we won this game.

C LaMar Kapono, PF Ike Minahan, and SG Rick Coffee each scored 16 points and our other starters, SF Kenton Dunn and PG Justin Wilson scored 14 and 11 points, respectively.  Rick Coffee also had 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks.  Southern Illinois’ SG Kerry Fischer scored 19 points.

Following our win we moved back into the Top 25 in the polls at #24.

Pac-12 highlights:

In the Golden State Classic underdog USC upset #21 Gonzaga 67-60 but then fell to Villanova 79-69.

Behind C Shamel Pringle’s 18 points and 16 rebounds, Washington got by Denver 64-54.

#11 UCLA crushed Arkansas 84-65 as PG Darelle Denson hit for 28 points and picked off 7 rebounds.

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Game #9: St. Johns Red Storm (7-2) @ #24 Colorado Buffaloes (7-1)

The Red Storm’s only losses have been to #3 Syracuse and #13 Maryland.  PF Cliff Owens is averaging 17.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg.

We held a small lead throughout most of the first half by outshooting the Red Storm 42% to 34% and then expanded our lead in the late going to build a 44-35 halftime advantage.  SF Kenton Dunn scored 14 points.

Kenton Dunn continued to lead us offensively in the 2nd half and we gradually expanded our lead all the way to the end of the game as we downed the Red Storm 87-63.  We hit 43% of our FG attempts while St. Johns was limited to 32%.

SF Kenton Dunn played his best game of the year and finished with 30 points.  C LaMar Kapono scored 13 and PF Ike Minahan had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

We moved up to #21 in the polls.  Our RPI is now tops in the nation! 

Pac-12 highlights:

SF Rolan Bell scored 35 points and recorded 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks and C Cliff Rivera hit for 25 points plus yanked down 23 rebounds as #5 Arizona manhandled Monmouth 86-66.

#25 Utah travelled to Columbus, OH and whipped #24 Ohio State 85-65 as C Brett Pettway scored 29 points and PF Marc Fife had 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Oregon State downed Purdue 78-66 with PG Michael Anderson finishing with 19 points and PF Kyle Webb hitting for 18 points while pulling down 9 boards.

Washington had 6 players scored in double figures to lead the Huskies to a 74-65 win over Colgate.

In the Caribbean Classic #7 UCLA’s starting guards Kyle Taylor and Darelle Denson scored 20 and 19 points, respectively and the Bruins buried Mississippi 75-52.  The Bruins followed that up with an 84-65 beatdown of Fresno State with Taylor and Denson scoring 23 and 20 points, respectively.  Then in the tournament championship game, UCLA went ahead by 23 points before #11 Temple rallied to make the final score 65-57 in favor of the Bruins as Taylor and Denson were toned down to 17 points and 12 points.

C Roger Younger continued his dominance with 22 points and 17 rebounds for #12 Stanford as the Cardinal pounded Jacksonville State 98-70.

#7 UCLA steadily pulled away from #19 LSU and won with ease 78-56.  PG Carelle Denson poured in 30 points while SG Kyle Taylor dropped in 23 points.

Oregon’s PF Ronald Greenwalt scored 25 and had 9 rebounds as the Ducks pulled away from East Carolina in the 2nd half to win 83-58.

#12 Stanford fell behind by 19 at the half while visiting #21 Florida, then cut into the lead but still lost 85-76.

C Shamel Pringle of Washington scored 21 and had 9 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead the Huskies to a 64-54 victory over South Carolina State.

#25 Utah romped over California-Santa Barbara 103-54 with C Brett Pettway scoring 28 and getting 10 boards.

SG Kyle Taylor scored 31 points and PG Darelle Denson hit for 27 points to lead #7 UCLA to a 90-80 victory over Texas A&M.

Washington beat Baylor 60-54 in the opener of the Hoops for Troops Tourney, then edged Houston 71-68 with PG Scott Edwards scoring 23, but lost in the championship game 69-66 to Vanderbilt.

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Pre-Conference Pac-12 Recap:

Going into conference play, five teams are ranked in the top 25 in the Media Poll: UCLA (#1), Arizona (#5), Stanford (#13), Colorado (#21), and Utah (#23). 

Eight teams have RPI’s in the top 100: Colorado (#1), UCLA (#5), Utah (#18), Oregon (#33), USC (#41), Arizona (#42), Washington (#51), and Stanford (#55).

Seven teams came out of pre-conference play with very good records: UCLA (10-1), Colorado (8-1), Arizona (9-2), Stanford (9-2), Utah (8-2), Washington (8-3), and Oregon (6-3).

Looks like this will be another tough Pac-12 season where no one is safe from being beaten by any other team.

 


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Colorado Buffaloes Player Stats after Pre-Conference Play

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We’ve started the same 5 players in all of our games thus far and they’ve performed well.

At point guard Justin Wilson has played solidly and his 5.8 apg is 2nd best in the Pac-12.  He’s averaging 7.8 ppg but has the ability to improve upon that.  Bret Cross has been the primary backup at point guard and has shot and scored well and while not as strong as Wilson in dishing out assists, has done well.

Rick Coffey has done even better than I expected starting at shooting guard.  He’s our top scorer (15.0 ppg) and his hitting a high percentage of his shots and continues to be a strong rebounder.  John Phelan has been the primary backup at SG while also getting time at PG.  He’s scored well even though his shooting percentage needs to improve.  Malik Howard has shot and scored well in a limited role thus far at SG.

At small forward, Kenton Dunn started slowly but has shot and scored better as the season has progressed.  He also is doing a good job rebounding.  Marcus Paulding has been the primary relief at SF (and also played some at PF) and has had some good scoring and rebounding games, but needs to improve his consistency. 

Ike Minahan has done a great job at power forward, averaging 13.9 ppg and 7.8 rpg.  Derricus Ivener has subbed at both PF and C and done a solid job.  Mel Dye has shot and scored very well in a limited role at PF which will increase his floor time in upcoming games.

At center, LaMar Kapono has been a rock on the boards, averaging 9.2 rpg (5th best in the Pac-12) and also scored well (9.9 ppg).  Minahan and Ivener have stepped in to play C when Kapono is on the bench.

We’re averaging 75.6 ppg (68th best in Division I), 18.2 apg (36th best in Div. I), 39.4 rpg (3rd best in Div. I), 8.7 bpg (4th best in Div. I), and 10.9 topg (8th best in Div. I).  We’ve outrebounded our opponents 39.4 to 33.8 rpg.  Defensively we’ve held opponents to 60.3 ppg (11th best in Div. I) and kept opponent’s shooting percentage to just 35.8%.  While we’ve made just 10.9 topg, our opponents are averaging 14.7 topg.

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Game #10: Oregon State Beavers (4-5, 0-0) @ #21 Colorado Buffaloes (8-1, 0-0)

The Beavers beat Purdue by a nearly identical score to our win over the Boilermakers.  But whereas we beat #12 Maryland by 19 points, Oregon State lost to the Terrapins by 17.  The Beavers’ three perimeter players,  Steffon Trotman, Michael Anderson, and Robert Payne are all averaging in double figures and have combined to chip in nearly 38 ppg.  But defense has been the team’s Achilles Heal, so porous as to allow opponents to average nearly 80 ppg.

Oregon State hit 3’s on their first 2 possessions to take a 6-1 lead.  But 4 minutes into the game we gained the lead and began to pull away.  The Beavers first 15 points all came as the result of 3 points which allowed them to come back.  At the end of the half we held a slim 38-36 lead.  Oregon State dropped in 8 of 15 three point attempts and hit 54% of all their shots in the half while we only converted 33% of ours.  We held a 7-0 turnover advantage.  PF Derricus Ivener and SG Rick Coffey both scored 8 points for us while SG Robert Payne dropped in 11 points for the Beavers.

Continued poor shooting kept us from pulling away from Oregon State in the 2nd half.  But with 11:33 to go we finally had crept ahead by double digits at 53-42.  Our lead grew to 21 with 5-1/2 minutes left in the game.  Our reserves carried us home from there and we won our first game of the Pac-12 season by a score of 84-63.  Even though we dropped in just 40% of our FG attempts, we dominated the boards 52-34 and made just 4 turnovers while forcing the Beavers to turn the ball over 16 times. 

SG Rick Coffey scored 15, PF Derricus Ivener had 14 points, SF Kenton Dunn hit for 14 points while pulling down 10 boards, PF/C Ike Minahan scored 13 and had 8 rebounds, and PG Justin Wilson added 10 points.

Other Pac-12 scores:

#5 Arizona-94, Washington State-82 (C Cliff Rivera had 20 pts, 16 reb, and 4 blocks for the Wildcats)

#1 UCLA-76, Arizona State-55 (UCLA’s SG Kyle Taylor-20 pts, 8 reb, 10 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks)

Oregon-91, California-82 (Cal let an 13 point halftime lead evaporate in the 2nd half as Oregon’s SG Demario Kelly had 20 pts and 9 reb)

#13 Stanford-81, USC-64 (Wire-to-wire lead for the Cardinal with C Roger Younger getting 21 pts and 11 reb)

#23 Utah-72, Washington-54 (After a tight first half, the Utes pulled away in the 2nd half led by SF Adam Edwards 15 pts and 10 reb)

So the favorites were 100% successful in the first day in Pac-12 play.

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Game #11: California Golden Bears (4-7, 0-1) @ #21 Colorado Buffaloes (9-1, 1-0)

California remains on probations following recruiting infractions a couple years ago and still has a year left in which they can offer no scholarships.  Their probationary status has left them with a team comprised mainly of walkons.  Their offense is centered around SF Gary Mack whose 18.6 ppg is the 4th highest in the Pac-12.  PF John Baily is averaging 11.5 ppg and is dropping in 67% of his shots.

SF Kenton Dunn scored 15 of our first 23 points giving us a 10 point bulge over the Golden Bears.  We continued to forge ahead and finished the half with a 43-26 lead.  We outshot California 48% to 30% and had just 4 turnovers while the Golden Bears turned the ball over 11 times.  SF Kenton Dunn drilled in 21 points and PF Ike Minahan had 13 points and 5 rebounds.

California caught fire when they came back on the court in the 2nd half.  They whittled our lead to 51-45 with 14-1/2 minutes left in the game.  We re-established our double digit lead a minute later and held onto it from there on to stomp California 81-61.  We hit 51% of our FG attempts (including 50% of our 3P attempts) and held a 19-10 turnover advantage.

SF Kenton Dunn finished the game with 28 points.  PF Ike Minahan had 18 points and 10 boards.  SG Rick Coffey hit for 12 points.

Pac-12 results:

#5 Arizona-73, #23 Utah-67 (SF Rolan Bell tossed in 24 pts for the Wildcats and SG Bret Smylie had 22 pts for the Utes)

Arizona State-72, USC-66 (Close all the way with 18 lead changes and 8 ties but ASU’s SG Travis Hawkins’ 22 pts and C Brandon Polite’s 18 pts and 10 rebounds were the difference in the game)

#1 UCLA-79, Washington State-59 (32 pts, 6 reb, and 7 assists for SG Kyle Taylor of UCLA)

Oregon-68, Washington-58 (Oregon held a small lead throughout the game)

#13 Stanford-85, Oregon State-79 (A solid game by the Beavers kept this game in doubt down to the end but C Roger Younger scored 17 and has 18 rebounds along with 5 assists, 5 steals and a block to lead the Cardinals to victory)

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