Sunday, December 09, 2012

Buffalos Exterminated -- Again

The CU game was my first at the Phog this year, and I was not disappointed. This was a classic, old-school Big 12 beatdown. Just as Chauncey Billups, David Harrison, and other, lesser Buffs suffered at KU's hands in the old days, so too did Tad Boyle's talented Pac-12 contenders see history repeat itself.

I love what this team can do when it's energized. My man Kevin Young is the emotional leader we were looking for -- he seemed to be guarding all five Buffs at times, and on offense he has a knack for making the smartest, simplest play. Releford's developing some serious swagger -- all of it earned. And most importantly, EJ came to play this time; he didn't seem to be hobbling, and he did the job on both ends of the floor.

BMac is extremely confident for a freshman, although his focus seems to flag at times -- he's been getting his points early and then coasting a bit. Perry I thought made some decent plays this time; he just  needs to get comfortable on the floor by finding other ways to contribute instead of worrying so much about scoring. The only liability was Naadir, who still makes me nervous every time he checks in.

In garbage time, we got to see the younger Manning and the younger Self on court at the same time -- with the house going nuts as Tyler scored his first points at the final buzzer. It was a fitting end to the most enjoyable game of the season so far.


  1. Yeah, it was pretty much a thrashing. especially after their star guard went out with the ankle sprain.

    looked like world beaters in this game

  2. ...and the beat goes on with a thrashing of Belmont.

    Catching up with this one tonight on DVR, I can't believe what a masterpiece it was. I wish I'd been on hand for that sequence where AWIII nailed two threes in a row followed by Travis getting consecutive steals -- one for a reverse dunk and another layup invalidated by EJ's goaltend. The crowd seemed insanely giddy in that moment.

    Not to mention Withey showing us some new tricks -- a no-look assist and, shockingly, a top-of-the-key jumper.

    And now we're trying AWIII at the 4-spot? How many players have we tried at the 4 now? Young, Lucas, White, Traylor, Ellis -- everyone except the guy who was maybe the most likely candidate before the season: Zach Peters, who has left the team after repeated concussions.

    Now we have our third straight potential tournament team visiting the Phog -- Richmond, whom we actually faced in the tourney two years ago. Can we do to them what we did to Colorado and Belmont? It could be tough with Ohio State looming on Saturday.

  3. Yeah, that Belmont game was quite a sight, and the final score doesn't come close to the 40+ point margin we had going for a while in the second half. To Deron's nice list I'll just add the obvious: McLemore continues to impress, seeming to score at will on Saturday. 4-5 from 3 is very promising...

    Oh, and one more, in answer to some earlier doubts (with caveats of course given the opponent): EJ had nine assists against just one turnover. Rock Chalk indeed.

  4. I don't think caveats are necessary for the opponent. I just got through watching the RIchmond game, and the pattern continues -- that's three straight potential tournament teams with only one or two losses under their belt that have now been absolutely obliterated at the Phog. We were up 20 in this one before the fans had settled into their seats.

    This time AWIII came back down to earth, but everyone else, even Naadir and Perry, had their moments. Perry is so much better when he moves quickly, instinctively with the ball as BMac has been doing. His problem has been that he catches it and nurses it for 5 to 10 seconds while he tries to shake and bake his defender; tonight in the second half he made his moves on the catch -- or even before the catch in the case of his alley oop -- and was much more successful.

    Withey and BMac are looking like All-Americans, and, dare I say it, this team is starting to look like a 1 seed, despite our current ranking. But now the rubber hits the road with our toughest game of the year on Saturday. I don't know if we're going to win, but I'm more interested in how we handle pressure -- we haven't faced much of it this year except vs. the Spartans, and that didn't go so well. Is BMac ready to take the big shot down the stretch in a close game? I think we'll soon find out.

  5. Totally agree with your take on PE, DL. I was expecting 5 or 6 seed early, but we are starting to have the look of a 1 or 2 seed, much like last year, Self is molding this team into a tough group.