MBB Looks for Their Fourth Straight Big 12 Win Tonight
CU vs. NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers (12-5, 2-2 Big 12) enter tonight's game looking for their third win in a row over the Buffaloes (13-3, 3-2) after sweeping both games last year. The last time Nebraska won back-to-back games in Boulder came in the 1998 and 1999 seasons. The Huskers lead the series 70-66, however are only 12-48 in the state of Colorado.
Arena: Coors Events Center (11,064);
Television: Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain;
Announcers: Drew Goodman and Ceal Barry
KKZN Radio 760-AM: Mark Johnson and Charles Johnson
SCOUTING THE CORNHUSKERS: After winning their first two games of the conference season, Nebraska now has lost their last two in a row. NU opened with a home win over Oklahoma (59-58), won at Kansas State (57-42), They now have lost to Iowa State at home (88-75) and are coming off a 96-54 loss at Kansas. Wes Wilkinson leads the team in scoring (12.1 ppg.) and ranks second in rebounding (7.0 rpg.). Wilkinson leads the Big 12 (all games) in 3-point percentage and blocks. Jason Dourisseau (10.4 ppg., 6.7 rpg.) and Joe McCray (10.4 ppg.) are seond and third in scoring.
School House Rock...3 is a magic number...3,6,9,12,15: CU performed their favorite number once again with 10 more 3-pointers made in a game for the third straight time (12 at Okla. State, 11 vs. Baylor, 13 at Missouri). This trend matches the same feat last year when CU made 17 vs. OSU, 12 at Texas Tech, and 11 at Kansas State.CU is rolling along from the 3-point arc toward last year's school record of 223. Entering tonight, CU is 142-of-369; last year at this time they were 96-of-292!
REAPER BY THE DOZEN: Unlike in football, where teams who win the turnover battle usually come out on top, the Buffs have found that on the court, the pigskin theory does not necessarily hold true. CU has committed exactly 12 turnovers in every conference game this season. During the five-game stretch, only Baylor has committed fewer turnovers than the Buffs?yes, the same game where CU beat the Bears 81-48 for their largest margin of victory in Big 12 history. The Buffs are actually taking care of the ball more in conference play, as they are committing three less turnovers a game than in non-conference play.
Last GAME RECAP (see pg. 18 for box and story): Richard Roby scored 27 points, including the decisive basket in overtime, as Colorado beat Oklahoma State 80-78, last Saturday. It was the Buffaloes' second Big 12 Conference road win of the season. CU hadn't won at Gallagher-Iba Arena since Jan. 12, 1980, a stretch of 20 games. The Buffs also hadn't won at Missouri since the 1996-97 season before they did so on Jan. 14. Roby left the game Saturday with an injured ankle with 6:33 left in regulation, but the sophomore guard returned three minutes later and played most of the rest of the way. With the score tied 78-78, Roby scored on a put-back with 45.3 seconds left, following a miss by Marcus Hall.
RAINING THREE'S: After topping the 40 percent mark for three-pointers only once in non-conference play (.533 at Penn), the Buffs have shot over the mark in four of their five conference games. After making just 6-of-25 treys against Texas, the Buffs have connected on 45-of-105 shots behind the arc in their last four games for a combined .429 percentage...CU has reached double-digit totals in three-point field goals made in their last three games. The last time the Buffs accomplished the feat was last season when they made 10 or more three-pointers against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Kansas State in consecutive games. Since the introduction of the three-point line in the 1986-87 season, the Buffs have never gone four consecutive games with at least 10 treys.
ROBY?RHYMES WITH KOBE: Co-Big 12 Player-of-the-Week Richard Roby is coming off the best three-game stretch of his career. His 81 points (27.0 ppg) over the last three games is easily his best scoring output of his career over a three-game span. Just for kicks, here's how Roby's numbers over the last three games stack up against Kobe Bryant's historic 81-point effort against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
MIN FG-A 3FG-A PTS R A S B
Kobe 42 28-46 7-13 81 6 2 3 1
Roby 99 31-62 11-23 81 17 6 8 5
HALL BALL: Junior Marcus Hall had perhaps his best game of the season against Oklahoma State. His 16 points marked his second-highest total of the season (17 at TCU). He dished out six assists for the fourth time this season and moved into 14th place on CU's all-time assist list. After shooting a relatively low .308 from the three-point line, Hall busted out with four treys in just five attempts against the Cowboys.
THE STEAL CURTAIN: With nine steals against the Cowboys, CU's season total stands at 160. The single-season record is 285 by the 1994-95 Buffs, led by Keith Higgins (72) and Donnie Boyce (66). This season, the Buffs are on pace for 280, led by Roby (36) who has registered at least one steal in every game this season, capped by his six-steal performance against Oklahoma State. If he continues his 2.5 steals-per-game average, he will finish the season tied for seventh in single-season steals (66) and tied for fifth in steals per game.
NCAA STATS: As of Jan. 23, the Buffs are ranked among the best statistically in the 12 national team categories:
6th Scoring Offense 83.2
7th Scoring Margin 16.1
11th 3-point FG Made 8.9
14th Blocked Shots 6.1
16th Steals 10.0
16th Assists 17.7
25th Rebounding Margin 6.1
43rd 3-pt. FG% .385
BUFF TIDBITS: Richard Roby is now 49th on the CU's all-time scoring list (765 pts.)...Despite not starting at Mizzou, Baylor, and Oklahoma State, Marcus Hall still leads the Big 12 in assist-turnover ratio (2.78)...The Sporting News has chosen Richard Roby as their national player of the week for Jan. 16-22...Against OSU, Roby tied a CU record with six steals in a half (1st); his six steals also tied a CU conference high, a first for a CU player in the Big 12; And his six steals, tied five others as a sophomore best...Roby and Chris Copeland are the only two who have started all 16 games...Julius Ashby scored the most points since coming back to Big 12 play with 10 points at OSU...Hall's 16 points off the bench at OSU was the most scored in a reserve role since netting 22 at Oregon State (Dec. 1, 2003)...Osborn has made at least one 3-pointer in 13-straight games (2.2 a game)...The win over OSU was the first time a CU trio netted three or more treys in a single game this season (four by Marcus Hall, three each by Roby and Osborn)...Roby has scored double figures in 19 of his 21career conference games (the other two were nine points)...CU has won three straight Big 12 games their longest since the 2003-04 season...The last time CU started 2-1 on the road in Big 12 play, they made the tourney (1996-97)...Tonight's 3-2 start in conference play matches CU's best start since 1996-97 when they won their first six games.
TWO-WEEK NOTICE: With a pair of Big 12 Player of the Week honors under his belt (a CU first), Richard Roby has put up some pretty good numbers over a two-week span: The averages are: 27 ppg., 5.5 rpg., 2.3 spg., 12-of-23 from 3-point range (.522) and 37-of-80 from the field (.457).
MAKING A RUN at TREY HISTORY: Most likely the CU men's team will break the school record in treys made in a season. What about the Big 12 Conference record? Here's a look at each year to see how far the Buffs need to go (i know it's a little early to speculate):
2005-06: Colorado 142 (2nd in Big 12)
2004-05: Texas 243
2003-04: Texas 227
2002-03: Baylor 254
2001-02: Nebraska 267
2000-01: Missouri 279
1999-00: Missouri 291
1998-99: Oklahoma 274
1997-98: Baylor 217
1996-97: Baylor 227
TOP 25 RANKINGS...almost: As another week goes by and the wins increase, CU is still getting votes. In this week's AP poll, CU is receiving 38 votes and in the ESPN/USA Today, the Buffs have 21 votes, one less vote than a week ago. The last time the Buffs were ranked in either poll came in 1997 at No. 24 (Associated Press). The others were 1969 (#18), 1963 (#10), 1962 (#9) and 1955 (#15).
AP VOTES: If you would have told me two months ago that CU would have more votes in the AP poll than Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Cincinnati and Nevada COMBINED, I would have said you are nuts... Others Receiving Votes: North Carolina 122, LSU 109, Northern Iowa 90, Xavier 90, Iowa 71, UAB 47, Michigan 45, Colorado 38, Bucknell 32, Creighton 16, Wichita St. 14, Southern Ill. 9, Vanderbilt 9, St. John's 7, Air Force 4, Marquette 4, Akron 3, Arizona 3, Kentucky 3, Ohio 3, Cincinnati 1, Hofstra 1, Miami (FL) 1, Nevada 1, San Diego St. 1.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: Marcus King-Stockton (career-best 11) and Julius Ashby (season-high 10) performed a CU first this season and the first since last year at Iowa State (Jan. 22), two players with 10 or more rebounds. Against the Cyclones, Ashby grabbed 13 and Glean Eddy had 11 in CU's 54-52 overtime win in Ames. A CU win in Ames since Feb. 19, 1991.
TURNOVER BATTLE: The Buffs have committed fewer turnovers than their opponent in four of five conference games this season, the exception was CU-12, Baylor-11. In 16 conference games last season?not including the tournament?the Buffs had fewer turnovers exactly half of the time. Surprisingly, CU was only 2-6 when turning the ball over less than the opponent.
MORE BUFF Tidbits: Richard Roby's career-high 33 points at Missouri (Jan. 14) was the first time he led CU in scoring since Dec. 20, since then, he has led CU in scoring three straight games ... Roby holds the top four of CU's top scoring games this season (33, 29, 27, 22) ... CU played with its fourth different starting lineup at Oklahoma State (see page 7) ... Glean Eddy has 366 career rebounds, 42nd all-time at CU, while Chris Copeland has 349 (46th) ... Roby has led CU from the 3-point arc eight times this season ... With 12 3-pointers made against OSU, the Buffaloes have made 10 or more treys in seven games this season ... CU's nine-game winning streak Nov. 26-Jan. 3) was the longest in school history since the 1961-62 season when the Buffaloes won 12-straight ... CU has made a 3-pointer in 122-straight games (last time CU they didn't was Jan. 16, 2002, Iowa State, W, 63-61) ... CU won at Missouri for the first time since 1996-97 season and only the second time in Columbia since Jan. 15, 1973 (32 games)...CU's win at Mizzou was the first time in four conference games they won after trailing at the half, CU also won the battle on the boards for the first time in three games...The Buffs are shooting a staggering .593 from the free throw line (11th of 12 teams) ... Of the nine national categories kept by the NCAA located on page 5, Roby leads CU in seven of them. The only exceptions are blocked shots (Copeland) and assists (Hall) ... Roby collected his third career double-double versus Utah (19 pts., 10 rebs.) ... Andy Osborn recorded his second career double-double at CU, 17 pts., 10 rebounds against Cal Poly (four at Loyola Marymount) ... Roby failed to make a 3-pointer against SSU, ending his streak of 30 games going back to last season ... On page 9, a handful of CU players are moving upward on career school lists ... Seniors Chris Copeland, Glean Eddy, Antoine McGee, and Jayson Obazuaye close out their final year in 2005-06. It's also the first senior class under Head Coach Ricardo Patton that four players will have played their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years at CU.
BIG 12 OPENER: The Buffaloes saw the same ?ole thing in their conference opener at Texas, they lost. It was the ninth straight conference opener loss and kept CU winless on the road (0-4). Lone win was Nebraska in 1996-97.
Jan. 07, 2006 at Texas L, 64-89
Jan. 08, 2005 at Oklahoma L, 55-85
Jan. 05, 2004 KANSAS L, 62-77
Jan. 11, 2003 at Oklahoma L, 54-69
Jan. 05, 2002 KANSAS L, 85-97
Jan. 06, 2001 at Baylor L, 56-61
Jan. 08, 2000 KANSAS L, 69-84
Jan. 02, 1999 TEXAS L, 68-73
Jan. 03, 1998 OKLAHOMA L, 68-69
Jan. 04, 1997 NEBRASKA W, 79-73
BIG 12 10TH ANNIVERSARY VOTING NOW OPEN: The Big 12 is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season and is selecting special teams to honor the top players in the first nine years of the conference.
Followers of the Big 12 can vote for the top five men's basketball players in league annals by visiting the conference web site at www.big12sports.com. Click on the "Vote Now" button on the left side of the home page. Users may also go directly to the following link for voting information:
Winners will be announced live on the ESPN Plus Studio 66 halftime show in early February.