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Buffs/Longhorns Battle Saturday at Noon

Feb 13, 2009

CU vs. TEXAS... Texas (16-7, 5-4 Big 12 Conference) leads the head-to-head series, 11-8, however CU leads 5-3 in Boulder.  The Longhorns have won the last three in row in the series. Texas leads 10-5 in Big 12 games (including neutral court games). CU last defeated UT during the 2004-05 season, sweeping UT in both games (in Boulder & the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, becoming the first No. 11 seed to beat a No. 6 seed).

 

Saturday, Feb. 14, 12:05 p.m. (MST.);  Arena: Coors Events Center (11,064).

Television: ESPN; Announcers: Ron Franklin (p-p-p), Fran Fraschilla (analyst).

Radio: KKZN 760; SIRIUS Radio Channel 123; XM 144.

Announcers: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst).

Internet: ESPN360.com

 

Complete Notes with probable starting lineups, additional statistics located at the bottom of page. 

 

LOOK AT UT... Having entered Big 12 play with an 11-3 record, Texas is only 5-4 since, falling in three of their last four games. They are 2-2 on the road in conference play. UT broke its longest losing streak of the season (three games) defeating Oklahoma State, 99-74 on Tuesday.

 

LAST MEETING (last season)...  Texas rallied and defeated the Buffaloes, 69-67 last season back on Jan. 19 in Austin. CU dominated the first half holding a 37-28 lead at halftime and shot 53.8 percent from the field. Texas went on a 24-6 run in the second half led by D.J. Augustin's 25 points and A.J. Abrams connected on four 3-pointers and 17 points. Richard Roby scored 18 points for CU.

 

BROADCAST... The Colorado men's basketball team can be heard live on KKZN AM 760. Mark Johnson and Charles Johnson call the action including the pre- and postgame. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available through Yahoo! Sports. Colorado's games will also be streamed live on CUBuffs.com through the BuffsTV subscription service.

  

narrow margin... CU has dropped seven single-digit losses this season, and five of their last six in Big 12 play. Five of CU's eight Big 12 losses are by an average of 4.4 points. Last year, the Buffaloes dropped 10 games by single-digits (seven against Big 12 schools).

 

POSTER FEATURE... Dwight Thorne II is today's featured athlete. Higgins, a tri-captain is having his best season to-date averaging 13.3 points per game, shooting .519 from the field with a season-best 109 field goals made. Thorne II has led CU in scoring four of last six games (six overall) with a 20.8 points per game average.

 

half way through (big 12 games) ... Through nine Big 12 games Cory Higgins and Dwight Thorne II lead CU in scoring at 16.1 ppg., and 15.7 ppg., respectively ... Jermyl Jackson-Wilson is shooting .526 from the field (20-of-38); Austin Dufault leads the team in rebounding (4.4 rpg.) ... Higgins leads in steals (2.8 spg.), assists (2.7 apg.) ... Thorne II has 19 3-pointers ... Higgins is 48-of-54 from the FT line (.889).

 

CU NATIONALLY (as of Feb. 8)... Cory Higgins ranks among the nation's elite players in four categories, while the CU team is ranked in two. Individual: 37th: 85.6 Free Throw %; 39th: 2.2 steals per game; 87th: 17.5 points per game; 93rd: 49.8 Field Goal %.

Team: 37th: field goal percentage (.470); 38th: free throw percentage (.734). 

 

BUFF TIDBITS (team)... CU's five of eight Big 12 losses are by an average of 4.4 points  ... The Buffaloes are off to their worst start in Big 12 play (1-8). If they beat Texas on Saturday. the 2-9 start will match the 2007-08, 2006-07 and 1998-99 seasons after 11 Big 12 games ... CU is number two in Big 12-only FT percentage (.744), second in steals (8.2 per game) and third rebounding defense (32.6) ... CU has made a 3-pointer in 218-straight games dating back to the 2001-02 season.

  

INDIVIDUAL TIDBITS... Cory Higgins and Dwight Thorne II have recorded scoring double-digits in the same game 16 times this season ... Higgins has netted double-figures 22 of 23 games and Thorne II 18 of 23 games ... 18-straight games the Buffaloes have used the same starting lineup (Tomlinson, Higgins, Dufault, Thorne II, Jackson-Wilson) ... Dufault, Higgins, Thorne II have started all 23 games ... Trey Eckloff is not the youngest scholarship MBB player in the Big 12 as stated earlier in the notes. CU freshman Ryan Kelley is. That means, CU has the two youngest scholarship student-athletes in the Big 12.

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FT RECORD HOLDER... Cory Higgins reigns as the CU and the Big 12 free throw record holder with 45-straight made free throws over eight games. Since then, he rattled off another 23-straight over three games ending at Texas Tech. On the season, he's .857 (132-of-154, 37th nationally as of Feb. 8).

 

CU IN THE PRO WORLD... There is a number of CU basketball members with ties to the professional ranks. From head coach Jeff Bzdelik to the four student-athletes.

  Coach Bzdelik: Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets (2002-05);

  Casey Crawford: father, Steve played with the Boston Red Sox;

  Austin Dufault: cousin-in-law, Fred Hoiberg played with the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Currently the Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

CONFERENCE LEADERS...After nine games, CU players are ranked among the elite in the conference.

Scoring      10th      Higgins      16.1 ppg.

FG %          7th      Thorne II           .485

                   9th      Higgins            .446

Assists    t-15th      Higgins              2.7

FT %           4th      Higgins            .889

                   7th      Thorne II           .839

Steals          1st       Higgins             2.8

               t-12th      Jackson-Wilson  1.2

3-pt FG%  t-3rd      Thorne II           .452

3-pt. FGM    9th      Thorne II            2.1

Def. Reb. t-14th      Dufault              3.7

Minutes      2nd      Higgins            37.4

                   6th      Thorne II           35.7

 

40+MINUTES... Cory Higgins and Dwight Thorne are the only ones to have played 40-plus minutes this season. Higgins played 44 of 45 minutes in the overtime loss to Montana State and all 40 minutes against Louisiana-Monroe and Kansas. He also played the entire game (45 mins.) in the overtime loss to K-State. Thorne played 40 of 45 minutes in the overtime loss to K-State Jan. 24.

 

35+MINUTE MEN... More impressively the same four players have recorded 35-plus minutes a number of times. Cory Higgins in 18 games; Dwight Thorne 12 games; Nate Tomlinson 10 times, and Austin Dufault four games.

30+ MINUTEMEN... Only five CU players have played 30+ minutes of each game. Cory Higgins has played 30+ minutes in 22 of 23 games; Nate Tomlinson 18 of 22 games (missed a game due to injury); Dwight Thorne II 17 of 23; and Austin Dufault 16 of 23. Jermyl Jackson-Wilson played his first game of the season over 30 minutes against Kansas State (Jan. 24) with 32 (three mins. in OT).

 

FTs 5 MINUTES TO PLAY... Sophomore Cory Higgins is the team's most experienced from the free throw line with under five minutes to play (including OT) making 47-of-58 (.810). Here are totals for this season.

2008-09                        2-5      Pct.    *0-2                         Pct.

Matt Favaro                       -      -       2-2             1.000

Cory Higgins           17-19      .895 10-11        .909

Ryan Kelley                  1-2      .500    3-4                         .750

Dwight Thorne II          2-2      1.000 7-11                        .636

Nate Tomlinson           6-6      1.000 8-15                        .533

Levi Knutson                4-4      1.000 1-2                         .500

Casey Crawford          1-2      .500     1-2                         .500

Toby Veal                     1-2      .500     1-2                         .500

J. Jackson-Wilson       2-3      .667     2-5                         .400

Austin Dufault              6-7      .857    2-4                         .500

Javon Coney      -             -      0-2     .000

Total                         39-46 .848       37-60         .617

 (*-includes overtime)

 

Work in progress... Although Coach Bzdelik and his team have had their ups and downs in his second year and with the tough conference season ahead, let's take a look at three of the school's all-time winningest coaches in football, men's and women's basketball in their second season.

   Football: Bill McCartney, 13 seasons (1982-1994), 93-55-5 (.624): 4-7 in second year.

  Men's BB: Sox Walseth, 20 seasons (1957-76), 261-245 (.516): 8-15 in second year.

  Women's BB: Ceal Barry, 22 seasons (1983-2005), 427-242 (.638), 6-22 in second year.

 

CU IN THE PRO WORLD... There is a number of CU basketball members with ties to the professional ranks. From head coach Jeff Bzdelik to the four student-athletes.

  Coach Bzdelik: Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets (2002-05);

  Casey Crawford: father, Steve played with the Boston Red Sox;

  Austin Dufault: cousin-in-law, Fred Hoiberg played with the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Currently the Assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

  Cory Higgins: father, Rod played in the NBA from 1982-95, currently the general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats;

  Dwight Thorne II: cousin, Acie Law IV played for the Texas A&M Aggies and currently plays with the Atlanta Hawks, and great uncle, Ernie Banks played with the Cubs.

 

FALL 2008 SEMESTER... The team G.P.A. for the spring semester was 2.713 ranking as the second highest GPA for the men's basketball team since the Spring of 1999 (Spring 2001 was the highest at 2.74). The CU men had nine student-athletes with a 2.9 grade point average or higher. The team also has four student-athletes with a 3.0 or better G.P.A. (Trent Beckley, Austin Dufault, Trey Eckloff, Levi Knutson).

 

KELLEY UPDATE... Freshman guard Ryan Kelley has been cleared to practice (as of Feb. 5) and traveled to Oklahoma and Iowa State. Although he did not play, Kelley is fast approaching a return to the lineup. He injured his left knee in a Jan. 22 practice. The MRI report on Wed., Jan. 28 determined Kelley had a minor ligament sprain and surgery is not required.

 

FG%... During non-conference play, the Buffs shot above 50 percent from the floor eight out of 14 games, going 6-2.  That is the most .500 shooting games since the 2000-01 season when the Buffs recorded eight games of .500 or better shooting. The last time CU recorded more than eight games of shooting .500 or better from the floor in non-conference play was the 1985-86 season when they went 8-2 in 10 games.  Ironically, the Buffs were also 8-6 after non-conference play in the 1985-86 season, Tom Miller's first as Colorado's head coach, unfortunately the Buffs finished the season on a 17-game losing streak going 0-15 in conference play (0-1 in the Big 8 Tournament).

 

CU SINCE 1996-97...  In the 13-year history of the Big 12 Conference, CU is shooting a team-best from the field and from the free throw line so far this season. Those two stats are the best of any CU team since 1996-97.

 

Years    PPG FG %       3-Pt.%   FT%   To    W's

2008-09 64.5 .464 .344 .733  13.8     9

2007-08 62.4 .451 .343 .684   13.4   12

2006-07 69.1 .417 .313 .655  17.5     7

2005-06 76.8 .434 .342 .646  14.0   20

2004-05 71.6 .435 .353 .629  14.4   14   

2003-04 74.2 .464 .372 .621  14.6   18

2002-03 75.2 .443 .326 .669  14.0   20

2001-02 79.7 .453 .357 .677  17.0   15

2000-01 80.6 .460 .359 .715  16.5   15

1999-00 75.2 .426 .339 .686  14.3   18

1998-99 73.1 .414 .344 .702  14.7   18

1997-98 71.4 .404 .346 .688  14.3   13

1996-97 73.1 .420 .362 .681  13.9   22

 

YOUTH movement... A combination of 10 underclassmen (five freshmen and five sophomores) highlight the roster matching one of the youngest CU teams in history.  Back in 2006-07, CU had 10 underclassmen (eight freshmen), in addition to the 1992-93 season (four freshmen, six sophomores).

 

RAINBOW CLASSIC RECAP... CU went 1-2 over the three days with its lone win coming on the opening day against Coppin State. CU sophomore Cory Higgins was named to the All-Tournament team leading the Buffaloes in scoring in every game and averaging 18 points a game. He also recorded his first career double-double (21 pts., 10 rebs.) against Coppin State. CU averaged 66.3 ppg., shot .489 from the field (69-of-141) with an impressive .852 from the free throw line (46-of-54). All-Tourney Team: Cory Higgins, Colorado; Calvin Betts, Buffalo; Roderick Flemings, Hawai?i; Mike Trimboli, Vermont; Marcus Walker, Colorado State; Andy Robinson, Buffalo (MVP).

 

 

CECC RECORD...maybe a school record? Sophomore guard Cory Higgins was the first CU student-athlete to lead the team in rebounds AND assists the first two games of any season since 1973-74. It's a Coors Events Conference Center mark (building opened in 1979). The research was stopped at the 1972-73 season because assists were not kept. So, in the last 35 years, no CU player has led his team in rebounding AND assists in the first two games of the season.

 

TV APPEARANCES... CU will play on television 20 times this season, six of those nationally (FSN, ESPN, ESPNU 4 times). Here are the rest ... ABC Regional: 1; FSN: 1; ESPN: 1; ESPNU: 4; Big 12 Network (previously ESPN Regional): 5; FSN RM: 8.

VOLUNTEERS... One Saturday, Dec. 6, the CU men's basketball team and more than 150 community volunteers teamed up to deliver gift baskets to nearly 1,000 low-income families.  The CU men's team visited the Golden West senior residence in Boulder. The program was associated with RSVP of Boulder County.

 

HAWAII BOUND...AGAIN... The Buffaloes will be making another trip to the Hawaiian Islands playing in the 2009-10 Maui Invitational. The dates are Nov. 23-25 (Mon.-Wed.) of Thanksgiving week. It will be CU's first-ever appearance in Maui hosted by Division II college Chaminade, and sponsored by EA Sports. The Buffaloes will be one of eight schools participating in the 26th edition of the tournament. Joining CU next year will be Arizona, Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Maryland, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin.

 

CU Assistants... Joining Coach Bzdelik on his staff for his second year is a trio of the finest basketball minds in the game today.

  Steve McClain, Associate Head Coach

- 22 years of coaching experience

- Won 157 games in nine years as the head coach at the University of Wyoming;

recorded the most regular season victories (60) of any Mountain West Conference head coach

- Four NIT appearances, One NCAA Appearance

- Led Hutchinson to the Junior College 1994 National Championship and earned National JC Coach of the Year honors.

 

   Derrick Clark, Assistant Coach

- Brings 11 years of coaching experience and his fourth season with Coach Bzdelik

- Helped direct Air Force to a 50-16 record during his two-years in Colorado Springs

- Assisted USAFA to the 2005-06 NCAA Tournament and 2006-07 NIT Final Four

- As an assistant at Metro State, helped the Roadrunners to a pair of NCAA Division National Championships.

 

   Charles Baker, Assistant Coach

- Brings 20 years of coaching expertise

- Returns to the Big 12 Conference after 

spending six years with K-State (2000-06)

- At K-State, helped assemble a trio of Top  25 recruiting classes and assisted the recruiting of three consensus Top-100 players

- Only head coaching stint, turned Shorter  Junior College into a consistent winner lead

ing his teams to four consecutive Arkansas  State Junior College championships, and four-straight 20-win seasons.

 

MORE CU TIDBITS... Entering the 2008-09 season, CU's starting lineup may consist of freshmen and sophomores. It will be the school's youngest starting five to play at one time since 1985-86 when four freshmen, one sophomore started three straight games ... For the 12th time in school history a CU team will have at least five freshmen on a roster ... CU plays nine non-conference home games, the most of any season since 1995-96 (nine) ... CU played a school record eight home games played before Christmas.

 

20012-13 CLASS... On Nov. 12, the CU mbb team announced that Alec Burks, Keegan Hornbuckle, and Shane Harris-Tunks officially signed National Letters of Intent.

  "With the signing of these three young men, once again we have taken a major step toward creating the vision for this program," Bzdelik said. "All three are highly skilled, highly intelligent and play with a competitive spirit."