Buffs Host No. 11/10 Ranked Tigers
vs. 11/10 Missouri Tigers (22-4, 9-2 Big 12 Conference)
Saturday, Feb. 21, 11:47 a.m. (MST.)
Arena: Coors Events Center (11,064). Television: Big 12 Network (Altitude Sports & Entertainment)
Announcers: Dave Armstrong (p-b-p),Bryndon Manzer (analyst).
Radio: KVCU 1190-AM; SIRIUS Radio 113; Announcers: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst).
CHIP B-DAY... Today is Chip's birthday and Youth Day at the Events Center. In celebration of Youth Day, all kids (13 & under) General Admission tickets are just $3 and there will be a postgame autograph session with the team. In celebration of Chip's birthday, Chip and his local mascot friends will be in attendance and signing autographs on the concourse before the game.
FREE Student Shuttle... Catch the FREE CU Basketball Shuttle for all remaining home games. The bus will pick students up outside Darley Commons at Williams Village, or at the corner of College and 13th on the Hill and take them straight to the Coors Events Center for the game. Pick up will start 45 minutes prior to tip off, and run continuously until the game starts (no pick ups will be made after the scheduled start time). Following the game, the shuttle will run from the events center back to the two pick up locations. For more info, call (303) 492-1976.
CU vs. Mizzou... CU holds a 7-5 record against the Tigers at the Coors Events Center. Mizzou has won the last two games in Boulder, however the Buffaloes hold a 33-28 edge in the state of Colorado.
IF SEASON ENDED TODAY... CU would be the No. 12 seed and play No. 5 Kansas State at 1 p.m. (MST) at the Big 12 Basketball Championships in Oklahoma City.
LOOK AT thE tigers... Missouri is off to its best start in Big 12 play (9-2) and have won five straight games, their second longest winning streak of the season (seven the most). DeMarre Carroll has led the Tigers in scoring 13 times (three shared), he's third in Big12-only games in scoring at 18.0 ppg. In Conference-only games, Mizzou leads the Big 12 in six categories (scoring, scoring margin, assists, steals, turnover margin and assist-to-turnover ratio).
LAST MEETING (Jan. 14)... In the conference opener for both schools, Missouri shot a then-season-best 63.3 percent (38-of-60) from the field and dominated from behind the three-point line, hitting 12-of-20 (60 percent) to defeat CU, 107-62 back on Jan. 14. CU turned the ball over a season-high 26 times. Freshman guard Ryan Kelley came off the bench and scored a season-best 19 points and junior Dwight Thorne II added 13. The Tigers went on an early 19-0 run limiting CU to their lowest first half field goal percentage of the season, hitting only 7-of-29 (24.1 percent).
narrow margin... CU has dropped 10 single-digit losses this season, and seven of their last eight in Big 12 play. Seven of CU's 11 Big 12 losses are by an average of 5.1 points. Last year, the Buffaloes dropped 10 games by single-digits (seven against Big 12 schools).
BUFF TIDBITS (team)... CU's 46-41 loss at Nebraska was the lowest point total (87 pts.) since March 5, 1960 (CU 41, Oklahoma State 39 in Stillwater) .... The Buffs also own the Big 12 record for consecutive road losses (27). Previous mark was Baylor, 25, 2004-07 ... CU made five 3-pointers in the first half at Nebraska, that's a team high in 11 conference games for three-pointers in the first half, second most behind six treys made against Arkansas-Pine Bluff ... The Buffs out-rebounded the Cornhuskers 35-25, the first time all conference season they have done so and the first time this season by double-digits ... CU has made a 3-pointer in 220-straight games dating back to the 2001-02 season (seventh overall in the Big 12) ... CU is number one in Big 12-only FT percentage (.765).
BUFF TIDBITS (individual)... Since the Big 12 opener (at Missouri, Ryan Kelley, 19 pts.), Cory Higgins (six times) and Dwight Thorne (four times) have led CU in scoring ... Austin Dufault scored nine points to move into 12th place on the school's freshman scoring list with 223 points ... Jermyl Jackson-Wilson grabbed a game-high seven rebounds at Nebraska. He has led the Buffs on the boards five times this season and 15 times in his career ... Higgins has led CU in scoring 15 times this season (17 career) and against Nebraska, Higgins was the lone Buff in double digits, the fourth time that has happened this season.
After 11 conference games ... Cory Higgins leads the team in scoring (17.4 ppg.), assists (2.4 apg.) and steals (2.3 spg.); Austin Dufault leads in rebounding (4.4 rpg.) and Jermyl Jackson-Wilson with six blocks.
CU NATIONALLY (as of Feb. 16)... Cory Higgins ranks among the nation's elite players in four categories, while the CU team is ranked in two.
42nd 85.5 Free Throw %
58th 2.0 steals per game
78th 17.5 points per game
95th 50.0 Field Goal %
28th - FT Percentage (.741)
59th - FG Percentage (.465)
CONFERENCE LEADERS...After 10 games, CU players are ranked among the elite in the conference.
Scoring t-6th Higgins 17.4 ppg.
FG % 10th Higgins .454
Rebounding t-16th Higgins 4.9
FT % 2nd Higgins .886
6th Thorne II .838
Steals 1st Higgins 2.3
3-pt FG% t-3rd Thorne II .457
3-pt. FGM 14th Thorne II 1.9
Def. Reb. t-9th Higgins 4.2
14th Dufault 3.6
Minutes 2nd Higgins 37.7
5th Thorne II 35.9
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 .859 (146-of-170, 42nd nationally as of Feb. 16).
40+MINUTES... Cory Higgins, Dwight Thorne, Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault are the only players to have played 40-plus minutes in a game this season. Higgins has done it five times this season, followed by once by Thorne II, Tomlinson and Dufault, all in overtime games.
35+MINUTE MEN... More impressively the same four players have recorded 35-plus minutes a number of times. Cory Higgins in 20 games; Dwight Thorne 14 games; Nate Tomlinson 11 times, and Austin Dufault five games.
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.
Dwight Thorne II: cousin, Acie Law IV played for the Texas A&M Aggies and great uncle, Ernie Banks played with the Cubs.
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.
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). He has not played in his last four games. Kelley 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).