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Buffs Host Cowboys Wednesday

Feb 24, 2009

CU vs. Oklahoma state... The Cowboys hold a 58-47 edge over CU in the series, however trail 10-26 in games played in Boulder. Since Big 12 play began, CU is 5-1 at the Events Center against OSU with the lone loss on Jan. 30, 2005 (104-86). The Buffs have won two of three against the Cowboys.


Compelete Notes with probable starting lineup and additional statistics at the bottom of page 


vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-9, 6-6 Big 12 Conference)

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 8:37 p.m. (MST.) Arena: Coors Events Center (11,064).

Television: FSN Rocky Mountain; Announcers: Drew Goodman (p-b-p), Ceal Barry (analyst), Alanna Rizzo (sideline).

Radio: KKZN 760-AM;  Announcers: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst).



LAST YEAR vs. OSU... CU rallied from a second half nine-point deficit, however came up short, 64-63 in Stillwater. The Buffs scored a team conference high 47 points in the second half on 58.3 percent shooting.


IF SEASON ENDED TODAY... CU would be the No. 12 seed and play No. 5 Texas at 1 p.m. (MST) at the Big 12 Basketball Championships in Oklahoma City.


LOOK AT thE COWBOYS... Oklahoma State has won three straight games, four of its last six. OSU stands in sixth place in the conference and are 2-4 on the road in the Big 12 with road wins at Nebraska and Texas Tech. Four players average at least 10 points per game in an offense averaging 83.3 points, tops in the Big 12. OSU had has their narrow margin defeats with an average of 10.7 points in six Big 12 contests; five of those losses were an average of 7.8 points; and three losses by 5.3 points.


narrow margin... CU has dropped 10 single-digit losses this season, and seven of their last nine in Big 12 play. Seven of CU's 12 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).


POSTER FEATURE... Tonight's feature is redshirt-sophomore Casey Crawford. Crawford has played in 20games with four starts. He has scored over 10 points in four games with a season-best 18 points in the home win over Harvard (Nov. 22).


BUFF TIDBITS (team)... Tonight is the fourth and final game scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (MST) ... CU has lost seven straight games; longest since losing eight in row back in the 1995-96 season ... Dufault, Higgins, Thorne II have started all 26 games; Tomlinson has started every game he has played in (25) ... 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 12 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 (Feb. 18) and for the first time all conference season out-rebounded a Big 12 opponent and by double-digits ... CU has made a 3-pointer in 221-straight games dating back to the 2001-02 season (seventh overall in the Big 12) ... CU is second in Big 12-only FT percentage (.753) and rebounding defense (31.8) ... In the Big 12 era, the Buffs have won at least three conference games in a season (2006-07, 2008-09) ... CU's 76 points scored against Texas (Feb. 14) was the most points scored by a CU team since netting 80 against Coppin State at the Rainbow Classic ... The Buffs were 14-of-14 from the free throw line in the second half against the Longhorns and finished 25-of-29 (.862). It was the ninth time in 12 league outings that CU has hit at 70 percent or better ... In the 108-year history of CU basketball, the Buffs are on the verge of three consecutive 20 loss seasons, a school-first


BUFF TIDBITS (individual)... Austin Dufault led CU in scoring and rebounding for the first time this season with 15 points and five rebounds against Missouri (Feb. 21) ... Since the Big 12 opener (at Missouri, Ryan Kelley, 19 pts.), Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring six times and Dwight Thorne (four times). Austin Dufault has led once ... Higgins has led CU in scoring 15 times this season (17 career) ... Over the last five games, CU has three players averaging over 10 points per game (Higgins 18.2 ppg.; Dufault 11.0 ppg.; Thorne II 10.4 ppg.) ... Cory Higgins scored the most points by any Colorado player in Big 12 play against Texas with a career-high 34 points in their overtime loss to the Longhorns. Higgins tied a career-best 11 field goals made and scored 30+ points for the second time in his career ... Higgins has led CU in scoring and rebounding 14 times this season (16 career) and has accomplished that feat in the same game nine times.


HIGGINS CAREER WATCH... Cory Higgins has 721 career points and is tied for 51st all-time at CU. Also, his 87 steals are 20th, 58 game starts is 23rd, and 2042 career minutes is 27th.


CU NATIONALLY (as of Feb. 22)... Cory Higgins ranks among the nation's elite players in three categories, while the CU team is ranked in two.

Individual (out of 100 players)

58th      84.3 Free Throw %

57th      2.0 steals per game

86th      17.5 points per game


Team (out of 330 schools)

29th - FT Percentage (.738)

83rd - FG Percentage (.448)


CONFERENCE LEADERS... After 12 games, CU players are ranked among the elite in the conference.

Scoring         t-7th         Higgins      17.1 ppg.

                     17th   Thorne II      13.8

Rebounding  t-16th  Higgins         4.8

FT %             t-6th   Higgins       .846

                     t-6th  Thorne II      .846

Steals             1st    Higgins        2.3

3-pt FG%        5th  Thorne II      .452

3-pt. FGM      13th   Thorne II        1.9

Def. Reb.      10th   Higgins         4.2

Minutes          2nd  Higgins       37.7

                     t-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 21 games; Dwight Thorne 14 games; Nate Tomlinson 11 times, and Austin Dufault six games.


BROADCAST... The Colorado men's basketball team can be heard live today on KKZN 760 AM. 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 through the BuffsTV subscription service.


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 three 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).


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 free throw line so far this season.


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

2008-09 63.6 .458 .346 .738  14.1     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 leading 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."

  Burks is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Grandview, Mo., is a skilled left-handed player who is capable of playing point-guard and will fit CU's system because of his ability to shoot from distance and slash to the basket. He committed to CU over Kansas State.

  Hornbuckle is a 6-foot-6 small forward from Los Angeles, Calif., is a smooth shooter with deep three-point range and the ability to finish above the rim in transition. Hornbuckle helped Campbell Hall High to a 31-5 record as a junior in 2007. He is rated as the No. 34 small forward/shooting guard by Hornbuckle selected CU over Arizona and Arizona State.

  Harris-Tunks is a 6-foot-11 center/forward from Sydney, Australia, will join current CU freshman guard Nate Tomlinson, who also hails from Sydney.  Harris-Tunks is the third recruit to sign with the Buffaloes, selected CU over Vanderbilt and Gonzaga.

  Harris-Tunks spent the last year and a half at the Australian Institute of Sport, a prestigious academy that has college like demands both athletically and academically.