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Buffs, Bears Face Off in Waco

Feb 27, 2009

at Baylor Bears (16-11, 4-9 Big 12 Conference)

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2:01 p.m. (MST.)  Arena: Ferrell Center (10,284).

Television: Big 12 Network (Altitude Sports & Entertainment)

Announcers:  Brad Sham (p-b-p), Bryndon Manzer (analyst)

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



Complete Notes at bottom of page


CU vs. BAYLOR... Colorado leads the head-to-head series 14-7, however trail 3-4 in Waco. In Big 12 play, the series is 3-3 in Waco with the Bears winning the last two at home. Since 2006, CU holds a 3-2 edge.


LAST YEAR vs. BU... The schools split the two meetings last season with Baylor defeating CU in Boulder, 68-57 on Feb. 27. At the Big 12 Basketball Championships in Kansas City, CU became the first No. 12 seed to beat a No. 5, defeating Baylor, 91-84 in double overtime.


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 BEARS... Baylor is struggling    with an 1-8 record in its last nine games. The Bears were selected as the Big 12 Preseason number three team (tied w/ Kansas) and has only defeated Texas A&M in the last nine games. The Bears are 12-4 at home with an average loss in four home games at 8.0 ppg. Head Coach Scott Drew is in his sixth year in Waco and returns four starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team.


narrow margin... CU has dropped 10 single-digit losses this season, and seven of their last 11 in Big 12 play. Seven of CU's 13 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 has lost eight straight games their longest since losing eight in row back in the 1995-96 season. The last nine-game losing streak occurred in 1986-87 ... The Buffs also own the Big 12 record for consecutive road losses (27). Previous mark was Baylor, 25, set from 2004-07 ... Up next is Texas A&M and Kansas State to round out the conference regular season. A&M is the home finale next Wednesday with the Aggies winning the last five in a row over CU; K-State has won six straight over CU including a 77-75 overtime win in Boulder on Jan. 24 ... The Buffs have played three OT games this season, the most since playing three in the 2000-01 season (1-2).


BUFF TIDBITS (individual)... Levi Knutson scored a career-best 19 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting against  Oklahoma State (Feb. 25) ... Casey Crawford tied a career-best four treys and racked up 14 points against OSU ... The CU bench scored 38 points compared to only 17 points by CU starters versus the Cowboys ... Against OSU


MOre INDIVIDUAL/TEAM NOTES... Dufault, Higgins, Thorne II have started all 27 games; Tomlinson has started every game he has played in (25) and has missed two games due to injury (TCU, OSU) ... 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) ... 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 222-straight games dating back to the 2001-02 season (seventh overall in the Big 12) ... CU is second in Big 12-only FT percentage (.734) and rebounding defense (32.3) ... 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.


HIGGINS CAREER WATCH... Cory Higgins has 730 career points and is tied for 50th all-time at CU. Also, his 87 steals are 20th, 59 game starts is t-21st, and his 2075 career minutes is 26th.


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 13 games, CU players are ranked among the elite in the conference.

Scoring         t-8th         Higgins      16.5 ppg.

                     20th   Thorne II      12.8

FG %              8th   Higgins       .447

FT %               5th   Higgins       .831

                       8th  Thorne II      .825

Steals             1st    Higgins        2.2

3-pt FG%      t-6th  Thorne II      .426

Def. Reb.      10th   Higgins         4.2

Minutes        t-2nd  Higgins       37.5

                       7th  Thorne II      35.3


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 .836 (153-of-183, 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 63.3 .456 .351 .730  13.9     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.