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Buffs End Regular Season at K-State

Mar 6, 2009

at Kansas State Wildcats

(20-10, 8-7 Big 12 Conference)

Saturday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. (MST.); Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: Big 12 Network (Altitude Sports & Entertainment), Announcers:  Dave Armstrong (p-b-p), Bryndon Manzer (analyst).

Radio: KKZN 760-AM, Announcers: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst). Sirius Radio: Channel 147.

Complete Notes with stats and probable starting lineups located at the bottom 


CU vs. Kansas State... Kansas State has won the last three games against CU at Bramlage Coliseum and holds a 7-5 edge in Manhattan in Big 12 play. Overall, the Wildcats lead the all-time series, 94-43 and have won  the last six straight games in the series dating back to 2006. CU's last win came Jan. 28, 2006 in Boulder (79-75).


CLOSE ... BUT... CU has dropped 11 single-digit losses this season, including eight in the Big 12 (an average of 5.2 points), including a pair in overtime. Last year, the Buffaloes dropped 10 games by single-digits (seven against Big 12 schools). The 11 games lost in single digits is an average of 4.5 points.


LAST game vs. K-STATE (Jan. 24)... Junior guard Dwight Thorne II scored 20 of his career-high 30 points in the second half rallying Colorado from an 11-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining, however fell short in overtime as K-State escaped with a 77-75 victory. Jacob Pullen scored five of his team-high 17 points for Kansas State in overtime leading three other K-State players in double figures. Denis Clemente scored all of his 15 points after halftime.


LOOK AT thE wildcats... Kansas State has won two of its last five after winning six straight. K-State is the No. 4 seed if they beat CU; Kansas beats Texas and Oklahoma beats OSU... K-State holds the tiebreakers over Texas and Texas A&M.  However, if Texas beats Kansas and/or K-State loses to CU on Saturday, the Wildcats would play CU again in the first round in Oklahoma City.


BUFF TIDBITS (team)... CU has lost 10-straight games, a first since the 1985-86 season when they lost their last 17 games of the season ... The Buffs also owns the Big 12 record for consecutive road losses (28). Previous mark was Baylor, 25, set from 2004-07 ... The Buffs have played three OT games this season, the most since playing three in the 2000-01 season (1-2). The last time they played four OTs in season happened in 1959-60 ... In the 108-year history of CU basketball, the Buffs have lost 20 games in three-straight seasons .... CU has made a three-pointer in 224-consecutive games (7th in the Big 12) ...  CU scored 29 bench points against Texas A&M, the second time in three games the bench has scored over 29+ points ... The CU bench scored 38 points compared to only 17 points by CU starters versus the Cowboys Feb. 25) ... Against OSU, CU committed only eight turnovers, the sixth time the Buffs committed single-digit turnovers this season


BUFF TIDBITS (individual)... Cory Higgins has 11 games this season over 20 or more points (a pair over 30 pts.) ... In Big 12 play,  Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring eight times and Dwight Thorne, four times. Austin Dufault, Ryan Kelley, and Levi Knutson have led the team once ... Higgins has led his team in scoring and in rebounding in the same game 10 times this season ... Dufault, Higgins, Thorne II have started all 29 games; Tomlinson has started every game he has played in (26) and has missed three games due to injury (TCU, OSU, BU).


MOre TEAM NOTES... 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'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.



ranks 46th in CU scoring (777 pts); 92 steals is 20th; 2111 career minutes is 25th all-time; 61-straight starts is 22nd all-time.


CU NATIONALLY (as of Mar. 2)... 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)

73rd      83.3 Free Throw %

74th      1.9 steals per game

99th      17.3 points per game

Team (out of 330 schools)

48th - FT Percentage (.729)

89th - FG Percentage (.445)


CONFERENCE LEADERS... After 15 games, CU players are ranked among the elite in the conference.

Scoring           6th         Higgins      17.4 ppg.

FG %              6th   Higgins       .458

FT %             10th   Higgins       .810

Steals             1st    Higgins        2.2

                   t-13th   Thorne II        1.2

3-pt FG%        4th  Thorne II      .431

Def. Reb.      10th   Higgins         4.2

Minutes           3rd  Higgins       37.4

                       5th  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 23 games; Dwight Thorne 15 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).


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).


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 63.1 .456 .352 .723  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


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.


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.