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Buffs MBB Travel to In-State Rival

Dec 9, 2009


QUICKLY: Colorado holds an 86-35 advantage against Colorado State since 1906. Since 2000, the Buffs are 7-2 against the Rams and have won the last two games. Coach Bzdelik is 6-0 all-time against CSU and 3-0 at Moby Arena with a pair of wins when he was the head coach at Air Force.

ON THE ROAD: Even though the NCAA determined the Buffaloes' 73-58 win over Chaminade at the EA Sports Maui Invitational was declared a road victory, the Buffs still have an 19-game skid against Division I opponents on the road. Ironically, CU's last road win came on Dec. 22, 2007 at Colorado State, 73-70. The Buffs shot 55 percent from the field and placed four players in double figures. Richard Roby (18 points, 10 rebounds) and  Cory Higgins added 13 points and seven assists.

CSU UPDATE: The Rams have won three of their last four games (all three wins at home) defeating Mayville State (79-42), San Francisco (91-75, 2 ot); and Denver (64-59). Dorian Green leads the team in points, assists, steals, while Andy Ogide ranks second in points and rebounding. Head Coach Tim Miles enters his third year in Fort Collins and a 17-19 home record at Moby Arena.

BROADCAST: All Colorado men's basketball games can be heard live on KKZN AM 760. Mark Johnson will deliver play-by-play with Charles Johnson color commentary. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available on BuffsRadio, a subscription service through CUBuffs. com. Live internet video streaming of Sunday's game is available on BuffsTV, also a subscription service through Please note the BuffsRadio audio and Buffs TV video are separate subscriptions.

SUPER FRESHMAN: Alec Burks has started all nine games and has netted over 10 or more points in every game. With 139 points, he ranks fourth among other CU great in their freshman year. Top of the list is Chauncey Billups (182, 1995-96); Emmett Lewis (161, 1975-76), Richard Roby (142, 2004-05). Only Billups, Roby and Lewis have at least made it to 10 straight games of 10 or more points. Lewis is the only one with 11-straight games.

THREE-YEAR SUCCESS: Coach Bzdelik has 102 career collegiate wins; CU scored 80 points in five of nine games this season (previously 80+ five games in first two years);  Team has shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 18 halves; 62 3-pointers after seven games, the most in three years after nine games; Team shooting .508, another three-year best.

CLOSE CALLS: During the last three plus years, the CU men's team has suffered 45 losses. If you take a closer look, 23 of those losses were by single-digits, an average of 4.6 points.

    2009-10: 3 games (13 points, 4.3 ppg.)

    2008-09: 11 games (three non-conference, eight Big 12 games): 50 points (4.5 ppg.)

    2007-08: 9 games (three non-conference, six Big 12 games): 43 total points (4.8 ppg.).

HIGGINS UPDATE: Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring seven of nine games (one shared); he has six 20-plus scoring efforts with 28 points against Arizona, his third highest scoring game, in addition to 18 career 20-point efforts - He has 989 career points (27th at CU); started every game as a Buff (72), ranking 16th - 14th in career steals (108) - 15th in minutes played (2,515) - t-27th in assists (177) - Last season was one of 13 players nationally to lead team in 5 categories - 2008-09 All-Big 12 Third Team; 1st Big 12-only steals (1.9 apg.).

NINE GAME REVIEW: CU's 5-0 home start matches the 2005-06 season for wins at home to begin the season - After defeating Colorado Christian, Coach Bzdelik are now 13-0 all-time against opponents from the state of Colorado - CU's 6-3 start to the season matches their record thru the first nine games of last season - CU's 47 points in the first half against CCU set a season high for most points scored in the first half.  The amount was a point less for first half points since Jan. 6, 2007 vs. Texas when they scored 48 first half points - CU is now 6-2 this season when leading at the half - CU has now shot over 50% in 6-of-8 first halves this season.  They are now shooting over 50% in 12-of-20 halves this season - CU has scored at least 70 points in eight of the first nine games of the season.  They have scored 80 points five times this season equaling the total amount from the first two seasons under Coach Bzdelik - CU has had at least 3 players in double digits in all nine games played this season.

MAUI INVITATIONAL WRAP: The Buffaloes lost a pair of close games in their first-ever visit at the EA Sports Maui Invitational falling to Gonzaga, 76-72 and Arizona, 91-87 (overtime). CU defeated Chaminade on day three, 73-58. In the first game against the Bulldogs, four players scored double-digits with Cory Higgins scoring a team-high 19 points with six rebounds. The following day, the Buffs, again placed four players in double-figures with Higgins and Alec Burks scoring 28 and 20 points, respectively. On day three, the Buffs received 13 points each from Burks and Marcus Relphorde against Chaminade.

BUFF NOTES (individual): Austin Dufault recorded his first career double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds); he's the first CU player to tally a double-double since Cory Higgins last year (Western State, 24 pts., 10 rebounds) - Nate Tomlinson scored a career-best 20 points, he's the first CU player other than Higgins and Dwight Thorne to score 20 or more in a game since Richard Roby scored 22 at Oklahoma State (Feb. 6, 2008) - Tomlinson had a career-high eight assists against Gonzaga and Chaminade, also had a career-best five steals against the Silverswords - CU placed a pair of 20-point scorers against Arizona (Higgins 28, Tomlinson 20), that's twice this year with a pair w/ a least 20+ a game (the other, Texas Southern) - Alec Burks tallied 19 points against Arizona, his second highest scoring game and seventh game over double-digits - Associate Head Coach has replaced Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik four of the nine games this season due to family concerns. McClain went 2-2, however Coach Bzdelik is credited with the wins/losses.

TEAM NOTES: Colorado's 78-54 over San Francisco saw some stellar performances not highlighted in the final box score. Nate Tomlinson and Marcus Relphorde each led the Buffs in assists with six apiece. That's a school-first since Dec. 19, 2003 (2003-04) against Tennessee State - Austin Dufault swatted a career-best three shots -  Cory Higgins made his first eight shots against the Dons (first miss 15:49, second half). He went 6-for-6 in the first half - CU shot a first half best .615 from the field in the first half (16-of-26) - CU committed only six turnovers against USF, the third time this season with single-digits turnovers. That's the lowest since five, Dec. 2, 2005 (Cal Poly).

CU in the Big 12/Pac-10 Harwood Series: CU is now 0-3 against the Pac-10 in the series. The Buffs have fallen on the road to Oregon State, 74-69, and in the previous two year lost twice to Stanford (76-62 in 2008; 67-43 in 2007). Iowa State is also 0-3  against the Pac-10.

CU SINCE 1996-97...  In the last 14 years (the  history of the Big 12 Conference) CU is performing a best in a number of categories listed below .

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

2009-10    80.1     .508     .434       .785   11.9     6

2008-09    62.9     .454     .346       .731   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

FRESHMAN STARTERS: In his first three years, Coach Bzdelik has started at least one freshman in the starting line up on opening night. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alec Burks started (10 pts., three assists, two rebounds). Cory Higgins started his first game (Nov. 9, 2007) with a 10-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance against New Mexico. Last year, Austin Dufault (13 pts.) and Nate Tomlinson (12 pts.) started against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

ENTERING 2009-10: This will be the third year of head coach Jeff Bzdelik and his staff. Here's a brief synopsis who and what is returning for the 2009-10 season:

    Starters Returning/lost: 4/1

    Top Returning Scorer: Cory Higgins 17.4 ppg.

    Top Rebounder: Cory Higgins 5.4 rpg.

    Top Returning FG Shooter: Dwight Thorne II 48.1%

    Top Returning FT% Shooter: Cory Higgins 83.0%

    Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 9/3

OUT FOR SEASON: Freshman guard Shannon Sharpe will miss the 2009-10 basketball season with season-ending knee surgery after injuring his left knee during pre-season workouts. Sharpe successfully had a microfracture procedure. Sharpe, a 6-1, 200-pound guard from Corona, Calif. is one of four true freshmen on the 2009-10 roster. He will be medically redshirted.

DEFENDING THE OPPOSITION (Scoring Defense): In the last two years under Coach Bzdelik, CU's defense has allowed the opposition an average of 66 points per game (67.5: 2008-09; 64.4: 2007-08). That two-year total ranks only second to the 1980-81 season (64.5 ppg.) and 1979-80 (67.3 ppg.). Those two years averaged out to 65.9 ppg.

Big 12 Age Averages: With only one senior on the  Colorado roster, the men's team is the second youngest school in the Big 12 Conference. The following breakdown is courtesy of Mike Noteware of Oklahoma State. These averages are as of Oct. 15, 2009.

Team                     Yrs    Months     Days      Experience

Oklahoma State    19           11           25           1.1

Colorado                20             2            20           1.3

Iowa State             20             3            27           1.3

Oklahoma              20             4              1            1.2

Missouri                 20             5            23           1.3

Texas A&M            20             6              0            1.4

Baylor                     20             6              6            1.1

Kansas                    20             6            26           1.2

Kansas State          20             7            15           1.3

Texas                      20             8            24           1.6

Nebraska               20             9            14           1.3

Texas Tech            20           11           14           1.8

    The "experience" category basically is the average number of years the members of the team have been playing (i.e. A senior is given a 3, a junior a 2, a sophomore a 1 and a freshman a 0). The findings did not take into account redshirt years, and it's obviously not based on Division I experience, since a juco transfer would be assigned a 2 just like a third-year junior. Missouri's Tyler Stone is the youngest player in the Big 12 (born Sept. 8, 1991), while Brady Morningstar of Kansas is the oldest (born Jan. 23, 1986).

Defense through the yearS): In his six years as a collegiate coach and two-plus seasons in the NBA, head coach Jeff Bzdelik has installed playing defense as a major part of the game. Here's a look at his teams over the years. His 2005-06 season at Air Force was a nation's best in scoring defense of all 970 collegiate schools in Division I (326), D-II (265), and D-III (379).

1986-87                 UMBC                     70.1 ppg. (28 games)

1987-88                 UMBC                     78.0 (28 games)

2002-03                 Denver (NBA)       #92.4 (82 games)

2003-04                 Denver (NBA)       96.1 (82 games)

2004-05                 Denver (NBA)       97.4 (28 games)

2005-06                 USAFA                    *54.7 (31 games)

2006-07                 USAFA                    **56.0 (35 games)

2007-08                 Colorado                ^64.4 (32 games)

2008-09                 Colorado                **67.5 (31 games)

* - nation's best     ** - runner up nationally (Princeton 53.3)

^ - lowest in CU history 46 years; 12th all-time at CU

# - franchise record (shattering mark by more than five points)

** ranks 20th in school history