Buffs Return To Kansas To Face Jayhawks
THE GAME: The University of Colorado travels to the Sunflower State for the second time in one week as the Buffaloes face the University of Kansas on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010, at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
BROADCAST: Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on KKZN AM 760 with Mike Rice on the call. Live internet audio of all CU basketball games is available on BuffsRadio, a subscription service through CUBuffs.com. Please note the BuffsRadio audio and BuffsTV video are separate subscriptions. Wednesday's game will be televised in the Kansas City-Lawrence area on the Sunflower cable network.
OPENING TIP: At 12-6 overall Colorado has surpassed its win total for all of 2008-09 (11-18) and needs just one more win to match its 2009 Big 12 win total (3-13). The Buffaloes will be looking for their second Big 12 road win this season, a feat not achieved since the 2003-04 season.
THE BUFFALOES: Colorado is 12-6 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play after falling to No. 12 (AP)/17 (WBCA) Oklahoma State on Jan. 24. The Buffaloes will attempt to reach .500 in league play through six games for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Colorado has dropped three of its last four.
TEAM NUMBERS: Colorado is averaging 71 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the field overall but those numbers have fallen to 63 points per game and 37 percent shooting over the four Big 12 contests. Colorado is averaging 7.8 3-pointers per game, ranking third in the Big 12. The Buffaloes are the second-best free throw shooting team in the Big 12 at 75.9 percent (236-311), just percentage points behind Kansas State (.762). The Buffaloes are having success on the defensive end, ranking third in the Big 12 steals (9.6 spg), fourth in blocks (4.5 bpg) and fifth in field-goal percentage defense (.363).
SPEARS LEADS: Brittany Spears tops Colorado by averaging 17.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. She recorded her 20th career double-double, fifth of the season and first during Big 12 play with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State and has narrowly missed double-doubles in the last two games, falling just one rebound shy in each outing (18 points, 9 rebounds vs. OSU, 15 points, 9 rebounds at Kansas State). The five season double-doubles rank fourth in the Big 12 and her 20 career double-doubles rank fifth on CU's all-time list.
Spears has recorded double-digits in 17 of 18 games this season, 48 of her last 51 games and 71 of 81 career outings.
On the league charts she ranks second in defensive rebounds (6.2 drpg) and steals, fifth in rebounds, sixth in scoring, seventh in free-throw percentage (.839), 10th in minutes (32.6 mpg), 11th in blocks (1.2 bpg) and 13th in 3-pointers made (1.8 3mpg) and offensive rebounds (2.6 orpg).
SMITH OFF THE BENCH, SAME RESULTS: After starting the entire 2008-09 season, senior guard Bianca Smith has come off the bench for all but one game without missing a beat. She is averaging 13.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game and is still displaying her sharp-shooting abilities. Smith leads the Big 12 with 54 3-pointers and is second in the Big 12 in free-throw shooting making 38 of her 43 attempts on the season (.884), including a span of 25 straight from Nov. 22 (Minnesota) to Jan. 16 (Iowa State). She is 13th in 3-point accuracy at 39.1 percent (54-of-138).
Smith ranks 15th in overall scoring in the Big 12 and third among those players primarily coming off the bench (starting less than half of a team's games). Here are the current leaders:
Player, Team PPG
Danielle Adams, Texas A&M 15.9
Brittainey Raven, Texas 15.4
Bianca Smith, Colorado 13.9
Christine Flores, Missouri 9.7
Ashley Field, Baylor 7.8
SMITH NEARING MILESTONE: Bianca Smith needs just one point to become the 23rd player in team history to reach 1,000. She is already 23rd on CU's all-time scoring list as she improved her career total to 999 after recording nine points against Oklahoma State.
Smith would give CU two 1,000 point scorers on the same team as she would join Brittany Spears who reached 1,000 last year and currently resides in 15th on CU's all-time list with 1,307. Having multiple 1,000 point scorers on the same team has happened several times in CU's history, and on two different occasions in the last decade alone. Jackie McFarland and Jasmina Ilic were 1,000-point teammates in 2006-07 and the Buffaloes had a trio of 1,000-point scorers in 2001-02 featuring Jenny Roulier, Mandy Nightingale and Britt Hartshorn.
FRESHMEN THRIVING: Freshmen Chucky Jeffery and Meagan Malcolm-Peck have made major contributions in their first collegiate seasons.
Jeffery tops all Big 12 freshmen and ranks fifth overall in steals at 2.2 per game. She leads Colorado and ranks 13th in the Big 12 in assists (3.3 apg) and is second on the team in steals and rebounds (5.1 rpg) and is third in scoring (9.9 ppg). She has scored in double-digits in four of the last six games, averaging 12.2 points over that span. Jeffery had one of the best stat lines of the season in the nonconference finale against Yale recording 19 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field to go along with nine assists, seven rebounds, five steals and two blocks.
Malcolm-Peck leads CU and ranks sixth in the Big 12 in blocks (1.6 bpg). With 28 blocks on the season, she needs just one more to break into CU's top five freshman season performances. She is fourth on the team in rebounding (4.8 ppg) and scoring (6.9 ppg). Malcolm-Peck delivered one of the clutch performances of the season at Kansas State. After making just seven of her first 16 career free-throw attempts (.438), she drilled two attempts with 17 seconds remaining to give CU a four-point lead (61-57) en route to a 63-57 triumph.
FRESSLE HEATING UP: After a slow start, sophomore guard Alyssa Fressle is finding her freshman form that gained her a spot on the 2009 Big 12 All-Rookie team. She has scored double-digits in three of the last five games including a season-high 12 points against Texas Tech. Over that same five-game span she is averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists. She has shot 50 percent or better in eight of the last 13 games.
GETTING 'ER DUNN: Senior center Courtney Dunn, has two career double-doubles, both of which have come in the last four games. She is coming off a career outing against Oklahoma State tying a career high (Denver) and setting a new Big 12 personal best 16 points while nabbing a career high and team single season high 14 rebounds. She also had a double-double at Texas Tech recording 10 points and a then personal-best 11 rebounds. She is averaging 9.0 points and 7.8 rebounds over the five league contests. Overall she has 109 points (6.4 ppg) and 87 rebounds (5.1 rpg) this season (17 games) after recording just 94 points and 85 rebounds combined in her first two seasons (48 games).
MULLANEY BOLSTERS BENCH: Junior guard Kelly Jo Mullaney continues to give Colorado key minutes and punch off the bench. She had four points, three rebounds and an assist in 18 minutes against Oklahoma State. She averages 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Buffaloes and has hit 11-of-21 from 3-point range on the season. She had made just nine 3-pointers in 28 games in 2008-09. Mullaney is 5-of-9 from 3-point range during the Big 12 schedule, which percentage-wise (.556) is third among all league players.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS: Kansas is 11-7 overall and 1-4 in Big 12 play. After starting the season ranked in the national polls and a 10-2 record, the Jayhawks have lost five of their last six games. KU's lone win during that span was a 72-59 decision at home over Missouri. Kansas is 9-1 at home this year, its lone loss to Oklahoma State, 70-68, on Jan. 12. Kansas is averaging 71 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, a mark that ranks fourth in the Big 12. Those numbers have dipped during KU's Big 12 season, down to just 57 points and 41 percent shooting.
Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Danielle McCray leads Kansas at 19.3 points and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field including 41 percent from 3-point range (40-of-97). Forward Aishah Sutherland leads Kansas in rebounding at 7.8 per game while averaging 11.1 points on 56 percent shooting. Krysten Boogaard, who has come off the bench the last three games, is third on the team at scoring at 10.3 points and outing and 5.7 rebounds per game.
SERIES RECORDS: This will be the 64th meeting between Colorado and Kansas with the Buffaloes holding a slight 33-30 edge in the series. The Buffaloes have won five of the last eight and 13 of 18 since 2001. The Jayhawks won last season's meeting in Lawrence, 65-54, and hold a 16-12 all-time advantage on their home court.
COLORADO AND KANSAS, LAST 10:
Date Result Date Result
2/18/09 (H) W, 69-62 2/6/06 (A) L, 68-70 OT
2/4/09 (A) L, 54-65 2/1/06 (A) W, 77-71
2/13/08 (A) L, 59-70 1/10/06 (H) W, 74-65
1/22/08 (H) W, 59-41 1/12/05 (A) L, 54-76
2/24/07 (H) W, 59-50 1/25/05 (H) L, 60-65
BIG 12 HONORS BUFFS: Colorado has been cited by the Big 12 Conference for weekly honors three times this season. Junior Brittany Spears was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Co-Player of the Week on Nov. 23, Meagan Malcolm-Peck was the Freshman of the Week on Dec. 28 and Chucky Jeffery was named top freshman on Jan. 11.
CU's three weekly recognitions are its most since 2007-08 when Spears was named Freshman of the Week four times and Bianca Smith was Player of the Week once. It is also the first time that two different CU newcomers have earned Freshman/Rookie of the Week honors in the same season since 2004-05 when Kara Richards and Jackie McFarland were both recognized.
Jeffery averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 5.0 steals in Colorado's wins over Yale and Missouri. She tied a career-best with 19 points, connecting on all seven of her field goals attempts against Yale. Displaying her all-around game, Jeffery also registered a personal and team season-best nine assists to go along with seven rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. Jeffery made her Big 12 debut by scoring 12 points and equaling a career-best eight rebounds and five steals in the win over Missouri. She hit 5-of-10 from the floor and also dished our four assists.
Malcolm-Peck pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds with four points in Colorado's win over San Jose State - her second double-digit rebounding effort of the season. She also recorded personal bests with four steals and three assists while tying a career high with three blocked shots. Malcolm-Peck's four steals came in the first eight minutes of the game as the Buffaloes built a 46-13 lead in the first half. For Malcolm-Peck it is her first weekly honor.
Spears was named to the Minnesota Subway Classic All-Tournament team after averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds in two games. She scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds in 25 minutes in the 63-49 win over Illinois-Chicago. She then recorded her 17th career double-double and second of the season with a game-high 27 points and 13 rebounds against Minnesota in the tournament final. She reached a double-double before intermission with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Spears hit 10-of-20 shots from the field and added four assists and four steals.
For Spears it was her fifth career Big 12 weekly honor, and first as Player of the Week.
STEAL-Y EYED: Colorado has been picking up steals in bunches this season. CU, which ranks third in the Big 12 in steals at 9.7 per game, has double-digit steals in nine of 18 games this season. CU had only five games with double-digit steals in 2008-09. The nine games of double-digit steals are the most in a season since the Buffaloes had 12 in 2003-04.
HOUSTON TAKES LEAVE: Junior guard Whitney Houston has taken a leave of absence from the women's basketball team for personal reasons Kathy McConnell-Miller announced prior to CU's Big 12 opening win over Missouri. Houston, a native of Memphis, Tenn., had appeared in 12 of CU's 13 games prior to the announcement, logging two starts and averaging 4.2 points and 1.3 assists per game. No timetable has been set on her return.
SHUTTING DOWN OPPONENT'S 'O' EARLY: Colorado held San Jose State to 13 first-half points. Combined with the 11 allowed against Southern Utah in the previous game, the 24 points in back-to-back first halves are the lowest combined total in team history. The previous low total was 27 in 2001-02 in games against San Diego (36-18) and Bowling Green (53-9).
NUGGETS FROM THE SOUTHERN UTAH GAME: Colorado's 88-36 win over Southern Utah entered the Buffaloes' record book on several fronts:
Colorado's 42 point halftime lead (53-11) tied for the second largest in team history. The Buffaloes also held a 42 point lead against Colorado State on Nov. 16 1979 (63-21). The school record is a 44 point lead CU had against Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001 (53-9).
Southern Utah's 11 first half points tied for the fifth fewest by a CU opponent in any half. The school record is 8 set against Kansas State on March 7, 1992 (46-8).
Fewest Points In One Half By An Opponent
Date Opponent Points
3/7/92 vs. Kansas State 8
11/23/01 vs. Bowling Green 9
12/9/98 at Wyoming 10
12/31/91 vs. New Mexcio 10
12/19/09 vs. Southern Utah 11
3/17/95 vs. SW Missouri State 11
Colorado's final winning margin of 52 points are CU's most since a 96-44 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 23, 2001.
Southern Utah's 36 total points tied for the 10th fewest allowed in team history and the fewest since giving up 35 to Kansas on Jan. 16, 2002.
CLIMBING THE LADDERS: Junior Brittany Spears and Senior Bianca Smith continue to make their impressions on the CU record book.
Spears, who became just the second player in team history (Lisa Van Goor) to reach 1,000 points as a sophomore, became the 15th player in school history to reach 1,300 points in the Kansas State game and needs just six points to catch Jeannie Raikes (1,331 from 1976-80) for 13th place. Spears is also seventh in blocked shots (106), eighth in 3-pointers made (133) and attempted (406), 12th in rebounds (644) and steals (158) and 15th in field goals made (482).
Spears' possible climbs Wednesday:
1 free throw made for 20th
2 rebounds for 11th
6 points for 13th
Smith is second in career 3-point field goals made (229) as she made three against Oklahoma State. Smith, who leads the Big 12 with 54 3-pointers this season, needs 23 to catch Shelley Sheetz (1991-95) for CU's all-time career mark of 252. Smith is the Big 12's active career leader in 3-pointers made and is 12th on the league's all-time 3-point list.
IMPRESSIVE POINT SWING: The 63 point swing from last year's 77-40 loss to Seton Hall to this year's 80-54 win is the second largest in a series in team history (games no longer than two seasons apart). The Buffaloes had a 67 point swing against Idaho State during the 1981-82 season. Here are the top point swings in team history.
Opponent Margin Date Margin Date Difference
Idaho State -6 (55-61) 1/22/82 +61 (116-55) 2/13/82 +67
Seton Hall -37 (40-77) 12/9/08 +26 (80-54) 12/6/09 +63
Nebraska -41 (49-90) 1/6/99 +17 (70-53) 1/23/99 +58
Colorado State -39 (42-81) 2/6/75 +15 (53-38) 11/20/75 +54
Illinois -44 (44-88) 1/4/98 +8 (78-70) 12/28/99 +52
Texas A&M -9 (60-69) 1/6/92 +41 (92-51) 12/31/92 +50
FRESHMAN DEBUTS: A pair of true freshmen made their collegiate debuts and made significant contributions to the Buffaloes come-back win against UC Irvine. Forward Meagan Malcolm-Peck got the starting nod and responded with six points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Guard Chucky Jeffery came off the bench and registered four points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Malcolm-Peck's start marked the fourth straight year the Buffaloes have had a freshman in the initial season starting lineup. The three others: Bianca Smith in 2006, Brittany Spears in 2007 and Alyssa Fressle in 2008.
REBOUNDING WOWS: Colorado began the season with back-to-back 50-plus rebounding efforts, corralling 50 against UC Irvine in the season opener and improving on that mark with 52 against Illinois-Chicago.
Colorado had just one game all of 2008-09 with 50 or more rebounds, notching 51 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 2. CU's 52 rebounds against Illinois-Chicago were its most since recording 58 at Colorado State on Dec. 1, 2007. The Buffaloes back-to-back 50-rebound effort was the teams first since stringing together three straight from Nov. 20-24, 2001 (50 vs. San Diego, 59 vs. Bowling Green, 50 vs. Houston).
Against UC Irvine, Brittany Spears led the way with 14 while Meagan Malcolm-Peck grabbed 11 in her CU debut. It marked the first time the Buffs had two players reach double-digits in rebounds since Brittany Spears and Julie Seabrook each had 13 against Idaho State on Dec. 30, 2008. In the Illinois-Chicago game, the rebounds were well distributed. No one had double digits, but six players had four or more rebounds and all 10 that played had at least one.
Back to UC Irvine, Malcom-Peck's 11 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end, put her in some exclusive CU company. Her 11 boards are the third most in team history by a freshman in her CU debut and the most in 27 years:
No. Player Opponent
16 Monica Kosenski vs. Northern Arizona, 11/28/86
13 Kim Jackson vs. UTEP, 11/19/82
11 Meagan Malcolm-Peck vs. UC Irvine 11/17/09
10 Randie Wirt vs. Albany, 11/17/00
10 Lisa Van Goor vs. Colorado Women's, 11/18/80
9 Crystal Ford vs. Adams State, 11/23/85
8 Jamillah Lang vs. Gonzaga, 11/23/90
Chucky Jeffery had seven rebounds in her debut. She is one of eight different players, a list that includes Brittany Spears (at San Francisco, 11/16/07), to reach that number in her first collegiate game.
MEMORABLE COMEBACK: Colorado's comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit to win against UC Irvine ties for the third-largest margin achieved in team history. The Buffaloes trailed the Anteaters 33-19 at the break before outscoring them 42-23 in the final 20 minutes.
Colorado came back from 19 down against the University of Washington on Dec. 21, 1982, at the Guisti Tournament in Portland, Ore.CU trailed 35-16 at halftime before winning 67-65. Colorado came back from 15 points down against Kansas State on Jan. 31, 2007, that game included a 23-0 second half run.
CU's Top Halftime Comebacks:
Date Opp. Half Final Margin
12/21/82 Washington (N) UW 35-16 CU 67-65 19
1/31/07 Kansas State (H) KS 39-24 CU 66-55 15
11/15/09 UC Irvine (H) UCI 33-19 CU 61-56 14
12/1/83 Wyoming (A) UW 35-21 CU 57-56 14
12/20/03 Southern Cal (A) SC 39-27 CU 69-67 12
2/19/00 Texas (H) UT 38-26 CU 79-65 12
CAPTAINS NAMED: Before the season opener head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced that Brittany Spears, Whitney Houston and Bianca Smith were named captains for the 2009-10 season. Smith is a captain for the second straight year while Houston and Spears are first time captains. CU captains are voted on by the players.
BUFFS IN OPENERS: Colorado is now 31-5 (.861) all-time in season openers and started the season with a home game for the 24th time in 36 seasons. Colorado is an outstanding 34-2 (.944) all-time in home openers. Colorado has never lost its overall season opener when played at home (24-0).
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Colorado once again faces a tough schedule with potentially 16 games -- or 55 percent of the regular season schedule -- against 2009 NCAA or WNIT tournament teams. Eight of CU's 2009-10 opponents are ranked in both the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches and Associated Press poll.
HOME AT THE CECC: Colorado is traditionally tough at home with a 340-109 all-time record at the Coors Events/Conference Center (.757). The Buffaloes have won 10 or more games in a season at the CECC in 21 of the previous 32 years. The Buffaloes have enjoyed five undefeated seasons (1980-83, 1992-94) at the CECC.
BUFFS ON TV: Colorado's regular season schedule features nine games that will be televised either regionally or nationally, eight of which are at home. CU opened its first of eight FSN Rocky Mountain games on Dec. 2, against Denver. FSN Rocky Mountain will also televise home games against Virginia (Jan. 2), Missouri (Jan. 9), Iowa State (Jan. 16), Oklahoma State (Jan. 24), Nebraska (Jan. 30), Texas (Feb. 10) and Kansas (Feb. 16). The games against Missouri and Oklahoma State will be televised nationally on FSN as part of the network's Big 12 package. Colorado's game at Kansas State (Jan. 20) will be produced by FSN Kansas City, but will also be picked up by FSN Rocky Mountain.
Colorado was 2-5 in televised games during the 2008-09 regular season. CU has appeared on 72 regional or national telecasts over the previous eight seasons.
BUFFS SIGN THREE: Shae Kelley, Ashley Wilson and Brittany Wilson have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2010-11, CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller announced Nov. 12, during the NCAA early signing period. Kelley, a 6-foot forward from Denver, is a two-time All-State honorable mention and All-Denver Prep League pick out of East High School. Kelley will be the fifth Denver Public Schools player to suit up for the Buffaloes and the first since Montbello's Nikki Weddle (1997-99). Ashley and Brittany are identical twin 5-8 guards from Long Beach, Calif. Playing for one of the most storied programs in Southern California, the Wilson twins have won three consecutive CIF Division I state titles with nationally-ranked Long Beach Poly.
SMITH GAINS FULL SEASON: Senior guard Bianca Smith was formally released from the National Letter of Intent she originally signed at the University of Tulsa earlier this summer, allowing her to gain back the semester of eligibility she would have otherwise had to surrender this season. Smith is now eligible to play the entire 2009-10 season for the Buffaloes. Smith, a native of Missouri City, Texas, had signed an NLI in November 2004 with Tulsa, who at the time was coached by current CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller. When McConnell-Miller took over the Colorado program in April 2005, Smith decided to follow her to Boulder.
She never enrolled at Tulsa, but was faced with sitting out two full seasons, one for not honoring her NLI commitment to Tulsa and a second for transferring to another NCAA Division I school. Smith was able to use her redshirt year to fulfill the NCAA transfer obligation, sitting out the 2005-06 season. She successfully petitioned the NLI Appeals Committee in 2005 to gain one semester back, but was still faced with losing one semester under the NLI commitment.
In the spring of 2009 then-CU-Boulder Chancellor Bud Peterson contacted Tulsa President, Dr. Steadman Upham, on behalf of Smith and the University of Colorado to ask for Smith's full release. Thanks to cooperation from both universities and athletic departments, Smith was released and rewarded a full final season.
BUFFS PICKED 11TH...AGAIN: For the fourth straight season Colorado was picked to finish 11th in the annaul Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
In one of the closest votes at the top in recent memory, Baylor was picked to win the 2010 title with five first place votes and 109 total points, edging out Texas and Kansas who tied for second with 106 points (3 first place votes each). Texas A&M was picked fourth with 87 votes and picked up the final first place vote. Defending champion Oklahoma was fifth (86), followed by Nebraska (80), Iowa State (59), Kansas State (44), Oklahoma State (41), Texas Tech (38), Colorado (22) and Missouri (15).
The Buffaloes have fared better than the Big 12 coaches preseason prediction three of four seasons under Kathy McConnell-Miller:
Season Preseason Actual
2009-10 11th ??
2008-09 11th 12th
2007-08 11th 9th
2006-07 11th t-7th
2005-06 12th 11th