Buffs Eye Big Picture, Host No. 17/16 Iowa State Saturday
BOULDER - Linda Lappe has a lengthy to-do list as Colorado's first-year women's basketball coach, but near the top over the past two days has been urging her players to open their eyes and see the big picture offensively.
Lappe told her team after Wednesday night's 68-58 loss to Kansas that although it doesn't seem intentional, "We get tunnel vision sometimes - and (Wednesday) night we had major tunnel vision. We've got to do a better job of sharing the ball and seeing the open player. We've got to have faith in our teammates and know they're going to knock down the open shots."
The Buffaloes recorded a season-low eight assists and shot only 36.8 percent (25-of-68) from the field in the loss to the Jayhawks. Despite that sub-par shooting, CU was in contention until it fragmented in the final 7:35 and allowed KU to take control.
But as Lappe said following the loss, "Anytime you shoot 36 percent, 17 percent (from three-point range) and 45 percent (from the free throw line), you are not going to win very many games."
When her team returned to practice on Thursday, Lappe dubbed it "kind of an act of recovery day . . . our players came out with good demeanors and were intent on listening."
As is always the case during this time of the season, the recovery must be swift. CU plays host to No. 17/16 Iowa State Saturday in the second game of a men's/women's doubleheader. The CU men play Oklahoma State at 11:30 a.m., followed by the CU-ISU women's game at 4 p.m.
The Cyclones feature a local player - sophomore Anna Prins, of Broomfield, whom Lappe calls "just an all-around player. She shoots a lot of threes and is probably more effective on the outside than the inside. But she's 6-7 and can do a lot of things on the inside as well."
In a pair of Big 12 games, Prins is averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, putting her in the Top 10 in league statistics in both categories. Teammate Kelsey Bolte's 21.5 scoring average puts her third in the conference.
Lappe called Bolte, a 6-1 senior, "a big wing who reads things really well offensively and is looking to get her shots anyway she can. They set a lot of screens for her."
CU also must be cognizant of its on-ball defense on ISU junior point guard Lauren Mansfield, whose 6.5 assists a game (all games) leads the conference.
A pair of Buffs players - sophomore Chucky Jeffery, senior Brittany Spears - also is among the Big 12's Top 10 in scoring and rebounding. Jeffery is tied with Prins in scoring (ninth at 16.5) and is second in rebounding (9.5). Spears is fifth in scoring (18.5) and eighth in rebounding (8.0).
Lappe is hoping her players assume more individual responsibility for becoming more cohesive than they were against the Jayhawks.
"It is just a matter of the consistency of coming together and taking responsibility for your play," she said. "I told them that there are a lot of parts that are selfish in the game, somebody sets a great screen for you and you don't knock down your shot. That's selfish. You have to do your job. It's not just taking a shot when you should have passed it up. There a lot of different parts to that. I think after (Wednesday) our team realizes that, and hopefully we see a different team Saturday."
Colorado women's basketball will hold Youth Day Saturday. All kids ages 13 & under will receive admission for $1 and there will be an autograph session with the team after the game.