FOR STARTERS (individual)... Coach Bzdelik will look to remain perfect against the Rams aiming for his sixth straight win of his coaching career ... Ryan Kelley scored a season-best six points on a pair of 3-pointers against TCU; he also played a season-high nine points, as did Javon Coney (21 minutes) against the Horned Frogs ... Cory Higgins remains CU’s statistical leader in points, rebounds, steals, and minutes played. Higgins has led CU in rebounding four of six games and in scoring three times (one shared) ... CU has four players shooting over 50 percent (min. of 19 attempts) ... Dwight Thorne II is shooting a team-best .650 percent from the field (26-of-40). He also has three games with at least five rebounds ... Jermyl Jackson-Wilson has a blocked shot in every game and leads the team with seven ... CU’s top three scorers Higgins (.717), Thorne II (.739) and Austin Dufault (.778) are a combined .734 from the charity stripe. Higgins has 53 attempts, equaling the combined attempts of Thorne II, Dufault and Tomlinson.
Complete Notes at the bottom of page.
FOR STARTERS (team)... Tonight is the second straight game against the Mountain West Conference ... Tonight is CU’s first game in seven days ... After the game against CSU, the Buffs will be idle for nine straight days ... CU has not led the opponent in 80 minutes of play (last two games, at Stanford and vs. TCU) ... In three CU wins, the team is shooting .519 percent from the floor with four players averaging 10+ points a game (Higgins 16.7 ppg., Dufault 11.7 ppg., Crawford 11.3 ppg., Thorne II 11.0 ppg.,) ... In three losses, CU is shooting .466 from the field and being outrebounded by a 34.3-27.7 margin ... CU has placed four players in scoring double-digits in four of six games (except Stanford, TCU) ... CU starters are averaging 54.2 ppg., while the bench is adding 15.3 ppg. .... CU has made a 3-pointer in 201-straight games (since the 2001-02 season) ... CU is 3-1 when shooting over 50 percent from the field (50% at Stanford) ... CU’s 11 steals against Lafayette were the most thefts since getting 13 at NCAA Tournament bound Kansas State last year (March 4, 2008).
CSU UPDATE... The Rams has lost three straight games (at Boise State, Nevada, at San Francisco) and five of their last six. Second-year head coach Tim Miles returns seven lettterwinners and three starters from last year’s 7-25 team. CSU is predicated to finish eighth in the nine-team Mountain West Conference.
CU vs. CSU... Colorado leads the all-time series, 86-33 and holds a 51-7 advantage in Boulder. CU won last year’s meeting in Fort Collins, 73-70 behind 54.9 percent shooting from the field and a double-double performance from Richard Roby (18 pts., 10 reb.). Four CU players reached double-figures. The last time the Rams won in Boulder occurred Dec. 9, 2006 (72-69) winning for the first time on CU’s home court since Dec. 2, 1957 (49 years).
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.
BROADCAST: The Colorado men’s basketball team can be heard live on KKZN AM 760. 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 CUBuffs.com through the BuffsTV subscription service.
POSTER FEATURE... Tonight’s poster feature is sophomore guard Javon Coney. Coney enters his second season and played in 14 games a year ago. More info on Coney is on page 17.
ON THIS DAY (Dec. 10)... CU is 12-2 on this date with an 8-1 record at home. The Buffs last played on this date back on 2003-04 when they defeated Colorado State, 84-78. That season CU finished 18-11 with a NIT appearance.
LAST GAME RECAP... TCU raced out to a 12-0 lead in the opening six minutes and defeated Colorado, 62-46 back on Dec. 3. CU shot 28 percent in the first half (6-of-21), while the Horned Frogs countered with only 9-of-25 (36 percent), however capitalized on CU’s 13 first half turnovers. Cory Higgins led the Buffs scoring with 16 points and eight rebounds. Austin Dufault added eight points, while Dwight Thorne II and Ryan Kelley each added six points.
MORE TEAM NOTES... The Buffs grabbed a season-high 10 offensive boards at Stanford ... CU shot 50% from the field in both halves against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Harvard and Lafayette - all wins ... The Buffaloes made 10 three-pointers from the new NCAA 3-point line of 20’9" against Pine Bluff. The 10 treys the most since making 10 against Oklahoma State (Feb. 3, 2007) ... CU is playing a school-record eight home games before Christmas (previous high was seven set five times, most recently 1998-99) ... 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). This season will be the first time playing Lafayette, Coppin State, George Washington (pending), Vermont (pending).
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.
3-Point Streak... Dating back to the 2001-02 season, CU has made a 3-pointer in 201 consecutive games. Last time they failed to make at least one trey was Jan. 16, 2002 against Iowa State in Boulder. The Buffs won 63-61.
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).
Defense through the years... Over his six years as a collegiate coach and two-plus seasons as a head coach in the NBA, Jeff Bzdelik has installed playing defense as a major part of the game. Here’s a look at his teams over the years. The 2005-06 season at Air Force was a nation’s best of all 970 collegiate schools in Division I (326), D-II (265), and D-III (379).
1986-87 UMBC 70.1 ppg. (28 gms)
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 ^62.4 (32 games)
2008-09 Colorado 65.8 (6 games)
* - nation’s best
** - runner up nationally (Princeton 53.3)
^ - lowest in CU history 46 years
# - franchise record (shattered mark by more than five points)