Arizona Basketball

Colorado (21-10) vs. Arizona (24-6): Team that shows most composure will win this game


OneHeart






Date: Today
Time: 2:30 p.m. (Tucson time)
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena (13,000)
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro/Ernie Kent/Yogi Roth/Ashley Adamson)


Solomon Hill leads Arizona with a .610 productivity ratingl

Solomon Hill


Colorado wing player Spencer Dinwiddie said the Buffaloes “feel like we’re 2-0” against Arizona because of the Wildcats’ 92-83 overtime escape at McKale Center on Jan. 3. Everybody knows by now that Sabatino Chen’s three-point bankshot at the buzzer in regulation was ruled by the refs to be taken too late. Colorado avenged the loss a month later in Boulder. What makes Colorado feel it can take Arizona’s best shot and stay standing? Perimeter defense: In the two games against the Buffaloes, the Wildcats shot only 30.9 percent from three-point range (13 of 42) while Colorado shot 50 percent (19 of 38). Arizona’s starting backcourt of Mark Lyons and Nick Johnson made only six of 21 shots from beyond the arc. The Buffaloes were 0-of-6 from three-point range in overtime after the stunning developments of Chen’s shot. So aside from that, the Buffaloes shot 59.4 percent (19 of 32) from beyond the arcColorado’s defense: Arizona never got in a sustained offensive flow against the Buffaloes, with 24 assists and 27 turnovers in both games. Solomon Hill shot 9-of-22 from the field and had eight turnovers and only one assist in the games. Bottom line: The team that shows the most composure will win this game.


Andre Roberson

Andre Roberson


Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson returned yesterday against Oregon State after missing last weekend’s games against Oregon and Oregon State in Boulder, Colo., because of mono. Overall, he played well but showed some signs of rust with five turnovers and getting two quick fouls in the first half. He finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Roberson, the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year, did not have a blocked shot or steal against the Beavers in Colorado’s 74-68 victory over the Beavers. In the two games against Arizona this season, he combined for 16 points and 24 rebounds. He also had three steals and a blocked shot. The scoring and defensive numbers are subpar for Roberson in his games against Arizona’s Solomon Hill and Brandon Ashley. Roberson’s presence alone has altered shots and generally made the UA’s interior players feel uncomfortable. “André brings a lot to our team,” Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. “There is no question about it. He was a little rusty today. But in terms of his defense and clogging up the lane and changing shots, André was terrific.”








Brandon Ashley

Brandon Ashley


Many of Arizona’s players have struggled against Colorado in both matchups this season, most notably Ashley. Ashley had only four points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field in 33 minutes in both games. He had as many turnovers as points in the combined 33 minutes. UA freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski was also out of sync against Colorado’s quickness inside in the last matchup, dominated by Colorado 71-58 in Boulder on Feb. 14. Angelo Chol’s athleticism provided a boost as he had his best game of the season against the Buffaloes with eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. Colorado comes at opponents with constant ball movement and harassing defense with its athleticism and length. Arizona must match that constant intensity and movement to have an opportunity to win. In other words, Ashley, Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett must literally step it up and no longer play like freshmen.


Tad Boyle

Tad Boyle


The story of Boyle’s start in coaching is something out of Hollywood for the Pueblo, Colo., native. After earning a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Kansas in 1985, he became a commodities broker in Kansas City .In 1986, he returned to Colorado and continued his career as a commodities broker while serving six years as a high school basketball coach (three of them as a head coach) at various Colorado schools. A car accident in 1994 changed Boyle’s career. While heading to work one morning, Boyle was knocked unconcsious when somebody ran a red light and plowed into his vehicle. The collision crushed the front of Boyle’s car. The air bag likely saved his life. At that point, Boyle was earning six figures as a stockbroker and considered his head coaching duties at Longmont High a hobby. Later that year, Boyle received a phone call from his former Kansas teammate, Mark Turgeon, the current Maryland coach and then an assistant at Oregon. Turgeon informed Boyle of an opening on Oregon’s staff, but it was a restricted-earnings position that earned $16,000 a year. Boyle, not married at the time and wanting to open his life after his near-death experience, took a drastic pay cut by accepting the full-time coaching position. He was part of Jerry Green’s coaching staff at Oregon that upset the 1996-97 NCAA champion Arizona team late that season in Eugene. He later served as part of Turgeon’s staffs at Jacksonville State and Wichita State before Northern Colorado hired him to be its head coach in 2006. He became Colorado’s coach in 2010.


Lute Olson

Lute Olson


Few realize that Lute Olson’s collegiate coaching career was spurred by his one year as a high school counselor in Boulder, Colo. His masters degree was in guidance and counseling from Augsburg (Minn.) College. He at first believed a counselor position in a large public school system near Denver would be appropriate for his career. However, Olson missed coaching so much that he quit after one year in Boulder and planned to return to Two Harbors (Minn.) High School to coach. That’s when Olson heard of a potential opening at a new high school in Anaheim, Calif. Olson, his wife Bobbi Olson and their three kids at the time packed their bags and headed to California. Olson told me in 1996 that the decision to head West was also made because of the extensive community college system in California. Olson always planned ahead for potential enhancements to his career. If he enjoyed his experience in Boulder, Arizona basketball as we know it would be completely different. Olson could have coached in that area and became a Colorado follower and possibly coached there.

RELATED LINKS
— “Rivals” Arizona and Colorado to battle again in Pac-12 Tournament (TucsonCitizen.com)
One more time: Arizona-Colorado could be another classic (Anthony Gimino, TucsonCitizen.com)
— UA-Colorado pregame notes: He’s baaack (Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star)
— Pac-12 comes to where the Rat Pack became famous (WILDABOUTAZCATS.net)

Site publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner

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