Buffaloes Program Looking Up, Just In Time

Colorado Buffaloes Men's College Basketball Andre Roberson

Buffaloes Program Looking Up, Just In Time

The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team is coming off its best season in the history of the program. The Buffs finished the season with a school record 24 wins, and broke nearly every attendance record on CU’s books. The season ended with a one-point loss to Alabama in the NIT semi finals. Strong seasons breed strong recruiting classes, which will begin to show in the 2012-13 season. Now that Colorado has joined the Pac-12 Conference, they’re going to need all the strong recruits and positive momentum they can handle. The once-named Pac-10 has a rich history of strong men’s basketball, specifically UCLA and Arizona, and more recently Washington.  All three teams made the NCAA Tournament in March, as did USC, and should be equally as strong in 2011-12.

The move to the Pac-12 for Colorado was desired on multiple levels, including academics and general philosophies, but let us be realistic in our understanding… it was for the exposure and revenue. Colorado’s old conference, the Big 12, was not short on ticket revenue and merchandise sales, but the new television deal and creation of the Pac-12 Network, must be difficult to resist. The revenue gained from the network, and analogous regional channels, will be shared equally among the schools. This deal not only brings a new income source to all 12 schools, but also puts the Pac-12 on display for all Western states and improves recruiting greatly. The regional coverages will include, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California, Arizona, and the grouping of Colorado and Utah.

At first glance, Colorado may not appear to be the program that will make a splash in the new Pac-12, but you might be surprised. Head Coach Tad Boyle is the most successful first-year coach in CU history, and looks to build on his success. The Buffs finished last season ranked 13th in the nation in points per game at 79.6. Washington was the only Pac-10 team to be ranked higher (83.5). Colorado’s offensive scheme is high-paced and effective on the run, which matches perfectly with the Pac-12 style of play. Coach Boyle is well aware of the Pac-12 play as he began his career with the University of Oregon (1994-97) before joining Tennessee in 1997.

Coach Boyle recruited and signed three transfers for 2011-12. Carlon Brown and Sabatino Chen both come to CU from Division I programs. Brown was a three-year contributor for the University of Utah, and Chen played two years for the Pioneers of Denver University. Coach Boyle can utilize the experience of players with collegiate proficiency to make an immediate impact ion the court.

The Pac-12 athletics excellence unintentionally put the pressure on CU to join the facilities arms race. Colorado opened a new training complex for all of their court sports, which is a state-of-the-art structure that can simultaneously train volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and house all three coaching staffs. In addition, for the environmentally concerned student-athlete, it has registered as a green building, achieving environmentally sound specifications. New buildings for student-athletes are always a great draw for potential freshman and transfers, as well as an irreplaceable training tool for the teams.   

The transition to the Pac-12 couldn’t have come at a better time for an up-and-coming Colorado Buffaloes squad. The Buffs will look to use the gleam of a newly found confidence, upgraded facilities, a fresh coach, a power conference, and a money making television contract to transition into an historic basketball conference. Expect the excitement and energy surrounding the Buffaloes this year to lead to more competitive years to come. The future is bright in Boulder.


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