Posts tagged Craig Robinson
A chronicle of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.
The opportunity for payback came quickly for the Colorado Buffaloes and they didn’t let it pass. Beaten and embarrassed last weekend on their home court by lowly Oregon State, the Buffs regrouped and eliminated the Beavers 74-68 on Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.
And the second round brings another opponent the Buffs and their fans might always feel is owed a little something.
No. 5 seeded CU (21-10) advances to face No. 4 seed Arizona (24-6) on Thursday. The Buffs and Wildcats split their two regular-season meetings, each team winning at home but Arizona needing a disallowed three-pointer at the buzzer to win in the teams’ conference opener in overtime in Tucson.
“Yeah, we do feel like we’re 2-0 (against the Wildcats),” said CU sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who led the Buffs with 20 points on Wednesday, including eight straight after the Beavers had pulled to within a point in the second half. “We don’t go back and cry over spilled milk. We know it goes in the record book as a loss.
“But a lot of people around the country have the same feeling that we do. Even some of their players do because
we kind of talked about it on the floor last time (in CU’s 71-58 Valentine’s Night win in Boulder).”
Game three of the growing rivalry tips Thursday at 3:30 p.m. MDT (Pac-12 Network) in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “I think there is a lot of mutual respect between the programs, and I respect their coach and their coaching staff,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “I think what we did last year, and this year and these young men sitting beside me, I think we’ve earned some respect as well. So I look for a heck of a game.”
CU defeated Arizona twice last season, the final time (53-51) for the inaugural Pac-12 championship in Los Angeles. Out of that game, followed by Sabatino Chen’s waived-off buzzer beater on Jan. 3 in Tucson, burst a rivalry.
But to force another meeting, the Buffs had to dispose of the Beavers (14-18) Wednesday. And in Boyle’s words, the disposal process was unsightly. “Sometimes in tournament games you’ve got to win ugly,” he said, adding he couldn’t remember when his team shot from beyond the three-point arc (43.8 percent) than in front of it (39.3).
But in the second game with OSU in five days, CU had something that was missing on Saturday in Boulder – junior forward Andre Roberson, who returned after missing two games with a viral illness. He scored 12 points, added seven rebounds and, according to OSU coach Craig Robinson, was Wednesday’s difference-maker.
Asked that specifically, Robinson answered, “Is that a trick question, or did you not see Andre Roberson out there?”
Without ‘Dre’ last Saturday, the Buffs were outrebounded by the Beavers 38-32. With him back in the lineup, and with Josh Scott contributing 10 boards – eight big ones in the first half – and Xavier Johnson getting eight more, CU outrebounded OSU 43-30.
Roberson also was enough of an inside presence on the defensive end to help limit the Beavs to 39.7 percent from the field. He also contributed to CU having an 18-12 advantage in second-chance points.
“Roberson gave them a different look,” said OSU guard Roberto Nelson, who led his team with 20 points. “He does a lot for their team. There’s a reason he’s one of the best players in the league.”
But ‘Dre’ said he didn’t feel like that in his return to the court. “I was just trying to work myself back into shape and get the rustiness out,” he said, undoubtedly alluding to his five turnovers. “When you haven’t played in a long time, hadn’t touched the ball or run or anything . . . hey, I was relying on one day and that was (Tuesday). I felt like I did a pretty good job actually.”
He entered the tournament as the nation’s leading rebounder (11.5 rpg) and said this of Wednesday’s effort: “I slacked a little bit on the rebounding end. But I’ll pick it up (Thursday).”
In addition to Dinwiddie’s 20 and Roberson’s 12, CU got 16 points from Johnson and eight first-half points off the bench from Jeremy Adams, who continues to be a late-season force. Boyle said Adams “gave us some great first-half minutes . . . he made some shots (and) is a lockdown-type defender. I think I’d put him in there with ‘Sab’ (Sabatino Chen) and Andre in terms of his understanding of our defensive concept.”
Roberson, the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of The Year, knocked down a three-pointer followed by a pair of free throws that gave the Buffs a 12-point lead (61-49) with 2:43 remaining. It was CU’s largest advantage of the afternoon, with Roberson’s trey the Buffs’ final field goal of the game.
Oregon State pulled to within five points in the final three minutes, but CU hit 15 of 21 throws in the last 2:43 to advance against No. 18 Arizona. The Buffs are 4-2 against ranked opponents this season, their most wins in that category since the 2002-03 season.
After a back-and-forth first half Wednesday, the Buffs took 32-26 lead at intermission – and they did it dramatically. After a Beavers turnover with 1.1 seconds remaining, Chen inbounded the ball just across the mid-court line to Dinwiddie, who cleared himself to shoot with two dribbles and let his shot fly.
The horn sounded with the ball in the air – and CU had its fourth (and longest) three-pointer of the first half in 11 attempts.
Said Dinwiddie: “I just wanted to get open and get it up there . . . It gave us momentum; they had just come back.”
Prior to their six-point halftime advantage, the Buffs had led by as many as seven before the Beavs regrouped and tied the score at 23-23 with a 7-0 run. They made it a 10-2 spurt and went up 26-25 before CU closed out the half with a short jumper by Scott, a pair of free throws by Chen and Dinwiddie’s half-court swish.
At tip-off all CU eyes were on Roberson, who was cleared to play in the tournament on Tuesday morning. Roberson started, took a break at the 14:23 mark, then reentered the game with 12:13 remaining.
But less than three minutes later, with 10:47 left before intermission, Roberson picked up his second personal foul and went to the bench for the remainder of the half. If he needed rest, he hadn’t figured on getting it this way. He finished the half with two points and one rebound in seven minutes.
Oregon State, which defeated CU 64-58 last Saturday, crept to within 53-46 before Askia Booker hit a triple to put the Buffs back in front by double-digits (56-46). Booker had been scoreless (0-8 from the field) until that basket.
“I mentioned to our staff in the locker room (that) he was one-for-nine,” said Boyle, “but the one he hit was a big-time shot.”
Still, the Beavers were intent on making it a close game. When Ahmad Starks drained a three with 1:54 to play, his team trailed by only 63-57, and a trey by Eric Moreland (14 points, 13 rebounds) made it a five-point game (65-60) with 1:35 left.
A three-point play by Nelson pulled the Beavs to 72-68 in the final 10 seconds, but Dinwiddie’s final pair of free throws with 6.5 left sealed it and sent the Buffs into Thursday’s second round against the Wildcats.
Dinwiddie said the Buffs “have to stick with what we do – hold them to under 40 percent field goal percentage and outrebound them. (Then) we have a good shot at winning the game. That’s pretty much our focus every game. They’re a team that plays pretty stout defense. I guess a lot of people kind of say they’ve turned into our rivals because we’ve faced them so many times . . . faced them in the (Pac-12) championship last year. They’re always a great match up.”
Added Roberson: “They’re a great program. They play just like us – same philosophies. It’s like the cat going to get the mice; we’ve got to come hungry . . . and be ready to play.”
[includeme src="http://c1n.tv/boulder/media/bouldersponsors.html" frameborder="0" width="670" height="300"]