Colorado’s Higgins breaks FT record
Colorado sophomore guard Cory Higgins broke the Big 12 and CU school record with 40-consecutive made free throws Jan. 5 at Southern Methodist University.
He made all five attempts against Western State on Jan. 7, improving his total to 45 straight over eight games.
The 6-foot-2 Danville, Calif., native missed his first toss last Wednesday at Missouri, snapping the streak at 45.
The old Big 12 record was 39, set by Joey Graham of Oklahoma State in the 2004-05 season. The CU record was 39 set by Rob Gonzalez during the 1982-83 season.
“I try not to think about it,” Higgins told the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper before the MU game. “I just go through the same routine. But it’s in the back of my head.”
Higgins rallied to hit his final six versus Missouri, thus has a new streak going into today’s CU-KU game (2:30 p.m., Coors Events Center).
The NCAA record for consecutive free throws made in a season is 73 by Villanova’s Gary Buchanan during the 2000-01 season.
“Higgins is good,” KU coach Bill Self said of the player who averages a team-leading 17.5 points a game. He has 42 assists, 41 turnovers.
Young Buffaloes working on confidence
CU’s starting lineup includes two freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and one senior.
“Confidence kind of fluctuates moment to moment,” second-year coach Jeff Bzdelik told the Boulder Daily Camera. “With young players, hopefully they forget fast and are more resilient.”
He is focused on not a quick fix, but building a program.
“There is no shortcut to consistent success unless you’re going to compromise the integrity of the university. And then it’s usually just a flash in the pan,” he told the Camera.
“If we want to build this thing right, you build it from the ground up with young players. They’re going to have ups, and they’re going to have downs.”
Colorado carries unpleasant streak
The Buffs beat Nebraska and Oklahoma in home games during Bzdelik’s first season in Boulder.
The Buffs, however, have lost 22 straight Big 12 road games. Their last victory was a 80-78 win at Okie State on Jan. 21, 2006. Senior Jermyl Jackson-Wilson is the only Buffs player to have won a Big 12 road game. He was red-shirting that 2005-06 season.
Only one holdover from Patton era
Junior guard Dwight Thorne II is the only member of his seven-man class recruited by Ricardo Patton (now at Northern Illinois) who is still in the program.
“I don't know why it can't be this year,” Thorne said of winning. “We've taken our share of lumps already. As soon as we figure out what we need to do to consistently win games and close out games, we’ll be OK.”
“I’m sure nobody expects anything from us,” Higgins added. “We’re all we have. And we’re confident in each other.”
Local product of note
Casey Crawford, a 6-9 sophomore forward, attended Blue Valley North High. Crawford, who has started four games for Colorado, averages 6.4 points and 1.9 rebounds a game.
Self on the Buffs’ 107-62 Big 12-opening loss to Missouri on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.
“Obviously it was a great outing for Missouri and a bad one for Colorado. Colorado hasn’t been giving up that many points. Even after that, they are in the upper 60s for the year,” Self said of the Buffs, who have allowed 66.5 ppg while scoring 67.6.
“They’ve always been a team statistically that can keep the score in the 60s. Playing away from home, as we know, it can get away from you sometimes.”
Self looking for road toughness in Boulder
Self, on what it will take to win on the road, where KU is 0-2 this year:
“We have fought good at home. We just haven’t fought as hard as we have to away from home. We’ve not grinded it out when things are not going well away from home. There’s a natural progression that needs to take place.
“Ask anybody who plays team sports: Is it more fun to celebrate in the home locker room or visitor’s locker room? They’d say visitor’s locker room. It may not be the appearance of as much fun. You’ve got the hoopla at home, the fans patting you on the back. There’s something about that core group of guys being successful on somebody else’s turf you take great pride in.”
KU targeting Juco players
Kansas has scouted a pair of players from Mario Little's former school, Chipola (Fla.) Junior College, according to Rivals.com.
They are: Justin Brownlee, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound small forward, and Casey Mitchell, a 6-4, 215-pound shooting guard. Brownlee also has Oklahoma State on his early list, and Mitchell is also interested in UAB, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas A&M.; Both players are in the recruiting class of 2009.