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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Boyle’s back in town: Former Jayhawk leads Colorado against KU

Former Kansas player and current Colorado head coach Tad Boyle gets at his team during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Former Kansas player and current Colorado head coach Tad Boyle gets at his team during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Tad Boyle stood in the southeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse just after 8 p.m., Friday, watching his Colorado Buffaloes stretch before a shootaround in a building the former Kansas University basketball combo guard used to call home.

“What’s neat about coming back to a place like this where you spent four years of your life is all the memories,” said Boyle, who played at KU from 1981 to ‘85.

“It does look the same, absolutely. They’ve still got the bleachers. The colors are the same. Still got the same chairbacks. Still got that clock,” he added, pointing to the old Longines clock, located high on the west side of Allen.

“That clock used to be up there,” Boyle added, pointing to the south end rafters where KU’s retired jerseys are now located. “I remember playing for coach (Larry) Brown. When he would say, ‘One more time, guys. One more rep,’ that meant another half-hour. You looked right up there at that clock,” noted Boyle, who played his final two seasons at KU for Brown, his first two for Ted Owens.

“What is great about this place is the nostalgia. I wanted our players to experience this.”

Boyle’s third CU team (7-1) will meet (6-1) KU at 1 p.m., today, in a Saturday matinee in the fieldhouse. He and his wife, fellow KU graduate Ann (their children Jack, Pete and Claire had school activities on Friday and couldn’t make the trip) enjoyed the short drive from Lawrence’s airport to the fieldhouse Friday night. The Buffs touched down at 7:30 p.m., Friday, and will head back to the mountains shortly after today’s game.

“Just driving down Naismith Drive or driving down the streets where you used to go to movies, where you used to bank is pretty neat,” Boyle said. “I was a little disappointed Bucky’s Burgers is not there any more. It’s a barbecue joint now.”

The 49-year-old Boyle — who has been a head coach at Northern Colorado and assistant at Wichita State and Jacksonville State under former KU guard Mark Turgeon as well as an assistant at Oregon and director of basketball operations at Tennessee — is a proud member of the Brown and Owens coaching trees.

“I spoke to coach Owens two days ago. We scrimmaged coach Brown’s (SMU) team earlier in the fall,” said Boyle, a native of Greeley, Colo. “Both are great men, great coaches and great influences on my life.”

Boyle also is on great terms with current KU coach Bill Self, whose college career at Oklahoma State coincided with Boyle’s at KU. Self, who is 10 days older than Tad, went 5-5 against Boyle’s KU teams.

“I tell everybody I loved it when we played Kansas. Tad was the only guy slow enough I could guard and he loved it when he played Oklahoma State because I was the only guy slow enough he could guard,” Self said. “It was two hard-rocking dudes guarding each other.

“Ask Tad if he would ever recruit me or I would ever recruit Tad and the answer is ‘absolutely not’ for both of us,” Self added.

Boyle laughed out loud when told of Self’s comments: “He’s probably right on both counts. I would have had a better chance of recruiting Bill than Bill would have recruited me. He was scrappy and tough. I remember every time he drove to the bucket he’d grab your shirt or jersey. He had some toughness about him,” Boyle said.

“I think the world of Bill. Every time I have a chance, I tell him as a former (KU) player I’m really proud and happy of the job he’s done here. He’s taken the program to new heights.”

Boyle is off to a sensational start at Colorado. He’s led the Buffs to 24 victories in each of his first two seasons. CU won the Pac-12 postseason tourney title and reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

The fans have taken notice.

CU has sold out three of four home games this season, including a Coors Events Center record crowd of 11,708 for Wednesday’s 70-61 victory over Colorado State. The Buffs have had 12 sellouts in Boyle’s three seasons.

“That’s one of the first steps (in building a program),” Boyle said of getting the fans involved. “Obviously you have to win some games. Basketball in Boulder is a special thing now.”

He had the fans in mind when he pursued scheduling KU in a home-and-home series.

Remember, this is a series that’s been one-sided throughout the years. KU has won 18 in a row and 45 of its last 46 over the Buffs, who went 0-3 versus KU two seasons ago in Boyle’s first season in Boulder, CU’s last season in the Big 12.

KU also has won 28 in a row over CU in Allen, CU’s last win coming during Boyle’s senior season at KU.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Boyle, who has two of the top players in the Pac-12 in Spencer Dinwiddie (17.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Andre Roberson (12.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg). Askia Booker and Josh Scott average 14.1 and 12.0 ppg respectively.

“I mean it (KU) is a national program, obviously I’ve got ties to it and part of it is I wanted to challenge our fans. When we came to Colorado as a coaching staff ... they always said the only games they sold out were the KU games and half the stadium was KU people. I thought with the progress our program has made, this will be a great test next year to see if our season ticket holders can step up and we can keep the Jayhawk fans out of there. In the meantime it gives us a chance to get a heck of a road game, a great RPI game and opportunity to come to a special place. Our players are looking forward to this.”

KU coach Self said today’s game figures to present a stern test for the Jayhawks. CU has wins over Wofford (74-59), Dayton (67-57), Baylor (60-58), Murray State (81-74), Air Force (89-74), Texas Southern (85-80, 2OT) and CSU to go with a loss at Wyoming (76-69).

“Tad and his staff have done a great job. His guys play with great freedom offensively. We’ll see that when they come in here Saturday,” Self said. “He has some kids that were pretty highly recruited, maybe not as highly as you would think. They did a great job of evaluating and projecting and coaching. Certainly those guys have turned out to be really good players.”

Of the KU challenge, Boyle said: “They’ve got some seniors. They’ve got some veterans. It seems every team we play against they have more experience and more seniors. Against Colorado State midway through the second half they are making a run at us we had four freshmen and a sophomore on the floor. We’ve got some youth we are going to try to overcome.”

Randle to visit: Julius Randle, a 6-9 senior forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, will attend the KU-Texas game on Feb. 16 as part of an official recruiting visit to KU. Randle, who is ranked No. 2 nationally by Rivals.com, also is considering Kentucky, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and North Carolina State.

KU to play Arkansas?: ESPN’s Andy Katz said it is likely KU will play Arkansas next season in Allen Fieldhouse in the first SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Katz said the Jayhawks had some scheduling issues and couldn’t work out details to play Florida. The Jayhawks have no interest in playing Missouri in the event. KU has decided to not schedule MU in any sports following the Tigers’ decision to leave the Big 12 last year.

Comments

stm62 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm the same age as Self and Boyle and graduated from KU in '85. I'll always remember Tads time at KU as the beginning of the new era or renaissance of the basketball program. While we had some very good teams under Coach Owens, Larry and Roy took us to new heights in consistency of winning.

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Ethan Berger 1 year, 4 months ago

John Maddens key to the game

  1. Jeff Withey has to hold of Roberson
  2. B Mac needs to drive to the hoop some more
  3. EJ needs to be the key to our offense
  4. and most importantly outscore the other team.
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dynamitehawk 1 year, 4 months ago

And I will be there. Hide Yo Kidz.

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Tom Longhofer 1 year, 4 months ago

I used to be kind of hard on Tad when he was KU player. I referred to him as the incredible nonscoring machine. But then he lit up Missouri for 17 points and I cheerfully ate my words.

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jhawkminer 1 year, 4 months ago

Off topic, but Tad's mention of Bucky Burgers brings back memories. As a HS Senior visiting campus (spring '86) with my Dad, we stopped by Bucky's before heading back to Tulsa. About 1-1/2 hrs out of Lawrence, I had to roll down the car windows, as my Dad had turned the Bucky Burgers into what he began calling "Bucky Bombers". Ooof. Go Hawks!

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 4 months ago

I hope CU brings it... we need a stiff challenge. Much like the Broncos who are headed to Baltimore next week.

Rock Chalk!

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William Blake 1 year, 4 months ago

What can happen from a week of solid practice:

  1. The guys come out and show considerable improvement.

  2. The guys come out and do not show considerable improvement.

I'm hoping for the prior, but prepared to see more development pains.

These are the games where experience rules king.

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ParisHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

On defense, number of 3-point attempts. As both Jesse and Ken Pomeroy have written recently, defense has more control over attempts than success rate.

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Jack Wilson 1 year, 4 months ago

Things that might be interesting today ---

-Tharpe vs. Adams: Is this just talk, or is it reality. The minutes played allocation will tell the story, assuming Adams isn't off the bench before Tharpe, which would be pretty definitive by itself. We've seen this many times over the years, though. Where we think there's a competition, and it simply doesn't materialize. So we don't expect it. This just feels a little different.

-White: Does he get double-digit minutes? Self seemed pleased with what White gave him last weeekend. Imagine if a few threes found the bottom? I watched hard for bad defense from him and didn't see it last time. It wasn't Releford-esque, but adequate. His length is a factor.

-Ellis: Kind of expecting a breakout game here pretty soon. Better now than against, say, Belmont or American. When he gets it going, my guess it it stays going.

-Releford: Maybe the biggest key on the offensive end -- is he getting it now? That he can control the game; that he should be the primary offensive threat; that it is his time.

-Traylor: Seems to be losing favor with Self after being a primary option early. Don't know if that was just based on circumstances.

-Withey: One of these games, a ref is going to get him for 2 quick fouls on the swats; or give him a third early in the second half. I think this happened once earlier in the year.

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Raydude 1 year, 4 months ago

After those Missouri Tigers welched on 140 years of tradition and rivalry, they want annual payday at KC, just the gravy. I wouldn't schedule them a game of intramural 'Jacks' ! !

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Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 4 months ago

I had dinner last night with the AD at Northern Colorado. He was the man who hired Tad away from WSU to Northern Co. It was obviously a stopping point on Tad's way up the coaching ladder. But the AD had nothing but great thing to say about Tad as a person and as a coach. When Self does leave, I hope Tad gets some serious consideration. I would prefer him over Turg (another obvious candidate).

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Phil Leister 1 year, 4 months ago

It's funny how KU schedules a home-and-home with CU, and Bill says there's no ill-will towards them for leaving. But, "KU has decided to not schedule MU in any sports following the Tigers’ decision to leave the Big 12 last year."

I love it.

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KansasComet 1 year, 4 months ago

It's been over a week since we played a game. Will we come out fired up, or will we come out stale? Here's hoping to playing some motivated basketball with a purpose, on our way back to the top 5!

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jaybate 1 year, 4 months ago

Tad Boyle has to be a great coach to get CU to 7-1 no matter who they have played.

Tad, its okay to tip the hat to Turg. He's one of us, too.

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jaybate 1 year, 4 months ago

"Some Strategies Self Considered in Addition to Trav and Jeff at PG"

• EJ playing point on a Segway.

• Moving Ben to X-Factor to see if he can sing, too.

• Giving Travis some minutes at Chancellor behind CBernie.

• Posting Kevin up in Chanute.

• Jeff given minutes between ATO house and Sigma Chi to swat cherry bombs hurled between houses using surgical tubing sling shots (RIP dear brother).

• Perry given back up minutes at head coach and told to coach more aggressively.

• Jamari given backup minutes at AD and told to muscle a few alums into giving more.

• Naadir posted on top of the back board for vicious throw downs.

• AW3 given backup minutes at the 5 and posted up out in Naismith Drive for long threes.

• Anrio given minutes behind Joe Dooley and told to guard the error factor in the stats.

• Justin given minutes behind Townsend and told to lock down on Kurtis' tailor.

• Niko given minutes behind Norm and told to man-up on landing Randle.

• Christian given minutes behind Simien and told to take some souls to iron.

• Tyler given minutes behind Doc and told to learn everything he knows except how to work for albino athletic directors named Tom.

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Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 4 months ago

I agree with Jaydog that the Buffs will be tuff. If the guys come out like it's a Boulder cakewalk, they will get their earwax melted.
Boyle has these guys buying into his system and it could be a loooong day if the Jayhawks aren't up for a real game.

And all you Colorado/western KS Jayhawks better be sure and buy up all those tix for the game @ Boulder next year so it will sound like an AFH game when you all roar!!!

ROCK CHALK, Jayhawks!!

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Ferd Magellan 1 year, 4 months ago

Mike Anderson in AFH always makes for some good laughs. I know we put up over 100 the last time his yellow cats came to Lawrence. The only concern is that next year will be Self's youngest team ever, so the fast-pace and full court pressure could create some problems. Hopefully Adams, Frankamp, Selden and/or Mason can step up and be strong ball-handlers for next year's team.

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Jay Dogger 1 year, 4 months ago

Uh, Randle coming to the game vs. Texas? Isn't Texas on his short list? And doesn't he live in Texas? To me, this sounds like a good sign. I didn't think we had a good shot at him but since the Selden signing I've gotten more optimistic. Also, I think as things have played out (such as Peters leaving) the better the fit is with KU and Randle.

Playing Arkansas? That's lame. Shouldn't the best play the best? I'd love to play Florida, Kenstinky or even MethU, although I know that's a touchy subject. Hopefully we'll get a chance to (successfully, of course) knock them out of the Madness.

I think the CU game will be tough but if we get solid PG play I'm sure we'll win. I'm curious to see who gets the back-up minutes, Tharpe or Rio.

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