Recon: University of Colorado

Recon: University of Colorado

buffs

The Flyers got their psuedo-exhbition out of the way with a convincing win over a surprising athletic Arkansas State team. We learned that Vee Sanford still knows how to play basketball and that Kevin Dillard can play an abysmal game offensively yet still control seemingly everything on the court. Now, UD, as they have done in years past, ventures to Charleston for an early-season tournament to take on a BCS big-boy in Colorado.

Colorado is on the short-list of schools I could have seen myself attending without any hesitation (This list would include most of the SEC schools and any west-coast school where Bangbros™, or even Brazzers™, might show up to film an episode). The good denizens of the Centennial State, I looked it up, just recently voted to legalize weed. In theory, this would seem like the type of development that would make the U. of Colorado a more attractive option for flighty high-schoolers. Although, if weed legalization is of paramount importance when considering where to spend the next 4-6 years of your life, a trade school would seem like the better option in the long run.

The highlights of the Colorado law: you can own up to six marijuana plants in your home and anyone over the age of 21 is legally permitted to carry up to an ounce of weed on their person. So far, so good. Logically, this means that the students at the University of Colorado will be ripping bong hits and staring at moving screen-savers during Macroeconomics, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. Or more shameful.

Colorado is a public school, which means it receives federal funding. And, as we are all well aware, marijuana is still a banned substance on the federal level. Hence, weed is strictly prohibited on the grounds of the university. In theory you could take one step off campus and smoke a joint while  a security guard looks on furiously shaking his fist, but what’s the fun in that?

Bottom line, I don’t foresee weed tourism becoming a major part of Colorado’s economy. Amsterdam has that market cornered and the legal prostitution just sweetens the deal. Nor do I envision the new weed law resulting in an increased undergraduate enrollment at U. of Colorado. Dirty, smelly underachievers from all over this great nation will continue to flock to Boulder regardless of the state’s stance on marijuana.

So if legalizing weed shouldn’t be a significant element when deciding where to matriculate, what should be? I’ve actually given this some thought over the years and I’m here to help. Here are the aspects, in no particular order, to strongly consider when selecting a school:

Every school, any school.

Every school, any school.

  1. Weather. So key, so fucking essential. I missed around 35% of my classes while at Dayton due to cold weather. Extreme absences led to an automatic failure in my Intro to Communications course during my junior year, a low point for even your humble scribe. No one denies that the best place to drink alcohol is by yourself at the circus. A close second is outside on a porch while cured meats are being petrified on a salvaged grill you found in a dumpster. The only people who don’t enjoy being outside on a beautiful day are hoarders and fat people (redundant, I know). Write this down — more sun equals more fun.
  2. Football. Everybody at UD is going to wake up on a brisk Saturday morning, drink Natty Light Beast and watch Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, etc. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with sitting around shirtless with your chums watching college football until you can’t see straight (One of my favorite memories from my time at Dayton involved drunkenly razing 30 meatheads in a house on Lowes as Michigan State upset the Buckeyes during my freshman year). However, it’s only after you visit a school with a big-time football program on a fall Saturday do you realize what you are missing out on. Tailgating should be a major component of your college experience. Not saying this must be an imperative consideration, but it should certainly be something to contemplate if you are weighing a handful of colleges and need a tiebreaker.
  3. Recognizability. How many people in this country know that Skidmore or Claremont McKenna are excellent schools? Almost none, you for one. For argument’s sake, let’s say you ended up somewhere completely mediocre like Kansas State. Yes, people you encounter may not think highly of a school  like Kansas State — but they’ve heard of it.  The mere fact that the majority of people recognize your school, no matter what their opinion of it may be, holds some intrinsic value. It’s better to have someone respond, “Kansas State, huh? That Colin Klein is a helluva quarterback!” than having someone say, “Pomona College? Is that an online school?” You think people who graduated from Williams College don’t kick themselves every time someone asks them where it is located? Moral of this example: stick to “name brand” colleges.
  4. Cost. Trust me on this, your parents will be more likely to hook you up financially after college  if you can save them serious money when it comes to your college tuition. Put yourself in your father’s shoes, would he rather lay down $40K a year so his son/daughter can attend what amounts to a large boarding school, or does he want to save some bucks and purchase a boat to cruise around with his secretary on the weekend? Exactly. I’ve even heard of kids opening up negotiations with their parents.  You opt to attend State U? Maybe Daddy buys you a car. At least when you graduate you can live in it. That’s called planning for your future.
  5. Distance. Get as fucking far away from home as you possibly can. Simple and succinct.

Lastly, some free consultation regarding your career path — become a pharmacist and never look back. While certainly not the sexiest job out there, it pays ridiculously well (not even counting the influx of cash you can enjoy on the black market given your access to mind-altering drugs), you can wear whatever you want under your white coat, the hours are extremely manageable and the basic job description entails printing out a label and affixing it to a plastic bottle.  It’s a no-brainer.

Ok, enough unsolicited advice. Let’s quickly breakdown the Buffaloes.

Overview

The Buffs are a young team, featuring just one senior on the roster, with a ton of promise. Picked to finish sixth in the PAC12, Colorado is once again a potential tournament team. Tad Boyle is entering his third season as coach and is coming off a surprising PAC12 championship season (ostensibly stealing a bid from one of those sniveling mid-majors) that culminated with a win over UNLV in the NCAA Tournament. Shockingly (?), he is the first coach in Colorado history to win 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons. He is just a mere 19 wins away from a trifecta, as the Buffs led off their season with a 74-59 victory over Wofford in Boulder.

Depth is an issue for Colorado and the Buffs will have to rely on a couple of freshmen to make an immediate impact. Boyle’s statement regarding his roster during the league’s media day:

“The question is whether we rely on two or three freshman, or four or five. If it’s four or five, I feel pretty nervous as a coach.”

Regardless, Boyle has already made great strides on the recruiting trail, bringing in what many observers feel is the most accomplished freshmen class in school history.

The Buffaloes will pose a considerable challenge to UD’s bigs, as they are long, athletic and active. Jalen Robinson, Devon Scott and the Big Frog will have to step up and limit the damage the Colorado frontcourt will impose on the Flyers.

andre-roberson-colorado-1Meet and Greet 

Colorado is led by Wooden Award nominee Andre Roberson (11.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg). Roberson is a 6’7″ forward who makes the most of his God-given ability. He’s an aggressive rebounder on both sides of the floor and is athletic enough to guard just about anyone on the court. Roberson is not a high-level offensive player, the Buffs rarely run anything through him, but finds a way to contribute offensively via putbacks and transition buckets. Although his perimeter shooting is improving, he takes the overwhelming majority of his shots around the rim.

Joining Roberson up front is 6’10” freshman Josh Scott and 6’6″ sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie. Scott is the Buffs’ most highly regarded recruit and gives Boyle the low-block presence he so sorely needed. Scott led the Buffaloes in scoring during their European tour this summer, for what that’s worth. He poses a considerable threat to UD down low. Dinwiddie (10.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) had an excellent freshman season and does a little bit of everything for the Buffs. He was the Buff’s leading three-point shooter and was a clutch performer during the school’s PAC12 run last season.

Sabatino Chen — have no idea what his racial background is. Could be anything, he’s a genetic mystery. My cursory research reveals that he was on the PAC12’s All-Academic team and is majoring in Mathematics. Let’s play it safe and say he is Asian.He’s not a major factor offensively, just a cog in the wheel.

Askia Booker (9.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg) runs the point for Colorado. A sophomore, Booker struggled with his decision-making last season yet did enough on the offensive end to warrant substantial playing time. Xavier Johnson, a 6’6″ freshmen, is the other first-year player Boyle will rely on to contribute summarily. Like Scott, Johnson enjoyed a successful tour of Europe over the summer, averaging just over ten points a game against grown ass Slavic men.

Numbers Game 

Granted it’s too early to make any discernible takeaways, but here they are in all their glory.

CUUDstats

Prediction 

Athletic wings and the presence of a legitimate center give me pause. Colorado plays a stingy brand of defense and has the type of size that will give UD fits on the boards. UD goes down fighting, 72-65.

daddyderenbeckerColorado

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdO9Pa301M&w=560&h=315]

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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